It’s getting dangerously close to January 1. The day we all collectively sign on the dotted line of those New Years resolutions we intend to make. I’ve always been a ‘resolutions’ kind of a girl. I love fresh starts, new beginnings, second chances. And reading Jen’s post inspired me to write about the things I want to change. There’s something kinda vulnerable about making your resolutions known. They seem more ‘official’ and thus the guilt begins to creep in because I know don’t have the best track record of keeping them. The one I seem to keep fairly consistently is exercise. So I always hate going to the gym on January 1st with eight million people I’ve never seen at the gym before vying for the same set of dumbells. The comfort is, I know they won’t be there on Feb. 1. And similiarly, my impeccably organized pantry on Jan. 1st will look like twenty toddlers have been rummaging around in it by Feb. 1st. I slowly seem to make some good lasting changes but I’m not setting any records here. I’ll let you have a peek of my preliminary list….and maybe you can help me.
1. I need to lose a little weight. I have gained 8-12 pounds since I quit working. Depends on what time of day, what day of the month, you know what I mean. My fat jeans are a little snug. I’d like to lose 10-12 pounds but I have a serious sugar addiction…..and reactive hypoglycemia. I exercise regularly and will begin training for a half marathon next week. But I must find a way to cut out sugar. Today is the first day I haven’t had ‘my quota’ of sugar and I felt really well all day. But I have intense cravings. Like a meth addict. Or worse. This resolution though seemingly vain has far reaching effects sometimes. I think about ‘the fix’. I get the ‘fix’ (fudge or cookies or whathaveyou. I’m on a high. I crash. I’m irritable until the next ‘fix’. It’s a vicious cycle that drives me crazy. I cannot continue to be home 24 hours a day if I don’t find a way to control this. And I’ve tried pictures of skinny 18 year olds in bikini’s on the frig door. Doesn’t work. I find myself talking to her and saying things like: ”Yeah, enjoy it now. But you just wait til you have four kids and an addiction to sugar. And you know what, you’re too skinny anyways. You look like a 13 yo boy. I like my curves. Now move out of the way so I can get some ice cream, sister. Got any other suggestions?
2. I have to start planning for Taylor’s graduation. My son Taylor graduates from high school this May. I have a party to plan, a scrapbook to finish, pictures to scan, a video to make, and various other fun things I’d like to do for him. Plus a million more tears to cry. This kind of life change is stressful enough so I’d like to minimize the chaos toward the end. Help me plan. He’s a musician and a runner so I’m trying to come up with a clever ‘theme’ for the party. I cried during High School Musical Three ’cause Troy was graduating….and Taylor looks like Troy to me….’cause he’s a boy…..and has dark hair. So, what about a HSM 3 party? There’s plenty of party favors to be found, that’s for sure. (My sister is laughing profusely). Don’t like my idea? Well give me some so that I can begin to work on graduation announcements.
I wanted to teach him ballroom dancing before he graduates too. But that’ll be hard since I don’t know how. Should we take a few lessons together? Am I too ambitious?
3. We need a little more structure in our homeschool. Overall, I love homeschooling. Love it. We’re having a ball. But it’s hard to gauge how we’re doing. I could do a better job at planning. The problem is I’m a very enthusiastic starter of things. And often a very poor finisher. We have been doing a very laid back grammar program and I’m starting Shurley Grammar in January. My school room needs a little work too. I did a great job getting it organized, but keeping it organized is another story. I’m not sure it’s realistic for me to write down lesson plans……but I need a little more structure. I need a teacher’s aide. That’s what I need. Any takers? The pay is lousy but it’d be fun.
4. I could tweak my meal planning a bit to include more low fat options. My meal planning is pretty good but since I’ll be working on #1 I’ll have to make some changes in the content of the food. Maybe I need some new lighter recipes…..with a little less butter and cream. More protein shakes and bars for meal replacements. I LOVE to cook and cook a lot. But I spare no fat. My family can tell too…..if the recipes’ been ‘lightened’ up. They’re like detectives. Maybe I’ll just have to cook normally and eat very small portions. Or gnaw on carrot sticks while they eat creamy cajun pasta.
5. I’d like to have a more structured Bible reading scheme. I use Treasury of Daily Prayer for daily devotions. I’d like to, in addition to that, read the Bible through chronologically. There are online sources that give a schedule but if you have any suggestions, let me know. I’m compiling my reading list for ’09 but I’m not done yet. Do you have any awesome, life-changing books I need to add?
6. I’d like to become a better writer. Blogging has made me realize how much I love writing. Deep down, I’d love to write a book someday, but for now, I’d settle for a published article. I’d like to take a creative writing class but how do you do that and keep up with home activities? I’ve been reading a lot of online articles about writing which only increases my appetite for more. And then watching Marley and Me this weekend made me wanna have my own column. And made me cry profusely for 45 minutes, but that’s beside the point. I have started a ‘writing’ journal’ where I will keep ideas for ‘blogs’ or articles and also great quotes or paragraphs by other authors. Any other suggestions?
The other blogging related resolution I have is to get more organized and efficient with how I spend my computer time. I keep finding more blogs I like to read…..and keep thinking of more things I like to write, but my family needs to eat and wear clean clothes and live in a clean house, so I need to be more purposeful about it I think. What’s your system or do you have one? Do you subscribe to blogs in a reader or just bookmark them or what?
7. I want to be more purposeful in serving my neighbor. I need to find some nursing home people for the girls and I to visit regularly. Maybe volunteer at the local soup kitchen. Service projects of some sort that the girls and I can get involved in. Any suggestions?
8. I need more organization in my home. I need a professional organizer to come to my house and order me around. My house almost always looks clean and organized so I’m pretty good with the big picture. But the details, now that’s another story. This is probably where I need my ultra-organized and tidy neighbors Sue and Leigh Ann to come over and help. My new ADD book said in big bold letters: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY ANY MORE PLASTIC CONTAINERS. I rolled into the floor laughing. Apparently all people with ADD have this misconception that the problem with their lack of organization is the supplies they’ve been working with…..so we go buy more containers with every confidence that this will be the solution we’ve been needing. No kidding, I’m a container freak. And yet if you ask me to find say, the red polka dotted scrapbook paper, I’d hunt for an hour and then I’d get sidetracked by my old yearbook that I happened to run across and you’d find me sitting in the basement laughing hysterically. Then you’d have to remind me what it was I was looking for in the first place. Such is the life with ADD.
But I’m not discouraged. I’m an optimist. This is gonna be my year. To get organized and charitable and skinny and spiritual and to become very teacherly. That’s why I love resolutions. Despite any past failures in these areas, I am fully confident that strides will be made and goals accomplished. You pessimists out there are shaking your heads, aren’t you? You don’t even make resolutions because you’ve seen the outcome too many times. You will sit on the resolutions’ sideline and just wait to see how long it takes until I’ve given in……when I’m only in the book of Exodus is July…….and I can’t find Taylor’s senior picture in May…….and I’m joining Weight Watchers in March. But that’s okay. I love having tasks and goals. And if only one of them ‘sticks’…..well, that’s better than nothing.
Good thing God doesn’t use ‘resolution theology’ with us. He knows us too well. So he designed a plan that didn’t hinge on our sticktoittiveness. He went the whole way. Accomplished it all for us so that even when we fail, he forgives and gives us ’new mercies every morning’. Even with our ‘mostly likely to fail’ list of changes we intend to make, He has a plan that never fails. I think schemes for personal improvement can be valuable. I’m just thankful that’s not how my relationship with God works.
So, what’s on your list or have you forsaken ‘the list’ altogether?