Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolved

I do not know exactly when I started to make earnest New Year's Resolutions, but I remember making fervent wishes/promises as a young mother to get my act together and get organized this year, and then the next too.  Every year, I have refined my resolution-making skills as I have admitted that yes, I like to make goals, plans, and improvements to shape my year. Some years, my resolutions are abstract, a commitment to strive for a quality in myself or my life.  Some years, they are much more concrete.  Sometimes, I am not sure in late December or early January exactly what will shape the coming year, but it usually resolves itself by February or March, from the whisper of an idea to a clear vision.

Sometimes I make an about face after following through on a resolution for several months.  At the beginning of 2014, for example, I resolved not to look at my smart phone when I was in public, when I could be reading or making a human connection instead.  By spring, I realized that I was not going to make a connection with the dozens of college students speeding along the sidewalks of my neighborhood while I'm out walking the dog and besides, what better time to catch up on blog reading.  When I realized that part of my reasoning for leaving the phone in my pocket was worrying about what other people thought, I decided to hell with it and let go of that resolution.  Despite that, I still found myself more willing to bring out a book than my phone when sitting in a park or waiting for after school pick up.

Here are my resolutions for 2015 (along with the unspoken, perpetual resolution to write the correct year on checks and documents):

1. Wash face and floss teeth every night.
This is not really a resolution per se, more maintenance of my routine. I go through phases where I am too tired or just don't want to be bothered.  January 1 is as good a time as any to get back on track.

2. Read well.
I am not interested in reading a specific amount each year or setting challenges or targets, but I want to read as much as possible and keep the content varied. In addition to tracking both my books and any chapter books I read to the kids on Goodreads, I want to set up an Excel spreadsheet to track a few additional stats for each book.  Genre, country of origin, published date, format, and reading time are most interesting to me. I am power using my library right now, but would like to dip back into the pile next to my bed this year.

3. Write a blog entry every day, no matter what, even if it's short or unfocused.
The tendency of blog writers to explain or apologize for their presence on the Interwebs or lack thereof is a pet peeve of mine, so I will just leave it at that.

4. Try to prep meals ahead to eat at least three homecooked meals a week, even on dance nights.
I really struggled to make decent meals during the hectic fall schedule, so I am committing to planning and prepping ahead before I leave the house in the afternoon.  Planning for the whole week does not work for me, but thinking I can just whip something up with whatever is on hand when we get home at 7pm does not work for me either. I have yet to find a good stable of slow cooker recipes that my family will actually eat, but I think if I keep things simple and prep things ahead of time, making the kind of meals we like is still doable.  Dr. Yap bought me a great sauce cookbook for Christmas that I have already used successfully and I am really liking the Dinner A Love Story blog for friendly to my family's palate and schedule.

5. Come to a full and complete stop at all stop signs and don't drive in the middle of roads, parking lots, driveways. 
Because no one in my neck of California does either.  I don't know why: narrow roads, surf town laziness, self-actualized entitlement.  Who knows. This is one of those rare cases when following the rules does not make me a sheep.  Dr. Yap always lets me know when I am driving in the middle of a parking lot driveway or practicing for my Hollywood close up at stop signs. Besides, doing things precisely is skill-honing and patience building.  

6. Learn to sew. Again.  Actually, learn to sew confidently.
This will not be the first time I have sewn or had a sewing machine, but despite several very successful Christmas stockings, I have never felt that comfortable with a sewing machine.  The great 4-H disaster of 1981 did me in. Boo has been asking to learn how to sew and knit, so I bought us a sewing machine for Christmas from an actual sewing store, not just the Costco special. Three lessons came with the machine. Now I am on the hook.  Besides, there's a book for that.

7. Find time to knit again. Maybe. 
Numbers 2 and 6 might make that hard.

8. Go on at least one hike a month. Not necessarily with the kids.
Even if homework and kid's activities make a family hike difficult, I can still go by myself or with a friend while the kids are at school.

I have to keep in mind that I was crazy enough to volunteer to help run the art auction for Boo's elementary school, so I may be suspending some of these until that is over in mid-March. Resolutions 2, 4, and 6 may not get much traction before then.