Have a Happy Birthday!

Sometime this past week, I turned one year older. And just like most years, my birthday was pretty low key…just how I like it. As we get older, birthdays tend to become less and less important. Whether it’s because we don’t want to celebrate getting another year older, we have too much going on, or maybe you just aren’t a birthday person…birthdays tend to be for the young and for the old, but not for the middle (except for your 50th). However, I completely disagree. Birthdays should be celebrated!

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New Year’s Resolutions When You Don’t Feel in Control

It’s never too late to have resolutions. Yes, we’re ¾s done with February, but better late than never! I try to follow the saying, “today is the first day of the rest of your life” (sometimes easier said than done), and so it’s absolutely fine to come up with resolutions a little after the first of the year (hey, at least we’re still in the 1st quarter). Resolutions (or goals as I tend to think of them) don’t have to be very lofty or much of a stretch. Really, the main things are that you want to accomplish them and they’re somewhat specific (so you know whether or not you achieved them). And of course, you have to write them down.

As promised, I’m sharing my 2019 resolutions with you this week. Over the past couple of weeks, I spent some time (mainly daydreaming while driving or during meetings) and came up with 14 resolutions/goals for this year. There’s nothing special about 14 – that’s just the number of resolutions I came up with. There’s also nothing special about these resolutions; they’re just things that I want to accomplish this year. Several are carryovers from previous years, but I am making a more conscious effort to have specific goals for the year instead of generic or abstract goals.

At the end of 2018, some health stuff came up and it felt really hard to come up with resolutions because a lot of stuff feels really outside of my control. I am used to being extremely active, having enough energy to do what I want, and being in control of my body. Then, over the holidays and for all of January, my job became really, really busy and I felt like I had no time. Looking forward for this year, my job doesn’t seem like it will slow down for months, maybe years. My health stuff will thankfully get a little better, but it will have lasting consequences. Can you sympathize? Do you feel like work or school or just life is taking it out of you and you don’t have control?

In writing down my goals for 2019, I realized that there really is a lot that I can control. And if you feel the same way that I did, know that you too can actually control quite a bit. For example, I realized that I could make 15 minutes to be somewhat active twice a day…by walking Way Pup. Ain’t nobody got time to workout…but I do have time to maybe give Way Pup an extra 5 minutes twice a day…and I can put on my tennis shoes for our walk instead of my boots so we can jog a little bit. Bam! There’s my activity for the day! (Even if I feel tired, at least he and I get outside for 10 minutes twice a day.) And, because Way Pup doesn’t care about the weekend, he needs this attention 365 days. I can also spend 5 minutes cleaning up my kitchen every night. And, while I’m zoning out during incredibly boring stuff, I can think about what I want to eat for lunch and buy those ingredients at the store. Those are 3 things I can control in my life.

Despite my advocacy for specific goals, there are a few abstract/nonspecific resolutions for this year. The first one is that I want to enjoy this year as much as possible. Life, in general, is hard to enjoy unless you make a conscious attempt and I have a big year of changes ahead of me. It would be so, so easy for me to put my head down and get through this year without pausing to enjoy any of it. But if I did that, then I would look up at the end of 2019 and wonder where it went. So, I want to enjoy this year and make a conscious attempt to find joy. Second, I want to be patient with myself with my health stuff. There’s nothing particularly measurable about this, but it’s something I need to be reminded of – and I will because I have my resolutions written on an oversized post-it note right under my computer screens on my desk at work!

My 2019 Resolutions are posted where I will see them all day 5 days a week

With all that said, here are my 2019 resolutions:

  1. Exercise/move 4x week (includes a good walk for Way Pup)
  2. Personal
  3. Enjoy this year as much as possible
  4. Pack healthy lunches for work
  5. Work as long as possible and work on delegating
  6. Take my full vacation/leave available from work
  7. Save $X dollars by August (goal agreed to with Way)
  8. Have Christmas Cards ready by Black Friday
  9. Take monthly photos
  10. Celebrate Way’s birthday
  11. Be patient with myself
  12. Clean the house 1x week
  13. Turn thesis into journal article by June
  14. Run 2 5k’s (1 in April, 1 in ?)

Let’s see how I do this year! I’ll do what I can to update you as the year progresses. Now it’s your turn! What are your resolutions? Did you have any that you created back in January and let slip? Now’s that chance to get back on. Are you like me and just now coming up with yours? Have you had any years when you’ve felt completely out of control? Do you still feel that way or have you managed to get a bit of control back? If you have some abstract/nonspecific resolutions, go ahead and add them – it’s totally okay to have a blend of specific goals and nonspecific resolutions. This is your list! Let me know! I’d love to get some comments!

Love is for Everyone, Not Just Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day! I Last week when I posted that I would share my New Year’s Resolutions with you this week, I completely forgot that today would be Valentine’s Day. I do have my resolutions written down and ready to go, but I’m going to save them for next week. Today, I am thinking about Valentine’s Day and love. No, not necessarily romantic love (even though that’s all very well and nice and I am hopelessly in love with my husband). I’m thinking about love in general. Love between a parent and a child. Love between friends. Love for your family. Love for your pets. Love for your job or school. Love for your hobby. Love for your neighbor. Love for other people. Self-love. There are so many ways to love and none of them should be excluded, particularly today.

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Realistic New Year’s Resolutions (yes, in February)

Hello! Yes, I’ve been MIA for a full month and I apologize for leaving you all hanging with absolutely no word. Towards the end of December, I received some pretty big news and it threw me off my game for all of January. Seriously, I basically went MIA from the internet, including my Facebook, my Instagram, and this blog. Plus, my work schedule has become extra busy as a big project has ramped up…a lot…with me taking on a really big role. You and this little blog have been on my mind every single week though.

Part of why I’ve been absent is because, thanks to the big news, I haven’t been able to think of some good New Year’s Resolutions because a lot of things are out of my control. Namely, the stuff I really care about. I wish there were some good resolutions that could eventually get me where I want to be and there are probably some good resolutions out there that haven’t come to mind yet. However, I promised you all some guidelines for setting New Year’s Resolutions…but I don’t have any of my own. It’s the first full week of February and for the first time since 2011, I haven’t set any resolutions.

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Cheap Gifts: Tasty Treats for the Holidays

The holidays are coming up and you want to give gifts to your friends. The problem is, gifts can get expensive really fast! If you’re already gettings gifts for your parents, 2-3 close friends, grandparents, a couple of siblings, maybe a significant other, then your budget may already be stretched thin. What are you supposed to do for the other people you might want to give gifts to? People like neighbors, work friends, not-so-close family friends who you know you’ll see at that annual holiday party and who you also know will give you something. If you’re also new to living on your own, there’s an expectation that you’ll start giving out more gifts and, chances are, you want to meet those expectations. An easy way to do this is to give food gifts!

Last year’s baked goodies – cranberry almond biscotti dipped in chocolate with silver sprinkles (the sprinkles were left over from a cookie decorating party) and Oreo truffles dipped in chocolate (with leftover sparkle sprinkles)
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