I have a long list of resolutions. But they're not individual resolutions, really. It's a theme I want 2014 to follow. A theme of bettering, caring, growing. Spiritually. Healthfully. I just want to be a better me. Maybe that sounds super cheesy... but I stepped into 2014 with an optimism quite out of the ordinary for me. I am not an optimistic person. I tend to see the worst, just so I won't be disappointed. I tend to not do anything, rather than try and fail. But I'm learning to let go of perfectionism and accept... embrace failure. I am human. I want to delight in my human nature. God delights in me. He made me because he loves me. I want to love myself. I don't. I haven't. I want to start. I want my children to love themselves -- not in a cocky, arrogant, selfish way. I just want them to know their worth. I want them to listen to the little bits of wisdom life whispers their way, instead of ignoring it, like I've done for so long. So here's to a 2014 of bettering, caring, loving, growing.
1. Get on a daily routine. Since reading the book Driven to Distraction, I've discovered that I most likely have ADD. Reading this book was like reading my life's story. It explains everything I've ever thought was wrong with me, from my depression to my anxiety, to my angry outbursts at my kids, to my intolerance of chaos, to my perpetual and harmful procrastination. It is like I've been lost and wandering through this life for the past ten years or so, not sure what to do with myself, unsure of my abilities and feeling my ineptitute so profoundly, and someone just handed me a key and said, "There you go. That door right there. That's the way you should go. This will take care of everything." So maybe that sounds a bit dramatic and philosophical to explain something as simple as "get on a daily routine," but through this revelation, if you will, I discovered I need to have a routine. I can't function without.
2. Drinks lots of water. I'm always dehydrated. Always. Normally, I don't drink any water outside of a cup I may have with my meals, and then at night I'm dying and drink maybe one or two cups to quench my thirst. Quite often I feel nauseated, light-headed, head-achy, and grumpy simply because I am dehydrated.
3. Keep up with the laundry. I just did like four loads today. It piles up so high, so fast. I'm sick of it. I just need to stick to one load a day. It stresses me out and makes me anxious when it gets like that.
4. Read 35 books.
5. Read only two books at a time. I usually read 5 or 6 at a time, and then it takes me forever to finish them. So I will stick to two, reading at least one on my Kindle at all times (for those moments when I'm in the dark, putting Austen to sleep).
6. Run a half-marathon. I'm really doing it this year. No, like... really. I already signed up to do a 10k on St. Patrick's day. After that, I only have to train up to four more miles to prepare my body for a half-marathon. (A half is about 13 miles, but if you train up to ten miles, it's said that you body will just finish those last three miles no problem. My mom did this.)
7. Give up soft drinks for a year. In 2013, I gave them up until a couple days after Thanksgiving. Every time I had a Dr. Pepper, I thought, "Why am I drinking this? It's not even that good." I don't have a problem giving them up for the entire year this time. After that, I'll consider giving them up for good. They are one of the worst things you can put in your body.
8. Post a portrait of the kids once a week, every week. I tried doing this last year and failed. I also didn't take very many pictures in 2013. I need to stick with it. I can't let Instagram take the place of real photography.
9. Choose grace. As I've gotten older, I've grown more impatient with people in general. I mean, I'm polite to people, but internally I can be rolling my eyes and sighing loudly as the new kid at the grocery store is taking forever to finish bagging my groceries. Blech! Who is that person?! I don't want to be like this. I used to always put myself in others' shoes, give people the benefit of the doubt. It's not in our culture to do that. People love to put others down, complain, and act like they deserve special treatment. I will not be that person. It's not in my character to act that way, yet I've become more hardened over the past couple years. I don't want to have the attitude of "I hope you get what you deserve." I want a more graceful spirit.
10. Stop yelling as much. Apparently, I must love to yell at my kids, since I do it every damn day.
11. Save money. We practically live paycheck to paycheck. We don't spend money frivolously, we don't eat out that often... but, we could be choosing to send what little money we have left over after bills to the savings account, rather than a $2 cup of coffee at Starbucks or a $10 trip to the thrift store. Every little bit counts.
12. Read to the kids every day. I like reading to the kids, but it does mean I need to stop what I'm doing and zone in on them for a while, which I'm not good at doing, admittedly. Sometimes it's easier for me to clean the kitchen or read or draw than spend one-on-one time with my babies.
13. Less TV for the kids. When my sister moved in with us for a while, the ebb and flow of our normal days shifted slightly. This meant the kids spent a lot of time watching TV so I could spend time with my sister. It was time we needed together, but it's time to get back to how things were before -- very little media time, only on special occasions. God bless the TV when a mama needs it, but I certainly don't need it every day for several hours a day. Yes. I said hours. You can pick your jaw off the floor and stop mommyjudging me now.
14. Stop eating out altogether. We eat out about once a month and good lord I freaking love eating out. It's the best. But it's expensive and more than likely we choose less-than-healthy options.
15. Blog once a week. I miss blogging. It's hard sometime, because I feel a pressure to have a certain style of blog, since I used to have more readers... but the number of people who read my blog has lessened significantly, so I no longer feel that pressure to have a "good blog." I just want to write. Not for other people... for myself.
16. Eat less sweets and fried foods. My acne is out of control after the holidays. Time to take a chill pill and treat my body well.
17. Do the Whole 30 for one or two months. I have horrible acne, and River has some behavioral "issues." Nothing bad, but he has a lot of trouble focusing and is incredibly hyperactive and forgetful. I want to see if completely taking out refined sugars, grains, and dairy has any affect on this.
18. Go to bed with a clean house every night.
19. Go to bed early, wake up early.
20. Eat greens every day and juice on a regular basis.