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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Personal Goals for the New Year

Not a fan of the whole New Year's Resolutions business. I wouldn't even be doing this now if I hadn't seen it now. If I saw it 6 months ago, I would've done it then. I like it, I'm doing it. I don't, however, need a date on a calendar to tell me when things need to change.

via Pinterest (original source unknown)

All that being said, I present to you my personal goals for the upcoming year.


A bad habit I'm going to break: chewing my cuticles
A new skill I'd like to learn: sewing (CHECK!)
A person I hope to be more like: my son
A good deed I'm going to do: anonymously hire a cleaning service for my mother-in-law (we'll just ignore this, since my mother-in-law has refused help and doesn't wish to live in anything other than her hoard) make a quilt out of the clothes of her daughter who passed away for my friend (CHECK!)
A place I'd like to visit: New Mexico
A book I'd like to read: A Game of Thrones
A letter I'm going to write: a love letter to my husband on our 5th anniversary (CHECK! You can even read it here.)
A new food I'd like to try: portobello mushrooms
I'm going to do better at: running

I'll keep myself accountable and keep you updated on my progress as the year goes on.

Do you make resolutions at the beginning of the year? What are yours?

UPDATE - One Year Later
As of December 29, 2014, exactly one year after first writing this post, here's where I landed:

My cuticles are still a wreck. I'll be honest - I didn't even try with this one. I'm not even going to put it on next year's to-do list, because I know it's just not a reality. Why set myself up for failure when it's not even that important to me?

My sewing is getting better and better AND I even picked up a second new skill: crochet. My favorite things to make are gifts and items for charity. I've made about a dozen preemie hats for charity, a scarf for a child in a Mexican orphanage, and am already starting on next year's Christmas gifts. Two skills - that has to make up for something I didn't do, right?

I'm OK on the good deed front. Like I said, I enjoy few things more than doing things for others, so I'm not sweating this one. Of course, you can only help those who want it. Lesson learned.

We didn't hit New Mexico for the hot air balloon extravaganza this year. This year, our car has been paid off and we're pulling in a little more money, so travel is in our future. Huzzah!

I didn't get to Game of Thrones. My husband stole the first book and barreled through the entire series before I could blink. I couldn't wait for him to finish, so I was on to other books. GoT is on the shelf, though, so I'll get to it. In the meantime, I HAVE started WRITING my own book, so, you know, that's something!

I wrote my love letter. If you followed along, you can read it above. He's a keeper.

Portobello mushrooms. Sigh. I just couldn't bring myself to eat fungus. I mean, I wouldn't eat the stuff between my uncle's toes, so why would I do this? Yes, I still eat like a four year old. I've learned to accept it.

Running was both a great joy and a great disappointment for me. I started the Couch to 5K program and fell in love instantly. It was so exhilarating and satisfying! Then I got injured. I cried. I knew myself well enough to know that by the time I healed, my motivation would be lost. I was right. I couldn't find it again. I cried.
I did decide to follow a longtime dream of joining a roller derby league, though. Then the reality of the expenses set it and that had to be put on hold. I cried again.
These goals will remain on the list for the future. I shall meet these. I shall.

Overall, I may not have met all of my goals, but I'm mostly OK with that. It's been a good year full of health, happiness, and more love than I ever knew I could give or receive. I'd call that a success. Yes, 2014 was a success.

How was YOUR year?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(Possibly) Good Advice I Just Won't Take

People I love post, say, and do hurtful, dangerously ill-informed, mean, or terrifically offensive things. We all have those people in our lives and in our newsfeeds. Shoot, more than once, I've been that person.

Once, several years ago, I posted a joke meme about Aspergers. I didn't even think twice. It seemed funny to me. Thankfully, a friend of mine was courageous enough to stand up to me, stand up for what was right, stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. I immediately saw the error of my ways, apologized profusely, did my best to right my wrong, and sat down to think really critically about what is funny and what is not. I was changed by that interaction. And I found myself with a deep admiration and respect for that friend, because it is far more difficult to confront someone you know and care about than it is to sit behind a keyboard and throw epithets in all caps at a stranger on a random Facebook page. How courageous of her to do what was right as opposed to what was easy.

I am now that courageous person. Generally, I pick my battles. If I went after every HUA* post, comment, or action I saw or heard, I'd have no other time in my day. There are those things, though, that I simply cannot let go. Typically, those include touting the benefits of abusing one's child (spanking, shaming, name-calling, circumcising, etc.), waxing poetic about those who are so disgustingly LGBTQIA, blatant misogyny, and making fun of those with special needs. I don't have many people on my FB friends list who I don't know personally, but those I don't know in real life, have many of the same beliefs that I do, so I do not find myself with any real need to confront any of the aforementioned situations. It's always the people I know and love. It's generally a former student (young adults I'm still close to, still care deeply about) or a close family member. And aren't those the toughest cases?

So, I'm repeatedly told by those who care about me (and sometimes about both parties) that I should stop commenting, hide the person, delete the person altogether. Maybe that's good advice. I don't know, but I know I won't take heed. There are people behind those hurtful things, lives that are affected, damage that is done and they're not there or not able to stand up at that moment and say, "Hey, that isn't right. Please stop." I am. I'm there. So I do it on their behalf. I hope someone else would do the same for me, especially when it's hard to do, because that's when it's really needed.

I get it. I do. I get advising me to avoid the things that will prove hurtful. I get advising me to avoid confrontation for the sake of keeping placid waters in the relationship. For the most part, I get it. That would, indeed, be the easy thing to do. It's just that nagging part of me that says, "But what about the people who are hurting and cannot stick up for themselves? What about them?" that I cannot silence.

So, perhaps I'm not actually the courageous person I thought I was. Perhaps, to you, I'm the stupid person - the glutton for punishment. Whatever you call me, this is who I am and I'm pleased with this part of me. I'm pleased that I'll choose right over easy in this case. So, thank you for the (unsolicited) advice, but I'll pass on it this time.

*head up ass