Resolutions for 2013

It’s time to make my resolutions for 2013. Some I will ignore. Some I will keep. Some I will forget until I look at the list at the end of the year and am surprised that I made and kept them.

So here are five resolutions for 2013:

English: New Year's Resolutions postcard

1. Don’t get dead.

2. Have a good time.

(My two go-to’s that I have usually have no trouble keeping.)

3. Choreograph an entire belly dance routine to a song. I tend to start doing it and then get bored and quit. I really need to get some follow-through here.

4. Sleep more. I feel that only good can come from keeping this resolution.

5. Sing louder while making dinner. I prefer the kitchen to myself while I cook. Maybe louder renditions of “I Touch Myself” will persuade the people in my house to vacate the room while I cook.

It’s just a thought.

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New Year Hopes

I’m one of those people that is pretty superstitious about transitioning from one year to the next because my aim is always to go into the new year with the idea and aim to make it better than the last. (I’m sure that nobody wants to make their new year worse than their last, but I’m sure some people wouldn’t mind holding pat; either way, neither here nor there in terms of this post.) I always go into each new year with specific hopes and goals. I wouldn’t call them resolutions. Resolutions are made to be broken. Hopes are meant to be had and goals are meant to be achieved.

My hopes and goals are one in the same. I have them and I’m going to work to achieve them. Here are some of the goals and hopes I have for 2012.

-I want to be happy. I’m a firm believer that happiness is something you create and I’d like to create a lot of it this year.

-I’m going to continue the practice of positive thinking. This one is hard for me. I’m a natural pessimist. I expect the worst, anticipate it for every little thing I do. I’m like Eeyore in that respect. Whatever I do, I attach a certain cloud of gloom to it. I’ve been working on correcting that outlook and I plan to continue that effort.

-I want to succeed in my ventures. This is going to take hard work, I know. Harder work than I’ve been putting into it, I’m sure (I’ll never feel like I work hard enough). But, it’s also going to take the positive thinking. Continuing my work with an anticipation of success instead of anticipation of failure is a must. I need to put myself out there more and not be afraid to sell  myself and my work.

-I want to have fun. Sometimes I’m so dedicate to work and making money to pay bills (even when I have some sort of regular paying day job), that I forget to stop and relax and have a good time. I’ve been known to put fun on my To Do list. Might as well put it on my goals list just to be sure it gets done.

-I want to purge the excess from my life. I am a packrat by nature, not hoarder levels, but I’ve still managed to accumulate more than I need or want. I need to continue to get rid of it. I’m already selling some things on eBay, but a full-scale rummage sale is going to have to  happen this year. I’ve been avoiding it because of all of the work that goes into one, but this year I need to put my laziness aside and get it done. The dead weight needs to go.

-I’m going to make some changes. Big and small, things need to be changed. Sameness can breed stagnation and I’m afraid I’ve got ponds of it in my life. Change isn’t easy, particularly for someone like me. I like to be safe and secure, but that yearning has actually had the opposite effect. I don’t feel that way. I feel more like I’m in a prison. The only key to my freedom is change. Just another thing I can’t put off doing for another year.

The nice thing about having hopes and goals is that success lies in trying. Even if I fail, there’s a certain amount of success that I made the serious attempt to do these things. That’s more than I can say for not trying at all.

2012 Resolutions

I’m happy to say that I kept my resolutions from last year for the most part (that not losing too much weight resolution counts since I may have gained a little weight). It’s now time to turn my attention to 2012.

Here are my five resolutions for the new year.

1. Not get dead. My guaranteed-to-keep resolution.

2. Dance. I feel 2011 was lacking in dancing. I’d like to do more of that.

3. Take pictures. I forget to capture life’s moments. I need to make a goal of that this year.

4. Give. I’d like to do something for one of my favorite charities, even if it’s just spreading the word.

5. Have a good time. This is my other guaranteed resolution. I will always find a way to have a good time.

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s New Year’s Eve and today is the day that people all over make resolutions that they’ll probably keep until about Valentine’s Day if they’re really dedicated. I like to make resolutions, too, but I don’t like failure, so I like to make resolutions that are easy to keep.

Here are my five easy-to-keep resolutions for 2011:

1. Don’t get dead. This is my resolution every year and so far, I’ve done a fantastic job of keeping it.

2. Don’t lose too much weight. A little is fine, but I don’t want to go total transformation crazy.

3. Eat Oreos on occasion.

4. Don’t start smoking again.

5. Have a good time.

I’m pretty confident that I can keep those resolutions.

Easy or hard, fun or serious, what are your resolutions for the new year?

The Holiday Gauntlet

Every year I run the holiday gauntlet. I’m sure lots of people do it, but this isn’t about them; it’s about me.

The gauntlet starts with Thanksgiving. I attend dinner with my dad’s side of the family at my Aunt Jo’s. Some years I’m responsible for shuttling the nieces down, too. It’s a nice way to ease into the craziness that follows in the weeks to come.

From that point on, it’s a matter of wrangling presents, buying them if I can afford it or making them if I can’t, wrapping them, mailing them, piling them up with the rest of my Christmas paraphernalia in the corner of my room. This likely takes me until the week of the holiday because I’m lousy at coming up with gift ideas in a timely fashion, and if I do come up with something, then I tend to misjudge the amount of time I have to get it. Somehow, I always managed to squeak in under the wire.

My middle niece was cursed with having her birthday exactly a week before Christmas. My mom doesn’t put out any Christmas decorations until afterwards so she can have the day and of course, I’m there for it to give her present and enjoy some cupcakes. It’s like a warm-up.

The week of Chrstimas is probably my most dreaded week of the year. It’s the logistics of trying to squeeze in as many Christmases as necessary so everyone is satisfied (this happens when you have divorced parents, divorced grandparents, and traveling grandparents). One year, I ended up doing six Christmases in four days. It was a nightmare and I’ve resented Christmas ever since. Typically, though, I usually have no more than three. Last year, I only had two. This year I’m only having two. It’s like a vacation only having two.

Part of the headache of doing the Christmases is the traveling. A trip to my mom’s is usually no big deal, just a twenty minute drive. A trip to my Aunt Jo’s is about the same amount of time, but in the opposite direction. But there have been years in which I drove to my mom’s on the 23rd and 24th for Christmases and then on Christmas drove north to her house, picked up the nieces, drove south to my Aunt Jo’s, had Christmas, then drove north to take the girls home, then drove south to take myself home. The entire Christmas ping pong trip ends up being about 150 miles. It’s a lot of driving for a day full of food and presents and sometimes crappy weather.

Sure, other people drive that distance in a day. My grandparents pretty much have to in order to make their Christmas rounds. But, I think it’s more exhausting to drive it like a fish on speed trapped in a small bowl.

After the mania that is Christmas begins the slow cool down. New Year’s Eve is a raucous affair for a lot of people, but for me, it’s a quiet business of a marathon of some sort (last year it was Mystery Science Theater 3000) with some snacks, sparkling grape juice, and a friend or two. Nothing big, nothing drunken, nothing fancy. Just a quiet ringing in of the New Year.

My oldest niece’s birthday is January 11th and, you know it, I’m there for cupcakes (or cheesecake) and presents. It’s the last trip I have to make and by that point, I’m tired of driving 51 North.

The gauntlet ends on my birthday the next day, January 12th. My mom usually just lumps my birthday in with my niece’s, which has led to some interesting birthday cakes over the years. I can’t blame her. By that point, all of my friends and relatives are tired of celebrating things. Even if I had the energy to do anything special, I’d most likely be doing it alone. The last time I went out on my birthday, I was twenty-six and ended up puking at the bar, so maybe it’s just best I’m too tired to do anything anyway.

It then takes me until Thanksgiving to rest up for the next run.

This is why the people who love Christmas baffle me. I think of them like I think of people who enjoy running marathons; it’s hard for me to enjoy anything when I’m struggling so hard just to breathe.

Despite the craziness and my Grinch-like demeanor, I do enjoy the quiet, sweet moments with family and friends. And the food. And the free stuff.

Rob Whoville!