I’ve been silent here for a while, because silence is what I’ve needed.
January has been noisy.
Between the opinion overload on social media as of late and my three kids aged six and under (one who woke three hours earlier than usual today and is a clingy, nap-refusing bear), I’m a bit touched out, both physically and mentally.
I’ve added to the havoc through a paper elimination spree at my home. But this rid-of-all-the-things journey I’m on unearthed an old high school journal, filled with lists of things I love. A sampling from that journal, written by eighteen-year-old me:
Things I Love
Year-round Christmas lights
Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra
Rainy, gloomy days, and a good book
Noodles (with or without schnitzel, thank you Julie Andrews)
It’s a simple list, but it reminded me that eighteen-year-old Amanda really enjoyed some living. I read and wrote often. I bought grocery store flowers and featured them in my dorm room windows. I played music more than I watched tv or obsessed over the news. I doodled in the margins of my notebooks. On weekend trips home, I baked sweet treats and ate carbs without guilt. I went outside with my Dad to look at the stars with a constellation finder my eighth-grade science teacher helped me construct. And most of all, I enjoyed wasting time.
Life was undoubtedly simpler then. But while I have some obligations this weekend that can’t be ignored, I’m inspired to shift my focus to some of these more enjoyable, quieter pursuits – some that could be filed into the category of time wasters. Because after all, time you enjoy wasting isn’t wasted time.
Happy weekend, everyone! I’ve already plugged in the Christmas lights strung around my windows. Pardon me while I blast some Ol’ Blue Eyes and knead some homemade noodles.
I like to start the new year with potential goals swirling in my head, but I don’t start working toward anything definite right away. I take my time to ease out of the holidays, that joyous time of eating to excess and the house full of clutter and new tchotchkes, and then I begin to slowly improve my food choices and to find a place for everything. If I try to dive in to change all at once, I quickly fail. Eight days into the new year, I am only starting to assess the prior year’s successes and failures so that I might plan for a better 2017.
That said, here’s my goals list so far.
Food and Drink
Make Chex Mix at least once a month. (Because it’s delicious, and it reminds me of fun times at my Granny’s house).
Create meal plans each week.
Drink hot tea and water more often than I drink soda. (So far so good on this one)!
Continue “Cinnamon Roll Saturdays,” but make rolls from scratch.
Consume less sugar and more veggies.
Clear closets of outgrown clothes.
Rid of everything I don’t use in the kitchen cabinets.
Remove everything from the garage and start over. Keep only what must stay.
Organize basement office and play areas (file paperwork, clear desk, purge toys).
Rid of majority of items in basement storage (thanks to an epic garage sale to end all garage sales).
Pour concrete and create outside living area.
Family and Friends
Play Ticket to Ride at least once per month.
Date night with the husband once per month.
Set up chore chart for the kids.
Purposely plan to gather with friends at least once per month. (We’ve already done this twice, introverts and homebodies that we are, and I’m reminded that I need community more than I think).
Plan summer beach trip, hopefully with friends.
Work and Money
New budget (surprise, three kids are more costly than two)!
Build up savings account .
Consider starting Etsy shop.
Just For Me
Start a blog and connect with others (woohoo, work in progress)!
Work on editing photos and creating photo books at least once per week.
Read at least one actual book per month.
Reduce my inbox’s unread messages to zero. (This will probably take all year).
Clear phone, back up photos.
Work on patience and presence with my family.
Some of these are rather specific and some quirky, but I feel like they are mostly attainable. My friend shared her list with me, which included swim lessons for the kids, as well as more deliberate one-on-one time for each kid with each parent. These are both ideas I will add to my own list.
What are your goals for 2017? Leave me comments and give me your ideas!