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Happy New Year!

2012 – Bring It!

Happy New Year Y’all!

Hope everyone was able to celebrate it in a fun and safe way. Some people may think it’s dumb to celebrate a kind of trivial holiday like New Year’s but I kind of like it. Aside from it giving us a chance to get together with people we love and enjoy, it’s kind of nice to to feel like there’s a fresh start to things. Plus, I really do love the well wishes and hugs and kisses at midnight!

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For Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Years Eve! Hope everyone has a fun and safe night of celebrating the old and bringing in the new! I figured I’d celebrate by doing my annual year end survey (third year in a row! though the others are hidden from public eye) and reflecting on the past year. Sending wishes to you all that the new year brings all the happiness and joy you deserve. Thank you for reading and can’t wait to see what 2012 brings.

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New Year's Resolution Review

Resolution Review – 2011

With the year coming to a close, everyone is doing what we all do best at this time of year – taking stock of our lives, throwing out the old, bringing in the new and making resolutions.

Some we will keep, others we will fail miserably at.

Sometimes you do things you didn’t even set out to accomplish during the year. Sometimes you don’t do things you’d thought would be easy.

Resolutions aren’t set in stone for me. They’re more like guidelines, a malleable set of ideals or goals that I would like to accomplish during the upcoming year. Suggestions, if you’d like. In other words, my world is not going to implode if I don’t accomplish a single one of them.

Last year, I split them into two lists: Accomplishments and Resolutions. This was to give me some flexibility. Accomplishments are finite things, tasks that can be accomplished easily and have an end goal. Resolutions are more broad – they function as general ideals to implement into my life. Ways of living, thought processes and they usually don’t have an end goal. I think I’m going to use the same this year.

But in the spirit of reflection, let’s look back on the list from this past year (note: I had originally posted these on my old website but those entries aren’t public anymore so I’ll just recreate it here)

Things to Accomplish in 2011

  1. Knit something to completion, even if it’s just a scarf

I don’t think I even picked up the knitting needles this year. I think it’s a matter of being able to only handle a few hobbies and, let’s face it, the Internet, video games and my Nook won this battle.

  1. Get a manicure, pedicure and a massage (preferably on a day I’ve taken off work for that sole reason – a me day where I don’t clean or run errands or pay bills) – COMPLETE!

It didn’t quite work out the way I envisioned it. They didn’t all happen on the same day and they were on weekends so there was no extra special day off. But I got the massage as a birthday treat to myself then my mom and I went out for mani’s and pedi’s for Mother’s Day.

  1. Dye my hair an unconventional color (even if it’s temporary)

While I’m not adverse to say, adding this to 2012’s list, I hesitate to do it because I don’t think it’s very conducive to my work environment. But I did pay to have my hair colored and highlighted professionally so that might half count! J

  1. Buy the entertainment center I’ve been eyeing for years & finally organize all of the crap around the TV

This was something that basically didn’t happen because I determined that my money was best spent other ways. It is still a goal and it’s going on 2012’s list and will definitely happen this year, thanks to some gifts from family (means a smaller difference for me to have make up).

  1. Actually use my reusable bags as often as I can

Big fat fail. Like HUGE. And I keep them in my glove compartment! They were in my purse and I was more successful when this happened but they were always in the way. As soon as they retired to the glove compartment, they were out of sight, out of mind.

  1. Get a real nightly routine in place – moisturizer, vitamin, lotion, flossing, etc.

Eh, I’m not sure what to call this one. I’d say I leans more towards fail than success. On one hand, there was a good period this year where I was showering, lotioning and moisturizing every night but I never remembered the vitamin or flossing. I wouldn’t mind attempting this again with a real list hung up in front of my face – there’s nothing that motivates me more than a list.

  1. See an actual family doctor for a checkup (not just the Urgent Care one I see when something is wrong) – COMPLETE!

Kind of. I switched OB/GYN’s and am using her to check the basics and some other issues I want to get looked at. I was also required to take a wellness exam for work where they tested my cholesterol and blood pressure (both excellent!), which was the main thing I figured would be included in the checkup. So for now, I’m good but I do need to find a primary care doctor to use instead of using Urgent Care when I’m sick, which is rare).

  1. Trip to the mountains with Steve, where nobody knows our name – COMPLETE!

This was actually something I didn’t even plan on when I originally wrote the list – it was more wishful thinking. But when we started talking about going to Gatlinburg in July and found out we were both onboard, I was all over it and in October, we took an amazing weeklong trip alone to the mountains and had one of the most peaceful and wonderful weeks of my life. Guess at some point I should write about it! J

  1. Be more picky about the shows I watch & cut out the crappy stuff (note: Jersey Shore & Teen Mom are the exceptions – don’t judge!) – COMPLETE!

I think I would call this complete, though judging my own personal taste is relative. Steve would probably argue no but he won’t agree it’s complete until I get rid of ALL the trash and I’m sorry, I’m not going to stop with either of the two shows listed above. However, I’d say the “volume” of TV we watched/record has reduced drastically which leaves more time for movie watching or video gaming or even just spending time together. So I’ll call this a success!

  1. Finish painting & decorating the master bedroom

FAIL! I feel like I’m never going to get this done. We’ve been in the house four years and it’s still the same ugly blue that I hate. I need to just bite the bullet and get it over with. The only thing keeping me from it is moving our ginormous king size bed. I’m not even sure it moves at all! Maybe in 2012! J

  1. Quit smoking … again

Fail, though with some success. Weekends and social situations are the hardest. I don’t smoke at all during the week. So I can’t even explain it. It’s gross. I need to just stop.

  1. Celebrate my 30th birthday in a really awesome way – COMPLETE!

See here!

  1. Read more – maybe join a book club – COMPLETE!

According to Good Reads, I read 10 more books than I did last year so that’s a success. No book club though which is fine because I don’t think I process books enough to be able to discuss them.

  1. Actually do some of the improvements around the house

We were lazy with the house this year. We thought we’d attempt to rebuild the deck in May but it was either going to be a lot of time or a lot of money, neither of which we had at the moment.

  1. Revamp my online usage & presence – buy a new domain, change handle, consolidate the sites I use & close what I don’t, blog 3-5 times a week, organize all of my logins (make it easy to do & less like a chore) – COMPLETE!

I probably wouldn’t put this at 100% but it’s close enough to be complete. I bought a new domain but didn’t change my handle because that wasn’t practical. I’ve consolidated sites as I go along, closing what I don’t use and finding better options for things that were a bit archaic. I’m still working on organizing my logins and blogging 3-5 times a week and it’s getting better. Instead of putting off the urge to write, I’ll just write. And it is less like a chore because I’ m loving it and I’m getting inspired!

  1. Initiate more (yes, that means exactly what you think!)

I’m not going to put a status on this one. I don’t know why I put it on there. I didn’t keep tally or anything. It seems fairly balanced.

  1. Take more pictures & actually learn what I’m doing.  Be comfortable in manual mode. – COMPLETE

I’m always learning with my photography and while I’ve always understand what aperture and shutter speed is, my goal was to be able to think, on the fly, hey, this is a situation where I need to blow the lens open and slow the shutter speed, or vice versa. And I’m getting that. I’m understanding how to bounce light and pose people for the shots. It’s actually a lot of fun. Now to put it into practice more!

  1. Use the Kinect & maybe lose some weight.

Always on my list, always not completed. I have good intentions that I never follow through with. I am just not all that interested in exercising. L

  1. Organize my music collection & find some awesome new music. – SEMI-COMPLETE

I saw semi because this is an ever evolving task as new music comes out and gets added to my library. I can say I have organized what I have and have found some awesome music this year but it’s keeping it organized and continuously finding new music that’s the task!

  1. Bake fresh bread & make my own pizza dough – HALF COMPLETE

I baked bread quite a few times with the bread maker but didn’t get around to trying pizza dough. Will need to do that soon because I love fresh pizza and Steve got me a pizza stone for Christmas.

2011 Resolutions

  1. Live the mantra: “Keep Calm & Carry On”  (I know it’s horribly overused but because I tend to get worked up over things & just dwell on them incessantly, it’s surprisingly relevant in my life)
  2. Stop worrying about being “nice” and actually stand up for myself
  3. Focus on the positive at work.  Stop worrying about it when I don’t need to (refrain from workaholic syndrome).  But still kick ass when I am needed.
  4. Reach out and make more girl friends.  I’m definitely missing that good solid core group of girls.
  5. Keep in better touch with people – through email or over the phone.  (That means not loathing the phone.  Also, that means calling my grandparents more)
  6. Pick and choose those in my life more wisely.  Keep the good ones, toss the bad.
  7. Eat better.  Not ‘diet’ or hard core changes but more of a general practice of just picking better things.
  8. Spend more time on hobbies I enjoy.  Draw, write, learn to sew – foster that creativity in me.

With regards to the actual resolutions above, they’re not easy to break down and determine if one is complete over the other. I have tried very hard to live with “Keep Calm & Carry On” in mind but sometimes, I am just more dramatic that any situation calls for and I have a hard  time calming that down. The standing up for myself has gotten better, for the most part. I still prefer avoidance or letting it roll off my back over direct confrontation but I think the older I get, the less bullshit I want to deal with and the less problem I have with telling someone that. I got a new job, that was focusing on the positive. And there are so many positives over negatives.

As far as making good girl friends, reaching out more and selecting those in my life wisely, I’d say I succeeded. I’d say I haven’t made new girl friends but I’ve chosen excellent ones to develop deeper friendships with. I still hate the phone but try to keep in touch at least via text message and both Steve and I have stopped dwelling over people who only make us unhappy and have moved on from them. Sometimes, it’s time to realize that if someone is making you miserable, they don’t belong in your life.

Still on a quest to eat better and spend more time on hobbies – my new job has afforded me the ability to do both by offering more time and more money and easier food availability (cafeteria in the building, woot!).

Nine things accomplished, ten failed. Fifty percent successful! I’d say that’s pretty, especially considering this was an immensely successful and pleasurable year all around. Plus, the more I do this, the more I learn in how to write them so they’re easily attainable. Oh man, I am such a dork in that I love crossing things off lists!

I should just write a resolution like this: “Cross this line out!” BOOM! One down!

What about you? Did you write resolutions and accomplish any? Do you plan on setting ones this year?

[featured image via]

Lazy Weekend

Christmas Wrap-Up

Y’ALL! (Or ‘YOUSE GUYS’ for my Philly readers!) Can I tell you about Christmas? Because Christmas was fantastic! I mean, literally the last week or so has just been so good that I want to cry over how happy and content my life is. Save for a few snags that we had in the middle of last week, our holiday went over so smoothly that I almost couldn’t believe it was Christmas. Forgive me, because this entry might be long and tedious but I want to remember every moment when I go back and read over it.

And sadly, I have like no pictures. There are a few floating around, probably on my mom’s or Steve’s phone but I don’t have the gumption to track them down right now. Guess I can chalk it up to either having too much fun or being too busy to pick up a camera. All of it relative to what time of day we’re talking about.
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