This is my second year to do New Year's Resolutions. Last year's resolutions proved to keep me so focused and remembering my goals that they became a subconscious effort and when the end of the year came faster than ever I was shocked to see I accomplished so many of them!! I'm looking forward to making an effort at my additional resolutions this year until they become a subconscious effort as well!!
On girl time
Keep up the girl time I started two years ago. Specifically visit my cousin in California again, take that girls' road trip I didn't get to last year, visit Napa with my sisters and cousins, enjoy my Monday nights with Li and girls, spend my birthday weekend away possibly in Mexico, and take every opportunity I can to go out with and spend time with and enjoy the girls. As last year the same rewards hold true, the personal satisfaction of continuing to discover who I am apart from mommy and wife.
and adding to this one this year...
On time with my man
Make more effort to plan special time alone with my man to rediscover and relearn to enjoy who we are as individuals and who we are in our relationship. Specifically, continue to take dates once a week as often as possible and plan our "practice" vacation to Hawaii!!!! And actually take it!! This has proved to be much more difficult than I first imagined, what with juggling six schedules and all, but by golly I intend to work through it all and do it!! Brando and I have not taken a vacation in our eight years of marriage EVER, not even our honeymoon, unless you count two nights in podunk Texas as a honeymoon. I don't. We NEED a vacation and I am bent on doing it since I thought of the idea. I call it our practice vacation because, heck, we need the practice before we can do it as a family!! Most couples get their vacationing together kinks out of the way before they start popping out the kids. Well now our kids are older and we have that opportunity I want to take advantage of it in every way I can! Specifically, be okay with the time frame being less than perfect and the kids maybe not getting to have as much fun as if they were hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa in California if the timing doesn't work, or with Brando's Mom having to come out here and take them to school and bring them home while she's here. Also, being okay if the pricing is a little more than I would like to pay for, and understanding there's a price to pay for practice and eventually we will have it down to where we will be able to get the best timing at the best price. The reward, being able to be a friend, have fun and enjoy who I am with when the kids are not around, now and when they are grown up. More tangibly, the reward of taking another more stress free trip next year because we will have had our practice run!!
Adding another one...
On enjoying the beauty of nature
Put a renewed effort into going out and enjoying our town. I'm not sure if it was the kids' school schedule, our jobs, or the pressure of the economy, but we've slacked off on our enjoyment of the local entertainment, nature, and beauty in the past few months and I'd like to get back into it as much or more so than we did before, as we have been having such a wonderful time doing over this Christmas break and had such a wonderful time doing this summer. Specifically, check out every new fun place we hear of in Austin, and every free new event that sounds interesting, including some of our favorites including Ballet Under the Stars, Shakespeare in the Park, South Asia New Year, Musicals in the Park, Barton Springs Pool, Mt. Bonnell, kayaking Town Lake, Laguna Gloria, Mayfield Park, watching the bats on South Congress, Whole Foods headquarters, and hopefully many new places this year!! The reward, knowing that I have enjoyed the beauty of my town to it's fullest and knowing that if I ever move away from here I will not be sad that I did not enjoy the time while I was here. Also, the satisfaction of having so many wonderful unique memories that can not be created any other time or place.
On taking care of my body
Put more effort into my hair. This time it's my hair! Specifically, fluff up my bangs so they're not so freaking flat, get three haircuts this year instead of two, and put more effort into styling my hair even when I go out for simple things, but even more so for girls' nights out, dates with Brando, etc. By the way, this next part might be too much information for some of you! Specifically also to keep my eyebrows consistently groomed by shaping them at least once a month, plucking them at least once a week, and going into have them professionally shaped at least twice a year!! Oh man the way I look when I neglect them or forget to reshape them for even a week or two!! The reward, the personal satisfaction of having pictures where I put my effort in to look my best and can look back at and not nit pick at myself for not doing this or that with my hair and face!
On my thought life
Get into the mind-frame that college is not an option. It's a must. Specifically, figure out what my end is and use college as a means to that end. Figure out if I want to work towards being a teacher so I can be on the same schedule as the kids and continue doing something I enjoy after they're grown. Or if I want to work on being an engineer and end up spending 60+ hours in the field if I want to do something I really enjoy. Or if I want to force myself to get over my faint heart and do something in the medical field. Figure out where I want to be in 10 years and start making a plan to get there. The reward, having a solid goal to work towards and not some vague aspirations that I give up on easily because it's not solid enough to grasp any way. Also, knowing and being able to appreciate all the work that I will have put into it when I reach that goal.
Get creative with financing for school and my time frame. Specifically, check into loans for school and what the specifics for paying them back are. Calculate what my income will be when I graduate and figure out how long it will take to pay them back. Then calculate the amount we will end up losing in twenty years if I don't end up getting a degree to where I can earn a decent income and having to settle for a job where I work my ass off and make less than $24k a year. As far as time frame, specifically, ask around and see what courses would be best to take online to get out of the way when there are times that I can be flexible with my hours in my home, but not out of the home i.e. in the summer. The reward, being able to accomplish my goals without being a burden on my family, and instead actually being able to help our future.
On my home front
Keep my home maintained and decluttered and invite more people into my home. Specifically, set aside a time every month to declutter each room and throw out items that are no longer needed. Also, maintain our daily habits and routines by cleaning up after ourselves and teaching the boys that in our family we clean up after ourselves. Teach them that we work before we play, so that once we're done working hard we can play even more than we would've been able to before. Invite each of the couples we know over, and make a point of having a new couple over once a month for dinner and a movie or margaritas and chips and a game night. The reward, giving myself permission to buy one new kitchen, decorating or entertaining for my home each month as I succeed.
On my family front
Continue to take pictures that are actually a happy moment this year. Also, to take more fun and goofy pictures rather than smiley ones where you say 1-2-3 cheese all the time! Aw, it makes my heart smile thinking how many happy pictures we took last year. Specifically, making sure that I continue to capitalize on those happy moments before or after the fact and remind them how happy they will be to have those pictures later. Also, specifically, find and pay attention to interesting and fun set ups and faces in magazines, other pictures, etc. that will make our own pictures more interesting and fun. I am so camera happy that people get irritated with me for it sometimes! Thanks to people like KT for encouraging me by telling me how good I am at snagging other people to take pictures for group photos. Most of the time I feel like I embarrass everyone I'm with when I do that. Good thing I don't care either way! The reward, having those memories captured on film to enjoy that time over and over again, and having more than just smiling faces, more of the personality of each individual!