Big Ideas

All I can think of is a line from some random 1930s mobster movie – “what’s the big idea??” Or the Three Stooges, I guess. Followed by a well-placed “why I oughta…”

Anyhoo, this post isn’t about that whatsoever. It’s actually about sharing some of the many, many ideas rolling around in my head for 2018.

My love/hate relationship with resolutions continues, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t take a new year as a great opportunity to look at what we’ve done and where we want to go.

So, while these aren’t resolutions, they’re, rather, ideas I’d like to try, either for myself or for the family as a whole. I thought I simply had too many to have one umbrella “word” or “concept” for the year but realized that just “try” works. A positive, forward-moving word that offers open-ended possibilities. Yes, 2018: the year of trying.

I’m doing a brain dump of the what and whys, then hoping to delve into each (and the specific who/when/where/hows) in individual posts.

HOME PROJECTS

We’ve officially been in our new house for a year now and while we see where progress has been made, there is still tons more to do.

Dave and I have actually come up with a way to get more projects actually accomplished while still making time for family fun and decompressing on weekends (yaaaayyy!!!), and I can’t WAIT to share it.

GET HEALTHY

This one’s big and broad. During this maternity leave, I’ve had a bit of a realization about myself: I suffer from lifelong anxiety.

I knew I’d struggled with some huge bouts of depression, but never picked up on this issue. I think that this is because it doesn’t show itself as severely and dramatically as depression does. But, regardless, it has made me more introverted, scared, easy to snap, and just generally less happy.

It’s not fair to my family (or myself) and I want to gain control of it. I’ll be sharing my ups and downs with it here but hope to try a method that helped me in high school. Fingers crossed (and I’ll of course share here)!

Tied into the above, I also think that I’ve become more sedentary, which doesn’t help. Once my C-section soreness is gone (I recently got sick and the all-night coughing/sneezing brought it back!), I want to try some yoga and use the stationary bike Dave got me awhile back.

It’s not about weight; it’s about energy, health, and an overall well-being.

GET OUTSIDE

I know that the kids thrive on the outdoors but don’t get nearly enough of it, and I’ve been too anxiety-ridden to do it more often. I’m hoping to create a list of places in our area to hike or simply explore, and for every road trip we take to find a stop to play or breathe in a natural spot.

CREATE MORE

I’m still writing for Thirsties, am ecstatic to be working with Green Child again, and have a ton of ideas bubbling for Meg Acts Out. I’ve also really gotten into watching inspirational YouTube channels (I’ll share my favorites soon), which makes me want to toy with the idea of diversifying with either my own videos or just sticking my toe into using InstaStories.

Either way, my goal is to keep up the writing and see where it takes me.

CONTINUE SIMPLIFYING

This involves a lot, including decluttering, trying a no-spend month (or more!), streamlining our mealtimes with a couple of meal plans, not over analyzing our parenting decisions (I’m asking myself certain questions before constantly barraging our son with “don’t do that!”), general organization, less social media (only that which I enjoy), and creating a capsule wardrobe. Whew.

SELF CARE

This concept has been super popular lately and I understand why. However, I read an article that has really stuck with me that pretty much says, sure, it’s about treating yourself once in awhile (I agree) but it’s also about doing the things that are good for you even if you’re dreading them (it took me awhile of grumbling before I was finally able to agree).

So, my self care involves finally taking care of setting up financial accounts and life insurance that I let slack, organizing and deleting my old emails, getting the blog in better working order…but also doing something for myself daily. It could be anything, like doing yoga, putting the phone down and playing with my kids, having a quiet cup of tea, listening to a podcast, reading more, actually watching a movie without checking on the rest of the world, or simply checking something off my list (ugh, like making an important phone call…I hate talking on the phone!) or making a healthy dinner we all actually enjoyed.

The list goes on. But those things should be savored and acknowledged like a happy accomplishment. Even checking social media shouldn’t be a guilt but a well-chosen perk of the day (I’m going to allow it at certain times and have already started trying to be more present the rest of the time), and only using the ones that spark joy…but more on that in a future post!

So, there we have it. All the “hope to try” big ideas for 2018 and beyond.

What are you trying in the new year? I’d love to hear in the comments!

New Year’s Collage

Well, today’s December 30th, and you know what that means: I’m typing this with a cat sitting on my hand, making it a pretty challenging task. No, that’s not really what 12/30/10 means, but I’m not so used to having a a) lightweight cat who b) gets all up in mah biznit. Sure, a hefty kitty who, from time to time, plants his tuchus on the warm, fun texture that is my laptop, but it’s not usually while I type a blog. Although, on occasion, he has left messages for us – one including the use of the word “jews,” which made us concerned that we had a former Nazi living inside our sweet little kitty.

But, I digress. What today REALLY means is that we turn our thoughts to the New Year (seriously, does it need to be capitalized? I can understand the holiday, New Year’s Eve, but…y’know what? This is my blog, I’m not capitalizing it…so, nyah)…new year, and all that it represents.

So, today, as we enjoyed a surprise lunch at our favorite local dive, I made a suggestion to Dave. While writing down one’s resolutions is all fine and good (and highly recommended if you intend to, in fact, KEEP said resolution), I had come up with a way to invest ourselves into the resolutions while hopefully ingraining them into our psyches more and actually making our selections matter. I suggested a collage.

Okay, okay. Collages may seem like art projects that we were assigned when the art teacher no longer had any viable lesson options and an over-abundance of magazines cluttering their art room. But, I’m a huge fan of collages. Collage art can be freakin’ awesome, and the concept of combining seemingly irrelevant images to represent a whole concept – simply put, cool.

I’m also aware that, while Dave and I have a good mind of what each other is resolving for 2011 (it’s gonna be a big year…*gulp* I hope), we’re holding our cards pretty close to our chests, in general. And, as I said, making them even 2-D, either by writing them down or, heck, creating a crazy collage (or even a simple one) is one step closer to making them breathe and obtain true life.

The unique thing about making a collage is that YOU know what you mean to represent by your choices in it, but perhaps not everyone would “get it.” This way, we can include whatever we want, regardless of any judgment people would place on it – because it’s hard to judge someone’s resolution when it’s unworded art. Eh? See? Clever. Ish.

The other reason that I came up with a collage is that if it comes out to be a neat art piece, there we go! I’d like to add more art to our walls, but making sure that it’s art that means something to us. We have a cluster of pictures with mismatched frames adorning the wall leading up our stairway that brings back memories every time we walk by it. It’d be nice to have something to look at that not only reminds us of our 2011 goals, but that we created together. The collage would also act as a bit of a nag — “Hey. How’s that ‘getting out to walk more’ going for you? I thought so. Get off your hiney.”

We hope your new year is all the good things and none of the sucky things that made 2010 what it was. Was it kind of a crappy year for anyone else? We’re happy about, y’know, getting married, acquiring 2 cats, etc, but c’mon. Kinda. Not. Great. Otherwise. Hate to complain, but feel free to use the comment section to vent — or to share any 2011 resolutions!