looking forward {2010}


i'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions. i am not entirely sure why, but i think it may be the stigma of failure attached to them. several years ago, jimmy buffett and martina mcbride did a song called trip around the sun and i chuckle every time i hear this line: "i'm going to make a resolution to never make another one."

however, i must say that i love the concept of resolutions. the timing of a new calendar year is perfect. the hustle and bustle of the holidays comes to a close, usually with a bit of a lull...perfect for contemplating the future and setting goals. i feel i'm at a spot in my life where i need this transition. i need goals (not resolutions, mind you). i believe you reach toward goals and technically can not fail, but instead you continue to strive toward them. it seems *resolutions* are more concrete and therefore more susceptible to failure. if this sounds like crazy-talk, maybe this example will make some sense. a resolution might be to "lose 10 pounds by summer". if june rolls around and your muffin top is still hanging proud, you've failed. however, if your goal is to "eat healthier and exercise more"...that's an ongoing lifestyle improvement with no concrete "failure point", and ultimately should benefit you more.

as you may have already gathered, this is going to be a long post, but i know it's important because the words kept coming in my head all day. when things continue to float around my little brain, that's when i know it's time to get them "on paper". i'm starting this post on sunday, december 27th. i plan to continue processing all of the thoughts, feelings, urges and passions that are consuming me right now and gradually grow this post until new year's day. that's kind of funny. i'm already long-winded as it is...let's see how wordy i get with a full week to drag it out! i'm not a big fan of blog posts without pictures, but this will be one of those.

so anyway, today was a much-needed slow day...the first day with no christmas activities. i believe it was this slow-down that allowed my mind to wander to places that had been pushed aside by prepping, planning, shopping, wrapping... you get the point.

{looking back}
it goes without saying that 2009 was a *big* year for me and for our family. other than 2002, there is not another year that could even hold a candle to it, as far as 'life-changing' goes. (fyi: 2002 was the year matt and i got married, i became a stepmom, bought our first house and adopted our dog, rio).

this post is going to be long enough without any musings over 2009. there will be a time and place for that. but i will say that coleman coming into our lives is the most amazing and wonderful thing - more so than i could have ever imagined. and of course with that blessing came challenges and changes. i feel like it is these things that lead to most of what you will read below. of course, some of them are lingering issues that were around long before coleman was even a dream of ours.

********[minor goals]********
these goals are more specific in nature...possibly even could be called "resolutions" (gasp!). i consider these minor in comparison to what's listed below. however, as i think of all the things ahead of me, these things cloud my mind, so i feel i need to include them.

{project 365}

no, this is not a sad attempt for a third year to take a photo a day. i need to finish the 2009 project. the supplies couldn't be more basic. i certainly did not take a photo everyday, but i did take a ton of photos. and i'm sure i took a lot that i wouldn't normally have done if i didn't have this project in my mind. unfortunately, i failed miserably at keeping the physical project up-to-date. i don't want this to weigh me down as a big item on my to-do list, but i also do not want it to go unfinished.

{coleman's first year}

another scrapbooking project. actually two. my sister couldn't have made life simpler for me when she made me a "first year" snapshot album (on a carousel). seriously easy. wanna guess if i've kept up with it???? of course not. tsk. tsk. no excuses. this is the only goal to which i'm assigning a deadline. this must be done by coleman's first birthday party. i want to put it on display and there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn't be done!!!

as i said, the above is a 'snapshot' of his first year. there are so many photos and details, it's insane. i have done a good job of keeping (very sloppy) notes about each month in a notebook. thankfully. at least the information is captured. i purchased a cute photo album and i have some plans for a full-detail first year album. would it be awesome to have this done by his birthday? heck yeah. will it happen? heck no.

********[major goals]********

these goals are much more conceptual in nature. they do not have a specific beginning or end. they are simply areas of my life that need some continual attention. if someone (myself included) were to read this post, it seems incredibly overwhelming. i understand that it is a lot. but, life is big. if this list was short, it wouldn't be real. a good life is a full, busy life. and i'm real. i'm flawed. this list is all-encompassing. as i said before, it is a combination of things that have always been an issue, plus things that are newer challenges based on recent life changes (or somewhere in between). for me to live a happy life, i need to be continually striving to be a better me. life is all about living, loving and learning. it wouldn't be surprising to consult this list in a year to find that many of these should be on my list for 2011. the important thing is to acknowledge them and take baby steps to gradual improvement. that journey alone will make me stronger, wiser....better.

{patience + attitude}
to clarify: more patience, less attitude. these could've been split into two goals, but for me personally, i think they are tied directly to one another. as my patience wears thin, which happens all too quickly...my attitude increases. and i'm not talking "you-go-girl sassy" attitude, i'm talking "dang, she's a bitch" attitude. not a good thing. anyone that knows me well, knows exactly what i'm talking about :)

so, with my life being crazier than ever, it seems my patience is tried more frequently. and as it's often said, those that we love and are closest to us, are the ones that get the bulk of the punishment. and this is so very true in our home. matt, spencer (and yes, even coleman) probably deserve a good bit of my attitude, but definitely get plenty more than that.

i don't have any master plan on how to improve this, but just totally *get* that it's something of which i need to be more aware and work toward improving. as coleman gets older, i'm sure my patience will be tried on levels i can't even fathom right now...so i might as well try to get it together now!


i'm sure this is a popular goal for parents around the world - particularly working parents or those with a handful of children. a few weeks ago, i thought to myself: how in the world do families with several kids and two working parents manage???? Having just two can sometimes be a handful (and that's with one not even being with us full-time). With school and sports and all that jazz...I can't imagine having several school-aged, involved children.

i want to strive to find a balance between the big things in life: my career, being a mom, stepmom and wife. and still find a way to include the just-as-important, but not "under my roof" things: being a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, scrapbooker, etc.

the next three goals are all related to scrapbooking and creativity.
i debated the best order and i believe this is it.

{regain control of my scrap studio}

i have mentioned in a previous blog post that i need to regain control of my scrap studio. though i'm blessed to have such a room dedicated to my creative endeavors, it rarely gets used for such things. i seriously barely ever scrapbook now. the room is a catch-all for various things, plus it serves as an office of sorts and is the "technology hub" (aka - all the computer junk is there).

i believe the first step to complete this is a serious purging. i have so much stuff that i never use and i need to realize that much of it will continue to sit unused. and therefore, it's totally ok to let it go. i honestly think i'd be able to create more easily and in a more relaxed manner if i simplified my stash. this will be a huge step for me.

the second step is to create a "flow" that fits my lifestyle. as a working mom, i have to accept that hours of scrapbooking in a row are a thing of the past (not that i got much of that before coleman was born). instead, my area needs to be able to accomodate several open projects that can easily be tackled in fifteen minute intervals. i have a feeling that figuring this out will be on a trial-and-error basis, and eventually will have a profound affect on my ability to complete layouts and projects.

the third step is to make the room child friendly. my time in this room came to a complete halt when coleman was past the point of being strapped down. i look forward to the day when he can have his own creative table in my room, like spencer did when he was younger. but for now, i just need to make it possible for him to be in there without killing himself.

{library of memories}
if you aren't familiar with the "library of memories" concept, you may just want to skip this part, because i'm not going to go into the details here. i believe i officially started this process about a year and a half ago. it's been almost a year since i took the online course from stacy julian. i am so far from operating in a true LOM form, but i honestly did get a lot accomplished during the class last year (which corresponded with my maternity leave). the 2010 class starts in february and it's a blessing that "alumni" are allowed to follow the class for free. i'm partially intimidated to be tackling this big project again, but i'm also excited about it. this is directly related to the second step of "flow" that i mentioned above. stacy is a working mom of FIVE, so it doesn't take much convincing for me to have faith in her suggestions!

{creative outlet}
as i mentioned before, i rarely scrapbook now. this is not an exaggeration. the little bit that i'm able to get done is usually at dedicated crops with my family (a few times a year). pretty depressing! i will make one sidenote: i have taken up digital scrapbooking somewhat. i could never give up paper crafting in its raw form, but digital scrapping allows me to capture memories (which is totally the point) in a manner that better fits my lifestyle. it's hard to tuck myself into my studio after not seeing my family all day. but creating something on my computer in the den while watching tv with my hubby...that's a bit more realistic. though i enjoy this and love that i purchased PSE7, it does not replace true scrapbooking for me. it's just different. i need the hands-on outlet of creating things.

it's easy to figure out life's basic priorities. but there comes a point where some very important things often get pushed off of that 'basic' list. i need to put creativity back on that list. i think it's imperative for my mental stability and emotional happiness that i *schedule* creative bites of time in my life.

{weight loss}
seriously cliche, i know. but, i'm not going to fool myself (or anyone) and claim i will start exercising five times a week and eating all healthy foods. i know myself. not gonna happen. but, the truth is that i have to lose some weight. i have a closet full of clothes i can't wear and it's time. time to stop wasting those clothes. time to feel good about myself again. and of course, time to get healthy.

so, realistically...my goal is to eat somewhat better. for me, this probably means cutting out some unnecessary fast food (ok, maybe more than "some"). and just watching what i snack on and things like that. little things. as for exercise. this has always been a tough area for me (seriously tough). my goal here needs to be more basic...trying to walk more (particularly when it starts to warm up). i have an elliptical machine and i need to dust it off (literally) and use it. this will be hard, but so necessary. short term, i'm participating in a pedometer challenge, which i plan to blog about in a separate post.

{couponing simplification}
this is just a quick simple one. about mid-2009, i began truly "couponing". as i do most things, i jumped in with two feet, gung-ho. as a result, i over-complicated things. though i've saved a ton of money, i have spent a ton of time. it has gotten to be a burden. i have to realize that my time is also worth money (figuratively) and that i need to balance my couponing efforts. i believe that i can still save a lot of money without wasting a lot of time.

{refocus at work}
this year at work has been tough. very, very tough. it's been the first time during my time at henkel (five years) that i've questioned what i'm doing, why i'm doing it, and all of that. after returning from maternity leave (in may), my job responsibilities changed significantly. since then, i have lost my passion and enthusiasm for what i do. it would be easy for me to blame this on having a baby and extended home responsibilities. yes, i'm sure these contribute. it's impossible to fully separate these aspects of your life. but, the true problem does not lie there. i'm so very blessed to work for a good company, with good people, and in a flexible situation that allows me to work from home somewhat. truly blessed. i have to look deep within myself and find that old drive. henkel pays me for 40 good, strong hours a week, and that's what they are going to get in 2010.

this is a hard area for me to discuss publicly. i am disappointed in us (matt and i), that we have not done a better job of raising spencer in a faith-driven home. we do not attend church regularly and do not share enough about our faith with him. i have vowed that i will not let this happen with coleman. but it's hard. you must teach and lead by example. right now, matt and i are not setting good examples. while pregnant, i swore we would find a church home. we didn't. and we only visited one church. now, coleman is ten months old and we are no closer to finding (or even attempting to find) one. matt does not share this same need to find a church, so it's a hard battle and one i must give much consideration and discussion (within myself, as well as with matt).

from an individual perspective, i need to do more to have personal time with god each day - something i've neglected. i used to do this, and have deviated. on my christmas wish list was a daily devotional of some sort. i did not get it, so i hope to purchase one soon. a *guide* of some sort is very helpful in keeping me focused in things like this.

this is kind of a personal topic, so i will keep things general here :) matt and i participated in dave ramsey's financial peace university over the summer. it was a good program, but we've lost steam on it. plus, we spent way too much money on christmas spoiling the "babies". and we have lots of those fun *annual* bills due in january. so, all-in-all, we just need to refocus on pinching some pennies and making slightly wiser money choices. a big one for us is eating out. need to cut back there (even if it's just fast food or pizza...it adds up quickly).

since leaving college, i have not had a lot of *girlfriends*. drama and cattyness annoy me. but i missed the closeness and comadarie of them. in the past year or two, i have been able to build some of these relationships, which i value immensely. however, with a new baby and a busy life, it's so incredibly easy to let these things slip to the bottom of the "to do" list. there are a handful of ladies out there that i promise to move up that list and give them the attention that adequately represents how much i truly value them. [cassidy: i know you read my blog, and you are so definitely one of these ladies. love ya!]

{this blog}
it may seem silly, but yes, this blog is a *priority* for me and needs to remain so. i love to write. i love to journal. but it's something i have never been able to successfully stick with. this blog is the only time i've been able to continue writing and expressing...for over three years now! it is an outlet for me that i truly love and i feel it's good for me, very good for me, to have such an outlet. for the few of you out there that take the time to read it...thank you. i welcome all comments and hope you'll keep coming back.

{in conclusion...}

wow. what a post, right? i know i don't hide much on my blog (or ever), but this is really putting it all out there, huh??? oh well, i don't think very many people actually read this silly blog of mine anyway :) so, i guess the biggest thing for me is how to incorporate all of these things into my daily life in a way that they just mesh and flow and do not add more stress to my life. i know it's possible and i have faith that if i commit to it, i will figure out how.

this post is being wrapped up (finally) at 8:30 p.m. on January 2nd...after a very busy week. I'm looking forward to the year ahead: the possibilities, the changes, the growing. hello 2010...here i come!!!


1 comment:

  1. Holly- first of all, thank you so much for everything you have to say! You are truly a great friend! When I read your blog, I feel so inspired by so many things! I look forward to this year and everything it has to offer- especially added time with a great friend like you!!! You are a blessing!