Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Happy New(ish) Year!

Last fall I decided, once and for all, to give up on traditional New Year's Resolutions. I don't dislike resolutions in and of themselves, but making resolutions on the first day of a new calendar year - when nothing really changes other than the date I write on my checks - has never felt right to me. We return home after celebrating Christmas with our families and pick up exactly where we left off: same grades in school, same work schedules for Tom and me, same evening activities for all four of us.

But at the end of summer, life changes dramatically. The kids begin new grades, work with new teachers, and make new friends. Tom goes back to teaching after spending the summer working outside of the classroom. I restructure my days to fit in as much work - of both the paid and volunteer varieties - as possible between the hours of 9:30am and 3:00pm. Our evenings become a juggling act, with Tom and I acting as the circus performers and trying desperately not to drop the soccer, dance, music, disc golf, homework, and dinner "balls" we hoist into the air night after night. 

So now I start my new year in late August/early September, when change comes naturally and causes me considerably less stress. And here then, my friends, are my New Year's Resolutions. (Which admittedly look a lot like last years resolutions, partly because I like what I came up with last year and partly because there's always room for improvement.)
  • Step away from work and my computer (unless I need it for a dinner recipe) between the hours of 3:00pm and 8:00pm.
  • Read one book each month.
  • Finish our 45 Places to Eat in College Station Before You Die challenge.
  • Put together (and then follow through on) a month-long photography challenge.
  • Start and finish my "turn our playroom into a family room" project. 
  • Go on one lunch date with Tom each month.
  • Go on one dinner date with Tom each month.

To help me survive the busy semester ahead of us, I decided use - for the first time in years - a paper calendar. I purchased a BEAUTIFUL weekly planner from Emily Ley, and while I absolutely adore its teal leather cover, colorful details, and exquisite paper on which no pen or pencil ever smears, I worry I might struggle with the transition from a computer-based planner to a paper one. I'll keep you posted...

"It's not about living the 'perfect' life. It's about simplifying real life to make time for what matters most."     ~ Emily Ley

That's my last resolution: to simplify real life and make time for what matters most.

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