Monday, January 2, 2012

12 for 12

I've never been the type to make resolutions, perhaps because not too deep down I know I don't have the ability, the drive, or, more accurately, the desire to carry them out. This year, however, as I look around my house, as I watch my boys grow faster than I could have ever imagined, and as I struggle to keep it all together (at least on the surface) I am overwhelmed. I have to take control. Little by little things have been adding up and I have to start tackling them. Some things are big and personal and require systemic change on my part; others are easy, quick, and will produce immediate satisfaction. I have decided to start with 12 of these things (changes? achievements? goals?). Twelve because 12 sounds manageable. Twelve sounds like enough to be impressive, but not so many that I give up before I even begin. And, well, 12 for 12 just sounded kind of catchy. Regardless, they are all within my ability and they will all make me happier. There is neither rhyme nor reason to the things to which I have actually chosen to commit other than the fact that they are things that keep popping into my thoughts and they are the first 12 I could think of as I began to write. Surely there are about 47 other things I need to accomplish before this new year's end, but I need to start small. Baby steps here.
  1. Finish the garage organization process. We have lived here 2 years next month and the garage still has unpacked boxes. That's bad.
  2. Make the master bedroom a place I actually like to be. Our room is not calming, not relaxing, not put together. It is ugly and unorganized and it makes me feel unsettled. I must choose a paint color and decide what to do with that stupid small window above the bed like, tomorrow.
  3. Make saving money a priority. I listen to enough financial talk radio shows to know that we need to get our act together. We have two kids to put through college, for goodness sakes.
  4. Document it all. I am pretty disciplined at documenting the important things but I would really like to look back and have more documentation of the day to day of our lives. How else am I going to remember that Baby Beck had his first blackberry (which he hated) or that Anderson spontaneously laid his head on my lap tonight and said, "I love you mommy". Twice.
  5. Paint the living room. This has seriously been on the "to do" list since we moved in and it seems there is always a reason it doesn't happen. Hmm...2 kids who need constant attention, perhaps?
  6. Contact friends with whom I have only exchanged Christmas cards over the past couple of years. I had a little twinge of guilt as I addressed some of our Christmas cards this year as I realized I had not spoken to some of the people in over a year (or 2!). These are people I like very much but with whom I have lost contact since having babies. This must change.
  7. Live a bit greener (that sounds so much better than "cheaper", doesn't it?). Making your own detergent, spot removers, and household cleaners sounds far more appealing under the guise of being "environmentally friendly". In reality, that's just the added bonus to cutting the budget and being cheap.
  8. Give hand-made more often. Special people deserve special gifts. It's not always a matter of spending money (though I do really love buying gifts). Sometimes the best gifts are the smallest.
  9. Enjoy the moment. I spend a lot of time worrying about where I need to be or what I need to do next. My life is driven by a very strict schedule. I don't really see that changing, but I do know that I need to take the time to enjoy the present when I am with the boys.
  10. Organize the drawers. These drawers are driving me crazy. I need to suck it up and go buy drawer organizers so I can finally be content. I am sick of my makeup brushes living next to the toothpaste with the nail clippers resting on top. How sad that I have actually spent a good deal of time thinking about this.
  11. Kill the clutter. Am I a hoarder? Will I one day be buried under piles of clothes and grocery ads? Where the heck did all of this crap come from? My life is being over-run by paper. Tons and tons of paper. And little random dumb things that "I might need some day". It's ridiculous.
  12. Reflect. I find myself moving on auto-pilot far too often. The work/home balance takes a lot and it is not often that I stop and truly reflect upon my life. I'm not exactly sure what this will mean, but I do know it must happen. I feel anxious regularly and I know it stems from the fact that I feel life is passing by and I am not taking the time to reflect upon how I am living it. I'm not sure if I need to write more, think more, pray more, or just relax more, but I cannot continue to live without consciously thinking of what this life means and what my purpose is.
I'll start here, in no particular order. I can do this. At least I think I can.

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