Resolutions for 2018

I have about a hundred resolutions for the New Year zinging about my brain right now. Some are true, life-changing, capital-r, Resolutions and some are more in the realm of Goals for the Year. To me it’s all the same.

Plus this is a list of stuff literally pinging around in my head. A list of possibilities and options.

1. Watch my diet

Isn’t this the first on everyone’s list? In the same category is “lose 10 pounds” and “become healthier.” A noble goal, which is why it #1 on everyone’s list. And hard to do, which is why it’s the first one off everyone’s list. But I kind of need to actually do this one. My cholesterol is just slightly high and it is dawning on me that I might need to figure out how to lower it. My husband is going to help me with this one. He bought broccoli sprouts and tomatoes at the store today. He did not buy cheese.

2. Write 500 words a day.

This one I might actually just try to stick with. I have several books burgeoning inside me and fighting their way out. If I do actually focus on this one I just might get one of them finished this year. Please note: I am not having “finish my book” be a goal because that is a sure-fired way to get me to self-destruct. Then I’m heaped in guilt that I didn’t get it done. Again.

3. Be a better housekeeper

Ha!Ha!Ha! No.

4. Finish a book quilt for E and H.

One thing I have always loved is one of those quilts that look like a bookcase full of books. I want to make one for each of them with the names of their favorite books embroidered on the spine and special objects appliqued on the shelves, too. This will probably take me all year. It also means I need to get my sewing machine cleaned and serviced. It is dirty and probably needs to be oiled so it doesn’t turn into a $1000 lump of seized metal. Which means 5 should be…

5. Get sewing machine cleaned and serviced.

See above. Okay, this is more like a “To-Do” than a “Resolution,” but I will feel like a Big Damn Hero when I get it done so here it is.

6. Get a berry garden put in the backyard.

This is a smaller goal that is one step to the larger goal of “get yard in shape.” The previous owners didn’t do so bad, but unfortunately for Mark I have Visions of Grandeur regarding the garden and yard. This includes an enclosed garden bed with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. This is actually more Mark’s Vision of Grandeur than mine, but it does fit in nicely with my larger scheme of a larger kitchen garden (which will need deer and rabbit protection) and more of an English cottage garden in the front. I have bookmarked.

7. Travel

A broad topic because I have a long list of places I want to see and people I want to visit. At the top of my mind is Basel, San Francisco, and Denver. And given that I’ve just come from -17F Minnesota and back to +20F Washington, DC I’m also thinking that somewhere tropical would be good. And soon.

8. Get more massages

I had one for the first time in 3 years before I left for the holiday break. It was marvelous. I need to do this more often. For body maintenance and my health. I’m getting old. I need help keeping the muscles from seizing up. This I can also probably do as I have another regular gig I’ve just signed a contract for that will pay me enough to make this actually financially doable. And I’m sure this will help with my high cholesterol, too.

9. Bake more

I do bake a lot. And I LOVE it. I might try to figure out how to really frost a cake. Or maybe how to make some of the more complicated stuff they feature on the Great British Bake Off. Like an Entremet cake or a Charlotte Royale. I hope my co-workers don’t have Lose 10 Pounds on their resolution lists.

10. Take advantage of the gifts around me

I live in Washington, DC. There are a million things to do around here. Museums, concerts, theater, opera, ballet, hiking. I need to do more of those things. By myself. Not as a curator for my children all the time, but as a student immersing myself into an experience. I need to give myself time to breathe and remember what it is like to just be me.

So that’s 10 resolutions. (Or 9 resolutions and 1 big To-Do.) But that seems like enough to think about for now.


Thank God It’s 2017

It’s a new year, people. The dumpster fire that was 2016 is over and we stand basking in the shiny new-ness and promise that is 2017.

I, for one, am full of the relief and hope that only a new beginning can bring.

2016 wasn’t all bad, though, and before I move on I want to acknowledge all the very good things that happened in my life that have been so totally overshadowed by the bad things snowballed down to catch me up and roll me down the mountain with it.

* I lived in Switzerland for half of this year. It was freakin’ fantastic. We gorged ourselves on some of the world’s best cheese and chocolate. We reveled in the beauty of the architecture and the ease of travel. We embraced simpler and European lifestyles.

* I feel happy in my writing. Really happy. It’s what I would prefer to be doing almost all the time. I constantly carry notebooks with me and jot down ideas, phrases, and characters. I made a conscious decision in 2016 to dedicate more time to writing. It helped me to find my voice and helped the words come more easily, which leads to more happiness. The constant practice has paid off in being published more often and in my blog being nominated for an award!

* I indulged in traveling. In this year alone I went through Iceland, Athens, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Iowa, Minnesota, and Southern California. I got to go to the Floyd County Fair for the first time in about 15 years and relive my youth through the eyes of my niece and nephews. I traveled to Hogsmeade with my boon companion, Margaret, and we frolicked in all things Harry Potter. I traveled. And I found glimpses of myself. And I decided that maybe travel wasn’t such an indulgence after all.

* We sold our house. It was relatively painless, although I bitched and moaned about the buyer a bit to Mark and any friend who would listen to me. They were awesome at giving a sympathetic nod and handing me a glass of wine. But the house sold! And in very little time, too. Which freed us up for more adventures.

And now, as I stare out across the – as of yet – unblemished field that is 2017, I am looking forward to accomplishing a few things.

* Buying a new house. We don’t know where, yet. There are heaps possibilities!  So many that it is a smidgen daunting, but also dreamily endless.

* Finishing writing a book. I am close, but oh so very, very far away. It might mean less blogging, but, oh! to finish a book! That is quite a dream.

* More travel! I already have trips planned to Northern California, Ontario, and Colorado. More are percolating around in my head. Maybe London? Perhaps Florida? Could a return to Spain be lurking?

* Purging and downsizing. As the boys get older they outgrow a lot of things – clothes, toys, games, to name a few categories.  And I outgrow things, too. There are things from storage I haven’t touched in almost 3 years now that need to go. I started the purge in 2014  and found the more crap I took out of the house the more peaceful and the happier I felt. With all the moves coming I am poised to continue purging. I doubt I’ll ever be finished.

But isn’t that life? To never be finished? To constantly move forward? Even if it is slowly? Even if the path is hard? Even if the path is leading you into places you never wanted to go? Isn’t is always to go ever forward and never back?

“Ever forward, never back” is actually mine and Shaun’s travel mantra, which might actually explain quite a bit of our misadventures. However, it is also a poem by Vince Gullaci. The poem is much more hopeful and less bumblingly intrepid than our mantra.

Our dreams
much more
than this
from stone
to sky
to what vaulted
sense of future
do our eyes scan forward
from this.

And so it is my wish for you, in this pristine 2017, that you scan the horizon and find a vaulted future for yourself to move boldly into.