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I'm the mother of four children who hopes to raise them to be productive, compassionate, humble citizens of our planet...who will also use their turn signals.

Monday, January 19, 2015

And the hits keep comin'!

So because I apparently like to set myself up for failure, I come to you with my final five resolutions for 2015.  A sane, rationale person would probably limit themselves to one, perhaps two.  Me?  Oh, no.  There have pots on all four burners, two cookie sheets in the oven, and pizzas on the grill or mama ain't happy!

I gave thought to whittling down the list, but each item seems crucial to my survival.  Okay, that may be a bit dramatic.  But they all feel like things I want to give attention to and I don't want to let go of.  So without further ado, I give to you resolutions six through ten.

6.  Be present.  If all of the sudden there were resolution police and they showed up at my door because I was exceeding federal resolution limits, this would be the one I would keep.  It applies to SO many areas in my life.  While multitasking has become fashionable and almost required, I sometimes hate the fact that I'm good at it.  Sure, it's great to be listening to a podcast, peeling potatoes, and coaching the kids on homework, all while I think about my to-do list for tomorrow, but there comes a point when you need to put the brakes on the crazy train.  Focusing more, appreciating more, savoring more...these are the only "things" I want more of.

One of my next blog posts is on this topic alone, actually.  I've registered for an online class called "One Little Word" again this year.  The word I chose this year is "Savor."  When I did the class last year, I found that thinking about and incorporating whatever word you choose is inspirational and motivational on so many levels.  In speaking with friends, there are so many of us that just feel like days are a blur and weeks are spent running on the hamster wheel.  We are craving simple.

7.  Read more.  I recently read that 29 percent of Americans admit to not reading a novel in the past year.  Seriously?  I call BS on that number.  I reckon it's far higher.  And while most people, I believe, know the value of reading and truly want to read more, my experience is that it's one of the first things to go when kids need to be bathed and socks need to be matched (or in my case,  60 percent of socks need to be matched and the other 40 percent are singles that I'll put in a basket for three months before I throw them away.)  I guess I should be ashamed to admit that I didn't read anything other than children's books, recipes, and permission slips for years.  If I tried, I would read three paragraphs and forget what I read because I was feeling guilty about what I should be doing instead.

To tackle this resolution, I've joined an online book club called "Recovering Readers."  (Hey, are you noticing a pattern here, by the way?  Maybe I should have 11 resolutions, with the addition being resolve to stop joining clubs.)  Anyhoo, I've completed January's book which I loved.  It was such a treat to be immersed in a story that didn't involve Captain Underpants or a Wimpy Kid.  I'm resolving to read more with my kids, too, but it sure was nice to climb into bed at night, slip my cold feet up against my man, and delve into a good book.

8.  Document the every day.  With cell phones and Facebook, we are all documenting a lot more about our lives than past generations.  Sure, some of it (most of it?) could be considered mundane or frivolous, but I am always intrigued by how things you think are so common and will always be around will instead be unique and treasured in years to come.  Shag carpeting?  The mullet?  Monogram sweaters?  And who doesn't love opening an old box with items wrapped in newspaper to find out how much ground beef used to cost and what people found news-worthy?

My goal for 2015 is to document more of our stories.  When I look back at scrapbooks I've completed, I positively would have forgotten so much of what I've written about.  And not only do I want these stories for myself, but for my children and their children.

9.  Delegate chores.   I admit it, I suck at delegating.  S-U-C-K, suck.  Since I will probably never be good at it, my goal is to suck less.  Like if I'm a 9 on the sucky scale right now, I'm aiming to finish out 2015 as a 7.  It's not that I think I'm great at doing everything, it's that I think it's easier if I do everything.  The intellectual side of me (okay, maybe it's not a full SIDE of me.  It's probably more like a section.  Or a piece, like a 1 x 2 inch piece) knows that I am not doing the kids any favors by not assigning chores and responsibilities.

But then there's that, "Oh, geez!  It's 8:30 p.m. and tomorrow is trash day.  And I still have to empty the bathroom trash cans, which are upstairs, and everyone is downstairs.  And plus they have their shoes off and I still have my shoes on.  Also it's dark out and I have pretty good night vision.  Really, by the time they find their shoes, I could have just done it already.  So seriously, it really is stupid to make anyone else take out the trash."   I do this with every chore (see #3, Over-Analyzing.)

On New Year's Day, I broke it to the kids that there's a new sheriff in town and things are going to change.  We came up with some jobs (and outrageous fees that they suggested to be paid with said jobs, which I quickly vetoed.)  There will probably be a little bit of a learning curve, but I'm thinking this joint should be running like a well-oiled machine by early next week.  Or July.

10.  Do my part to keep the U.S. Postal Service afloat.  Surely I'm not the only one who thinks getting the mail is a colossal disappointment most of the time.  I've been so fortunate to have a new pen pal in South Africa and a cousin in Austria that I exchange cards, letters, and packages with and it brings such joy.  I have concocted a plan, which shall remain secret, of how to do my part to bring happiness to mailboxes far and wide.  I'm excited.

So that's it.  Or at least that's it FOR NOW.  In fact, I just realized two other things I want to add.  Similar to the justice system, maybe I'll have ten "jurors" and two alternates.  Like if I crash and burn on the losing weight, I'll call in some second-string resolution like, "Take Deep Breaths" to experience wild success!   It's so crazy it just might work!

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