Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Make some mistakes

I think the problem with resolutions is that we set our sights on the big picture, which is often overwhelming and takes a long time to achieve.
For the last few years, I've chosen a big-picture goal, and then gone about it by setting small tasks for myself to accomplish throughout the year. By giving myself manageable items to check off a list, I set myself up for success, and am more likely to actually achieve my big-picture result.
I'd like 2015 to be a year of big change. I plan to accomplish that by completing a few smaller goals:  
  • Get a promotion (already applied)
  • Earn a new designation (or at least start one - some take more than a year)
  • Travel to someplace I haven't been
  • Learn to make something in my crock pot
  • Add to my "Rememberlutions Jar" each day
  • Self-publish a book (or at least get it started)
  • Less searching and worrying (this will have to be a day to day thing)
  • More faith that things will work out on their own (more day to day)
  • Napping - because napping is important
  • Make a few mistakes (this should be easy, particularly with the crock pot goal - and the less worrying)
Why mistakes? Change requires that I do things I've never done, which means I'm bound to mess things up. In order to change, I can't be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, I make them a goal - which practically forces me to try new things. See what I did there?
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're doing something." Neil Gaiman
Cheers to 365 days of mistakes - make 'em count!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Everything, always

Christmas was always my favorite holiday growing up. I love presents, and as the only child of divorced parents, I got a crap-ton on Christmas.

When I was married, Christmas was still my favorite. I was (and am) still an only child - and I continued to get a crap-ton of stuff. Some of it turned into gift cards, which was great. There were just enough to last until my birthday, which my parents conveniently placed just about 6 months out. Nicely done!

Then I got divorced, which I admit put a pretty big damper on Christmas. Don't get me wrong - I still have a lovely holiday, I'm still surrounded by wonderful people, and I do still like stuff (though there's something to be said for downsizing).

Something else I learned this year is that there's been something missing from my holidays (and, probably other days, too, but let's focus). The most important, lovely, and special things simply don't fit under a tree.

Shiny packages and pretty stuff can make a great substitute - that is, until your heart figures out what really matters most.

Luckily, the trick to finding the important stuff is the same as when you asked Santa for a new toy on Christmas.


Merry Everything, Happy Always - that's my Christmas wish.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stuff I learned in 2014

It's been kind of a long year. A whole lot has happened, yet in some ways I still feel like I am in the same spot. I figured out some things I want to fix, and I'm doing OK, but feel like I have a little ways to go. I thought it might help to look back at what I actually learned and accomplished in 2014.
I learned that positive thinking actually works. I allowed myself to visualize the way I wanted my life to look on my 40th birthday - and it happened. To be honest, I thought I had a hold of the whole positive thinking thing a while back, but I really don't think I truly "got" it until this year.
I learned that you're never too far gone to start making better choices. Earlier this year I made some horrible, icky decisions (yeah, it was pretty bad). I thought there was no way to recover from those mistakes, but have since figured out it was as simple as forgiving myself, and then saying, "no more."
I learned that my life will probably never look the way I thought it would. More importantly, I learned that's OK with me. My happiness doesn't have to be like everyone else's, it just has to make me smile.
I learned that my past might shape me, but it doesn't have to define me.
I learned that a person is never too old to learn patience. I also learned that patience is not an easy thing to learn.
I learned what faith really is - and I learned that it works.
I learned was reminded that the most important people are those who will tell you the truth, even when it is not what you want to hear.
I learned that when you build walls to protect yourself from the bad, you also block your blessings. Letting people in is a risk - but it's one that's worth taking.
I learned that a lot can happen in a year. I'm ready to see what might happen in 2015.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Give big

I know a lot of people who like to say they hate "stuff," they don't need material things to be happy, they have learned to appreciate the people and memories in life. Etc, etc, etc.

I agree with it all. People are more important than things and happiness isn't found on a shelf. But there's still no denying - I love to shop.

I disagree that the ideas are mutually exclusive. A person can love to shop and still appreciate all that she has.

I spent some money on Black Friday, Cyber Monday...and all the surrounding days. On stuff for other people, and yes, on stuff for myself.

Today is Giving Tuesday. I will spend a little today, too - just not on stuff. Today I will support the causes that mean so much to me. Causes that help boost the lives and spirits and self-esteem for kids in my area. Organizations that make a difference in my community.

If you have an organization that you love, today is a great day to carve out some of your holiday-spending budget and give back. Or, volunteer your time - or just do a random act of kindness for someone.

The littlest things will make a big difference.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~ Dr. Seuss

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region

Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region