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New Years Eve

sewing at the dining room table

sewing at the dining room table (Photo credit: pinprick)

Well, here we are again at the start of a new year.  2013.  It always seems fantastic to me when we make it to another new year.  I mean, I remember 1960.  2013 seems so far away from then.  When you’re looking forward at the age of 10, 15, even 30, that seems so far down the road.  I’ll be 58 this year.  While i know that is young, especially these days, it still seems a little unreal–like I am not really that old.  (mental head shake)

Well, whatever.  That’s not really what I intended to write about today.  Even though most resolutions don’t make it past the middle of January, New Years still is a good time to reflect  and look into ourselves.  Change is good.  If we are not changing and growing every day, then we are stagnating.  And take it from me, stagnation is not good.  You start doubting yourself and, even worse, disliking yourself.  Stagnation is not a good place to be.

Because of this little bit of wisdom I’ve learned in 2012, my goal for 2013 is to accomplish something every day.  It doesn’t need to be big.  Just a tiny something is OK.  But it has to be something moving us forward, supporting goals for either home or work.  This, of course, got me thinking about what it is I want to accomplish.  I already have a bucket list and I’m plugging away on some of them.  Others are kind of big and need a good-sized savings account.  But that does not seem to be the kind of accomplishments I need this year.  This year, I’d like to build my dream life.

So what does my dream life consist of?  Good question.  The things I enjoying doing most need to be included:  Sewing, reading, cooking/experimenting, music, flowers, genealogy, family, and arts and crafts.  When I look off into the mists of my dream life I see a small herb garden in the kitchen that I use in cooking.  My kitchen is decorated with homey things that I painted myself.  I have some great kitchen tools, like le creuset pans, and everything is neatly but conveniently arranged.  I have a tiny kitchen, but I feel comfortable in there because it is well organized and functional.

I sew regularly for myself as well as others.  I’ve learned the skills I need to make my clothes fit well.  I have more successes than failures.  I have a dedicated space for sewing that I don’t have to clean up between sessions.  I have a dressmakers dummy that I can use for fitting and draping purposes.  I also have a good sewing machine (my current Singer is as old as I am), a serger, and an embroidery machine. And I use them all regularly.

I have a piano, preferably a Clavinova.  its small, but it suits my purposes.  I have a bookshelf nearby that I can keep all my music on.

I make it down to the genealogy library regularly to keep up on the family history research.  I have a small flower garden.  Flowers are so beautiful and give me a lift every time I see them.  I get a chance to read and learn new things every day.

It seems the best thing to do is to make a list of everything I’d like to accomplish, no matter how crazy or seemingly impossible.  The big fear here, of course, is that you might hold me to it and I’ll fail.  again.  Here goes:

finish my SWAP
take cooking lessons
de-clutter and simplify my home
grow an herb garden
decorate the kitchen
paint the bathroom
get a promotion and raise
lose weight
get diabetes under control
put up lots of jams an veggies this summer
get my daughter launched into her adult life
read my scriptures every day

Funny thing is, I had tons of things rolling around in my head before I started writing; now I can’t think of  them.  Oh well, this is enough to get started on on really.  Next step:  what are some of the little things I can do to accomplish this.

1.  sew every day.  Even if it is just one seam.
2.  declutter one drawer, shelf, cupboard, until the kitchen is organized and useable.  Its so small I feel claustrophobic in there.  I need to make it easy to go in and use.  This will probably mean staying on top of the dishes better and making sure that everything has a permanent home.
3.  read scriptures on the bus every morning
4.  walk aggressively to the bus stop every day.  Its a 20 minute walk each way.  That should be some good aerobic exercise.
5.  Find a place for a small kitchen herb garden.

That should be enough to be going on with for now.  If I can even accomplish those things, I’ll be moving forward.  The thing I need to remember is that it doesn’t matter how large or small the task is, the important thing is to do it. and do it now.

Thanks for listening to my rants.  Happy New Year, everyone!

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Merry Christmas!

christmas 2007

christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

Its early in the morning, Christmas Eve.  I love this time of day, when I’m the only one up and there’s no place I have to be or anything I have to do.  Its very restful and energizing for me to have this time alone.  I love it.

I have almost everything done that I need to do to be ready for Christmas.  There are a few gifts to wrap and one batch of cookies to bake.  And I need to go shopping for Christmas dinner.  That should be a picnic (not!).  I don’t usually wait this long to get things done.  I’m a world class perfectionist and usually stress myself out getting everything ready early.  But my hand was forced this year and I have not been able to do all of the things that I usually do.

Last Friday, the 14th, was my payday.  When I got up that morning, I went online and checked my bank account like I usually do, just to make sure my check had been deposited before paying bills, etc.  The check was there and everything was great.  When I got to work, there was a voice message waiting for me from my bank.  It said they had noticed suspicious activity in my account and please call them.  As I was dialing the phone, I was also pulling my account up on my iPad.  What I saw caused me to hyperventilate (figuratively).  I was now $150 in the hole!  Someone knew when I got paid and had my bankcard information!  They spent my entire paycheck and everything else I had in the checking account in the 2 hours it took me to get dressed and get to work!

Its taken the bank all of this time to investigate the situation and credit the money back to my account.  Its only been 10 days and they said it would probably be longer, so I can’t complain too loudly.  However, I’ve been entirely without funds that entire time.  Its been very stressful and, of course, I have had to modify my usual MO for Christmas.

I think a few lessons have been learned.  First, I need to find a place to keep a quantity of cash in the house for just such emergencies.  If we hadn’t had a decent food storage in place already, we’d have starved.  I had $9.00 in cash on hand when this happened.  My daughter and I decided what we needed most (kitty food and toilet paper) and we just lived on what we had the rest of the time.

Maybe the most important lesson I’ve learned, though is that I don’t have to stress myself out to have a good Christmas.  Usually I spend the entire two weeks baking  food to give away.  Which is not a bad thing in itself, but by the time Christmas has come, I’m exhausted.  Last year I ended up in the emergency room two nights before Christmas because I thought I was having a heart attack.  I wind myself up way to tightly with my world class perfectionism.

The crisis over now.  The money’s back in my checking account and all is right with the world.  Here’s hoping your Christmas is wonderful with lots of friends and family at your side.