Each year on this blog, it’s been the same thing: I post my resolutions for the upcoming year, whether it be nearly my only post for the year or not (see: 2014). I set goals that I may or may not achieve, and I publish them in the hopes that having them “in ink” online will provide me with some sort of motivation to get them done. And honestly, a fair amount of them are accomplished, especially considering how many resolutions never come to fruition in the macro, beyond myself.
But this year, I’m tired. 2014 chewed me up and spit me out. What looked like a year of promise turned into a year of survival. Of course, many more catastrophic things could’ve happened to me or in spite of me, and we did, in fact, survive, but I realize that my resolutions are often unattainable. This is not because I’m a poor goal-setter or because I create unrealistic expectations for myself, but because things change that are beyond my control actually quite often. My resolutions for 2014 were specific and fairly actionable, but this year, I’m going for things that are more in my control, regardless of changes. I might have a few actionable items, but mostly it’s about taking care of myself and putting what’s important first.
My 2015 Resolutions
First and foremost, I will stop letting other people determine my happiness, especially work. Many times, the things that I let “drag me down” are beyond my control, so why should I make myself unhappy because of it? I choose to be happy during 2015 and to let things roll off instead of upset me.
2015 will be my year of being proactive, instead of reactive. I will anticipate hardships and plan for them. I will deal with things immediately instead of procrastinating. I will finish something and let it go instead of letting it eat at me.
My several and varied passions, all of which I have thrown by the wayside, will have a place in my life, whether big or small, to give me the outlets that I need.
My priorities for 2015 are happiness and family. What does that entail? For me, it’s continuing to develop a close and loving relationship with my family; making sure that my marriage takes the helm over other relationships and engagements; setting limits on what needs to be done with work and what truly doesn’t matter; making weekends solely about family and never about main job work; feeling successful in my Jamberry small business and getting to hang out with the amazing women I meet through that venture; taking quiet moments to reflect on my life and center myself back into balance.
It is not stressing myself out over trivial things that others find important but really aren’t; letting work consume my life; driving home so late that the kids have to eat dinner on the road and go straight to bed; staying up late to finish some “important” item and losing sleep, causing me to go into a spiral for the week; alienating friends because of other “priorities” or social anxiety from alienating them previously.
So, after all this, I’d guess that I really only have one actual resolution: balance. Some things in life truly are more important, no matter what others try to do to convince you to rule in their favor, for their priority. How can I model to my children and my students what it means to have a truly full and loving life if I don’t practice balance myself? I only have two thirds of my life left, IF I’m seriously lucky. I’m not wasting another day.
We’ve all seen those awesome party ideas all over the internet — the ones that make us hold our breath and exclaim, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” These are the parties that don’t have anything to do with buying plates with the latest cartoon face plastered on the bottom. These are the parties that have seemingly boring themes, but with some creativity they yield amazing results, and they teach our kids to like what they like instead of liking what’s most popular.
I’m trying to get my kids away from cartoon-based parties and more into themes that we can create ourselves (well, after this year — between my job, two weddings, moving, conferences, and curriculum planning, it’s been a bit crazy!). I’m sure all of these parties have amazing ideas and pictures on Pinterest, but I’ve yet to see a really great list of ideas all in one post. That’s why I’m posting here – to begin the list. If you think of anything that should be added, comment and I will edit the post. Ideas for each party can come later — Right now, it’s always nice just to have a list to look at for ideas. And they don’t have to just be for boys or girls — pick what your kid likes and go with it, and make it work for their gender.
PS – I will slowly be organizing them into better groupings as I have time!
- picnic ants
- jungle animals
- farm animals
- forest animals
- sea animals
- swamp animals
- desert animals
- rainforest animals
- arctic animals
- *insert your favorite animal*
- race car
- fire truck
- hot air balloon
- construction vehicles
- cookies and milk
- polka dots
- teddy bear
- musical instruments
- county fair
- lemons and limes
- ice cream
- jewelry making
- tshirt making
- fashion designer
- tea party
- ice skating
- roller skating
- down under
- paint brushes
- shabby chic
- french country
- fave fairy tale (Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks, Three Little Pigs)
- fave nursery rhyme (Humpty Dumpty, Hey Diddle Diddle, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jack and Jill)
- bow ties
- color-themed (gold, silver, blue, pink, etc.)
- flip flops
- sweet shop
- teddy bear
- beach ball
- holiday themed
- ribbons and bows
- baby animals
- seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall)
- paper dolls
- mason jars
- rubber duckies
- pumpkin patch
- once upon a time
- rock star
- animal prints
- glow in the dark
- cooking challenge
- dance party
- rock (as in actual rocks)
- secret agent
I’ve been doing some thinking.
Maybe I’m not a home and diy blogger.
Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to make this blog stick.
Maybe I need to be a lifestyle blogger, which allows me to have some of that but mostly gives me license to do whatever and talk about whatever. Maybe that will make me feel more connected.
Maybe I’ll start collecting stories and ideas to go with crafts and photos and such. Mmm, photos. I miss taking photos with my DSLR!
Maybe you’ll hear from me more often, and soon
Whaaaattttt????? I’m actually posting something????
It’s time for my first book as a part of Bon’s Book Club! When she posted about the club, I added it immediately to my personal regime as part of my resolutions for this year, and I finished the daggone thing by January 2nd. I’ve been sitting, waiting
patiently impatiently to share my thoughts, and while they probably won’t be any deep insights this time around, I’m excited to share my viewpoint, nonetheless. Yes, I’m a week late. Oopsies.
Here we go.
+ The book is told from the viewpoint of three women. Which women did you like the most and why? Whom did you dislike the most and why?
I can sympathize with Rachel. She feels like the day Janie died sucked all of the life out of her. I can’t say that I would or would not have chosen her path. Cecilia just pisses me off. She’s definitely my least-liked character, and probably because I can relate to her in many ways, wanting to have the perfect life and such. Her moral choices, her complete trust in her husband and refusal to open the letter – those are the things that aggravate me. I couldn’t for a second make the same choices. I couldn’t sit on something so huge, knowing that someone had been wronged. Maybe it is easy to say that looking through the window into someone else’s life, and maybe I would feel differently had it been my own husband, but then again, my own husband has always been open and forthcoming about everything, so the weird behavior would’ve frustrated me from the beginning. As for Tess, I wish she would’ve just completely left Will and Felicity behind and not taken him back. Sure, her jumping straight into bed with Connor wasn’t the best choice, but at least it was an honest one.
I don’t think I have a least-liked or most-liked character. I need a second read of the book to really delve in and analyze this question, to discover their nuances a bit more.
+ What would you have done if you had found out the secret that Celia did? Did you agree with the way she handled it? What is the “right” thing to do in a situation like that?
Hmm…. Again, from the outside looking in, I couldn’t have possibly held in the secret. I would’ve forced John Paul’s hand to come clean, to let go of the burden. Even if he had gone to jail, at least the burden would be released and he could begin to work through the guilt. The honesty he finally shared with her could’ve created a completely different marriage scenario.
+ What was the point of the side story with Tess? Do you excuse the way she acted during that week because of the uncertainty in her marriage?
I think Liane put those bits in there to give a bit of lightheartedness and hope to a very heavy book. What she did was wrong, and just as wrong as the emotional affair between Will and Felicity, but it was honest and realistic and cathartic for the the character. I honestly wish she would’ve dumped her marriage, which is something I wish I didn’t feel because I don’t generally believe in divorce, but Will most likely will hurt her again and that’s something that she shouldn’t have to bear again. This wasn’t an overnight thing, but a long, repeated history of emotional violation.
+ Do you believe the bike accident was adequate “penance” for what John Paul had done?
Absolutely not. Polly didn’t do anything and now she’s the victim.
+ Did you like the resolution of the book? Did you feel there was enough closure?
If I remember correctly, I screamed out loud out of frustration, haha. The what-ifs slayed me. SLAYED ME.
Overall, even though this book was frustrating and emotionally upheaving, I loved it. Even though I had figured out the basics of the plot early on, I want to read it again to actually have a chance to analyze it more thoroughly. I also need to not finish the book an entire month before book club so I remember the details in order to have an effective discussion! If you are looking for a good read, this is it.