The big holiday is over. By big, I mean time consuming, stressful and expensive, but most of all joyous. I guess it’s the kid in me who feels that Christmas is a magical time. My parents deserve a lot of the credit for the warmth and happiness that I feel in December. I’ve worked hard to give my own children that same feeling. Of course Santa, the symbol of magic, wonder and surprise, gets the real credit. 🙂
While our first Christmas as a combined family was better than I’d even hoped for, there’s the inevitable feeling of “That’s it? It’s over?” While it’s fleeting and expected, the touch of sadness still happens. When it does, I smile and remember the happy time with family that just passed and easily move on to wanting everything to get back to normal so that I can start looking forward to the next Christmas. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the mood changes happen quickly for me. I truly enjoy decorating the tree and then secretly look forward to taking it all down and getting my house back to normal. I firmly believe in only keeping the house decorated for about a month. In my opinion, this keeps the season special.
So today I find myself 19 days into 2014. So far, so good. Both of my girls are safely back at their schools, one down south and the other is only about an hour away. The two oldest boys have been back in their routines as well.
I sat in my spot on the couch yesterday, (yes, it’s actually mine.), and started to think about what I want 2014 to be for me, for my family. I’m older and wiser now and I’ve learned not to set restrictive, extreme or unrealistic goals or to make resolutions that would mean a radical, uncharacteristic change to my lifestyle. I did not buy a new gym membership, throw away all of the bad carbs in my pantry or volunteer where I know deep down I don’t have the time or inclination to fully committ. Instead, I’v made promises to myself to make gradual changes towards a healthier lifestyle and to finish things that were previously started. I’d also like to learn something….maybe a new crochet stitch, all the features of my new camera and to finally start trying to learn another language. My husband is fluent in Italian, his first language, and I’d love to be able to converse with him and his family in their beautiful language. I’ve also read that learning a new language is great for keeping the brain sharp. For those of you who are lucky enough to be wondering why on Earth exercises for the brain would ever be necessary, get back to me once you’ve reached your mid forties, if you even remember that you read this post.
For my family I want much of the same…healthier lifestyles for all, the inspiration that comes from learning something new and the satisfaction of working hard towards their goals. Our children range in age from 18 to 23. They have big dreams, as they should, as we all should. My hope is that they will continue to work hard towards their goals while enjoying the journey along the way.
I recently purchased a new cookbook by well know Food Network chef, Giada de Laurentiis. This one is her first cookbook about a healthy lifestyle, exercise, skin care and the recipes she relies on. It’s a fun read. I always enjoy picking up good tips on how to fit exercise into a busy lifestyle and how best to take care of my skin. What I liked best about it was when she stated that she used to eat too much sugar, not exercise enough, etc….and that the changes were gradual changes over time. She says that she feels better in her 40’s than she did in her 20’s and that’s what every woman my age likes to hear. This way of thinking also fits into what I want for my 2014.
My wonderful brother bought me a shiny new Canon camera with three different lenses for Christmas. I’d been complaining for a while that my blog photos just weren’t what I had envisioned and Frank’s camera is very nice, but just so heavy to deal with on a regular basis. One of Greg’s hobbies is photography and while he owns the huge amazing camera we refer to as “NASA,” he also owns a lighter weight camera for traveling. This is the one he bought me. My task for 2014 is to learn how to use it fully, to really take advantage of what this camera has to offer and to impress the heck out of you as you see my pictures improve. I’ll try my best. I promise. If you’ve got tips to help me along the way, please pass those along.
So there you have it! I’m excited for 2014. I hope to exercise more, make healthier food choices while still enjoying everything in moderation, learn a new crochet stitch, become a better photographer and to start learning Italian. Oh, one more thing…I started a book a while back now. I want to finish it. I’ve got 18 chapters so far. Wish me luck!
My resolutions are about improvements, not changes and while I hope to accomplish a lot this year, I will take it as it comes, vary from my path if need be and refuse to care or be angry if I only get part of the way there. Tell me about your hopes for 2014.