Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jumping on the bandwagon...something I do try to avoid.

Reading everyone's blogs about the new year and what they hope to do has made me be more reflective than before. To me, it's just another day, I've never believed in starting over, I've never believed in "a fresh start" because whether or not you like it your past is your past. I do however believe in setting goals and continually striving to make myself better. I also love reflecting on things that make me happy so I guess new years is the perfect holiday for me! The combination of personal reflection, goal setting and pushing towards a better life is what (to me) new years represents. Below you will find my list of things I'm thankful for (reflection) and things that I'm working on (goals/striving towards excellence). It's still a work in progress, it will always be a work in progress, but I will never be satisfied with where I am. I will enjoy and embrace it but I will always, always try to be better.

Without further ado here are my lists:

What I am thankful for:
1. Keith.
If you've been following my blog at any level I'm sure you've read a post or two (or seven...) about how wonderful of a boyfriend I have been blessed with. Keith has shown me what love really means. What it means to care about someone - and to allow someone to care for me. Keith has taught me that I am valuable, and while I knew this prior to entering this relationship, I truly believe that God placed Keith in my life to continually reaffirm, encourage and inspire me in everything I do; whether it be attempting a new recipe or running full speed with an idea for school. Whatever it may be I know that Keith was placed in my life for a purpose and the timing was nothing but perfect.
2. My family.
With surviving my first year away from my parents I realized how much I still need them. I realized how important they are to me, how crazy my mother is, but how important that crazy lady is to me as well.
3. My new found love for books
This year my goal was to build my classroom library. To spend 12 months buying $1 books from scholastic, going to the bargain bookstore and sifting through the books I kept at my parents' house to begin to build my collection. I gave myself one year because the reality is I fell in love with buying books (as I figured I would) and from here on out I may purchase one here and there, but not as obsessively as I allowed myself to this past year.
4. Coupons, organization, and my OCD.
I realize these things may seem so far stretched and obscure, however, they all have tied in together for me this past year. I have recently become very diligent about couponing and keeping things organized. I'm assuming this will pose a problem in the future seeing as my boyfriend is the furthest from organized but I'm still going to hold my (as he says) high level of expectation and hope with all my being that he embraces my obsessive need for organization.

1. Organize, organize, organize!
Well with my last comment of what I'm thankful for would you be surprised to hear that my goal is to be more organized? I still have endless amounts of supplies, resources and lessons that were created this year that need to be filed away appropriately. I live in an apartment and so I have one room to keep EVERYTHING in. My clothes, my books, my supplies, my desk, my bed, my, well, my everything! So this year I hope to straighten it all out and organize it just in time to move out in December...ambitious, I know.
2. Weight management
I am confident something of this nature is on everyone's list. Every year I choose a number, and I never reach it. And I spend weeks beating myself up about it, feeling guilty and depriving myself. So my goal this year is to not set a number. To just be aware of what I'm eating, keep up with my work out as much as I can and manage it with no overly ambitious goal in mind. Here's the reality: I work full time, I go to school full time and I babysit. I have minimal time for working out. No, this isn't an excuse, this is a reality. I could burn myself to the ground trying to fit everything in, but the reality is, I can't. And for once, I'm going to be okay with that. Who knows, maybe I'll end up looking super hot for one of the four weddings I have to either attend or be in this year.
3. Embrace authentic relationships
A friend of mine wrote on her blog as one of her goals that she hopes to let go of relationships that lack reciprocity. She states that it's too painful to want and not receive and she hasn't got time for the pain. I've thought this before, but felt selfish or that it wasn't the way God wanted me to live. But hearing this from a woman who is older (I can say this as I know she embraces her age - something I admire a great deal about her) and MUCH wiser than I, I am going to do the same and not allow myself to feel guilty of it. Those who care, those who truly are my friends, those are the ones who take the time to do silly things like read this blog, and keep up with all my other social networking nonsense - which, as much as I hate to say it, is the easiest way to keep in touch with all my beloveds amid the chaos of which I live!
4. Continue to earn A's in my classes.
A major achievement for me this year as this was my first semester where I received A's in all my classes.
5. Budget, and stick to it.
Starting this month I became responsible for all of my bills. My parents have "set me free" (so-to-speak) and they have agreed to pay for all 5 years of college as long as I take responsibility for my bills. This is a great responsibility and I have vowed to myself to graduate college debt free, and so far, I have been able to manage this. It's been hard, it's been tiring, but I know that it is going to be SO worth it. It has taught me how to make wise financial choices, it has taught me how to decide what activities are most important to me; but never have I truly been responsible for all my bills. So this year, my goal is to continue putting money into my savings account every month, and continue to maintain a $0 balance on my credit cards.
6. Continue to find myself.
7. Read books, not just for school, but for fun.
And not just books of my reading level, but read books I read when I was younger as well.
8. Take more pictures
Is this one even possible? (YES.)
9. Keep up with this blog
10. Keep cooking, and experimenting with new recipes
11. Keep adding to both of these lists.

I think this is one of my first posts in a while that doesn't include pictures, so I apologize for the untypical word heavy blog. But stay tuned for a future post on my experience with making lemon cream cheese bars and home made ravioli. Both will include many pictures and far less words :)

Happy New Year!!


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

Be careful about buying books since you don't yet know what grade level you are teaching...

Great list. Too many words though!

Erin Finney said...

Goal number 12: learn how not to ramble.... :)