The time between Christmas and New Year’s has always been a time of contemplation for me. A time to look back on the year and reflect on the highs and lows. A time to see the mix of laughter and sorrow. But through the bitterness there is sweetness, no matter how small it is. In February, on my husband’s birthday of all days, I was involved in a hit-and-run accident which totaled our car. My son, Matthew, was in the back seat, and even though the driver plowed through the back end of the vehicle, smashing the trunk and shattering the back windshield, there was not a scratch, bruise, or break on my son’s little body. Miracle. God was good. This fall, we had to put one of our cats down, who was about 12. He suffered from kidney failure and it was painful to watch. How do you explain death to a 6 and 4 year old? My husband took it especially hard, but Matthew told him not to worry, as Thomas is in heaven and we will see him someday. Sweetness in the bitterness.
For many of us, 2016 has been a roller coaster ride, but no matter how hard or easy this year has been, each year offers a fresh start. A clean slate. And I love fresh starts. I am one of those obnoxious people who creates lists. New Year’s Resolutions is no exception. In fact, I look forward to it. However, I have to limit myself to 10 goals, otherwise I’ll get carried away.
Two years ago, I had to have my gallbladder removed. Subsequently, my diet changed too. Not drastically, as I ate pretty healthy before, but it took a whole year for me to accept the fact that I have to really limit the fats and sugars I eat. For example, I can’t eat a 4 oz steak without getting a stomach ache, and sweets, which I ABSOLUTELY love, obviously, is down to just a few small bites. As in, I can eat one cookie, not two. And it kills me!! The majority of the desserts I make on this blog are given away to neighbors and coworkers…after my family has had a few bites. This is how I make friends. This is also how I keep them.
I have taken up exercising more too. In October, I completed my first 1/2 marathon and liked it so much that I signed up for another one next year. (I walked it though. Not ready to commit to a full-on running race. That’s too crazy for me.)
Writing goals is a great way to verbalize what you’re thinking. E.M. Forster’s quote How do I know what I think until I see what I say? is one of my favorites. And sharing goals is a great way to have someone hold you accountable. So, I wrote down my 10 goals, but am going to share just 5 of them with you. They are as follows:
- Make my lunch and take it to work every day. (Trader Joe’s tofu salad rolls are my weakness, but have lots of extra calories and preservatives I don’t need.) I bought these two things to help me: a bistro-type box and these silicone muffin cups.
- Get up early and exercise. I am not an early riser, and I am not a night owl. I’m a get-up-around-7-and-my-best-work-is-produced-by-3 kind of gal. Anyone else with me? However, later in the day and at night just haven’t worked.
- Take more pictures of family–and that includes me in the picture. I think as moms, we are the official/default documenter of our family, and many times that means we’re the ones behind the lens. Working on my scrapbook, and lately I have been doing Project Life, I realized that there are so few pictures with me in it–and I was there!
- Don’t take work home. I love, love, love teaching and can easily fill in 60+ hour weeks (which I have done for many years), but I need to create better balance. Those papers can wait a day, really.
- Fit in more time to bake and blog. (Which if I follow #4, this will happen, right?) I love writing and baking, and now that my kids are older, it’s easier to do this. I love connecting with you, reading your comments, hearing about your culinary adventures. THANK YOU for taking the time out of your busy day to read a recipe and try it out in your kitchen.
So, with all that said, I wish you a happy new year and if you’re like me, and enjoy creating resolutions, I hope you set great goals and accomplish them. Here’s to a fabulous 2017! xoxo