Category: Resolutions

[Resolutions] – I Didn’t Mean My Friends Are Old…

This is one I will admit I am really bad at sometimes.

20131006_183328

I’m fortunate enough to still be close with several of my high school girlfriends, but we don’t see each other as much as I would like. It’s not really anyone’s fault, but…well, actually, it IS someone’s fault. Life.

Most of us have moved away from our hometown, some farther than others, and it makes getting together a lot more of a planned occasion rather than just a quick meetup. Add in jobs, kids, family functions, vacations, and the rest of Life’s other little sidekicks and those planned visits become fewer and farther apart.

That being said, my favorite part is always being amazed that even after months of not speaking to or seeing each other, things go right back to how they were 20 years ago – lots of laughs, funny stories, and making memories.

I think the only thing that’s different really is the lack of scrunchies.

download{source}

So after this week, I hope to have either seen some old friends, or made some plans to get together real soon!

We might even talk about boys.

[Resolutions] – To-Done List

I feel very productive this week!

I got rid of that leaning tower of bills and receipts that has been growing in the corner of our living room for two years now. We gained about a square foot of carpet space that actually appears clean!

20130926_195926

I decided not to use the NeatReceipts because I feel like it’s one of those pieces of technology that seems as if it would make your life easier, but really creates more work. I know myself well enough to know that every time we get a car repair bill or a doctor’s office receipt, I’m not going to take out the scanner and the laptop and file it away somewhere on my hard drive. I am much more likely to take the 10 seconds to open a filing cabinet and throw it in there.

20131002_183100

I know I might sound archaic, but I like paper. I don’t want to have to search through .pdf files to find a document I need. I took some time to create folders for everything we could possibly need, and now all these bills and receipts and statements have a home. Mostly all of our things are online now anyway, and all the really important stuff is in the safe, so I think this is definitely the easiest solution.

It also means I’m a jerk and I’m going to end up selling the gift Dan got for me, but I will use the money to take us on a nice weekend trip somewhere to make up for it. Pinky swear.

Another project that has been left untouched for an embarrassingly long time are the two shirts that needed a little bit of sewing. I think I wore one of them only once before it got tossed in a corner waiting for a new button. Both of those are now good as new and it feels like I went shopping without spending a penny!

20131002_180605

A couple other things have been on my list of projects for quite some time and I took a few steps toward completing those also. The first is moving this blog to WordPress. I have been trying to do this for months and months, but ever since Google Reader went away, it seems like an impossible task, as there doesn’t seem to be any other way to transfer all of my posts and comments without losing anything. I sent out a few emails this week and hopefully someone smart can come up with a way so I can move forward with that project.

We also have a private photography lesson scheduled for Tuesday, which I have been meaning to do for for-EVER, as anyone who reads this blog knows. I can read all the books and tutorials I want, but there is nothing like hands-on experience.

Now that all of these things are done, I feel so accomplished! It motivates me to do more just so I can cross some things off my never-ending list.

One thing still baffles me though. If I’ve been so productive this week, why is this still here?

20131002_180904

[Resolutions] – An Apple a Day…

This is going to be easy!

20130929_195123

Sorry about the glare from my mangoes. Always trying to be the center of attention those things.

So, as I was saying, this week shouldn’t be very difficult. I already eat strawberries on my froyo, chug apple cider like water, and put pumpkin in…well, everything. Shhh, it counts.

I know sweet corn is not the best vegetable to eat, but then it shouldn’t taste so good. And it shouldn’t be a vegetable because vegetables are good for you, so that’s confusing. Same with oranges. I remember when I found out that orange juice wasn’t exactly the best drink for breakfast every morning. Still crushed.

In all seriousness though (if we ignore the alcoholic beverages in my photo above), this week really should be easy. I’ve been having a lot of salads or wraps for lunches, and I also really enjoy every single fruit and vegetable there is (even you, brussel sprout), so this should be a piece of cake!

Er…strawberry shortcake that is.

[Resolutions] – The Great Disconnect

It kind of wasn’t so great.

It started off really well and I would keep announcing to Dan how I “hadn’t been on Facebook more than once all day!” or “I didn’t log in to my email until lunch time”. Both things felt pretty refreshing at the time…until later on that night when I spent 30 minutes getting back to where I left off in my news feed. Or until I opened gmail to 37 messages (I made that number up and I’m a bit of a an exaggerator, so…).

I’ve kind of decided (and quickly) that I like being plugged in. The only times that I really don’t enjoy it is when I’m trying to finish something else and the internet is SO distracting with it’s Pinterest outfits and YouTube videos of goats, or when I’m at work and feel like I have to respond to personal emails right away or know what’s going on at all times. In that sense, I do plan to unplug a bit more and enjoy the “me” time and productivity.

flu-sick-facebook-internet-winter-twitter-confession-ecards-someecards{source}

Ooo, semi-related side note: I’ve started a little game for myself on the weekends where I do one “unfun thing” like emptying the trash or folding laundry, followed by one “fun thing” like watching 20 minutes of a show on Netflix or reading a book. I am definitely more productive when I allow myself that little treat in between rather than overwhelming myself with a to-do list that makes me feel like I will never have time for fun things again EVER. (Who’s an exaggerator?)

But when I’m bored, there’s not a whole lot I can do while standing in line or sitting in the passenger seat of a car other than crush some candies and read some blogs.

8147933_orig

That right there is a testament to how not unplugged I was this week. That wrench is what happens when you play all 410 levels of Candy Crush and there are no more (yet). Last level?! Are you kidding me? Torn between wanting more levels and wanting my life back.

A second realization for the week: I pretty much do EVERYthing online. I shop, pay bills, research things, organize, make money, read, socialize, and watch TV/movies. So while I think it’s nice to put the phone down when I’m feeling overwhelmed and not be reachable for a bit, I honestly can’t be as productive or on top of things without the internet. Or entertained. There are only so many books and magazines in the world (which I did read several of this week!) It’s just such a part of life now that I honestly feel worse and less in control when I remove it.

So my new goal is moderation. When I’m really busy at work, I need to let those emails go until I get home, or reply to texts with a simple “hey, I’ll call you later!”

And is there a parental control for Pinterest? I need some parental control. Or just control in general.

[Resolutions] – Completing Week 39

I know just the thing for this week.

20130922_175536

Dan bought me the Neat Receipts scanner two Christmases ago and I…ahem…have never used it. And it’s not because I didn’t want it, I asked for it specifically! I just wish it came with someone else willing to sit and scan each one of those receipts and file them away on my computer and back them up and continue doing that every time I get a new bill.

So before Dan re-gifts it to me again this Christmas (that happened last year.) I am making it my mission this week to get rid of that pile. I have a few other projects around the apartment to complete as well, like sewing the button back on that shirt I wore once, or hanging more decorations in the living room.

And speaking of completing a project, can you believe there are only 13 weeks left now?!

20130922_175328

I really feel like I just started this project a few months ago, but I have to say, I’m proud of myself for sticking with it this long. I haven’t missed a week yet and I’ve posted here twice weekly with updates, which is probably the longest I’ve ever stuck to anything.

Except my couch.

[Resolutions] – More Fun, Less Stress

It’s been a preeeeetty stress-free week so far. No tears, no yelling, no popping Klonopin in the middle of the day because I just.hate.everything. (It’s cool, I have a prescription).

Usually, by Friday night, I am so stressed out about the weekend and all its plans and errands and chores and lack of me-time that I have a mini-meltdown and start saying things like “I wish I had to work this weekend.” What the….? But it’s true. Some weekends are just so crazy full and busy that I almost wish I were at work where at least I’m getting paid to get through my to-do list. Where I get a lunch break, and where I go home at 5 and everything is done and forgotten…until the next day at least.

Doesn’t that sound like I have a disease of some sort? When I’m up to my eyeballs in budgets this November, I will have to re-read this post and remember just how much I like working. Right. Anyway.

This weekend was nothing like one of those weekends though. I went out on Friday night (nope, not a typo), which made the weekend seem just a little bit longer than usual, even though I was home early and tired. Saturday I had some time to relax before doing a sunset cruise around Boston Harbor with some friends.

_DSC0055

Seriously? That view.

And Sunday, I was possessed by some productive demon and had about 43 things accomplished by 12pm. I even did Dan’s chores so he could spend some more time with family visiting and do a little freelance work. I did them and I didn’t even complain! Although, I did let him know that he owes me one. I wear a size 7.5 shoe, Dan.

I’m really trying harder not to stress about all the little, mundane things, but I will admit, it’s pretty difficult because we’ve had a lot of plans all summer long, and still have fairly full weekends right up through the holidays. Sometimes I just want to say no to everything and sit at home with a book and some tea. For weeks.

But it’s mostly fun stuff, so I should really be saying “no” to the unfun stuff. Like dishes and cleaning bathrooms and food shopping. Well, maybe not “no”. Maybe just “wait a minute, I’m not done having fun.”

[Resolutions] – Week 38 Unplugged

Starting Wednesday, you may be seeing a lot less of me on these here internets…

20130915_195336

I’m not going to even pretend that I can go an entire week without my phone or the internet. I don’t even think I can go a day. First world problems? Maybe. But I can’t.

So my goal will be something along the lines of:

  • Check Facebook only a few times a day – maybe in the morning, at lunch, afternoon, and before bed?
  • Don’t leave my personal email open at work – only check it every few hours.
  • Keep my cell phone on (for emergencies) but much less texting and candy-crushing (ooo that one hurt…).

So I guess this is the week I will finally catch up on “Orange is the New Black” and all those books I’ve been meaning to read!

[Resolutions] – “E” is for Effort

Kind of disappointed in this week. I’m definitely starting to feel the burnout from having weekly resolutions, but I did so well last week with stepping out of my comfort zone (3 things in 3 days!) that I just didn’t have it in me to get all overachiever on this one.

I did do a lot of “different” things this week, but they weren’t all intentional. I left my car at work by accident and didn’t remember until I went to drive to work the next morning and thought it was stolen. Then I spent the weekend being sick. Neither was part of my resolution to Do Something Different, but both were somewhat surprising and non-routine.

If I had drawn this one earlier in the year, I would have had a list of about 17 things I wanted to do in 7 days to accomplish it. I would have bought a new outfit, tried a new restaurant, maybe cut or dyed my hair, and started dating girls. Well, maybe. They’re kind of crazy, I know this from experience. But I would have done SOMEthing. Several somethings.

Instead what I did do is go to Panera for breakfast. Yup, Panera. A place I’ve been a million times. Even for breakfast. But I haven’t been in a long time and I was getting sick of Starbucks (gasp!), so I got up early and changed the morning routine a bit to allow time to get to Panera for breakfast.

20130906_082133

Unfortunately, this was the day that I failed to remember my car was already at work since I didn’t pick it up the night before on my way home from carpooling to Dan’s aunt’s house. No Panera for me that day, but I managed to get up early 2 days in a row and try again the next day.

20130906_083751

That chai is like Christmas in a cup. It’s delicious!

I won’t sell myself TOO short because I was conscious all week of getting out of my routine and shaking things up a little. But for me that just means going out on a Friday night at 9 instead of already being curled up in bed with a stack of magazines. 9 o’clock. AT NIGHT.

So, there’s that. There’s just not much else…

The good news is that we’re about 20 hours into Stress Less week and I’m rocking it so far. I mean I haven’t even thrown anything.

[Resolutions] – Stress-Free Week 37

This week all I have to do is Stress Less!

20130908_192652

If I can manage this, it will be really helpful to find some tips & tricks that work. I tend to stress most at home over cleaning and lengthy to-do lists. It’s also getting close to my busiest time at work AND the holiday season, so I’d say this week came at a perfect time – early enough to help me prepare for those stressful times, but not so late that I’m right in the middle of them and don’t have time to stress less!

I think it’s also a great excuse to stock up on wine and chocolate. Should be easy, right? I mean…I’m not gonna stress over it! I hope?

[Resolutions] – Comfortably Uncomfortable

Stepping out of my comfort zone actually went really well. At least, I think it did. People may have laughed at me or pointed at me, but since I didn’t hear it or see it, I’m saying it went well.

I started the week on Wednesday by taking the day off and going to the beach with my family. This had already been planned a few days in advance, but I kept telling everyone I didn’t have a bathing suit and would just wear shorts and a tank. That’s actually a giant lie because I have 4 bathing suits: 2 one-piece things that I think were meant for women far older than myself (one even has a skirt!), and 2 bikinis that I wouldn’t dare to put on anymore, but can’t bear to throw away since, hello, those things are expensive! And of course I’m going to fit into it again some day after I have kids, eat my way through every Italian restaurant and bakery, and get to the gym more frequently than annually. A girl can dream. BIG.

In the spirit of this week, however, I decided to go to the beach in my one-piece. With the skirt. And the giant white flowers. Obviously there are no pictures of this, but if you’re looking for embarrassing photos, you won’t be too disappointed if you read on. I honestly didn’t feel that uncomfortable at the beach, especially since I was only with family, but I didn’t want any visual evidence that this had made it out of my drawer.

20130905_192419

It’s not an ugly suit really, it just makes me mourn my bikini days a little bit and wish that I had appreciated them while they existed.

The next day I decided to go to dinner alone. Party of One.

20130829_172505

Can you believe all those rolls?! For ONE person! Actually, everything I got was rather large and delicious. This was an appetizer:

20130829_173438

About 80% of that came home with me, including all those extra rolls. I had a small salad, too. It cancelled everything else out.

When I first sat down, I did feel a little weird and self-conscious. Actually, I felt that way right when I walked in and the hostess said “how many?” and I responded “just me!”

Once I sat down though, I actually really enjoyed it and found it a nice way to relax after a long work day. It helped that there weren’t very many other people in the restaurant, and by the time I left, there was a woman across from me sitting alone reading a book. I hadn’t thought about bringing a book, so I mostly entertained myself by staring at the TV or my phone. Definitely something I would do again and not nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds!

For my final day (finished my week in 3 days with time to spare, wooo!!), I decided to go a little nuts with my makeup. Not Drew Carey’s Mimi style, but just a little bit of red lipstick. I never really wore much lipstick until recently, but since I’ve become obsessed with beauty videos on YouTube, I’ve been experimenting a little more. I shy away from bright colors usually, with the exception of a summery pink, because I don’t really like my smile and would rather not draw attention to it. Also, they just kind of…scare me?

Speaking of scary, here’s that picture I promised. Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone…eeek. When I was first getting ready, I thought I looked a little clownish.

20130830_075206

But once I got ready, it didn’t look quite so shocking. It kind of faded to a deep pink.

20130830_081223

I’m not very good at selfies. Because I’m not 17.

So there’s my week! Turns out all 3 things were really not that uncomfortable at all. I think that’s almost always the case when you try something new – it’s scary and a little off-putting at first, but once you’re knee-deep (or lip-deep!) into it, it feels pretty ok. Even a little bit fun 🙂