I am continuing my tradition from last year, which is to shun the standard New Year's Resolutions everyone makes, and instead make a list of the resolutions I should have made last January 1. I love setting goals and I do believe in the power of a fresh start, but I am realistic enough to know that when I wake up tomorrow, I'm probably going to eat the other half of the box of Nilla Wafers even though I shouldn't, so why make an even grander list of the things I'm going to fail at also? Besides, I am pretty good at psyching myself up for goals all during the year. The beauty of doing resolutions my way is that I get to focus on the positive, which (if I were making resolutions, which I'm not) would be something I'd like to work on more next year.
So here are my resolutions for 2008, in no particular order:
1. Go to Europe. Live my childhood dream of visiting Paris, speaking French to actual French people. Don't even mind too much when I can't understand their replies, just be happy because I went to Paris! Also see Milan, not enough of England, and freeze my tush off in Switzerland, one of the most gorgeous places in the world. Realize that the best vacations are made up of beautiful scenery, old (and interesting) buildings, and people I love. Gelato doesn't hurt, either.
2. For the first time in my entire life, get in the habit of going to the gym every single day. Every day! Since September! And also for the first time, finally start to understand why people enjoy exercising.
3. Lose 17.5 pounds. This comes as a surprise, since one of 2008's resolutions was also "Eat whatever I want." Does guilt burn calories?
4. Start taking English classes. Realize they are way, way harder than what I was used to, but also kind of like the idea of pushing myself. Get out of my comfort zone. Read some classic books and poetry and annoy everyone within the sound of my blog by whining about school. Vow to keep next year's whining to a minimum.
5. Keep writing this blog. Be constantly surprised that anyone is willing to listen to the insecurities and craziness that goes on in my head.
6. Hold an impromptu high school reunion on Facebook, with all of the people that mattered so much back in the early 90's. Discover that we've all grown up, matured, and put things behind us. Also discover that these friends still matter, and be grateful to have a second chance with their friendship. Life is a little richer with them in it, like they filled a hole I didn't realize they had left.
7. Keep on truckin, one more year. Survive Darcey learning to walk/climb/draw on the walls and enjoy her talking/smiling/laughing. Survive Zack learning to write his name on every surface including, but not limited to, the walls, counters, tables, desks, the floor, and his jeans, and enjoy his crazy personality. Survive Noah and Brad learning how to ski and the paralyzing fear that they will crash into a tree, trigger an avalanche, break a leg, or something worse, and still send them off with excitement that they are doing something they love. (That's one of the hardest things to do when you're a mother.) Enjoy Noah learning to read (and loving it), and trying to keep up with his older brother. Enjoy Brad learning to like Noah as a friend, singing in the choir, and taking on more independence. Enjoy Ryan's company, our late-night discussions when there's no one to interrupt us, our friendship. Especially enjoy his presence at home more, now that his work schedule is more relaxed. Look forward to the day when we can travel more and do more with the kids as they get older, and know there's no one else I'd rather do those things with than him.
If I were the resolution making kind, which I'm not, here are some things I would resolve:
-To tell people how much they mean to me, more often. Give more compliments.
-Lose the cynicism that I've acquired, and reclaim the optimism I seem to have abandoned. (This might make my blogs less interesting, but I'll try to make it work.)
-Take things less personally, and forgive quicker. Not get as riled up about mundane things. (Is this my blog's death knell?)
-Keep exercising. Lose 20 pounds. Still enjoy life and food.
So many people are saying "good riddance:" to 2008, but I have to say that it hasn't been a bad year for me. Yes, our IRA balances are pathetic, but I'm not a great saver so they were kind of pathetic to begin with. I've seen a lot of personal growth this year, a lot of great family experiences, I have amazing friends who are supportive and patient with me and boost my spirits any time I talk to them. Ryan and I see the hand of the Lord in our lives, and there's not much else that can reassure us in turbulent times than knowing that someone's looking out for you. I feel a lot of gratitude for having such a full and blessed life, and my New Year's wish is for all of you to have love of family and friends and God. I hope your 2009 is everything you resolve it to be!