Tag Archives: New Year’s Resolution

Gram

grammy

On Sunday, when we all gathered at my grandma’s home for Easter, we noticed that she was a bit, “loopy.” Not quite herself and a bit confused.  She is almost 100 though, so we didn’t think much of it.  By Monday morning, she was extremely out of sorts and her caregiver, my dad, aunt and uncle thought it would be best to get her checked out so they brought her to the emergency room just to make sure. Fortunately, it is just a UTI and that is what was causing the confusion – that and being one hundred years old I guess.  They have kept her a few days for observation and she should be going home tomorrow at some point. Today, I went to see her after school and it was interesting to watch. For the most part, she was completely lucid and knew exactly what was going on, where she was and why she was there.  She even yelled at my dad, telling him he needed new shoes because he looked like a hobo in the “ratty ones” he was wearing. The one thing she couldn’t figure out was why my aunt took her back to the wrong room.  They had gone for a stroll in the halls and she thought she was brought back to a different room and the entire time she kept asking us to walk her back.  Even when we showed her the closet filled with her things, she just couldn’t get that clear. She knew she was in a hospital and why she was there, just not in the right room. She loved her dinner, which was fish, broccoli and sweet potatoes but kept asking my dad and I what we were having and why we wouldn’t eat with her.  When I told her that Dave was home making me dinner, she told me how fortunate I was to have a husband who cooked for me, (she’s right.) So she really is, “with it.”  I guess this should be expected at her age.  She gets frustrated with herself and doesn’t like that her body isn’t working the way it should be.  Her hearing aids were working great today and she could hear everything we said, and even talked to my uncle in Alaska on a cellphone – something she usually has a lot of trouble with.  We showed her the family portrait from Easter Sunday and she could even see that clearly and with her bad eyesight, that was a surprise as well. She knows that the whole family is coming this summer to celebrate her birthday and knows enough to “worry” about where everyone will stay while they are here.  We will work that out.  We always do.  It is good to see her thinking clearly….for the most part… I am glad this was something minor and that she is on the mend. We have a lot to celebrate this year and she is the reason for it so we need her around!! ❤ ❤

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I Resolve To…

resolve

I have had a difficult time coming up with a New Year’s Resolution this year.  I have been thinking about it for over a week. Sure, I’d like to get rid of those last five pounds, live a healthier life style…all the typical resolutions but I wanted to do something different this year.  I am afraid to actually write them down because then I feel like I am completely tied to carrying it out and when I don’t I will feel guilty about it, (yes…this is one of those things that should be my resolution….to stop feeling blame/guilt about everything I don’t get done.)

I found this “challenge” on line and thought it just might work in perfectly with my blog AND my new camera and perhaps teach me some new things about photography in the process.  Each month, a new challenge is listed.  I love that Katrina, the author of the blog, knows that this might be hard to do, so she offers suggestions on how to make it work for you! It can be as simple as a weekly challenge, using the prompts written in bold or a daily challenge.

365 photo

I loved her “philosophy” about the photos so I have added some of it here because a lot of it applies to my way of thinking too.

I will take duplicate photos. I will repeat some of the photos from last year, but nothing will really be the same. It is a new year. I am different. The items and angles and moments and memory surrounding them will be different.

I will have some bad photos. Without a doubt I will have days with blurry photos, underexposed photos, and photos I don’t care that much about. They reflect life. As my life is not always perfect or balanced, neither will my photos be.

I will have a couple of photos that stand out from the rest. They will be the photos that shine. They will be the photos I place on my walls in frames and print for family. I’ll be happy if I have two that fit this description. That is the way this project works for me.

I will contemplate quitting somewhere along the way. I can expect to feel that urge toward the end of January when the newness has worn off a bit and we get back to the daily grind of life. I might want to give up again in July when the light is bright in the middle of the day. October, typically my busiest month of the year, will be difficult as well.

My photography will improve. I’ll learn something more about my camera, about exposure, about composition. I’ll see something in a way I didn’t before. My photos will get better. In small amounts, but they will improve.

My thought is that if I am going to continue to write everyday anyway, on those days that I am stuck, maybe the photo and prompt will give me inspiration.  Maybe my photo will have nothing to do with what I am writing…will it still work? Does it matter?  There are really no rules for my blog.  What started out as a blog about kindness has really morphed into something else already so let’s see where it takes me in 2105!

Yearly Wrap Up

abe lincoln

Two years.  730 posts. Over 118,000 views. As I looked back on my second year of blogging, I went through it month by month and realized just how uneventful and mundane a lot of it really was.  Yet, people are still reading it.  More than once I thought of stopping.  Next year should be a more interesting one.  DJ will be going to college – a totally new adventure!  There should be a lot more to write about.

2013 was a difficult year for us with all of the heartbreak and loss in our family.  2014 was less eventful.  A good thing! This blog has allowed me the opportunity to look back though.  It reminds me of all of those little things that make up our lives.

So….my 2014 year in review…

I think what I wrote most often about this year was SNOW!  There was so much of it.  One of the snowiest winters on record.  I lost count of how many times I wrote about snow in January and February! We went over our allotted snow days for school and even had to give back days during Spring Break.  It will be nice to get a break from all of that snow this winter!  One or two snow days are perfect!

I was so proud of our school community after another successful Food Drive and Pajama Drive and it has only made me want to do more!

We quietly “celebrated” and remembered mom and Francine on their one year anniversaries.  I have heard that the first year without our loved ones is the most difficult.  All of the “firsts” go by without them.  It does seem to be getting easier though.

We got to go away in April! Something we hadn’t done in a long time.  Hilton Head was the perfect Spring Break getaway for us!

For Mother’s Day, in memory of my mom, I got a tattoo of a duck on my wrist.  A way to remember her every time I see it!

DJ got his drivers license – and I have to admit, it has made life easier in some respects!!  We spent a lot of time together exploring colleges!

The toughest part of 2014 was the amount of time my dad spent in the hospital.  Too many days to recap here, but May 21st began his ordeal.  After a diagnosis of a Urinary tract infection that led to sepsis, he wound up being in the hospital and then a rehab center for over four weeks.  Then, a relapse and back in the hospital for about a week in September.  Fortunately, other than his bad knees, he is doing much better.

This summer, I was able to meet up with the woman who inspired me to become a teacher.  Miss Lampros, my 4th grade teacher.

We also had a lot to celebrate this year. I was fortunate to attend two weddings this year, Both of them are coworkers of mine. Stefanie’s in March and Jonathan‘s in August.  My grandmother turned 99 in September and we celebrated all summer with visits from our cousins from Nevada.

Our year was filled with sports.  Soccer, baseball, football, hockey, mudruns….games we played, games we watched….our lives wouldn’t be complete without sports!

Overall, it was a good year. Recapping it on the last day of a year is good for me.  A way to reflect on the past.

Next year, I will try to keep it on writing.  I have thought about different directions to take the blog.  A fun photo challenge has inspired me and I am working on a way to incorporate it into the blog. A lot happens in 365 days so only time will tell!

Past, Present and Future…

past present future

This morning, my friend Lisa shared this on her Facebook page,

Monday Mood Makeover. This is the only week in the entire year that we will live in two separate years. What a great backdrop for embracing where we are and looking forward to who we will become. In this one week we get to be in both places. That’s super cool.

It was so thought provoking, I tried to find some quotes about it.  I found a few:

present is a present present past

Such a great way to think about life. Embracing the past and anticipating the future, yet living in the present.  We all learn from our past.  We are motivated to be better human beings.  A better friend, a better spouse, a better parent,  better at our job….the list can go on and on.

Someone commented on her post and I think it is something I could work on.  Perhaps my New Year’s Resolution!?!  She wrote,

Not sure why, but I never thought of it that way! 2 yrs, 1 week. I’m attempting to be more in the present, when I’m with someone, I’m talking and listening to them…trying to keep my mind from racing forward (or backwards.)

I am so guilty of this.  My mind is always racing.  Always going on to the next thing before I have finished with what I am doing.  So, I will try to be more in the present.  More in the now.  Time goes too fast already.  Why rush it?

Thinking of the New Year

goals and dreams

We all make New Year’s Resolutions.  Sometimes we keep them, sometimes we don’t.  I read that writing them down and sharing them with others gives you a better chance of sticking to them.  I had two this year.  One I kept a secret, (The 52 Week Money Challenge,) and the other was writing this blog every day for a year,– obviously not a secret at all since according to my stats, it has had 44,456 hits since I began!  I still cannot believe that many people are interested in what I have to say!  I have a little less than a week to reach 45,000 by the end of this year.  I wonder if I will get there??

Today was a great day to stay home, do some organizing, take a nap, spend time with my family and begin thinking about what next year’s resolution will be!  I impressed myself by sticking to the two from 2013, so now I need to find something that will inspire me to stick to it for 2014.  I even “Googled” it trying to come up with something new and inventive.  All the usual things came up, lose weight, exercise everyday, eat healthier… but I want to do something different, (although I can definitely do some of those things.)

Dave would be happy if I chose to do this one that I found, “Spend less time worrying about what other people think.”  This is a terrible problem I have so it could be something to work on.

I would love to be able to spend more time with friends.  We try to do this often, but with crazy schedules, it is hard to find the time.  Even once a month, setting aside time to meet up would be satisfying!

One that I found interesting was, “Learn/try something new.”  I have actually started that already.  I began working out at a new studio in town, taking classes that I have never done before and I am enjoying it so much.  I’d love to be able to keep that up.  I have been kickboxing for three years and LOVING it, but limiting myself to just that.  This year, I’d love to incorporate the kickboxing with some other classes and challenge myself to things I might have never done otherwise.  A few years ago, I would have never imagined myself running 5k’s and doing Mud Runs and now I am doing a few a year so…..maybe this is a good one for me….

I have four days to come up with something for sure.  What are some of your ideas?  I’d love to hear them.   I will be sure to write it down and share with other so that I have more of a chance of sticking to it!!

52 Week Money Challenge

challenge yourself

I have a hard time keeping resolutions but this year, I was able to keep TWO!!  All year!!  I even surprised myself.  The first was my blog.  I said that I would write every day for one year and I am less than a week from meeting that goal!!

The second was one that I kept a secret until Christmas.  At the beginning of the year, I read about something called, “The 52 Week Money Challenge.”  It seemed rather simple, put away a dollar the first week, $2 the second week, $3 the third and so on and so on until this week, the 52nd, which was $52.  SEEMED simple I say again because in the beginning it really was.  Then, came the summer.  My school pays its teachers on a 10 month cycle.  We don’t get paid in the summer and although I work during the summer, the salary is nowhere near what I make teaching.  Those weeks, (around 30 weeks into the year,) were tough to save.  With only one salary coming in, and trying to keep it a secret from the rest of the family, it was difficult.  I fell behind a few times and would catch up when I could.  This month was tough too, because by the last week of December, I had to put away $200 just in this month alone.

I did it though!  At the end of the challenge, there is over $1,300 saved up!  I wrapped it all up in a fancy box and put it under the tree with a note inside that said, “SPRING BREAK.”  We have not been able to take a trip in awhile and this will be able to cover a big chunk of it!  Dave and the boys opened it up and were totally impressed – not just that I did it but that I kept it a secret the whole time.  Now we are trying to decide where to go.  My dad has a time share in Hilton Head, that is a possibility but we have been there a few times and might try something new.  We’d love to visit our cousins in Nevada, or maybe go to Boston where we’ve never been before.  I guess there are a lot of possibilities.  It is not a ton of money, but enough that gives us an opportunity to do something.  Now the fun part starts as we try to choose where!

We are coming up with our new money challenge for next year.  We can do the same one, and add the money to our Spring Break trip, but the first few weeks of the year don’t amount to a lot of money.  DJ suggested we do it in reverse.  That’s a possibility.  We also thought we could just put away $25 a week.  That’s another $1300 by the end of the year.  Now that I have done it once, I want it to be something we try to do from now on.  Fun money I guess we could call it.  Money that will give us a chance to do something we might not have otherwise had the chance to do.

If you are able to, I suggest you try it!  It is such a nice reward in the end!!

IMG_2790 52 week money challenge

Hurried Woman Syndrome

doing it all

Do you ever have one of those days – or weeks – when you feel completely overwhelmed?  This is one of those weeks for me.  I am not sure if it is it not having enough time to do all that I need to do,  or just having too much to do?  Too many commitments and responsibilities?   Whatever it is…I am feeling it.  I am not alone.  I know this.  I feel like I am literally burning the candle at both ends – and I don’t want to burn out!!!

I just read that there is a name for this, “The Hurried Woman Syndrome.”   Before tonight, I never heard of this but there are many books and internet sites that talk about this!  Some of the symptoms for this are; a constant feeling of tiredness, frequent mood swings, lack of sleep and problems controlling weight.  It is estimated that nearly 30 million woman a year suffer from these symptoms!  Now, I don’t think I actually have something that I would actually call a “syndrome”…but I sure am feeling some of these symptoms this week!!  But don’t most women get to this point once in awhile?

Was this “syndrome” even around twenty years ago?  Are women taking on too much?  Do we really do so much more than our own mother’s did?  I remember days when my mom needed to take a break.  She did not work outside of the home, yet she was a very busy, very active stay at home mom raising four kids, getting us to and from all of our activities, taking care of the house, preparing all of the meals….the list could go on and on.  Did she get tired, overwhelmed, have mood swings….of course she did.  I guess there is just a name for it now – like there is for everything else nowadays.

he symptoms are easy to detect: constant feeling of tiredness, frequent mood swings, lack of sleep, problems in controlling weight and low sex drive – See more at: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=2722#sthash.HrxylpQT.dpuf
he symptoms are easy to detect: constant feeling of tiredness, frequent mood swings, lack of sleep, problems in controlling weight and low sex drive – See more at: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=2722#sthash.HrxylpQT.dpuf
he symptoms are easy to detect: constant feeling of tiredness, frequent mood swings, lack of sleep, problems in controlling weight and low sex drive – See more at: http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=2722#sthash.HrxylpQT.dpuf

So many of us need to slow down, but where do we find that time?  I make sure that I find a bit of time each day for exercise.  Whether it is first thing in the morning when I go for a four mile walk with a friend, or take a class in the evening, that one hour is a release of some of the day’s stresses.  As often as we can, we try to make the time to all sit down and eat dinner together during the week.  Writing my blog is another good time for me to wind down.  It allows me to take a breather from school work, house work and everything else.  It has been over 300 days that I have taken a time out to write.  I did not think I’d be able to stick to my goal, but so far, I have done it.  Even now, after spending the time to write, I have already felt myself relax and calm down after a long, demanding day.

So for all of you out there – women AND men who are feeling hurried, take some time for yourselves and relax.  Take a breath and find some time for yourself.  It really helps!