End of December is the time for making resolutions which more often than not are distant memories come the Super Bowl. This year, I’ve decided not to make specific resolutions to do this or not to do that. It’s too damaging to my ego when June comes around and those ten pounds I was going to lose is now fifteen. So, I’ve come up with some broader thoughts to chew on which might last long after the holidays have passed and found some books and websites to help on the journey.
1. Feed my body. I want to focus on eating right and enjoying the food I cook and eat instead of dieting. In 2007, I will work on discovering the many ways to make healthy food fun. Check out www.cookinglight.com and www.health.com.
2. Cultivate my mind. Often I feel like I spend my life marking milestones, thinking, doing, saying the same old thing year after year, never learning anything new. This year I want to make an effort to stimulate my brain by getting out more – going to the theater, concerts, lectures and exhibits. Check out www.citysearch.com.
3. Satisfy my spirit. I lost a dear aunt to diabetes this year and at her funeral I was struck by a story the minister told of a man who died without a church home and how lonely the passing is when you don’t have a church family to support you. My family prays, we go to church from time to time, but we’re more like nomads, roaming from church to church, sampling different minister’s styles and congregations, yet to find a place to call home. I’d like to find one this year. This website, www.allspiritual.com, bills itself as a guide to all things spiritual on the web. No matter what your religion or spiritual interests, there is something here for you.
4. Nourish my children. We get so caught up in the day-to-day schedules of school, classes, playdates and birthday parties that we forget to just go out and explore. Sometimes simply wandering through a new park or going to a street festival is far more educational (and more fun) than any of the myriad of enrichment classes our kids take. Check out www.gocitykids.com and www.scholastic.com .
5. Heat up my relationship. Okay, we have two small children who spend more time together in our bed than we do. That can cramp your action. This year, we’re getting the children to sleep in their own rooms and taking time to go on dates again. Getting out without the kids is probably one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Check out www.cityguide.aol.com for romantic places to go in your town.
6. 86 stress. 86 is restaurant slang for getting rid of something. Well, I’m done with being stressed. I used to joke that stress was the only thing holding me together. Now I realize it’s ripping me apart. Last year I suffered what the doctor called a neurological event. It left me with paralysis on the left side of my body for almost 24 hours and on the left side of my face for several weeks. After way too many tests to determine what happened, the best they could say was reduce my stress. Check out www.yogajournal.com and The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis, Matthew McKay, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman.
7. Indulge in friends and family. I don’t see or talk to my friends enough. I decided that if I think of someone I haven’t talked to in a long time, I will call them, then and there. I will make an effort to be in touch more. Also, I’ve decided to burn the copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families that someone gave me as a gift and instead enjoy my family’s special dys“fun”ction.
8. Cater to my home. Instead of being paralyzed by the long household to do list, I will listen to the needs of my home and family and do what needs to be done as those needs come up. Furnace needs fixing, kids need a place to study, those are priorities. I’ll get that new kitchen someday. Probably when we’re ready to move. Check out www.hgtv.com and www.hometips.com.
9. Burn guilt. Goes along with stress as the other element holding me together. Instead of being guilty about all the things I must do, I will focus on the wanna do’s and outsource things that use up my time. I will order groceries, buy stamps and prescriptions online instead of using up my Saturdays with endless errands. Isn’t it better to use that time playing with my kids at the park or taking a rare morning to cuddle with my spouse and sleep in? Check out The National Organization of Professional Organizers www.napo.net, www.gonannies.com, www.usps.com and www.drugstore.com.
10. Stir up my community. I volunteer for things, contribute when and how I can, but I’d like to be more politically involved on a local and national level. Being aware and involved helps you feel as if you have a voice, have power and we do, we just have to learn to flex it. Get more involved in www.mothersrising.org and also look at www.lwv.org for ways to be a part of what’s happening.
Wishing you and yours peace and love in the coming New Year!