New Year, Same Me. Mostly.

I make New Year’s Resolutions every year. Some people think this is a silly process- that we should be our best selves all the time, or that we should resolve to better ourselves at any point during the year it strikes us. And to that I say “well, sure.” I DO make positive changes when the need strikes- every one does. And I try very hard to be my best self (though I AM only human). But there is just something so magical about the new year. So fresh, bright, full of possibility. This year hasn’t been tarnished yet. And in a way, it is a very spiritual ritual for me. I reflect on the past year- what I loved, what I’d like to improve. I meditate on the moments I want to carry with me forever and those I’d like to let go of. And then I make a short list of ways I’d like to be even better.

Last year’s resolutions were hit or miss. I wanted to eat clean, become better with money, and take care of myself. I think we did a decent job of clean eating (aside from the takeout, of course) and I think I was MUCH better at carving out “me” time. I wasn’t a prolific writer last year, but I put a lot of energy into fitness and professional development. The only one I fell short on was the financial piece. We got through most of the Financial Peace University before a string of unplanned events (car repairs, veterinary expenses, last minute flights) made us stall out in frustration. We’re still budgeting, of course, but we weren’t able to put away what we wanted to. There’s always next year, as they say…

This year I have a few new ones to add.

First, I really want to learn to manage my patience with the kids. I feel like I get pushed to my limit faster than I should, I get antsy when they want to help me with things, and I say “no” an awful lot. That’s not so say I should never feel frustrated or impatient- they ARE two spirited and assertive young kids. And of course they need to hear “no”. But I don’t want to look back on their young childhoods with irritation, or worse- feel like I failed them. They’re only small once. Not to mention the fact that I think I would benefit from cooling out. I cant control everything, I need to learn to breathe and let go.

And second, I want to continue to be completely vegan. I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly two years and it’s been really easy for me. The more I thought about it though the more I realized I wasn’t fully satisfied and doing everything I thought I should. I always scoffed a bit at people who called themselves “vegetarians” for animal rights reasons yet still at chicken or fish. As though only some animals feel pain or lead horrific lives in our current meat industry. I kidded myself into believing it was ok to eat cheese and eggs by saying that those animals aren’t treated the same way- they have humane collection procedures, if I buy organic and free range, then they’re happy. Its just not true, and I realized that I was allowing myself to believe it because those products made my life easier and I enjoyed them. So about a month ago I went mostly vegan. I used up the dairy I had left and replaced it with other items. I stopped cooking with any animal products at all, I only ate dairy when I was at someone else’s home. And honestly- it wasn’t too hard. But more importantly, it made me feel SO GOOD. Both physically and emotionally. But sadly, I didn’t know any other vegans so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing- and I’m still figuring it out. But I am really lucky that my sister-in-law, Cory decided to become vegan for her own reasons at about the same time! She can be my veg-buddy and co-conspirator. She even started a blog dedicated to the trials of her new lifestyle!

And finally, I hope to run a 10k this year. I was supposed to run one in mid-December, but I got sick (and honestly, I had not trained enough for it anyway). This seems like a really manageable goal for me and something I’ll enjoy doing. Who knows- maybe one day I’ll run a half marathon!

So now it’s out in the world and you can keep me accountable. I hope you had a lovely New Year. Ours was spent with lots of laughs, exercise, and of course sauerkraut (which is vegan!!) Love love love.

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