A year full of potential and possibilities

I can't remember a year that I'm happier to leave in the past than 2013. It wasn't entirely bad, but enough of it was filled with things that I'd rather not experience again. It was a difficult year of growth for me personally. I learned a lot about myself and started working on some mindset changes that I can't wait to fully take hold and embrace. The transition is painful though.

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So much about a new year leads us to make grand plans and declarations. In fact, I'm working on a list of 100 things I want to do this year. Most of them are small things, but the exercise is forcing me to think differently about how I want to spend my time. This is a pretty big adjustment as well - I'm very much a go-with-the-flow kinda girl, but that can lead to inaction so I'm going to stretch my comfort zone this year a bit.

Health is a big thing for me in 2014, but I haven't made a single resolution because I already started working on this in 2013 and resolutions are silly, IMHO. My current practice is addition. I'm adding healthy habits without depriving myself. I am taking certain words and phrases out of my vocabulary, such as "I can't" and "I shouldn't" and "cheating". Unlike a few years ago when I blogged openly about my efforts to lose weight, this is likely going to be my only mention of this for a while because I don't feel motivated by sharing right now. Perhaps in time that will change...I'm going to go with what my gut tells me for now.

One big thing I want to do this year is get back to blogging here regularly. I'm shooting for a goal of once a month. I miss my little personal blog, but so much of what's been happening this past year has either not been my story to share or it's been too personal. I could have found time. I just needed to not say anything for a while. 

I've decided this year we're going to get out and do things more as a family. I want this to be the year we are tourists in our town. I want to visit museums I've never been to, tour the Parliament buildings, go to Winterlude (even though, brrrrrr), experience the Tulip Festival, go geocaching with the boys - they can explore while I follow with my camera in tow. 

Last January, I downloaded this Home Routines app and fizzled out on using it when I forgot about it. We're getting back in the habit now. Actually, so much of what I'm looking to do is about breaking big jobs down into small ones, which is what this app does. I get so overwhelmed when I think about having to clean my entire house. Overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. I do nothing and things get worse. Not that my house is that bad, but things are definitely not the same as they were before we had Brandon. 

If I had to pick a single word for myself this year, it would be simplify. It may not seem simple to make a list of 100 things you want to do (and it truly isn't - at this point I'm up to just 75), but overall we're moving toward simplifying our lives. Clearing out clutter, taking out the garbage, selling the still-useful things that we no longer need. It's amazing how good it feels to brutally purge things you think you may regret letting go. I've been doing a lot of that lately and I intend to do a lot more this year. 

I'm also going to - as per usual - do a lot of reading. I have a list of 12 books to start with. When those are done...the sky's the limit. ;)

Simplify. Simple. Simplicity. They are lovely words, don't you think? 

The New Year's resolution was an epic failure...this is my half-year resolution

I had a completely gluttonous day today. There is neither any valid excuse nor is there getting around the fact that I had a total pig out day. This year was supposed to be my year to get down to business and get healthy. This was my New Year's Resolution, which I thought about a great deal:

"to commit to and actively practice a healthy lifestyle"
It wasn't about losing weight per se, but that is certainly a benefit of living a healthy lifestyle. My biggest problem is that I let life circumstances get in the way. I'm easily distracted by work, stress, leisure activities, Internet, my husband, my son and a multitude of other "reasons" why I just don't have time to work out or prep meals or go to the grocery store.

This past week, I posted this video to Facebook (which makes today even worse for me):

I was seriously disturbed by the state of the McDonald's food in this video, despite having watched SuperSize Me years ago. I swore back then that I wasn't going to eat at McD's again, but I forgot the impact that documentary had on me and started eating there again. I have to admit that I don't particularly even like McDonald's food anymore, except for breakfast. My biggest weakness in life is breakfast foods. I have no trouble saying no to McDonald's for lunch or dinner, but breakfast is tempting. I'm really digressing here...back to the video above.

I posted that video on Facebook and had some interesting comments.

One friend wrote:

I believe it...I've got those McD. fries in my car! :) THose things are hard as nails. I wonder what happens if you make your own french fries from real potatoes. I'm betting they don't turn grey like her 3 month old slices of potato and they are made of real food. Fresh slices of potato would, I know but fried? Someone try that.

Another replied:

Yes, she needs to compare the old McD's fries to actual french fries, not cut a cut up potato. But her point still stands.

Here's my response to both of them, because they made very good points:

Morgan Spurlock actually did "age" some chip wagon fries as part of the bonus material in SuperSize Me. They probably aren't that much different than what someone would cook at home and they did decompose pretty much as you would expect.

I think what's more alarming about this video than the fries is the burger and bun. I know bread will mold within days - anyone who's lived in the south has seen how quickly a bag of bread (of any kind) will spoil in the humidity. I can't say I've ever seen cooked ground beef go bad, so I don't know what happens with it, but it doesn't seem right that that patty was doing nothing but turning into petrified meat.

(I ran across this (very short) blog post recently: http://snarkscribe.blogspot.com/2007/02/petrified-meat.html.)


In the link above the comment that really got to me (and why I posted it) was this: "If wild animals or microbes wouldn't touch it, why would you want to eat it?"

After all of that effort reminding myself of the evils of fast food, I had a day where I had fast food and made bad (actually horrible) choices at home. So, it's time to make a change and stick to it. I have pretty good health right now, but if I don't change my current bad habits I won't be so lucky in the future.

I guess this is my half-year resolution - to get my butt in gear and get healthy! :)