New Year, New Goals

Saltstraumen - Nordland - NorwayNow that we’re already more than one week into the New Year, I wanted to take some time (after a very long absence!) to reflect on this past year. A year that was good and bad, easy at times and hard at others, sweet, frustrating and full (as I hope your 2014 was too).

I started the year without a job in sight as my freelance gig ended exactly on New Year’s Eve and, almost exactly one year later, find myself six months into loving my new job within healthcare. And it’s been so good. For the first time since we got married, we have stability and the goals we’ve had for ages (buying our first home, getting Audrey a baby brother, saving for Europe) feel much closer.

In numerous ways, 2014 has been the year I’ve felt most like an adult—a feeling both unsettling and satisfying. There’s so much I miss about being a student and freelancer, like the variety, flexibility and general sense of possibility for all that lies ahead. While I still believe in possibility, so much of my life now feels regimented. I’ve already hit some early milestones—graduating college, earning my masters, getting married—and sometimes question if a new adventure will ever strike. With that said, I’ve began 2015 in a bit of a funk.

Although we’ve started the home-buying process, I wonder if it’s truly the right time or, more honestly, whether I event want to own. Yet, I’m trying to be wise financially and isn’t investing in a home a wise thing to do? So! In an effort to alleviate the anxiety I’ve felt so much this week, here’s a few resolutions I hope will brighten these fresh new days of 2015.

1. Stay present. Why is remaining in the moment such a challenge for me. Is it for you? I have no trouble pointing the finger at my Smartphone or this rush-paced world, but I can choose to slow down. At home, I’m rarely online; but at work, in moments of downtown, turning to my phone has become automatic. How else can I fill this time? I’m still sorting out how to filll these spare moments (maybe it’s okay to leave them empty?), but a few ideas include making a cup of tea, writing a poem, taking deep breaths and jotting down a list of things I’m thankful for.

2. Save money. I spent far too much in 2014 on things I didn’t need—books I could’ve borrowed from the library, eating out when we could’ve just made spaghetti. Saving is freedom and in 2015 I want to make a conscious effort to dramatically curb my spending. In fact, I’m very tempted to avoid shopping for an entire year. B doesn’t think I can do it, which makes me even more tempted to try. I’d make exceptions for socks and underwear and other essentials, but I really don’t need to shop and I don’t often wear half of what’s in my closest. Anyone want to join me?

3. Move more. Confession: I hate being confined to desk for 40+ hours a week and it’s such a frustrating oxymoron that sitting all day makes me too tired to hit the gym! I’ve been sneaking in a few barre classes here and there and always feel better for it. So my third goal this year is to get to the gym a minimum of 3/times a week and aim to squeeze in more movement everyday.

4. Be patient. The last couple of years have tested my patience in myriad ways. So many of my wants and what feels like needs to me have been perpetually deferred, which leaves me feeling restless and ungrateful for all that I do have. So this year I’m going to try and embrace the waiting and trust in God’s timing even when I don’t feel like it.

Four goals. I think I can stick to that. Sorry if this got a bit rambly, but it feels so therapeutic to write! I’d love to hear your goals for the New Year.

Have a great weekend everyone,
Em
Photo courtesy of Earthy Allurement

How Do You Find Perspective?

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I stumbled on this Bill Cosby quote a few days ago and after a week of questions and doubts, it snapped my perspective back into focus. To be more specific, do you remember me returning to school for my teaching license? In December I completed my first class and this past week I began two others. Yet, even before these courses started I began questioning whether this really was the right step for me. On the day I took the MTLEs (tests necessary towards getting licensed) I was ill with a 103 temperature. My program application had been lost twice by the school. This past Tuesday confirmed my hesitation as I learned earning my license would take at least three years instead of two…even with my masters!

I withdrew from the program the next day, experiencing a rush of clarity and levity, but now the future once again feels unsettled and I find myself again wavering with the idea of completing my doctorate. Since college, I’ve long considered becoming a professor, but completing six more years of school still feels overwhelming (not to mention the strenuous application process). Fortunately, time is on my side and I know I don’t have to rush into any decisions, but the nonetheless, clarity would be nice. Maybe, like Cosby advocates, we simply need to overrule our fears, but how do we trust our gut amid the rush of everyday life?

How do you get perspective when faced with a tough decision? I’d love to know your insights!

How Do You Cheer Yourself Up?

ImageAlright, I have a confession: despite my best efforts to stay positive and think spring, the winter blues are starting to sink in. I know a lot of this feeling low has to do with the immense cold (-15 here today) and the fact that B and I have been on opposite schedules this week, but usually I’m better at snapping out of it.

So, complaining aside, I’m really curious to know what you do to cheer up? A new coffee shop and magazine usually work for me, but I haven’t been able to carve out time for a quiet couple of hours for myself. Maybe you end the day with a bubble bath or cup of chamomile? I need some hints!

Image courtesy of Silver Slipper