Resolution

Happy Birthday, Planet Earth

I can’t even believe there are only a few days of left of 2017. This year literally just FLEW BY!

As far as years go, this one was definitely a good one. Of course it had its lows – all years do. But it also had so many highs!

  • Mitch and I got engaged!
  • We welcomed little Otis into our family
  • My parents took my sister, Mitch and me on an amazing Europe trip to Italy, Croatia and Germany
  • I turned 30!
  • Mitch and I celebrated our engagement with all of our closest family members

The list really does go on, but those are my little highlights.

I’m generally not a resolution-maker. I pretty much suck at sticking to goals, so my mantra has been, So why make them? But if there’s one thing that 2017 has taught me, it’s that it’s damn important to have goals for yourself.

Earlier this year, my fiancé quit his job as an Executive Chef to work in sales. Left the only occupation he’s ever known since 15 years old to work in an industry he didn’t know anything about. Why did he do it? He made great money as a chef; he actually took a pay cut leaving the restaurant for this sales position. But he made the switch because of his long-term goals. Knowing we’d be hoping to start a family soon after our wedding, he assessed his lifestyle and knew he’d never get to see his kids if he stayed where he was. He had no employer-paid benefits, no 401k. Great income, but no other benefits, and no room to grow or promote [not that he’d really have wanted to]. He started his workday at 8 am, and ended it anywhere from 9-11 pm. When the sales opportunity presented itself, he really weighed his options. And it wasn’t for several weeks and countless conversations with both of our dads and his mentors through school that he finally decided he would take the new job.

Now that, THAT is #GOALS.

The last several weeks, I’ve been thinking about what I want for myself out of life, and, more specifically, what I want to gain from 2018. There’s nothing like realizing that I might be pregnant at this time next year to get me thinking, Am I getting everything I want out of life?

The answer is NO, I’m not.

I hate working an office job. I hate that I have to go to an office for work, every single day, from 8 am to 5 pm. I hate that in order to make it to the gym every day, I have to get up at 4 am. I hate that I have to squeeze doctor appointments, vet appointments, errands, etc. into tiny little one hour windows during the workday. I hate that getting my dogs exercised can’t happen until 8 pm because that’s the only time I have available right now. I HATE ALL OF THAT. But I’m the only one with the power to change anything. So with that, my 2018 goals..

In 2018, I want to launch my blog. I want to be generating an income from it, even if it’s not enough to live on [yet!]. I have 365 days to work towards this goal, and I know I can do it! If that means taking days of from my current job in order to work on my blog and my social media accounts, then so be it. I will regret it until the day that I die if I don’t work toward this goal. I’ve had dozens of people tell me that I should be a writer, that I could be a full-time blogger and make money doing that. So why not? Why shouldn’t I make every effort to make that avenue work for me? I love writing! I love word vomiting about random topics and knowing that it actually relates to people out there. I love that the internet can make a platform like this an option for income! I may not have a college degree, but I am an intelligent person with enough business and professional savvy to be able to put myself in the right direction.

This next year, I want to focus on a healthier, more balanced ME. Cutting down my alcohol intake the last couple of months has been a huge help in this department [stay tuned for a blog post about this!], but I really want to get to a point where fitness and eating healthy just become a part of my day-to-day routine without even having to think about it. I know myself, and I know it’ll take a while. With a wedding in late September, there are definitely going to be lots of festivities involving unhealthy food, drinks and decisions, but it’s all about balance and knowing how to prepare yourself for it.

I want to spend more time getting into hobbies and things I enjoy. My blog will definitely be one of these things – writing is a huge hobby and passion of mine. But I also love to paint, draw, craft. I’ve recently gotten really into flower arranging and making wreaths. I love home decor, rearranging furniture, and moving wall fixtures around. I love to decorate for the holidays! [I was so lazy this year and didn’t decorate at all]. Sometimes in life we just need to enjoy the little things that make us happy.

2018 is going to be my year to get my finances in order. That means no more spending money willy nilly [as much as I love and adore a good shopping excursion!]. Time to hide my credit cards for emergencies only and keep to only spending money that I actually have [this will be super hard for me – I only use my credit cards because they have so much more spending incentive]. But after next September, it’s not going to be just me, my lifestyle and my income anymore. Our eventual growing family will mean we’ll need a bigger home, and with my spending history, we definitely wouldn’t qualify at this point, LOL. New year, new bank account history.

I want 2018 to be the year that I am more present and involved in my relationships. I am extremely organized and need things to be planned out, but when it comes to my friendships, I am the opposite. I am lazy and don’t want to put much effort in because, truth be told, I love being by myself. But relationships are so important. They need energy, they need to be nourished, and they require effort. For some reason I get anxiety about reaching out to people and organizing something because, god forbid they say no *eye roll*. I amaze myself sometimes with how ridiculous I can be about certain things.

My hope for 2018 is that I can release myself from my past. It’s silly, but I have a hard time letting go of instances, events, negative conversations, bad influences, etc. For some reason, my mind really holds on to memories, most good, but some bad, and it really effects my day-to-day life. Out of nowhere I’ll remember something and it’ll either trigger anxiety or anger, neither of which is pleasant to live with. I don’t want to forget the things in my past that have shaped me, but I’d like to get to a point where they’re just distant memories and don’t carry emotions with them anymore.

My final goal for 2018 is to finish things when I start them. I am notorious for starting a project and neverfinishing it. I’ve been working on getting my insurance license for almost 2 years now (I know, I know.. insert monkey-covering-eyes emoji here. I get horrible test-taking anxiety), so that will be on the top of list of items to achieve near the beginning of the new year. Last winter I started painting canvases for our guest bedroom – I completed one, but not the other. I want to finish those, too. And since we’re talking completing projects, I’d really like to achieve everything on this New Years list this year. There’s no reason not to – everything is attainable as long as I’m not lazy!

I hope all of you had a wonderful 2017! I wish you all the best in 2018 and hope all of your resolutions, hopes and dreams come true. You deserve it! Let’s all push each other to be the best we can be and to reach all of our goals. We can do it!

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Reflection

I haven’t written anything in a while. And it’s not for lack of inspiration because I’ve honestly had plenty to say. But everything I began to write would, more often than not, end up heading in a negative direction. And while I fully believe in writing to release inner demons, it is not the message I want to send to the world via my blog.

So, for now, I will be keeping those posts to myself.

I do, however, want to go all cliche and emotional since it’s the end of the year and everybody’s doing it and, well, why the heck not?

It’s funny how our concept of time changes as we advance in age. I can remember in my youth [okay, my younger youth] feeling like it took ages and ages for Christmas to come. A whole year seemed to go on in the span of several. And now, time seems to be sprinting by. One minute it’s New Year’s Day, and in the blink of an eye another year has passed.

As I sit here thinking about how I’ve spent my last 365 days, I realize how lucky I am to have had such a positive and wonderful year. I mean, sure, this past year, like all the others, has definitely had its ups and downs, but coming out at the tail end of it all, I am grateful to say that it’s been mostly good.

I was fortunate enough to witness two beautiful and completely different unions of love [one of which I had the pleasure of actually being a part of]. I myself put my own heart on the line – I dated, I put myself out there which is something I don’t often do [read: never]. I grew leaps and bounds in my career, I traveled, I traveled with my dog. The list could go on and on. And while of course there were some not so pleasant moments scattered amongst the good, I realize that life is just one gigantic learning curve. Are we going to learn from our first mistake? Or will we make the same one over and over until we discover we can no longer live with ourselves?

And what of New Year’s Resolutions? I sure am not one to make them, let alone stick to them. When I was younger I’d stack up a long list of things I wanted to accomplish or change in the coming year. And then a week later I’d have misplaced that list and never given it a second thought.

So instead of making a list of things I want to accomplish, I will make one for what I know I will accomplish.

I know I will advance in my career. I know I will be closer to buying a home. I know I will continue to date and meet new people and remain on the path towards finding love. And I know that throughout all of my experiences I will still be myself. I will still be true to me.

And that, I think, is the most important resolution of all.

Matrimonial Motivation

There is nothing like a new year and the promise of wedding season to kick one’s booty in gear!

This holiday season started with lots of happiness. Two of my best friends are getting married! And while I am not actually a bride, there is still much to be done in the ways of planning showers, coordinating the infamous bachelorette parties, getting a bridesmaid gown.. The list goes on!

I’ll be the first to admit (and I actually believe I have previously stated numerous times) that I am by no means a fitness fanatic. Every time I tell myself that I’m going to get on some sort of health kick, it lasts maybe a week and then I’ve chalked it up as a loss and moved on with my life. Not this time.

I left 2014 grateful and relieved for the year to be over. I could just leave it at that. The past is the past and we move forward, right? I guess.. But I also think I really need to be conscious of the reasons I’m happy to be moving on to a new year. Because it’s a fresh start. Because there were things I did in 2014 that I’m not proud of and didn’t make me a better person. How can I change the worst things about myself if I just simply forget what they are? I can’t.

That’s why I’m starting 2015 off with a positive attitude and a new lust for life.

One of the things people neglect to tell you when you’re a part of the wedding festivities is that WEDDINGS ARE EXPENSIVE. Bradesmaids gowns are currently running in the $200-$300 range. Bachelorette parties and locations are getting more and more extravagant, and the cost to travel and book a play to stay is ridiculous. Let’s just say that I did not properly budget myself for this May’s upcoming nuptials.

But, instead of berating myself and ripping my hair out, I’m making a resolution out of my conundrum. Year 2015: the year that I will finally get my finances in order. No more “retail therapy” shopping extravaganzas (as much as it heals, the major buyers remorse directly after dumping twenty shopping bags on my bed does not feel good). No more eating out for every meal. No more boozing (this is hard for me – I love to wind down at night with a glass of wine). No more rash financial decisions. It’s time to plan and save! For two weeks I have been living as a penny pincher. And let me tell you, it is literally LIFE CHANGING. The feeling of having money in your bank account and knowing that it’s just “safety money” is a feeling that cannot be topped. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to find this feeling, but I am so glad I did and I am NEVER. LETTING. IT. GO.

2015 is also going to be the year that I really start treating my body right. I realized this last week that I do much better in my entire life when I pop out of bed before the sun is up. Winter time in by business is the busiest time of the entire year. I found myself up at five and in the office by six – and I didn’t hate it! It really motivated me and kept me prioritized. This last week, my workload went down tremendously. I didn’t find the need to be in the office so early, and I found myself putzing around on the computer and avoiding what little work I did have to do. I don’t like that version of me. It leads to bad things like shopping online and planning nights out to spend money. I need motivated me. I need early morning me. And if I like being up so early, then why not just do it and fill the time with healthy activities. I have a dog. What more reason do I need than that to get up and get our bodies pounding the pavement?

And also in 2015, I need to find my passion for cooking again. Since moving to my new spot, and since moving in with a roommate who doesn’t know the difference between a pot and a pan, I have lost my love for the kitchen. I have only cooked one meal in the three months I have lived here. ONE! Bad, Sarah. Bad, Sarah! *Slaps Wrist*. Need I say more?

Make 2015 your year! What is it about yourself that you want to change for the better? There’s not need to make a long list. Long lists are daunting and scary and we usually end up giving up on the entire list. Mine only has three things. And I’m going to work to make those things count. I have 365 days to make every single thing on my list some of the best qualities about me. And I’m not going to give up! Life is happening and I don’t want to miss a single second of it! Cheers to 2015.