Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Alright, I have been slacking... I've been surprisingly busy over the past couple weeks even though all I do is stay home.  I have a number of posts in the line-up, but none of them are really finished.   Hopefully this post about New Year's Resolutions will kick start my hinney into finishing them.

Everyone has New Years Resolutions, whether they admit it or not.  Everyone has that secret hope to change something about themselves or wish that things will be different in a coming year.  Why not have these secret dreams?  Seeing the numerical change on the calendar is like starting over fresh and a new opportunity to better yourself and gives a fresh hint of motivation.  Sadly enough though, most people don't accomplish their New Years Resolutions and usually by spring time, all their plans go by the wayside.

Here is my list:

1. Finish Christmas shopping by the end of October.
    About two years ago, I managed the feat of finishing ALL of my Christmas shopping by mid-November.  It was such a nice feeling to just be DONE.  No hectic malls to maneuver nearing the holidays and no crazy shoppers to have to  bump elbows with trying to get the last "hot" toy on the shelf.  This year, being in Germany, I learned a tough lesson.  90% of my Christmas shopping had to be done online.  The PX didn't carry the Kindle I wanted or the books and Blu-Ray player I wanted to purchase for my husband.  Although I ordered the gifts in mid-November, my husband will still be missing two of his gifts this Christmas.  So in an effort to curb this from happening next year, especially since there is a very real possibility that we'll be going through a deployment and all my gifts will have to be shipped out, I am really hoping to be done ordering and purchasing by October.

2. Be comfortable in my body.
    Oh yes, everyone and their mother has a resolution to "get fit" in the coming year.  One of the reasons most of the resolutions like this fail is because people aim for the wrong goal.  To go by the numbers on a scale or aim for some unobtainable goal is daunting and a very slow process which tends to make people drop from their plan like flies.  My resolution isn't to lose, 10 or 15 pounds, but rather to be more comfortable with how I look and FEEL.  One workout can release those endorphins and make you feel better about yourself so the effect is a much more immediate fulfilling than torturing yourself by over-using the scale.  As of now I am not considered "over-weight" and I don't look in the mirror and look or feel obese, but I have noticed a difference and a shift in my physique over the past year.  Jeans that were comfortable and even reasonably loose on me in November are snug and uncomfortable now.  I bet if I tried to fit in my wedding gown today, the zipper wouldn't close.  Last November I was comfortable in my skin, I was happy with the way I looked and felt and was motivated to stay active.  But with the chaos and stress getting married, moving TWICE (each move bigger than the last), and going from full-time student to full-time housewife, my body took the brunt of it all.  This goal leads to my next resolution...

3. Eat healthier.
     I noticed something since I have become a full-time housewife.  I have picked up the bad habit of becoming a compulsive snacker.  Now, snacking isn't a bad thing, and most diets even suggest eating small and frequent meals to control overeating.  Snacking becomes evil when the food develops from grapes, carrots, and nuts to pop-tarts, cheez-its, and potato chips.  Relatively speaking, comparing my diet to that of an average American can actually be seen as healthy, but there is definitely room for improvement.  Both my hubby and I want to see a drastic change in this area as snack foods become less apparent in our household and fatty ingredients are minimized in my cooking.

4. Obtain a job working in a school.
     The whole point in me getting a degree was to work in a school.  Granted I can't become a full-time teacher because my lack of credentials, but any step towards the schooling arena would be a positive step in my career.  There is a great aspect about our current living situation:  we are positioned literally between a high school and a combined elementary school and middle school.  The high school is located directly behind our building and the elementary school/middle school is across the street in front of our building.  This pretty much eliminates the need for a second car because I could walk to work.  That's great news!  The problem is the limited availability for work.  Many stay-at-home wives apply for work as a substitute teacher because the limited amount of schooling and experience needed for it, and since we currently live in the largest housing area on the base, it hinders my ability as a newcomer to find work.  In the next year I hope to make the contacts that I need to get my foot in the door.  Even if I start out work as an aide or an office worker, as long as I can make ANY progress, I will be a happy camper.

5. Travel to at least 2 countries outside of Germany
    Depending on what happens with my husband's job will determine how easy this goal will be to accomplish.  We still haven't gotten our tourist passports yet so it'll be at least February or March before we will even be able to travel out of the country.  Of course we are going to try to travel as much as we possibly can before he deploys, if he does, but who knows how much that will be.  Traveling out of the country without him will be near impossible unless I can make a trip with friends I meet here or if my mom or best friend can manage a trip from the US to here.  Of course it would be nice to visit more than two countries within the next twelve months but I want to make an actual obtainable goal for myself which would limit myself to two.

6. Worry less about things I cannot change.
     I am a planner.  If I cannot plan, I stress and worry.  When I can plan, I stress and worry that things won't go as I plan.  It is this vicious circle that will cause me to go gray before I'm 35 and have a heart attack by 45.  I am working on controlling my stress and am hoping to find better outlets for relieving it, so I'm hoping this next year will bring a way to cope with my inner issues and allow me to grow into a more peaceful state of mind.

7.  Spend less time on Facebook.
     I have always been a computer person, along with every other person in my generation.  My husband grew up being a gamer both for consoles and computers, so naturally when we first started dating, he pulled me deeper into the ring.  For a long while I even started playing video games with him.  The online craze of World of Warcraft took me under for longer than I would like to admit.  I quit cold turkey and am thankful of the spare time that I have gained in return, but since my attention is no longer focused at pointless video games I find myself becoming too much of a Facebook stalker.  Although it's not as bad as it used to be, considering all my friends and family are on a different time zone as me and I know that checking it throughout the day will do no good as no change will be visible, I still find myself staring at the computer screen when my time can spent wisely doing something else.  Although I definitely don't want to kick the habit indefinitely because it would lead to me losing contact with those from home, I do wish to limit my "stalking" to one or two page visits a day.

So there you have it, everything I wish to change in the upcoming year.  I'm completely shocked at all that happened in 2011 and even how much I changed as an individual.  Looking forward to all that is to come in 2012, I know that my growing will not stop but only continue moving forward.  I hope you all stick around follow me through the journey that is sure to be a wild ride.

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