I feel like New Year’s Resolutions are getting a bad reputation lately. Why chose now to change when you can resolve to be better any time of year? I know my friends who visit the gym just hate to see how crowded it gets in January when people resolve to take healthier steps in their life…but slowly drop off by mid February. It’s become a marketing ploy and you hear it all the time: New Year, New You! *dramatic eyeroll* With all that I can’t help myself. Every year as the old year comes to a close I take a look back on the year to see what could have been better. I think I’m the only person I know of who really begins to contemplate a New Year’s Resolution and I tend to actually keep these resolutions through out the year. Sometimes they are simple, like…no soda for a year. Sometimes they are determined, like the year I put my disease in remission. I know some people think they could better themselves throughout the year, why wait until January?
Personally, I look at this time of year like a fresh slate, or sometimes a starting line. I have a couple of goals this year, physical, professional, and personal. First, I need to take a look back at this year.
I had a baby this year. As I’m typing this, he’s about 3 feet away from me kicking away in his play pen. For someone who has Pseudotumor, that’s an amazing accomplishment. I’ve been medicine free since I lost nearly fifty pounds, but my neurologist and obstetrician were all very nervous for me when I found out I was expecting. I had to keep my weight in check while growing an amazing beautiful boy. If not, my raging headaches could return, and I would continue to damage my eyes and my brain. Pregnancy hormones alone could have triggered a flare up, or even brought me out of remission. However healthy primal eating kept my weight in check, and in August I delivered a healthy 8 pound baby boy.
As careful as I was to not gain excess weight, I still have weight to lose this year. It’s not the focus of my year because healthy primal eating has been such a huge part of my life dialing it back anymore won’t be such a big deal. For more information about eating a primal diet while nursing you should read this.
Professionally I have to make changes, too. For fifteen years I’ve been a music teacher, both in public schools and privately. I love my job, I really do. Having a baby makes this job infinitely harder. I don’t want to be away from him since he’s solely breast fed, but I can’t exactly play gigs with a baby in my arms and it’s very hard to teach lessons with him nearby sometimes. He also can’t handle the late nights at the music store any more. So we’ve had to adapt. My income as a musician has gone down considerably since having the baby, I am a freelancer after all.
Between that, and the possibility of us having to move again I’ve had to reconsider lots of things about how I bring my portion of income to our family. Being a musician is a job of networking along with skill. Other musicians have to know I’m here, and know what I can do. Other teachers have to know I’m here, and know that I’m good at what I can do. It’s hard to break into sometimes, and when I have to move with my husband every two to three years rebuilding gets tiresome. When we left Colorado I handed over my robust viola studio to a fresh grad. Don’t get me wrong, she’s amazing and I know my students there have done well with her. It took me two years to build that studio from nothing and the income was amazing. It was hard to just hand it over to her.
So instead I’m going to try to build something else. This blog’s income since having my baby has doubled. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t cover what I made as a musician…but it’s growing and there is no ceiling. First time I made money on my blog I was thrilled. Up until this year, it was maybe a few bucks here and there. Nothing really more than $50 in a month, but that’s changed. My goal is to completely replace the lost income by the middle of the year…and I have a plan to make that work. Once I make it there, the sky is the limit. If you’re still reading this…then my baby steps are working.
On a personal level these things are just tiny things I need to make myself more aware of. Like, clutter puts me in a bad mood, so taking time to clear off counter tops and dresser tops will help make me a happier, nicer person. I need to stop putting off home improvement projects. I’m worried that our time in this house is limited, and I want to be able to enjoy it to the fullest. It’s a modest house, but there are things that I just think are beautiful about it…and then other things I think are less beautiful, like the prior owner’s paint choices. Moving in was rushed due to crazy circumstances so we weren’t able to do any “pre-move in painting.” Life got crazy and it just never got done. A year and a half later, I still have windows with no curtains and fabric just waiting for me. I just need to set aside the time to get it done. Goals…right?
Also, I used to homeschool my kids. It was time consuming hard work, but I loved it. I knew that having a baby would make it much harder. We decided to try cyber schooling again hoping to take some of the responsibility off my plate, and it’s been stressful to say the least. My older two are 9 and 12, and have reached a stage in their education where they either need to rise to the occasion and become independent learners, or go to school. I want my time spent with my kids to be happy, positive and constructive. Not negative and filled with frustration.
In the end, these personal goals are things that will hopefully help make my life just a bit happier, and help my family to be happier too. If we don’t end up moving we’ll benefit from having a beautiful home to enjoy for a while longer.
Do you set goals for the new year? I’d love to know what yours are.