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New Year, Same Me, Gets Me Every Time

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Mr. Gets Me Every Time and I spent the holidays in Florida, visiting my family and it was a great, relaxing few days away from work/chores/cold. Sunny skies and warm afternoons were just what we needed. I just ordered a print of this photo I snapped to help me get through the rest of the winter too.

We’re a full week and a half into 2016, so I thought I’d hit you with a few “new year” type of thoughts.

On Resolutions. I didn’t really make any. Each day I’m trying to be a better version of myself (i.e. having more patience with myself & others.) And each week I’m trying to do things that make life easier (i.e. cooking a huge batch of chicken on Sunday, or packing a lunch the night before.) Like the title of the post says, new year… same me.

On One Little Word. Lots of people pick a word for the year and use it as a type of mantra for all types of situations they approach. I’ve done this before, and I can never seem to stick with it, so I didn’t really pick a word either. I did think about it though and the word that came to me was “open.” I’m keeping it pretty open-ended, though.

On Goals. Again. Didn’t make any plans for this. Thought about things like organizing all my digital photos or finishing project x, y and z. But, I’m deciding not to make it official. I did buy a planner, and I am trying to write down things I want to do, just to have a running list. (I also set a goal on GoodReads to read 25 books this year. I made it to 21 last year, we’ll see how it goes.)

On 2016. Basically, I feel incredibly grateful for how 2015 turned out. It was a year to reevaluate and reset. I’m looking forward to what the year ahead brings and I’m looking forward to sharing some of it here.

When you’re unsure what’s right in front of you

JustKeepGoingI’m sitting in the family room, catching up on Dance Moms (yes, I admit it). It’s a breezy night so the sliders are open. It’s nice. It gets dark, but I didn’t turn the backyard lights on. Why should I? That’s rhetorical. But I should have.

We had a visitor. And Louise (the cat) was not too happy about it. Here’s the thing. Louise gets very protective of me. It’s to the point where she hisses and takes swipes at me. She wants me to stay away from the predator. It’s very sweet, really. Until she actually delivers on one of those swipes and then I have a bloody hand.

Like I mentioned, the lights weren’t on. I didn’t know what was out there. My guess? Another cat. So I took the cup of water I was drinking and launched it through the screen door.

I’m really lucky it wasn’t a skunk at our back door.

It’s tough. Not knowing what’s out there. What’s coming for you. Tough not being able to see something so close. Something that has such an effect on you. But that’s life, right?

The best we can do is keep going. Cautiously, yes, but keep going nonetheless.

You know what I’m talking about. For instance, a new job. You have an idea of what a new job will be like. What it entails. What’s expected of you, etc. But you can’t really be sure what will happen. You have to wait and see. You hardly know this new job.

You just keep going. Showing up every day. Finding out what’s right in front of you and what’s beyond that.

Or when life throws a crazy medical/financial/emotional curveball at you. We’ve all been affected by one of these things. Sometimes you don’t know what the next day will bring. But that doesn’t mean you will it away. You meet the rising sun and find out.

So what’s the point?

I’m not sure what the point is, but mine is this. We can’t know what’s ahead. Can we plan for what we think lies ahead? Yes. Can we make educated guesses? Sure. But in reality, you never know what will happen. Just do what you can to help you see what’s coming next.

My point is that you don’t know if something, good or bad, might happen to you today, so do everything you want today. Just in case.

And my last point is this. Always turn the lights on in your backyard. Who knows — it could have been the skunk.

Why I love Mondays.

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It’s Monday, you guys! And I gotta say. It’s my favorite day of the week. I know it’s not a popular opinion but it’s the one I got. Here’s why.

Monday: Awesome.
Tuesday: The worst.
Wednesday: Stuck in the middle, but not awful.
Thursday: Almost the weekend!
Friday: Fun, but filled with pressure to check off all the things.

Now, a little more on why Monday, gets that one word I hold so dearly, “Awesome.” Monday is a fresh start. A clean slate. On Mondays, I don’t have time to have a “case of the Mondays.” I come in blazing, riding that weekend high. Looking to stir up trouble. To make something. To start fresh.

My favorite thing about Mondays is the chance to begin again. Why wait for a new year to start something new? Make a new week resolution. Heck, make a new day resolution if you’re into it. As humans, we look for a set time to start or end something. Monday is a perfect time for that. It can be a small goal, say, I’m going to eat a piece of fruit with lunch everyday. Or a bigger goal, like, I’m going to start training for a 1/2 marathon this week.

Me? I’m doing neither of those things this week. This week, I have no goals. I just have a fresh week to start filling with memories, meals and moments, big and small. ( + it’s the week of my spring show, so I’m sure it will be filled with many sequins and smiles as well.)

Do you make weekly goals/resolutions/lists? I want to know how you make Mondays the best day of the week. Or, maybe it’s just me? Tell me what day I should consider giving another chance.

Top 5 Dream Jobs Get Me Every Time

The other night, I shared a photo of an old college notebook. It was an “idea book” for a class that we got graded on… not on the quality of the ideas necessarily, but on the quantity of ideas. But this post isn’t about showing off my ability to get an “A” on filling a notebook with ideas.

One thing I found in the notebook was a list, “Top 5 Dream Jobs.” This must have been a notebook from a when I was going through my John Cusack phase, watching High Fidelity in chunks in between classes and studying and partying. If you’re not familiar with the story, there are myriads of “Top 5” lists covered, the most pivotal one being “Top 5 Dream Jobs.”

Now, it’s probably not a coincidence that I just happened to finish reading the book of the same name last week. I’d been thinking about my current Top 5 Dream Jobs because of reading the book and then I got go into my past and see my former Top 5 Dream Jobs. The former top 5 looked like this:

  1. Creative Director
  2. Dance Studio Owner
  3. Typographer
  4. Screen Writer
  5. Broadway Star

Let’s skip straight to the second half of this list. Typographer? Broadway Star? I think they are definitely off the list now, some 8 years later. And screen writer, not so much. But some type of writer will always be in the Top 5 list.

So I guess that’s it. I seem to be living some version of one the Top 5 Dream Jobs I had in college.

I’ve been thinking about my new Top 5 Dream Jobs List, but I’m happy to know that I’m living out some part of my dreams. In making my new list, I think I might include some fun, never-gonna-happen-type-of-job like archeologist (Indiana Jones style),

Now it’s your turn. Top 5 Dream Jobs. There, in the comments. Do it.

New Year’s Resolutions Get Me Every Time

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You guys. I gotta admit. I didn’t make any set New Year’s resolutions. No goals to reach. No challenges to tackle. Nothing to hunt down. Not a thing to check off. Instead of setting myself up to not meet some lofty goal, I plan to just live 2014 as it comes. You know, celebrate every single day. Make moments count. Capture life in photos, words, wrinkles and everything else that comes with getting older. Here’s to another year.

ps. I don’t have anything against resolutions. So, if you got ’em, get to ’em.

A Craft-Up Fail Gets Me Every Time

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Remember at the beginning of the year when I started The Great Craft Up 2013? Well, I didn’t get very far in using up my craft supplies. It might have even demotivated me to craft, if that’s possible. And it was especially hard to go to the craft store for shop supplies and not buy everything anything else. I did pretty well for the first oh, three-quarters of the year. But then. You guys. Coupons. The canvas in the above picture was on sale. And then, I had a 40% off coupon on top of it. So they were around $11/each and I. couldn’t. resist. (I bought 2!) Craft-Up Fail!

P.S. I do have big plans for these canvasses. A winter project for sure. AND, to make up for my huge fail, I made a wreath over the weekend, which I’ll share soon. (It’s nowhere near spectacular, but you gotta know when to walk away, right?)

August To-Dos Get Me Every Time

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Since I fell off the “Focus Friday” bandwagon, oh, say, two months ago, I thought I’d try a new monthly strategy-thing. We’ll see if I stick to this little list of mine. I’m going to guess probably not. But, I think that’s in keeping with the list anyway.

I’ve always wanted to be a person who is “good” at to-do lists (whatever that means.) I want to feel the satisfaction that habitual list makers get when they cross off task after task. But I never had. I have had more joy in making lists than actually completing them. It seems as though making a list to me is more about seeing my “mental notes” on paper, not about crossing them off.

What about you? Do you have daily goals? A list for the week? A list for every day? Any tips, all you list-making machines out there?

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

FocusFriday510Let’s begin this Focus Friday by saying that I’m one week late. That April has come and gone. That it’s May, people! And that my one little word has almost bit the dust. But, I’m all for breathing life into rundown concepts. So, here we go.

In May, I’m focusing on only three things. Time Management. (I miss you guys, and I want to fix that.) Having Fun. (It’s all about balance.) Getting Organized. (Summer is right around the corner and I don’t want to miss any of it.)

That’s it for today. Not even going to mention April’s Focus… it was lost. Lots to share, coming soon, and I mean it. TGIF!

 

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

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It’s not April quite yet, but it’s time to make some new “One Little Word” goals to start out the month fresh on Monday. Spring is finally here. I guess the geese, the robins and the crocuses read my post earlier this week.

1 | Reading More, again | I had started to read on the train during my morning commute in the winter, but lately I’ve been zoning out. Here’s to more reading, again. Leave book suggestions in the comments, please!

2 | Actionable Planning | Sometimes I plan to do something (i.e. finish a craft project) but I don’t plan how or when it’s going to happen. There needs to be more of that.

3 | Dancing | My students have their performance in April and so do my mom’s students. I can’t wait to take in all the dancing this month holds. Note, I’m also open to more sporadic dancing anytime, just ask.

4 | Embracing the Season | I’m ready to jump head first into spring. I just want to make sure I’m the best me I can be when it gets here.

5 | Creating Balance | This comes in all things. Salad during the week, nachos on the weekend. Work & “play” and finding the difference between the two. Balance is forever shifting.


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And, let’s not forget about March:

1 | Slowing Down | I did slow down a little bit, but not enough. I mean, can you ever slow down enough?

2 | Thoroughness | Huge fail. I did not get to finish any of projects I have started.

3 | Patience | I think I became a little more patient. It’s just a matter of counting to 10 when annoyances start to creep in. Still, it’s something to think about and work on always.

4 | Me | This was my way of saying I was going to eat better and go to the gym more in March. Hmmm, not so much, but there’s always April.

5 | Time Management | I’ve definitely gotten a better hold on this. I simply tell myself I have a certain amount of time to do something then switch off the TV, wash out my paintbrushes, stop hitting snooze when that time is up.

Focus Friday Gets Me Every Time

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Happy March, friends. It’s like I’m willing spring in with the light green pants, lack of socks and yellow capped ballet flats. With a non-snow forecast (finally) this weekend, I have a feeling we (in the northeast) are on our way. And now, to refocus for a new month.

1 | Slowing Down | As spring comes into view, I’d like to slow down and enjoy the cold nights spent curled under a blanket with a cup of hot tea.

2 | Thoroughness | I am the queen of starting a project and never fully realizing it potential. That’s where The Great Craft Up stemmed from. In March, I want to get around to finishing some of those projects.

3 | Patience | This is something I always wish I had more of—with myself, my dancers, my coworkers, my friends, my family… the list goes on. I don’t think you can ever have enough patience.

4 | Me | I’m ready to jump head first into spring. I just want to make sure I’m the best me I can be when it gets here.

5 | Time Management | Right along with “slowing down” and “thoroughness” comes number five. I’ve been reading a little bit here and there about being more productive with your time. One source of inspiration here is the ever-intent Jess Lively  with her take on batching.


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And, let’s not forget about February:

1 | Reading | I finished the book! It was the The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp—pick it up if you fancy yourself creative. I also read a book about blogging. I’ve also been reading daily reflections before bed which has helped me calm my mind and fall asleep quickly.

2 | Listening | I think I was successful at this, though, like patience, you can never listen too much.

3 | Preparedness | This kinda went by the wayside after one week. Maybe another month.

4 | Relaxing | I did this! I put the phone away while watching TV. I let myself zone out. It was delightful.

5 | Productivity | Was I productive? I know no other way to live. Now, I just have to finish all those projects I started.
I am digging these mini-resolutions every month. I definitely would have squashed any new year resolution I had made already. Are you still holding strong to one you made? If so, please, leave your secrets in the comments.