Well, here we are again. A new year. Good grief, I just realized that this time last year I was celebrating the new year in Virginia (and I have absolutely no clue what I did that day). This year we are in Pennsylvania. And this time next year, assuming all goes as planned, I’ll be celebrating the new year in Virginia again. Unless of course, C gets picked up for Brigade Command and decides to pre-position the family at that post. Lord help me if that actually happens. Don’t get me wrong … I WANT C to be happy. I want him to have what he wants and I know that what he really wants is Brigade Command. But I honestly don’t think there’s a chance in hell it will happen, and I’m okay with that. In my head, of course, I’m already getting ready to PCS the last week of May back to a rental (that I hope to find) somewhere in Arlington. We’ll spend at least a year there and then who knows what will happen. I don’t think C wants to stay in the DC area post-deployment, but I truly have no idea what’s coming after Summer 2013.
Anyway, new years are never really that exciting for me. Honestly. I spent the first day of 2012 driving from Florida to Pennsylvania. 17 hours. 1,050 miles. And I had horrible cramps on top of that. Not exactly the best way to spend a New Year’s Day. But we are home, we are safe and we are happy to have a full day to rest (and do laundry and put away presents and shop for food) before school starts again. So really, for me it’s just another day off.
I quit making new year’s resolutions years ago. I can’t keep them, so why bother. I think the last truly successful resolution I made was in 1990 when I was working for Tom Raffa’s CPA firm. I resolved to be a better employee. No more being late to work. No more sick days unless I was truly sick. Positive attitude. It worked. It actually worked … I was a much better employee for about five months, and the boss even said so, but he couldn’t offer me more money or even a promotion (and honestly, there was really no where for me to go in that firm), so I left that job. Oh well. But at least I was a great employee for five months. And Tom Raffa remains on my Christmas card list. Hard to believe it’s been 22 years.
Even before the new year hit, I had started losing weight. I was down 8 pounds as of the last time on the scale before Christmas. I know I’m up higher now. But I’ve decided not to get back on the scale until this “week of bloat” is over. I decided last night that the ultimate goal would be to weigh 158 pounds. This was my weight before I got pregnant with Michael. Basically, I have 40 pounds to lose. I have five months to lose it. That averages out to 8 pounds a month and two pounds a week. I want to lose the weight and be much skinnier at the military ball in May (in Hershey, PA). I want to lose the weight so when I return to Arlington and visit Kelly and Company, I’ll be much, much thinner. I want to lose the weight because I’m tired of looking in the mirror and not seeing what I want to see. I’m not going to do anything truly specific. I will do a modified South Beach diet (stay away from the carbs) and go to the gym and do SOMETHING every day. I will also start Jillian Michaels, as soon as Michael teaches me how to use the XBox as the DVD player again. Would I be happy to get down to 175? You bet! But why can’t I have 158? That’s what I want, so why not strive for that? Two pounds a week. In the gym every single day. Five months. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS.
Although I’m not actually taking Ali Edwards’ “One Little Word” class, I did decide to choose two words for 2012. I will write both on sticky notes and post them around in the house, in places only I will (usually) see. My first word is RELEASE. Release the anger, release the hate. Let go of grudges. Let go of the pain. This one is really, really hard for me. In fact, I probably need to go see a therapist and have her help me with this one. I’m angry at so many people for things in the past and I just can’t seem to let it go. I desperately want to let go of all that anger. I suspect that I don’t even know how. There’s a bold statement of truth. Again, I might need some help with this one. The second word if EMBRACE. 2012 is going to be full of changes for our family: We’ll move in May/June (meaning I’ll need to find a new house); C will deploy; M will travel to England AND start high school this year, and I will probably go back to work (which means I’ll actually have to find a job). THAT is a lot of change. It WILL be stressful. So I will practice embracing all the change as best I can. Must remember to write my words down on the sticky notes.
Ahead of me now (after a crap-load of laundry, putting away all our stuff/presents, putting away Christmas decorations, etc.) is the CBSC Cookbook. I have procrastinated for the past SIX weeks. No more. I MUST get this thing finished. My goal is to submit it to the publisher by January 13. BEFORE my 44th birthday. I want to enjoy my birthday without the cookbook hanging over my head. This means several things. 1. Very little (or no) Facebook in the next two weeks. Seriously. I need to stay-the-hell off Facebook 2. Stay off the computer EXCEPT when editing recipes. 3. As much as I would love to tackle the Christmas cards, I need to wait until after the cookbook is done before I can start that project. The family letter is written. The cards are purchased. The stamps are purchased. The address list has been scrubbed. All that’s left is to type all the labels into a new document. I actually enjoy sending out Christmas cards. And I would much rather tackle that project than the cookbook. 4. No cleaning, no extensive re-organization projects, no shopping, no straightening up, and even (GASP) no thank-you note writing until that cookbook is done! I honestly don’t know what I’m so scared of, but clearly I am scared, because I keep putting it off. I just keep thinking how great I’ll feel if I can put it behind me. But I have yet to put it behind me.
I am also dying to “get my craft on” this year. Of course, the sooner the cookbook is done, the sooner I can. I want to get back to scrapbooking. Maybe not whole albums yet, but at the very least, single pages. Seriously. It’s an itch that really needs to be scratched. I’m tired of looking at all of Stephanie Howell’s and Laura Kurz’s gorgeous layouts and not making any of my own. I’m tired of buying tons of stuff from Studio Calico and Crafty Steals and then never using anything. I have finally solved the problem of printing photos. Snapfish seems to be the way I’m going now, although I really miss going to Ritz Camera, sitting at the print bar, looking at every photo and then coming back the next day to pick up my photos. I suspect I’ll actually save money with Snapfish, so that’s a good thing. I’m two years behind printing out photos. Two freakin’ years. I will work hard this year to try and catch up. Of course, it goes without saying that there are hundreds upon hundreds of already printed photos in this house from the last 19 years. I really should start with some of those and at the very least, try and get rid of some of the dozens and dozens of plastic bins full of photos. I could finish C’s West Point album. I could finish my own baby album. I could finish my mother’s album and leave lots of space for journaling so we could work on it together. I could put together the Pittsburgh album from our first visit to Pittsburgh. That would be a faster album — not very many pictures. So many album projects, it’s scary. And HORRIBLY overwhelming. I don’t want the overwhelming feeling to prevent me from scrapbooking all together. So I won’t let it. One page at a time.
At the very least, I will resolve, once the cookbook is finally finished, to sit down one day a week, lock myself in the scrapbook room, and work. No computer. No phone. Just one day each week to work on my scrapbook pages. I can do it. I LOVE this idea — sending C and M off to school, closing the door and just working until 3pm. Just gotta get that cookbook done first. I can’t WAIT to have a weekly scrapbook day to myself!
Don’t even get me started on cross-stitch projects. I STILL haven’t finished C’s battalion command crest. It’s about half way done. He finished command in 2008. Almost four years ago. ugh. I still haven’t finished my mother’s UVA crest. Or my MIL’s Blue Willow plate. And I very much want to stitch the War College crest. I would absolutely LOVE to get to the end of 2012 and have all four of those projects completely finished. How awesome would that be? I suppose I could “not” resolve to work on those projects this year as well. I could even block out one day each week (while still at War College) for “Stitch Day”. I could invite Rebecca over and we could spend one day a week stitching. I would really love that. I think I will text her and ask her about it. I’m not going to this month’s spouse club luncheon (working on cookbook instead) so maybe January 18 would be a good day to start a weekly “stitch day” with Rebecca. I would truly love that. And I would truly love having those four specific projects done by the end of this year.
I want to take more photos. I want to take photos every single day. I’ve got the new camera now (finally gave up on the Canon 50D and purchased the Canon 7D as a present to myself right before Christmas). Now I need to learn how to use it. I absolutely need to take a class for this new camera. I’m thinking of paying for the private tutoring with the Washington Photo Safari guy in DC. Perhaps the first Sunday in February. Yes, I do believe I will do that. Two hours, $200, and one-on-one attention from a professional photographer to teach me how to use my camera better. Once the cookbook is done (I see a theme here), I will get out the manual for the 7D and at least read that for a few days. Here I said I wasn’t going to make any resolutions and my list is getting longer. Ugh.
I don’t edit my photos. I know people think that’s strange, but I don’t. Someday I’d like to take a Photoshop class and learn how to use it. Perhaps after we move back to Virginia I can take that class. That would be awesome. But for now, all of my photos continue to be unedited. Sure, I crop them. But I don’t mess with the colors or the shading or the tints or all that other stuff I really don’t understand.
I’m having trouble remembering. Not just the little things, but the big things too. I can’t remember what M was like when he was four or five. Or seven or eight. Sure, I have THOUSANDS of photographs of him, but I can’t remember what he was REALLY LIKE at all those younger ages. (I also just realized that I don’t have any movies of M. Not that I enjoy taking home movies. I supposed I could easily buy a Flip Camera and start filming M. But where would I store all these movies? You Tube? No thank you. The movies would be for me. Not for the whole world. I’m not sure that having those movies would help, but I suspect that it might. This makes me sad.) But anyway, I don’t remember what he was like. I don’t remember the day-to-day stuff with M. What I do remember is the good stuff — how awesome M has been at every single age. Well, maybe except 12. I did not enjoy 12. But honestly, he’s such a good kid and he’s so much fun and I adore his company. I still LOVE it when he walks into a room. He lights me up inside. He’s still my favorite person in the world. He really has been marvelous at every age (that wasn’t 12). But not only can I not remember the little day-to-day stuff with M over the years, I can barely remember the big stuff either. This scares the crap out of me. Is this what getting older feels like? Seriously? I mean, I know we took a trip to Disney the year M was five and C returned home from Korea. That would have been 2003. I don’t remember anything about that trip OTHER than having the camera glued to my face the entire time we were there. I can’t believe I haven’t scrapbooked that trip. I even bought an album specifically for that trip. I think I still have it (???) somewhere. I know I still have all the crap I saved from the trip (brochures, room keys, trinkets, etc.). I must have taken hundreds of photos. Clearly, I need to drag out the Disney photos from 2003 and scrapbook them. Perhaps that will be my first scrapbook project. After the cookbook is finished, of course. I really would like to see those photos again. Of course, I’d also like to scrapbook W and D’s wedding pretty soon as well. I finally printed those photos and I even had a custom album made for them. I’d like to finish that album by October 2012 — their third wedding anniversary. Of course, I never truly finished P & J’s wedding album, but that album was for me and not necessarily for them. I will actually give the album I put together for W & D to them. So much for not making any albums! Ha!
Anyway, this trouble I’m having remembering is scaring the crap out of me. The next (non) resolution, mentioned previously, will be to take at least one photo every single day. I need to break down and purchase a photo printer for home, so I can at least print one or two photos here and there. There’s one on my Amazon.com wish list. Maybe I’ll just break down and purchase it. I’ve purchased Becky Higgins’ “Project Life” but haven’t even taken it out of the box. I think I would have fun with it, so THIS is the year I’m going to open that box!! I’m not even going to wait on the cookbook for that one. I’m going to set it up in my scrapbook room, perhaps on top of the black bookshelf, so that I can see it every single day. Hopefully having it out and visible will encourage me to (1) take a photo every single day and (2) work on the album every week. Ali Edwards had the album set up in her kitchen (correction, her HUGE kitchen) in a corner with the book open, page protectors already installed, journaling cards in a box nearby, and a cup full of pens. I want to try this. I’ve already gotten the “saving” part down. I save everything … programs, receipts, clothing tags, tickets, brochures, maps, booklets, you name it, I save it. Of course, what I’d REALLY like to do is put together Project Life for 2011 (since I already have all the stuff saved up — would just need to actually print the photos) and then order a second Project Life and start 2012. I could do that. Work on 2011 between the weeks that I’m working on 2012. There’s nothing stopping me from this project … except my own fear … and the cookbook.
Fifth load of laundry about to go in the washer now. Need to get busy and fold laundry and take a shower. And grab the camera. Plenty of non-resolutions made! Lots to do this year!