Well, Chickens, another year is upon us! I know most blogs are giving you endless resolutions and NYE recipes and cocktail suggestions and the like. But let's be honest. If you haven't planned your menu for tonight, you are probably running all over town shopping and not reading blogs. And we all know that resolutions are those lovely ephemeral things that make us feel super crappy about ourselves by around January 9. I always start the new year resolving to laugh a lot and eat delicious things and drink good wine and read a lot of books and take many naps, since I like set myself up to be successful. But I also try and think about anything in my life I want to do better at...not fix, not 180, not find perfection in, just do BETTER. Because at the end of the day, if we can just get incrementally better at stuff that is important to us, it is a really good thing. And it doesn't really matter if better is eating 95% of the bag of chips instead of the whole bag, that is STILL BETTER!
So here is my offering for the new year, for what it is worth, not resolutions, just reminders for myself to try to do better. If any of them feel useful, feel free to borrow. If you have any of your own, feel free to share with the class!
1. I am going to try and be better about not putting off getting together with people I care about just because life gets busy. It also gets short, and frankly, I have to have dinner every night anyway, might as well share it with friends. I've realized this past year that you can have people over for dinner and not have it be a dinner party...it doesn't have to be fancy, or even special, you can just make whatever you were going to make anyway (or order take-out for that matter) and make enough for a couple bonus people. It doesn't have to be an all-night bacchanal, it can just be dinner and company for a couple of hours. Its the connection that is the most important part, and following thru. I'm going to try to not say "We should get together." to someone without pulling out my phone to look at a possible date to actually make that happen. And when I do get together with people, and we end the event with "We should do this more often!" I will try and get that date actually nailed down in the moment. I started doing a little of this towards the end of 2014, and it has been a good thing. So I'm looking to make it a permanent habit.
2. I'm going to try to be better about getting out of my ruts, sort of globally. Just make more mindful and less knee-jerk decisions. I'm still going to want to go to my old favorite hangs, but when we are going to run out and grab a quick bite, if we aren't specifically craving one of our standbys, then we should have a new adventure. Are we probably still going to have salad and popcorn for dinner once a week? Yep. But I can at least use that to test new salad dressing recipes, or salad topping combos. Just because I need a few things at the grocery doesn't mean I can't go pick it up at one of the fabulous Asian or Latin markets that are just as conveniently located to me, and maybe find something new in the process. This past couple of years I added tennis to my usual workout routine of just weight training and treadmill, and it has been good for me, so who knows what other new programs might be beneficial?
3. I'm going to try and get better at being more forgiving, especially when it comes to little stuff. If I can retrain my brain to ask myself "Did _________ intend to do or say that thing in a way that would piss me off or annoy me in a calculated and premeditated and targeted way?" before having an emotional response, whether _________ is someone I know and love, or that random guy who just cut me off on the highway, it would probably be better for my general demeanor. If the answer is "No.", that knowledge might help me brush it off and not get pissed. Of course, if the answer is "Yes.", then I can guiltlessly unleash the full force of my hellfire! The same holds true for myself. If I do something stupid (ok, WHEN I do something stupid, lets be honest) I have to give myself the same break I would give anyone else.
4. I'm going to try and get better at making time for the crappy stuff the same way I do for the fun stuff. If there is something I want to do, antiquing, or tracking down those boots the girl at the salon was wearing, or making a new cake recipe, or rejiggering things so that I can attend a party, then I suddenly become a scheduling genius with plenty of time. But when it is something annoying like cleaning out a closet, or making that dentist appointment, organizing receipts, or fitting in a much needed trip to the gym? Boy am I WAY TOO BUSY. But its all BS, and I know it. And I also know that I feel better when I just get that stuff checked off the list. So I'm going to work on reminding myself to put on my big girl panties and just do what needs to be done. If there is something on my to do list that I am telling myself I don't have time for, I will try and ask myself if I would make time to do something enjoyable, and if the answer is yes, then I know it is suck it up time.
That's it. My Better list.
I want to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for reading and commenting and sticking with me, you cannot know how much it means to me. I want to wish all of you a year of peace and love and safety, and BETTER, whatever that looks like for you.
See you in 2015!
Yours in Good Taste,