The Usual New Year’s Post

As I lounged around this morning, after a later-than-normal night involving an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathon, indulging in good food, one vodka drink that left me utterly wrecked this morning, and watching the ball drop with my husband, I started reading some of my favorite blogs to see where they all stand in the new year.

It seems that bloggers fell into three camps when it came to New Year’s Day posts:

1. People who make loud, overwhelming declarations of how this year will be so much better/happier/healthier/wealthier than the last. I’m sure that most people in general fit into this group, demanding that 2013 be the year for whatever major life changes we all fantasize about. To me, this seems like the naive resolutions we all have made at some point in our lives, only to find they don’t make it to the end of the month (or even the end of the day today). I hope that everyone who made bold plans today will see them through, I really do – but I also know that we live in a world where it’s normal to make these grand, sweeping statements and never really be held accountable for them. They are the butt of many jokes, and I often avoid them for fear of being another cliched failure.

2.  People who denounce group #1 as silly, stupid dreamers who don’t have the ambition to make any of those things happen, so they resolve not to make any resolutions at all. They consider the whole thing trite, immature, and unrealistic. They may reflect on what happened to them in the past year, but leave the future up in the air. The carefree attitude appeals to me a lot, but I also like to plan…sometimes too much.

3. People who fall somewhere in the middle. They make plans, but not crazy ones, and look back on the past with as much fondness as they can, and look to the future with optimism that something big will happen…as for what that big happening is, they may not know for sure.

So where do I fit into all of this?

It really depends on the year.

Some years, I make big plans for changes that never come to fruition. Last year, it was to exercise more and lose weight. I didn’t really get into the exercising groove until June, and while I’ve stuck with exercising more since then, I have actually gained weight from where I was a year ago (yeah, my body is kind of a jerk). It’s a frustrating battle I have with my body, and one that I will probably always struggle with.

Some years, I swear off the whole idea. I did this through graduate school, mostly because I already had a clear path in life, and that was to get through school without smothering anyone in their sleep, including myself. I didn’t need resolutions because I had enough going on in my life.

This year, I’m hoping to fit more into that third group. Not too crazy, but not too lazy.

I have been thinking for a while about what I want this year to hold for me. This isn’t something that I did last night while buzzed on vodka and chocolate, but rather something I’ve been meddling around with for the past few months. Some of the things I want to accomplish this year are big, some are small, and some are continuations of changes I’ve already made. They seem like goals that are going to make me a better version of who I already am, and while some of them may be difficult, they’ll be challenges I can be proud of tackling once the year’s over.

Well, here it goes.

My plans for 2013

1. Find a way to make writing/editing a career, instead of a hobby.

This would be under the “bold, overwhelming goals” for this year. After a few years of teaching part-time, and getting nowhere career-wise, I’m ready to seriously consider jumping ship. This is a decision that has been a long time coming, and one that I’m terrified but also excited to see where it leads, whether it’s totally changing careers, or finding a way to work more professional writing into my life while still teaching.

I plan to take the extra time I have over the next few months to look at working in a different industry, be it writing, editing, blogging, or something along those lines. While I like teaching, I no longer love it. It has been a great place for me to grow, learn, and share my love of writing with others, but it’s holding me back from the kind of career and lifestyle I want for myself. It’s going to be a year of learning new skills, branching out professionally, potentially moving out of Ohio, and dealing with how my husband will handle the changes. I have a feeling this might be the year for me, at least professionally. Personally, it could all turn to shit. Either way, big things are on the horizon.

The blog is my first step. This blog will become the place where I share my journey, show off my skills, and also open myself up to the blogging community as a way to learn more about writing in a digital world. I want to make new friends, develop new abilities, and find ways to make writing a part of my professional life, and not just my personal one.

2. Be more selfish.

Most people who know me will tell you I’m the last person to demand things from others, ask for help when I need it, or put myself first. While it’s often a quality that I take pride in, lately it’s left me feeling like a lot of aspects of my life aren’t my own anymore.

I’m at a point in my life where the people I care about are putting me under more pressure to make more money, buy a house, and have kids. These decisions are a lot bigger and more permanent than I’ve had to deal with in my life previously. They are also decisions that I cannot let others make for me. This is going to be the year that I put my foot down and say “no” a lot more to everyone else, and say “yes” to myself, I think.

Also, I plan to spend more time reading books for fun. It’s the only time I truly get to myself, without the temptation to sacrifice anything for others. I will let you know if I find anything noteworthy to read this year!

3. Continue to build myself into a healthier person.

This fits under my “ongoing resolutions” list. While I made some serious strides with my health last year, I plan to continue to build on those better habits.

In 2012, in addition to exercising more, I also gave up milk. It was a surprisingly easy transition, and one that I found made me a much healthier, happier person. It also helped me combat my long-time struggle with my skin. Granted, my skin still sucks, but it has been a LOT better now that I’ve cut out that one pesky food.

This year, I plan to continue my exercising routine by making regular trips to the gym when the weather is bad, and get outside for regular bike rides and hikes when the weather permits. This time of the year in Ohio is kind of crappy for exercising outdoors, since biking in the snow is about impossible, and hiking in a park with cliffs, rocky stairs, and tons of mud isn’t really safe either. I’m not a big fan of the gym, but for the next couple months, I’ll have to make it work. I try not to worry too much about how many days/hours I exercise, but make an effort to just get out as many days as I can.

As for the diet, I’m still continuing to work on that. In my fantasy world, I would already be a vegetarian, possibly even a vegan (if I could ever get over what I’ve heard referred to as “the cheese hump”). I enjoy cooking, and learning about different ingredients, flavors, and methods to make my food do more for me. I like knowing that I’m putting good things into my body, and feeling better as a result. I also like ice cream, macaroni and cheese, and the occasional bacon cheeseburger. This year is going to be about finding a better balance between the good and bad. This does NOT mean I’m never eating ice cream again – at least not until I find a healthier, non-dairy alternative.

My diet in 2013 is about learning to let go of foods that are no longer helping me maintain a healthy lifestyle. I would like to find ways to eat less meat (or cut it out entirely), less sugar, and work in more whole foods. I want to learn to bake my own breads, drink more healthy juices/smoothies, and maybe even learn to love a good salad now and then (I hate salads, in case you haven’t heard).


Well there you have it. Some crazy, some not-so-crazy ideas for 2013.

It’s going to be the year, just like every other year…and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.


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