Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It's 2012!  I spent the first two days of 2012 enjoying the rest of the holiday vacation with my children, since they go back to school and our time is far more spoken for.  I had some delicious Lebanese food and made a pizza entirely from scratch for New Year's Day dinner -- even the mozzarella from scratch!   I took a few pictures we can look at later in the week.

Right now, I'm getting together action plans for my resolutions for 2012.  I accomplished five of the ten I set for 2011, and I think I can do a whole lot better this year!  Ready?

1.  Continue learning and starting to converse in Spanish
--My class starts again next week, I read a weekly paper now, and have some home workbooks to  
        keep me learning until class starts.  I also participate in a monthly bilingual cooking group where I make
         an effort to converse in Spanish, even though it's not easy.

2.  Learn to knit socks.
--This one is a bit silly, because I can knit sweaters with all kinds of complex patterns, but I've never tried
      socks.  I have a book, I have some yarn, I have the needles, and Downton Abbey comes on again next    
       week.  It's time to knit the socks.

3.  Finish Desiderata tapestry.
--I spent a lot of my free time in the '90s doing very intricate embroidery.  It started in college with cross stitch and progressed to really serious stuff, much of which is still hanging variously on the walls in my home. This past decade has been more about children, and not so much about free time to do embroidery.  Still, I have this beautiful Desiderata tapestry I'd like to finish this year.  It's been undone longer than I can even recall to be embarrassed.  I can work it in when I'm sick of sock knitting, I guess.

4.  Read Ulysses.
--I've had it on the bookshelf for years and it's my own Moby Dick of books to conquer.   I had a friend promise to read it with me a few years ago, but the friend and the promise dropped away.  I'm ready to go it alone.  I read over 80 books a year, many of them difficult, and there is no reason I can't buckle down and get something out of Joyce's lengthy masterpiece.  Said of it:  a terribly difficult climb, but the view from the top is incomparable.  I will let you know!

5.  Finish Walden.
--Really rather embarrassed to be a good Unitarian Universalist and not have most of this memorized by now.  One of the quotes that defines me is "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not yet lived."  I read that quote as a bored, jaded, typical teenager and it went through me like a bolt of lightning.  And there is a whole book of this -- why haven't I read it yet?  I start today.

6.  Stabilize weight through healthy fat-loss eating and exercise.
--I am about 20 pounds north of where I look best.  Unfortunately for me, I look just fine from the front (my mirror view) and rather portly from the back, which I hardly ever have to see, so it's been easy enough to give myself a pass as a pound or two crept on here and there.  I'm 40 now, and it counts for my health as much as for my vanity to get rid of this stuff.  How to do it?  After my son was born, I was extremely successful with the South Beach Diet, and I've since discovered the fantastic teachings of the Metabolic Effect team who combine similar eating habits with rest-based heavy weight training to get this midlife metabolism back under control.  I used to be able to eat a few cookies for a snack with no consequences, and those days are sadly over.  See ya, refined sugar and other simple carbs.  Your memories are with me on the scale!!

7.  Implement strength training program to stabilize metabolism.
--Metabolic Effect has this one all ready to go for me.  It's a matter of going against my night owliness and getting up at 5:30am to exercise before the day gets going -- it's a huge hassle to go back, change clothes, exercise, shower, and get put back together during the day.  I've done it many times, but I have a lot better ways to spend daylight hours than doing pre-breakfast tasks over.  Up and at 'em!

8.  Move accounts out of SunTrust.
--We're about done with big banking.  They lost an envelope of our deposits from two summers ago, and miraculously found it, two years after it would have been very helpful.  That and the non-consumer-friendly policies being both loudly and quietly put in place make it a better idea for us to bank somewhere we can count on.  This resolution should get done sooner rather than later; it's a matter of doing some investigation and then some paperwork.

9.  Find a career-based volunteer opportunity.
--One reason I left my job last year was the lack of congruence with my social work skills.  I have some time I can devote weekly to the right volunteer opportunity, both to give back and to network a little in my field of aging services and social work.  All the faces have changed and I'd like to at least see if this area is still a good fit for my interests and skills, without committing to a job just yet.  I have lots of possibilities and need to do some research, then start connecting.

Are you still here?  Thanks for reading!  I'll be posting updates on how I'm doing with these from time to time.  I take resolutions seriously.  I keep a daily journal (just a few lines a day) and have resolutions right in the front to see frequently, so I'm not going to be forgetting these.  Do you set resolutions?  Social work teaches that you have to set goals and then outline how to get there -- and there's my road map in writing.   I wish you the best in mapping out your year, too!


  1. I have a pretty good understanding of Spanish, but I would love to improve my skills a little bit, so I think this resolution is great.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  2. So many online resources you can start with, Bonnie! I have workbooks here and my class, and a Mexican penpal (keypal?) to help keep me sharp -- it has been so much fun!