Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Year, New Resolutions.

Each January, I resolve to make some small changes in my life. Then, before I know it, December has come out of nowhere and I generally have little to show for my self-improvement efforts. I do try to make resolutions that won't make me feel bad if I don't make much headway. In years past, I've resolved to watch more movies and wear more color. I am still trying to get to the classics and Oscar winners in my Netflix queue and trying to infuse my closet with colors other than black/blue/gray/khaki/white. This year, I did manage some unprecedented success at drinking more water (hey, 2006!). Someone at the office even commented on how often we have to change the water coolers these days!

Last year I resolved to send birthday cards and other general, personal correspondence in a more timely manner - or at all, if we're being honest here. My grand idea was to buy a hefty stash of cards for every occasion so I could at least eliminate the hurdle of not having anything to send. I made a rough tally of all the birthdays I never acknowledge and anniversaries that people are still celebrating, and accounted for a good number of babies that might be born. I spent a nice, long time choosing a selection of lovely cards and filed them neatly in my then new filing cabinet. And when the first birthday rolled around to test my resolve, you can bet that my card arrived right on time... or not. I failed. And it was my own mother's birthday (I love you, mom!). There is currently an envelope on my desk at work, stuffed full of all-consuming guilt and baby photos meant for my grandmother. I don't know what my problem is but I don't think I could successfully send a birthday card (or that envelope of baby photos) if my very life depended on it. When it's your birthday, please know that I'm thinking of you and am beating myself up for not sending a card.

Anyway, with that impressive record of successful resolutions, please enjoy my list of resolutions and personal goals for 2011! In order of importance, they are:

1. Surgically detach my phone from my hand, stop compulsively checking all available interwebs for updated anything. I'm already doing pretty good with this one. I finally organized my Google Reader and Google Mobile App so I can get all the creative inspiration and blog updates without traipsing all over the internet and getting distracted by tragic news items. Which leads me to...
2. Stop consuming mainstream news. If it's important, I'm sure I'll hear about it somehow. While this will make me that crazy person who has no grasp on current events and will seriously affect my tendency toward know-it-all-itis, as well as my addiction to human interest/medical oddities/offbeat news, I hope it also curtails my debilitating sense of empathy and awareness of the absolute worst-case scenario for every occasion.
3. Look people in the eye and stop contributing to the general degradation of interpersonal contact in society.

Personal Goals:
1. Learn to sew so I can make adorable baby things, clothes for myself, and home decor items.
2. Roll up my sleeves and make my own furniture, with the inspiration, guidance and encouragement of Ana White! Her simple, DIY furniture plans are inspired by favorite retailers like Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Land Of Nod, for an amazing fraction of the price and not a whole lot more effort than shopping. She has plans for at least 12 things I've been wanting from those catalogs, plus about a million more I want to make for Alice. I mean, look at the below photos of lovely pieces created by some her loyal readers - they cost like 10% of the Pottery Barn styles that inspired them - and both would look perfect in our bedroom!

Image at left from Create and Delegate, image at right from The Bumper Crop

3. Landscape our back and front yards (order of importance) so we can use and enjoy the rest of the square footage we own.
4. Learn to use Photoshop for painting and for photo editing.

I just need to invent more time in the day, and then carve out little chunks of it to devote to sewing/woodworking/gardening/other creative pursuits!

Seriously, though, I want to spend less to create more in our lives. That's the real goal I hope to achieve with these skills. I want to invest less of my money and more of my time to personally create things that my family and friends can use and love. I would love to make clothes that better suit my style and figure. I would love to build furniture specially suited to our home, that will be treasured just as much for being handmade as for being useful and attractive. I would love to grow more of our own food and rely more on our own hands for the things we need in life.

Now that I've organized my thoughts, I just need to organize my efforts and make a plan of action! Wish me luck, 2011! 

What are your resolutions for the year? Do you have any past resolution triumphs? 


  1. Those two beds are absolutely my favorite ones from Ana's designs. Excellent choices! Remember to post pictures so that we can see the results. I'm so glad you've decided to tackle some of these projects - I'm jealous! :)

  2. I'll try to help you achieve all of your resolutions—especially the yard.

    My resolutions are:
    1. Donate to public radio stations/shows I listen to
    2. When I have the choice, do what's most enriching to my life
    3. Eat half as much meat and twice as many vegetables


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