I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. If there's a change I want to make, I make it. If there's something I want to do more/less of, I do more/less of it. If there's a goal I want to accomplish, I work on accomplishing it. All of this regardless of the date or time of year.
This year, I'm setting forth with a list of intentions, not just for this year but for my life in general. I've been on vacation (and by "vacation," I mean staying home and trying to be as unproductive as possible). Just as you do on any vacation, when you take time away from your normal routine, you are better able to notice things you don't need in your life and see the things you need to add more of. I did a lot of this "noticing" the last couple of weeks. From now on, I will have a running list of Things I Do and Things I Don't Do. I might even print this list and hang it in my office as a reminder of how I intend to live my life.
Things I Don't Do
1. Waste time on Social Media. Social media feels like a necessary evil sometimes. Sure, it leads me to all of the adorable animal videos I'm so fond and I get to see pictures of my cousins' gorgeous children growing up but between those pictures and videos, I'm spending a lot of time scrolling. Because I'm a blogger, I know it's not something I can give up on altogether because I love the way it gives me the ability to connect with my readers, but I need to draw a line. Until I can afford to hire someone to handle the blog's social media for me (if there's someone out there willing to be an unpaid intern, by all means, let me know!), I will continue to do it myself but I will be limiting the time spent doing so. If I don't comment on/like/share your post, don't take it personally- I'm just disconnecting a bit.
2. Feel like I have to do my hair every day. I have a cowlick that determines the type of hair day I'll have and some days it's a battle. Since I cut about 9 inches off of my hair, I can't really pull off ponytails the way I used to so for those tough days, I need to accept that that's what hats are for.
3. Feel like I always have to prepare every meal. Sometimes I feel guilty if I don't have the time and/or the energy to cook a full meal for dinner, or if I don't have the time and/or energy on Sunday to prepare my lunches for the week. Sometimes, it's okay to eat-out. Sometimes, toast is the answer. And that's just fine.
4. Look at my phone first thing in the morning. Enough said.
5. Waist energy feeling bad about things I didn't have time to do. I'm big on lists (if you hadn't noticed) which means I like to make to-do lists. Sometimes there's specific errands or tasks, but there's always the familiar to-do's that end up on every list. Things like: "write Friday's post," "respond to all comments," "update the 'About' section on the blog," and "answer emails." I know I should create a daily schedule alotting time to each of these things, but while I'm working full-time, I take time to work on the blog when/where I can. Luckily my job, though it has its days where I'm going non-stop, does allow me some time when I don't have anything to do and luckily, Chris is my boss, so he's understanding about me working on the blog. However, when I don't have time to put that post together or respond to every email, I tend to feel a little guilty. And I start feeling like a bad blogger. And maybe that makes me less of a blogger than the other bloggers out there, but I'm going to stop feeling bad about not having enough time in the day to do everything I need/want to do. That post will get written and the emails will get answered and someday, someday, maybe I'll update the About page.
Things I Do
1. Pet all the dogs. It's little things like this that make me happy so I need to make sure I always do it.
2. Do things that excite all of my nerve endings at once. Cooking. Writing. Exploring foreign cities. Spending time with my husband. These are the things I need to make a priority.
3. Read books. Recently, I've started reading with my breakfast every Saturday morning and during the last couple weeks (my stay-cation), I've been doing that every day. And it's been glorious. I particularly love reading autobiographies, especially if they're written by funny people. Chris got me Neil Patrick Harris's new autobiography for Christmas and just before that, I finished reading Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. I've read Bossypants and Bedwetter, and I'm looking forward to getting into Mindy Kaling's books and I'll be branching out into other genres of books as well.
4. Eat chocolate. Enough said.
5. Be completely unproductive sometimes. Sometimes, I need to hang-out and watch all of the birds in the canal from my dining room window or spend hours binge-watching Friends (Thank you, Netflix!) or falling into the black hole known as Buzzfeed. I usually feel guilty for being unproductive especially when I could've been working/writing a post for the blog/creating a recipe/folding laundry. No more.
6. Simplify. Whenever possible, simplify it. My detail-oriented, perfectionist self needs to just calm the hell down.
7. Be Kind. Always choose the kindest route. Kindness is kind of a big deal for me, if you hadn't guessed by the name of my blog...
The Do & Don't lists may change over time. Things may get added and things may get taken away but I think it's important to be aware of how the things we do and how we spend our time affects who we really want to be.