2013: Resolve to be Successful


Thank you, Danielle, for the lovely introduction to our “Resolve to be Successful” project. Your generosity in letting me adapt your words to fit my blog made my day. Any mistakes you find are mine. =)


2012 was a rough year – a bitter presidential election that divided the nation; financial calamities as the housing and job markets continued their rollercoaster rides; continued war and unrest abroad, especially in the Middle East, Africa and China; senseless losses of beautiful lives to the twin tragedies of gun violence and mental illness; an angry and petulant Mother Nature, unleashing Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha; the Costa Concordia accident. There was so much negativity. We hope to leave negativity behind as we look to 2013 for a fresh start.

Much like Danielle (ProfMomEsq), I don’t do New Year resolutions. I already put too much pressure on myself to be perfect. Making resolutions that I won’t follow through on usually triggers a grand old downward spiral. Since I try my darndest to avoid those, I resolved a long time ago to make no more resolutions.

This year is different. Danielle ran across an idea on Facebook that was just too good. She shared it  and I decided that I’d do it too.  Then we thought, what if everybody joined us? The thought was so tickling that it brought us to the idea to not only do the project, but to blog the results. There is something about being held “accountable” (for lack of a better word) to someone else. Knowing that someone else is expecting me to find the positive will make it much easier.

The concept is simple. Keep a jar some place handy. When a good thing happens in your life, write it down on a strip of paper, and put the paper in the jar. At the end of the year, take out all the papers and read them to remind yourself of the wonderful year you had.

Danielle and I have our jars ready. Here’s her jar:

ProfMomEsq's Jar of Success

Here is mine:

Elizabeth's Awesome Jar of Success

By year’s end, our jars will be filled with scraps of paper describing moments from 2013 truly worth remembering. On December 31, 2013, we will open our jars, read the scraps of paper and post the contents on our respective blogs. Then, we’ll get to spend the rest of our day reading through all the blogs of those who join us.

Yes, that’s right! We want you to post, too! Resolve To Be Successful by clicking the button below. Follow the directions to join the blog hop, then get yourself a “Jar of Success.” Any old jar will do; you can decorate it or not, make it big or keep it small, fill it yourself or have family and friends join you; you can even go high-tech and keep your “jar” in your iThingy. Just make sure your “jar” is always handy so you don’t forget any of your moments of joy, love, happiness and – above all – success.

Feel free to snag either of the badges to post on your blog to show the blogosphere that you are joining us. Please write a post about what you are doing and try to get as many people involved in the project. The more people we have participating, the more positivity  we will be spreading across the world. Maybe if we all focus on the good things, 2013 will be one of the best years ever.

If you link up with us, post your jar’s contents before midnight on December 31, 2013 and spend a blissful day celebrating all the wonderful milestones that paved our way to 2014. And – HEY! – if you link up, you already have something to put in your jar: you wrote your last blog post for 2013 way ahead of schedule.

We look forward to seeing you and sharing in your success! Happy New Year!

Thoughts about Reaching my XXth Birthday

Today is my 39th birthday. I know. Women aren’t supposed to tell anyone their age. I don’t really subscribe to that thought. I have worked hard to make it through my 39 years and I am proud of that. Plus, I’ve been saying I was 39 all year and thought I was going to be 40 today until I did the math.

I’ve heard the memory goes as you age, but I didn’t think it would go this quickly!

I now have a second year of being 39! Inorite? I get one more year before the dreaded 40, an age where I’ve heard that everything starts falling off (but not the things that you want to fall off– like the middle-age spread). I might have a 3rd year of 39 just to be safe.

Not enough candles, but you get the idea!

In the past week leading up to this glorious day, I’ve done some thinking. I don’t know about you guys, but this is the time when I look back at my year and see how I’ve done. Forget New Year’s Day– that is for everyone else. I’ve got to be different! Oh, side note: July 2nd is halfway through the year. I didn’t know that. My friend told me. I didn’t research it so if I’m wrong, let me know. I’ll probably forget though. Because I forgot I was 38, remember?

This year’s taking stock of my life has been very different from all of the others. Usually I get very depressed and think of all of the things that have gone wrong. I focused on how worthless and imperfect I was. Death loomed ever closer in my mind and I would never be able to make something of myself. I usually spent a whole week alternately crying and getting angry. I hated my birthday and never wanted to celebrate it. Well, this year I did none of that. Okay, that wasn’t completely true. I did cry a little last night, but I think it was more because I was worn out and it was late and I forgot to eat dinner. Probably. Still, it was only about ten minutes long, if that, and I fell asleep right after.

Instead of looking at my life negatively, I’ve chosen to look at it differently. Even thought there were difficult times, I made it through them. Sometimes I learned something about myself. Sometimes I was just happy to get out of it with only a few scratches on my psyche. Amazingly, the scratches were few. I’ve become a much stronger woman because of it. The difference is that I’ve actually been in a state of mind where I could actually see the strength. Part of it I attribute to finally finding the correct melange of medicine. The majority of it, though, is all me. Yes, my meds have balanced my brain chemistry, but I have chosen to do the work to make myself stronger.

Happy birthday to me.



All photos that are not mine are under a CC license. For more information about this wonderful resource, go to www.creativecommons.org

Cake Photo: Neil T via flickr

Cold-Filled Christmas

Welcome to my first Christmas post. I know. It is a very exciting moment for me. Not only is it my Christmas post, it is also going to be my 30th post on my blog. Apparently WordPress thinks that is a big deal because it has been counting down for the past three or four posts. It must be a sort of a milestone. Maybe if you make it past 30 posts, you are a blogger for life. Kinda like when they say if you make it past your third year of teaching, you become a lifer? Sounds so positive, doesn’t it? But that is fodder for another post. Let’s get on with this one, shall we?

It seems like every time I get a break from teaching, my body betrays me. I spent Christmas in a cold medicine induced fog that was not pleasant. It wasn’t unpleasant either. Just foggy. So here are my sappy and (hopefully) coherent thoughts about this Christmas.

For the first time in a long time, I got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my mom, brother, niece, and nephew. We usually go down to my mother-in-law’s house and spend it down there because my brother doesn’t always have his kids with him. I missed our normal visit with my mother-in-law, but it was so very, very nice to be able to see my family. Even if they were sort of blurry because of all the cold medicine I was hopped up on.

It is so hard having two families that you actually want to be with during the holidays. My brother- and sister-in-law with their two children were at my mil’s house. I rarely get to see them, especially my brother-in-law (he’s a surgeon–inorite??) and so is often not available when they come to visit from Denver. Their children are such neat kids. My niece is so smart and so very creative. My nephew is the cutest thing. My husband’s best friend/brother is also there from Idaho. I know it makes hubs so very happy to spend time with him and talk about all the ham radio/Star Trek/Chess things they talk about. Knowing that my mother-in-law had so many people there on this first Christmas after my father-in-law passed really helped, but it was still hard for us to not be there.

Spending this time with my family, however, made me realize some things about them. My brother is an amazing father. I knew that he was a good one, but this visit bumped him up to amazing. It is hard being a parent and he sometimes gives himself grief about it, but I would have loved to have him as my father– not in the inbred, warped way. I also realized that my niece and nephew are growing up faster than I would like them to. I don’t know what I am going to do when my Natter starts doing the same.

My ninth-grade nephew is stronger than he thinks he is. That’s enough said about that. When I look at him, I see a little bit of me when I was his age. He’s also totally and completely hilarious when it comes to playing the game Balderdash. It didn’t move him forward on the game board, but it sure did have us laughing so hard. If there was milk involved, it would have been flying out of noses. Let’s just say that the figurative milk was EVERYWHERE.

My eighth-grade niece has turned into this confident, caring young lady with a dry wit and a practicality that I’ve not seen in an eighth grader. My baby girl was connected to her at the hip. Oh, did I mention that she’s patient, as well? Having a five-year old worship the ground you walk on can be very tiring, especially if she wants to play princess and bad guy and she always gets to be the princess and you always have to be the bad guy, never mind the fact that you’ve been the bad guy the last five times you’ve played and you just want to be the princess ONCE because it sounds like fun. Err…. yeah. exactly.

My mom is awesome. She is so generous with her time and her love. Plus, she actually cooks! Crazy right? We had ham and beans and roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies and pies (from the store, but that’s okay). The only thing I missed were the Christmas cinnamon rolls that she mentioned she might make. (HINT: Mom, if you’re reading this, that was a hint. :-P)

I am pretty sure everyone got what they hoped for. I know I did. Being able to spend the time with my family for this holiday was splendid.  I hope your Christmas was as pleasant as mine was, minus the cold, of course.

Oh, and if you thought this was going to be about an actual COLD Christmas, well… sorry. I live in Phoenix. Ain’t no such thing! It was a nice 60 degrees out.