Friday, January 2, 2015

2015: curating

I love love LOVE the fresh start feeling at the beginning of the year.  Once Christmas celebrations are over I start looking forward to waking up on January 1st with that feeling that anything is possible.  Ready for cleaning, simplyfing, and reworking our routines.  I LOVE it.  I think people either feel like that and tend to be resolution makers.  Then those who wake up feeling like January 1st is pretty much the same as December 31st are into resolutions.   That's my theory on all the resolution hate people claim this time of the year.  No right or wrong answer, just different ways people react.

Anyways, I'm a resolution maker.  Matt is not.  First, checking in on my 2014 resolutions:

1) Read 75 books.  
Not to brag, but I kinda knocked this one out of the park.  I finished book #100 on December 30th.   The extra 25 books were largely thanks to being laid up for 6 weeks (I read 24 books, almost 1/4 of my total, in those 43 days).

2) Make healthier meals 
I think we are continually improving on this.  We've greatly cut down our use of canned and processed food, which helps.  I make a lot from scratch and we have been eating more vegetables (getting enough fruit generally isn't a problem).  It's always something we could improve on but gradual steps are the way to go.

3) Improve my kitchen chopping skills 
No, I'm not great at this but I have improved.  Largely in part to actually using a good knife instead of a paring knife for most cutting.  Shocking, the big butcher type knife works better and is much faster.  
4) Improve my photography skills 
I took an online photography class early in the year and I think that did help me change up some perspective and reiterate some things I should have been doing.  I've read more articles on good photography and gotten new things to try.  I recently went through all my Instagram pictures to tag my food ones and that was really eye opening to how much better I've gotten.  Not great, but certainly better.  And we bought a tri-pod over the summer which really helps with a lot of still-life pictures.  Not Luke, he's mover, but of food and rooms and projects, the tri-pod has helped a lot.  Always a lot of room for improvement but it's getting better.

5) Continually simplify our lives, routines, and belongings
I do this almost daily, find something to get rid of.  My sister and I had a big garage sale in May and I did a big purge when putting our bathroom back together.  Shortly after I was walking again I went on a big cleaning spree, finding all sorts of things to get rid of.  We have quite the garage sale pile going in the basement (again).  I have big goals here for this year but we did pretty well in 2014.

6) Read the daily Mass readings.  
This is one of the easiest ones to measure so I can say firmly...I kinda failed.  I did really well the first few months, falling off sometime around Easter.  I have no good excuse for that.

Now for 2015...

When thinking of this year, the word that keeps coming to mind is "curating".  Google defines this as

select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition)
I know my house is no museum but the idea of putting thought and care into what we own and what we do really resonates with me.  I'm a big believer in "quality over quantity" but that's not always apparent in what we have.  When I think of cleaning as not just getting rid of what we don't like/need/use but instead of curating our belongings, it makes it easier for me to get rid of things I don't like as much.  This goes for pretty much everything: clothes, Luke's toys, the kitchen, my iTunes library, movies, games, and so on.  I'm going to make that my theme for the year: curating our belongings, putting together something cohesive and useful, not just a collection of stuff.  Some of this will also be filling in gaps or replacing the broken/worn out.  We're always going to have some excess but I'm doing my best to streamline.

My list of goals/resolutions:
1) Read 75 books.  After 100 this should be a piece of cake.
2) Read Jesus Calling devotional every day, this has an entry for each day so it should make it easy to stay on top of.
3) Get rid of at least 25 physical things each month (see above).
4) Make more effective and efficient use of my time but cutting down on errand running and making prioritized to-do lists.
5) Each month make a detailed goal/project list for the month.

Number 5 really gives me some flex space and is part Matt (the non-resolution maker) can get on board with.  I made my January list and it includes many projects that have been put off for months between crutches and Christmas prep as well as my 25 things to get rid of and other things I want to clean like working through my iTunes library and my pins on Pinterest (both of which need reduced by at least a third, maybe even half).  Some of it is obvious like putting away Christmas decorations but others is recipes I've been wanting to make for awhile.  I'm optimistic that that will help me stay motivated.

Some things I am hoping to accomplish soon:
-painting the last cupboard in my room
-make chocolate pudding from scratch
-work on a small bedroom makeover for us
-make some new "art" to hang above our buffet
-make a belt for Luke's dinosaur tail so he could wear it with his normal clothes

I'm optimistic and hopeful about this year.  We have almost 2 full years of parenting under out belt and Luke is at such a cute and perfect stage right now.  It's the quiet before the storm of two kids.  Going to try to take advantage of that the best I can.

2010 resolutions
2011 resolutions  (the year I really took on simplifying)
2012 resolutions  (I never updated this)
2013 resolutions
2014 resolutions

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