Monday, January 3, 2011

a year of celebration.

My family has always been big on resolutions. Each year, we'd gather around the dining room table and together write out our goals for home, family, school, and hobbies. At first, it was a requirement, something our parents forced on us rather than something we really enjoyed. As I got older, though, I liked writing a list of things I wanted to do better, things I wanted to focus on each year.

Then last year, I read a post Donald Miller wrote about resolutions and the role they play in the stories we write for ourselves, how the best goals lead us to bigger plotlines. I liked that idea, liked that the little things we do should add up to big things. So for 2010, I had one motto: to live simply and deliberately. I wanted each goal I set to be part of that deeper vision. I think I accomplished that in the first few months of 2010. We had friends over for Sunday lunches; we kept our commitments to a minimum...

And then our little world was disrupted with law school and the bar exam and graduate school and, to be perfectly honest, people.

Because a lot of people don't live simply and deliberately, and I think it bothers them when other people try.

I think this crazy, mixed-up world wants us all to be running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We carry our busy-ness like badges, and I'm tired of it.

I don't like who I was at the end of 2010, and I don't want a repeat of some of those harried months we experienced.

This year, I still want to live simply. But I'm getting more specific.

In 2011, I want to live with joy and celebration.

I want our home to be clean and livable and full of color and life. I want to have fresh flowers and good-smelling candles and colorful accents that let people know our home is fun and livable and that our door is always open.

Cooking, I am sorry to say, is mostly a chore for me. I am too tired and busy to cook, and I don't like it. I want our meals together to be times of rest and joy for us, and there is nothing I really like more than a challenge of sorts. So this year, a la Julie & Julia, I'm going to attempt to cook my way through Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook. I've made some of the recipes already, and while they were difficult, they weren't impossible. Not every meal I cook will be from Jamie's repertoire, but I do think I'll try my hand at tackling as many of his recipes as possible. It's an exciting prospect, and I'm looking forward to learning new things and making better homecooked meals (that will make date night all that much more loved and appreciated).

I want to make purposeful purchases for my closet. Instead of buying only what's on sale or splurging in a moment of heated retail therapy, I want to save for things I really want. Again, I think getting on some sort of monthly purchase cycle will help me save for the dress at Anthropologie rather than settle for the lesser quality top I find at Target.

In 2011, I'd like us to move my parents' piano into our living room. Both Jordan and I play the piano, but you'd never know it if you came to our house. I think it's sad to waste years of lessons, and I'd love for our home to be a place where music is appreciated and enjoyed. Adding a piano, I think, will help that; Mom and Dad have given their blessing, so all we have to do is save up some money for a piano mover...

Basically, I want 2011 to look and feel joyful. I don't want to complain. I want to enjoy the gifts we're given. I want to try new things (couch to 5k, cooking, decorating, dressing) and really relish in them. I don't want to be shy. I want to paint my fingernails and buy a colorful rug and leave Christmas lights up in our bedroom year-round.

This is all stemming from, I think, the fact that 2011 will be the first time in six years of dating and two years of marriage that Jordan and I won't have school tying us down. In a way, it feels like our first year of life together. Maybe that sounds silly, but for the first time, we'll be living as a married couple with similar schedules. We won't have homework in the evenings or tests during the day. Our focus has shifted, and I want this year to reflect that.

2011 won't be perfect. But I'd like it to be full of joy and celebration and happiness.

And I think that is totally possible and complete doable.

Here's to you, 2011. I think we're going to be alright.


aPearantly sew said...

"to live simply and deliberately". I love that motto, and I love your resolutions.
I so enjoy reading your blog! It's always an inspiration to me. Thanks for that :)

Staley Mc said...

These are great goals. So inspiring!

monster cakes said...

This was a really beautiful post. I can relate on SO many topics... I'm currently purging my closet and making it more 'me'... I was married for 2 years before graduating and finally having time for each other (it'a amazing, btw)... I want to live with Joy of the Lord in me more, so I'm going to try to do things for other people at least once a week... and I'm going to try to cook more for me hubbo. Who knew we had so much in common! Cheers to that.

PaisleyJade said...

Awesome goals - and yay for cooking through Jamie Oliver's cookbook!!

Laken said...

Such an inspirational post. Your blog always warms my heart and puts a smile on my face.

I think I'm going to borrow your motto for my resolutions. I've already made a list, but living simply and deliberately really puts them into focus.

Becca said...

can I just steal all your thoughts and resolutions?
this is perfect. beautiful and clear and simple!