Sunday, January 29, 2012

Is It Too Late For a New Year's Resolution Post?

Like any self-help reading, list making, delusional perfectionist, I have always loved New Year's resolutions. But these days I am a fan of making one resolution. I have the rest of the year to try to improve myself in other ways anyway.  

Last year my one resolution was: Music. I was going to go to more live shows, seek out new bands and update my ipod. Or something like that.

The only music I really got involved in was choosing our wedding playlist and figuring out how to program our new stereo (wedding gift) to Radio 3 and Magic FM (just kidding, I also put XFM on there, because, of course, I am very indie). But even better, after a week in Croatia watching German MTV, I learned who Pit Bull is, so I consider last year's resolution a resounding success!

So this year's resolution is called: Projects

It all came about from a conversation I had with a friend over a bottle of wine. We were lamenting about all the projects we could never get done, things like sorting through photos or cleaning out this or that, because there was always something more interesting to do. Mainly sitting together over a bottle of wine to discuss such burning issues.

And here was my thought on the matter. I believe that sometimes the reason I (and feasibly other people) never get around to those projects just waiting in the wings is that 1) there are too many, which is overwhelming and 2) there is no deadline.

So what I proposed to my friend is that we try the one-month, one-project approach. That would mean by the end of the year we would have completed 12 projects. Which, in my opinion, sounds like a whole lot.

January's project for me has been 'technology' and has mainly consisted so far of spending a lot of money on a new laptop and getting a souped-up smart phone whose operating system still somewhat baffles me. I had to actually call Vodafone to figure out how to lock it. But I have downloaded some apps and have even been reading books on it as an experiment in e-reading (not so bad, actually).

Next month's project… wedding photos! Just in time for our one-year anniversary, I would like to have at least one photo from our wedding framed and on display. I was pretty embarrassed in December when we had some of the Hub's family over and there was nary a wedding photo in sight. Although with the Hub's lack of enthusiasm for photos in general (he hasn't even looked properly through our wedding ones) perhaps they just thought I was being a supportive good wife?

Happy (Belated) New Year's!

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Holiday Chaos

There are so many things that I love about the holidays. From Halloween to the day after New Year's, there are amazing things like trees turning autumn colors, turkey and stuffing, Christmas carols, mulled wine and trees with twinkling lights. I love buying presents for people that I know they will like. I love the feeling of sitting at Heathrow anticipating my trip home to New York, secure in the knowledge that my dad will be making me nice meals and I can eat as many pizza slices at New York delis as I want.

But how are the holidays really? Are they as sparkling, glittery and as filled with glee as I always anticipate?

This year the sewer line in my Grandmother's house backed up and all 11 members of my dad's side of the family had to decamp to my parents' house. We were not at all prepared – in fact, the two 'guest' rooms only have single beds in them. But with the help of air mattresses and cots, we all piled in and made do. My brother and I slept in my parents' room with them (with me in the walk-in closet) and my dad just happened to have a ham in the fridge that we ate for Christmas dinner.

And it was all going so well until my brother's dog ate an entire bar of dark chocolate and had to be rushed to the pet emergency room so vomiting could be induced.

It was certainly not a perfect Christmas. Although it was certainly memorable.

No matter how good your life is, no matter how many things you have to celebrate, I always think of the holidays as a time to imagine that other people must be having a better time – a more perfect family and of course a more perfect holiday celebration.

So I have decided to create my own new Christmas tradition – Christmas as a reminder to celebrate the chaos of life. The fact that life – and in particular family – can never be perfect. That sewer lines will back up and dogs will eat toxic substances just because they taste so good. But I often need a reminder that beauty doesn't equal order or perfection.

I have a lot of good memories of this Christmas in New York – there certainly was a lot of laughter. And I'm pretty sure the Hub is glad he arrived after Christmas day – otherwise he would have been sleeping in the closet with me. I'm still in New York, by the way, and it's bloody cold (-5 degrees celcius). And it's making me really appreciate England at the moment.

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