Why do people say turning over a new leaf? I always thought it referred to plant leaves. From an old oak tree a new leaf grows. I never figured out the turning part. I never actually thought deep about it, it's just one of those sayings that you always hear, particularly at this time of year.
Of course now I realise it is referring to the leaf or page of a book. Another chapter of my life.
Some years I have made resolutions and other years figured it wasn't worth lining myself up for failure, however, after a very trying year, I feel like I need to be in control of the direction my life is heading.
At least when you are tried, you get to know what is important to you and what you do and don't want. The last year I have been pondering lots of ways I could improve my life, my lifestyle and life choices. There are so many things I would like to change or improve upon.
1. Be a nicer person. Smile more, be more helpful and friendlier. Be more patient when driving.
Result - i feel happier and have more friends and get where I am going in a better frame of mind.
2. Don't be bitter, let the bad stuff go, don't let it fester. For a long time I was living day to day, just getting by. I need to stop wallowing in self-pity and misery and leave it in God's hands. I am now more acquainted with my weaknesses and frailties and recognising my limits and when to let it go.
Result - I feel freer, I have energy for good things.
3. Stop acquiring things I have no need for, reduce, re-use, recycle, make it, mend it and make do. I have reduced shopping a lot this past year. I can see that just by visiting department stores and shopping centres, it is so easy to buy buy buy and feel every purchase justified. Until I get home. This past year has seen reduced available income so it was a matter of necessity to stop spending. I have actually been glad to be able to get free from that trap. I still have a long way to go. It is too easy to spend when it comes to justifiable hobbies like sewing for kids clothes. There are too many beautiful prints and patterns that seem very reasonable but in truth I have more than I need and when I have used what I have, there will still be beautiful prints and patterns to buy.
Result - a better bank balance and ability to be satisfied and appreciate the bounty I already have.
4. I want to be more creative and get back to basics. Use my own brain if I need a pattern. Use my own abilities, make things and cook from scratch, maybe even garden a little.
Result - We can eat healthier, save money, reuse and repurpose our excess and reduce packaging and garbage. Gain confidence and self esteem.
5. A very common one. I need to be fitter and healthier. Along with the stresses of the last year I have responded by relying too much on convenience and comfort foods. I have withdrawn a lot from being outside, getting exercise, meeting people, being holed up in my home and the internet. I want to be more active with the kids and get out in the fresh air and sunshine.
Result - A fitter and longer life with the company of my DH, kids, grandkids (hopefully) and friends.
6. Be more organised. Regain more meal structure, get rid of the clutter around me and in me. Learn to use a calendar more effectively.
Result - Less stress and last minute rushing. A calm atmosphere, healthier and more economical meals.
I know that is a lot but I will build on the good things I have learnt over the past year and hopefully next year will find me at least a little better and healthier.
I am going to read more. Make time to read scriptures, to read novels. I enjoy it. It is like taking a little vacation in my own head.
I am going to read while exercising on my stationary bike again. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone :)
I am going to continue to use google mail and calendar. I started using these late last year and the calendar has been a great help to me.
I will go back to menu-planning and shopping lists.
Plan tasks for each day.
Plan free and creative time for each week.
At the moment I am decluttering so I have a clear and level playing field. So far I have taken 9 large bags of books to the Op shop and have 8 bags of clothing waiting to be dropped off. Plenty more things to go. Less is more. More space, more serenity, more organisation, more cleanable.
Finally, an apology to anyone still waiting on a giveaway parcel. Life did sort of snowball on me the last few weeks with court dates and Christmas. Never fear, your parcel will eventually appear.
Wishing everyone a Wonderful and Marvelous New Year in 2010!