Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I've Altered And Polished Up My So-Called New Year's Resolutions

Towards the middle of November, I start thinking about the New Year. I get reflective. Quiet. Slightly introverted. I think about what has happened through the year we're upon. The goals I made the year prior. What happened. What didn't happen. The goals I reached. The goals I didn't reach. Why. What worked. What needs to change. You can read all about that here. Keep in mind, what I set forth in November doesn't usually change in the weeks to follow before the New Year is upon us. If anything, I shift it a bit and fine tune it.

This year is no exception.

What I wrote a month and a half ago has been polished up...

1. More focus. Despite it being my busiest time of year, I have managed to obtain an extreme amount of focus during the month of December. In fact, I reached a goal I never thought I'd be able to reach. With that being said, anything is possible. If I can stay focused during the busiest month of the year, the other 11 months shouldn't be an issue.

2. Stop creating distractions. I create too many distractions. Since my middle-of-November post, we have been invited to several festive gatherings at a neighbor friend's house that's a hop, skip, and jump away. At first, it felt odd. We're usually the ones to host special dinners, an appetizer and drinks evening, a backyard fire, or holiday gatherings. This time around, we were the ones attending. I realized that us hosting can't be all or nothing. I'm sure we'll plan a few throughout 2018, however, not nearly the amount we did in 2017. It's all about balance. I need to find that balance.

3. Adjusting my schedule. There's not too much wiggle room with this one, but I definitely need to make improvements on how I utilize certain hours of the day and evening. If the noise level in our around our home is causing distractions, I can move on to something else that doesn't require minimal noise.

4. Making a list of what needs to be done on certain days. During the month of December, I etched this in granite. I had to. Bodacious Holiday Biscuits had to be baked on certain days. We had coordinate pick up times on a certain day and ship all packages by a certain date. Then, there were other deadlines. It worked. I made it happen. Sure, with extreme circumstances, it may not happen, but aside from that, it can happen. It did happen. That will continue to happen.

5. Figuring out a sleep schedule. I did my best to change my sleep schedule, but it didn't completely work out. What did work out is grabbing a few hours of sleep on the overnight hours. Then, when Lisa leaves for work, I try and grab 2 - 3 more hours of sleep. I don't usually sleep well during that time, but at least I have the few hours I got on the overnight to compensate. The end result? I haven't been as tired throughout the day. In addition, I'm not missing the 1 - 2 hour naps I was occasionally taking after dinner before Lisa got her promotion.

6. Improved organization. Yep. That included taking every remnant of Christmas down yesterday. That was after getting 9 columns written. And I also wrote a lengthy list of stuff I need to do this week in order to get this blog site and my social media streams up to par and updated by December 31st. If time allows, I'd also like to organize the biscuit & craft room. We're making more changes on that end of the spectrum in 2018 and having that room prepared for that would make things a whole lot easier.

7. Defending my work. Today, after posting an update on one of my social media streams of what I accomplished yesterday, what I'm going to be doing today, and what I need to work on now through the weekend, I got a reply. It read, "Amazing willpower to work from home."

I replied back with, "I really appreciate you acknowledging that, Meg. One of the biggest misconceptions about working from home is that it's easy. I've been doing it for over a decade now and I can assure anyone that it's WORLDS away from being easy. Sure, it has a few perks, but it's VERY challenging especially being a work at home Dog Mom. But, despite the challenges and being in a constant state of exhaustion, it's worth it. Working from home has allowed us to extend our family of rescue fur-kids. We wouldn't change a thing."

Obviously, some people get it and they acknowledge the commitment it takes. Sadly though, most people don't. I need to appreciate the ones who do and ignore the rest. Defending my work will no longer consume a great deal of my time. I don't need to be validated by anyone.

8. Relinquishing the fear. I need to take my own advice and that's something I doled out earlier today and that included, "Here are a few things I've learned in the past 5 years. The first, speak and write in YOUR voice. Don't alter that for the masses. By speaking and writing in your voice, you'll filter out the people who are not meant to be in your tribe or audience.

The second, everyone has an opinion. Some will adore you. Some will tolerate you. Some will despise you. That's okay. You're not meant to be everyone's cup o' tea.

The third, the ONLY validation you need is the one you get when you look in the mirror.

The fourth, loyalty is what happens when you're not around to defend yourself or put a stop to situations that could be destructive to your home, family, marriage, security, and other relationships.

The fifth, life is short. Yesterday is done and over with. Tomorrow isn't here yet. Today is all you have. Make it count.

The sixth, happiness is just an emotion like anger, joy, sadness, etc. It's about being content, being surrounded by those who are loyal and love you unconditionally, support what you do, give you wings to fly, and are there to weather the storms with you.

Last, pay attention when the Universe does her lil' shimmy shakes. Don't fight it. Grab her hands, do the sloppy tango, and embrace change regardless of how difficult it is. Like you said, the right thing to do is often the hardest.

I have added a few things since November. Those would include...

1. Creating more unique DIY Dog Mom Projects and new, homemade dog treat recipes every week. This will resume the first week of 2018. This is not optional. I am putting both of these tasks in my "work" category. It needs to happen every week. No exceptions.

2. Spend more time behind the lens. This is another task that I'm putting in my "work" category. I need to spend a little time every day taking photos of the kids and our daily life. There are many reasons for this. Some include creating DIY Dog Mom Projects out of these photos, updating our photo wall, and to have on hand for blog posts and social media stream updates.

3. It's okay to be a little judgy about what happens when you invite people to your home. After our Anniversary party back in July, I made a mental note of who would we welcomed back here and who wouldn't be. And, that carried over into the stuff I used to do for the people and what would continue and what wouldn't. That extended into the Christmas season. Enough said.

4. Get over my fear of the basement. I fear basements. There are several reasons for this. I need to get over that fear. We've lived in our home since July of 2012. I've gone down into our basement a total of 3 times. Lisa was with me. Our washer and dryer are down there. Lisa's woodshop is down there. Even though Lisa is adamant about doing the laundry, when she works late during the week, by the time she gets home, she doesn't have time to do the laundry. And, I'd like to get her workbench painted. So...

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