Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A new year, a new blog

I have been mulling the past several days.  First of all, a few weeks ago my mother asked me to join her in a challenge.  It appealed to me immediately, but has been tough to pull off:  stop drinking my chosen brown pop on a daily (well, hourly...) basis.  She wanted me to stop all together, for a year... I compromised by choosing one time per week to enjoy the cold bubbliness.  I will save it for weekends, preferably on a date with my sweet husband, and I will have one 44 oz. drink on ice per week.  So far, so good.

Anyway, back to the mulling.

One of my very favorite blogs, Vanilla Garlic, offered some very reasonable, easily realizable suggestions regarding resolutions (Unfinished Business: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake).  I was so impressed at the simplicity!  Author Garrett McCord offers specific instructions on how to make and KEEP some New Year Resolutions.  His personal list is the same - manageable, possible, and not overwhelming.  I read this and continued to mull.

My mother, whom, you will find by reading this blog, is the main influence in my life, in all ways, gave me a book to read this past Christmas, A Heart Like His: Making Space for God's Love in Your Life by Virginia H. Pearce.  She wrote that it was practical in the front pages to me, and this, ALONE, allowed me to begin to read it immediately.  I have started to take what Pearce has to say personally, and it is making a difference in how I feel, on every level.  I continued to mull...

So here it is, I'll try to keep it short, but one thing you'll learn about me immediately is that I am wordy, verbose, long-winded, long-worded... I try not to be tedious but feel I must explain precisely.

I have been so busy just trying to stay on top of the rolling log in the river that I have forgotten to better myself in any way, shape, form; I have coasted for so long I almost don't remember what it's like to make a goal.  It makes me sad.  But more so, it makes the realization that the time has come for some change very prominent in my heart and in my mind right now.  I cannot, I will not, change everything all at once or immediately.  I won't stick to any of it.

SO my goal is this: do one simple thing, every day, to improve myself.  Oh, the ways I could improve are endless!  This list is so overwhelming that it was difficult to find a place to start.  But Garrett helped me to realize that the changes could be brought about in simple, achievable goals, and author Pearce helped me to realize that they could be brought about without great drama or great burden.

So far, I've done OK for the new year.  I spent the 30th of December through the 2nd of January mulling, so I technically began January 3, 2011, which is fine with me.  I also have found that my tendency is all or nothing - if I can't begin a resolution on January 1st and keep it, then why even try... I want to be done with that behavior too.

  • January 3rd - began my drink no brown soda for 2011. It was most difficult on my break at work, where the cold bubbles called my name very loudly.  I resisted, and have so far.
  • January 4th - I peeled and ate a whole orange all by myself.  Fruit has become nearly non-existent in my life other than for a specific occasion that it was prepared for, this mostly because of prenatal diabetes which taught me that fruit=sugar=high blood sugar.  I need to incorporate a little of nature's bounty back into my diet.
  • January 5th - I saw a dear friend in passing and decided to write a note to her and thank her for her life's work with the disabled.  I will be writing that later tonight after the kids are in bed and I have some quiet time.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Much of my previous failure with resolutions/goals/attempts/etc. has simply been over-planning and over-expecting.  I refuse to do that this time.  Everything will come with simple, healthful (physical, emotional, mental) decisions.  I am TERRIFIED of failure, so I am trying very hard to find things that I can actually do, yet that will challenge me in some way, rather than things that will frighten me into not trying.

I simply hope, by doing it this way, to find joy in my journey, rather than the outcome alone.  I hope to chronicle my ups and downs, my successes and failures, and my overall change.  I hope you'll join me, and share with me as I go.


  1. Now you have a reason not to fail on day 2... I'm following your blog. Keep it up!

  2. SJ, I love your blog! What a great idea! About 8 years ago I decided to give up my brown bubbly drink. I kept track of how much I was spending per day on this item. At the end of one month I had saved nearly $15. I thought if I could keep it up in a year I would have saved $180. That's a lot of money. So every month I saved my money and I bought myself some much needed new shoes and clothes. I did try to drink one after that but it made me shake and my heart race so I decided I would never drink it again. I've been brown drink free ever since. I did substitute some water with lemon in it for a while to help with the cravings. It helped quite a bit. Good luck with your challenge. I know you can do it.

  3. Sarah Jane,
    I just really like you. :) ... that pretty much sums it up.