CJDaily's Blog

January 4, 2010

Resolutions and realizations…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 10:24 pm

I apologize for not writing for a while.  I know people check my page almost every day, so I hope you find this new update satisfying enough to make up for a month of silence!

It’s a brand new year, 2010, like something out of a sci-fi book.  All I want to know is–where are the flying cars?  And the butler robots who do menial housework and the human clones and the alien spaceships?  This is it?  Really?  I still have to steer my own Honda and everything?  The future, my friends, just ain’t what it used to be!

I know everyone likes to make resolutions and promises to do all sorts of things–lose weight, be more productive, maybe quit smoking or drink less coffee.  I actually don’t like to make resolutions because people, being human, rarely see these drastic plans through to fruition.  Think about how crowded the gyms get at the beginning of every year, yet eventually that mad craze to lose weight succumbs to the lure of the mint chocolate chip.  There are improvements I’d like to make to my life, but they are things I’ve been working on for the past few months already, and I don’t see my desire fading, as they are not rash promises or huge, unattainable goals.

For one thing, I am saving more money.  Not having even one credit card is pretty amazing for an American, so I have to thank my dad, who raised me to never spend more than I actually have.  I signed up for a Lucky Brand credit card four years ago when I worked there, and learned my lesson the hard way.  After paying off all my bills, I put every last store card I had–Lucky, Victorias Secret, Macy’s, into the shredder, never to be used again.  I only use my Visa debit card when shopping, hence I can never spend more than I have.  If I want something, I wait a day to make sure it’s a necessity and not a spur of the moment purchase.  So I’ve been pretty frugal for the past 4 years, but I’ve decided to put even more money into my savings account than before.  Also, I now have 2 separate saving accounts.  One is the account with my bank where I have my checking account.  If I ever need to, I can take money out of that account, say for Christmas shopping or an emergency.  But the second savings account is in an online bank, and I only transfer money INTO it, never out.  Once the money is in there it’s untouchable. 

So although I’ve been putting more money into it lately, my “resolution” is to put slightly more money into both saving accounts than I have been, without skipping a paycheck.  Now that the holiday season is over I can stop excusing myself from putting money into these accounts because of extra expenses.  Being a grown-up is expensive, and being a mom is even more so.  As much as I love clothes I’ve never wasted my money on Coach purses or getting my nails done.  (In fact, I’ve always found doing my own nails to be highly therapeutic.)  But I do love buying nail polish, or a new sweater here and there and that sort of thing adds up, so I’m going to be extra-conscious of what I buy, and force myself to use up all those old bottle of polish before buying more! 

The only other thing I’ve resolved to myself, aside from watching my finances, is to personally be a better person.  I’ve found lately that rising above someone else’s pettiness, while it is by no means easy, makes me feel calmer at the end of the day.  It’s hard to turn the other cheek when someone is being nasty, but retaliating can only bring you down to their level.  I’ve been having a hard time lately dealing with someone else’s anger and spite, and it came from an unexpected place, which always makes it harder.  My initial response was shock and hurt, and I wanted to lash back out and “set them straight.”  But (thank God) I reminded myself to take a deep breath before replying and asked others for feedback and advice before flying off the handle.  I also spent a lot of time praying for the right words and for wisdom on how to handle such a crazy situation. 

In the end, well, it hasn’t been resolved, but rather than lashing out, I’ve been calm.  I’ll admit it makes me crazy when someone picks a fight and then refuses to let you defend yourself, but I’ve learned that sometimes you can’t fix other people’s problems for them if they refuse to let you in.  It’s also shown me that if I can approve of how I’ve handled it at the end of the day, well my behavior is the only behavior I have to answer for.  The me of 5 years ago, heck maybe even 2 years ago, would have told this person off so strongly that they would remember my words until their dying day, and it wouldn’t have been pretty.  But I realise as I get older that not everyone will see reason, even if you explain things to them in a way that is perfectly logical.  Not everyone will fight fair, even if you’ve done nothing intentional to hurt them.  And not every friendship gets fixed after a fight.  Sometimes people let you see a side of them you didn’t realize was there, or you didn’t want to see.  As you get older, life gets simpler.  Priorities are clearer.  And I know I am a better person for turning the other cheek, even if it means I swallow all the things the old me wishes I had said. 

Aside from saving money and rising above, I make no other dramatic vows.  Jesse and I have our hands full fixing the house–and by that I mean he is working all week long on it and when I visit with Belle on the weekends I make him coffee while he hangs drywall.  I’m very helpful.  I have conquered my fear of the purple bathroom and even brought myself to use the shower.  We put a Christmas tree in the living room and decorated it with all the mismatched ornaments donated by both of our mothers, as well as three we bought at Target, one for each of us.  The end result was rather colorful, if not elegant.  I bought him a gorgeous and elegant grandfather clock, something we both wanted in the house.  I was rather triumphant in this purchase, having found it almost brand new for $75 on Craig’s List.  New Years was wonderful, and Belle celebrated until 1am with candy in one hand a kazoo in the other.  We also took her to see the Princess and The Frog on Sunday and she was so well behaved it was scary.  We had our doubts about taking her to her first real movie, but she was a gem and we were both bursting with pride at how grown up she is becoming. 

She’s talking up a storm and obsessed with all things princess, which, believe it or not, I did not push her into.  She loves all things Ariel, and knows the names of all the other princesses, and insists on spending the whole weekend flouncing around in the gold Belle dress Jesse got her for Christmas.  She also loves Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and babies.  She literally dragged me across Pottery Barn because she saw a baby carrier and NEEDED to go see the baby.  Our friends Jeff and Terri have an adorable newborn named Elke, and she goes on about Baby Elke for days, and wraps up her dolls in blankets because that’s how Baby Elke gets wrapped up.  It’s so cute you would not believe it.  Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here but I think she’s gonna be a good mom…

Alright, time to wrap this up… having a whole week off was wonderful but after today I realised I need to start going back to bed at the normal time, or else risk falling asleep some time after lunch.  Here’s wishing everyone a healthy, happy new year!


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