Somewhat shoddy self-portrait in the dress procured during the great Jessica Simpson incident (I better enjoy that dress, as it's my last purchase for the next 30 days...more below.)

Last year I bypassed creating formal resolutions altogether, save one. We came home from the hospital with Millie on New Year’s Eve, and that evening before bed I crafted my sole resolution – to savor her babyhood. Audrey’s first year was pretty overwhelming for me, and in that sort of low-level fog of intense sleep deprivation, constantly second guessing myself and the endless fixation on the next phase or milestone, I missed so many of the small, delightful happenings. So with Millie, I vowed to savor, embrace, remember and enjoy as much as possible about that first year no matter how hard, monotonous or tiring some of those moments might be, and I can honestly say (for the most part) that I accomplished it.

But I love creating full-blown resolutions, so I’ve put lots of thought into a more fleshed out set of goals this year. In the past, I’ve approached this task like I would a good to-do list, with a couple of easy-to-accomplish items that I can almost instantly cross-off, a few stretch goals and some that are so far-reaching that they usually get carried over from year to year, and that seems to be a good format for me.

In working on this year’s list, I found myself repeatedly coming back to both Rachel’s idea to pick a word to embrace and focus your energy upon as well as this quote by a favorite author of mine, Anne Dillard.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So buoyed by these sentiments, I declare this the year of being Deliberate, and as such I plan to spend more days this year doing the following:
  1. Going somewhere new – Marfa is at the top of this year’s list.

  2. Reading more novels

  3. Making something (anything really)

  4. Curbing my eco-sins – I’m referring specifically to my addiction to paper towels and my inability to find a viable solution to the loads of plastic bags I seem to amass from Target each week, which leads me to my next one.

  5. Acknowledging and addressing my addiction to Target -- Otherwise known as the Buy Less Stuff resolution. I’m actually going hard-core on this one by challenging myself to not buy anything new (besides necessities like food and gas) for the next 30 days.

  6. Embarking on some sort of self-improvement, specifically I’d like to:
  • Take a photography class

  • Master one new dish per month

  • Take a regular yoga class

So...What are you hoping to do this year?


Jo said...

i completely agree with your #5 and have become extremely passionate and eager about this pursuit. i have even tried passing on my altruism to friends and family. although i fear my passion and eagerness for target and ebay will prevail:)

Lacey Jane said...

Love this post! What great inspiration... thanks!

Janet said...

Funny. My husband is from TX, Dallas actually, and is always talking about Marfa. We thought we'd visit there this year as we return to the motherland (TX) about twice a year.
I love your list. Although I have overcome #5, I must admit to having replaced it with other not so mindful consumptions. Deliberate is great word. And in this year of obvious change, one to embrace.
Love your blog by the way. I've been reading since October or so. I may have to avoid your Friday morning paper posts though as at times they are too tempting:)

mamacita said...

Joslyn -- I love your blog so much, I had to comment. I give myself a little high five every time I have a "spend nothing" day. Not one dime on anything at all. Obviously, it involves eating dinner from what you have on hand, no online purchases, etc. In other words, it requires deliberation. Since I started keeping track in August, I've had only had 12 days like that, but three of them were this week.

If you decide to do that, I have one little tip: always fill up your car on one day of the week (I do Wednesdays), even if you're not out of gas. That way you won't find yourself on "E" when you were otherwise having a spend-nothing day! Also, you will never be out of gas when you really need to go somewhere.

Okay, enough out of me. It's not like I have all the answers -- just similar questions.

mamacita said...

Okay, just ONE more thing. The paper towels are easy to kick; I had to break my husband of his habit, and teach him the way my mom taught me. Keep a drawer full of plain white cloth baby diapers handy and use them instead of paper towels whenever necessary. You won't even do that much more laundry -- they fit into loads full of towels with no problem.

Jane said...

Love the dress! I told the boys about the Jessica Simpson moment and they laughed and laughed.

Jodi Egerton said...

We Egertons will meet you four in Marfa anytime.

More fun than meeting up halfway between Austin and Dallas, eh?!

Joslyn said...

Mamacita -- i love the idea about a totally spend free day...maybe i'll try to make that a regular occurance after my 30 day "fast".

Jodi -- i'm loving that Marfa meet up idea...let's explore!

Susanne said...

I love that dress and I've repeated your Jessica Simpson tale to several people. Too funny!

I do hope you post about Marfa when you go. I lived in Texas most of my life and never made it there.

Resolutions? When I turned 40 last year I set out to do 40 new things and I'm still working my way through that--and may need another year to get there! But your list was thought-provoking, so thanks for that.

mominaledo said...

Is that you in the picture?

I share some of your resolutions. Nutrition is one of them - specifically my kids nutrition. To be PROACTIVE planning dinners, not running to Wal-Mart at 4:00.

And the paper towel thing - I was just thinking about this. Is it necessary for my housekeeper to use a whole roll of paper towels when I have a ton of junk towels?

sulu-design said...

I'm a frequent reader, infrequent commenter here, but was so happy to see that you want to go to Marfa this year. I strongly recommend a stay at the Tunderbird. Make sure to eat breakfast and lunch at the standard times. Nothing is open from 2pm 'til dinner time. Nothing. And stop by Fort Davis and Alpine while you're there. I'm jealous... I love it there.

Anonymous said...

Joslyn: I can't tell you how happy it makes me that Marfa is top of the list. Yea. Get out here. We will feed you and love on you and have the best darn time. So excited by this. April is lovely when the desert is in bloom. And August is great when Dallas is hot and it's cooler here. We can have a fire pit and smores for Audrey.

I have been trying to kick the paper towel habit too. I think the baby diaper idea is super.

Hi to everyone!

amber said...

Hello! I came across your blog through the Cookie Magazine home tour. What an amazing home--and blog. I love it.

I realize that I'm commenting on an old post, but have you seen the little reusable zipper bags they have at Target now? They're great because they fit right in your purse, so they're easy to remember. I've found myself using them at plenty of other places as well. The fitting in your purse thing is key. I know I've seen a tutorial somewhere in blogland about how to make your own little zipper pouch reusable bags, but I really don't sew and these are only 99 cents. We'll see how long they hold up.

I really love this post! You've got me thinking about the paper towel thing . . .

(who also lives in the Dallas area)