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If 2011 had a word, it was change. If 2012 had a word, it was healing. If 2013 had a word, it was hope.

2014 does have a word, and it is patience.

The One Little Word project is not my idea, and it’s been around much longer than when I first discovered it late last year. At its core, it’s a journaling project, incorporating some scrapbooking and photography elements. The main thing is reflecting on your word and bringing it into your daily life. And this year, I want to be more conscious about being patient in all facets of my life.

This will, I think, be a year that will require patience, mostly with myself as I adjust to this new life of active motherhood, but also with Hannah and Geordie and with family far and near. And beyond just my relationships with people: I’m hoping for patience with my writing (including this blog!), with challenges in the kitchen, with expectations of the future. I want to be patient and not rush things – I want to enjoy Hannah’s babyhood and be present in her life. At the same time, I know I’ll be balancing my joy at finally having her here with us against the grief over Lauren that still remains and will always remain. I want to be patient with our future; whether we will be staying in San Antonio or pursuing adventures elsewhere, I want to relax and enjoy the small things as well as the big things.

I want to welcome patience into my life, along with its companion words: calmness, peace, compassion, kindness, composure, and poise. This is what I want for 2014: to take things as they come, to greet them without fighting them, and to treat people with the grace and gentility that I would hope for in return.

To be as calm and serene on the inside as I try to be on the outside.

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Another weekend has passed by without me even thinking about posting on the blog. I don’t feel bad about this – just lazy. I do go to Barnes & Noble on Saturday mornings and write, so I am semi-productive. Sunday, though, I usually spend all day playing the Sims. I won’t deny it. I barely spend any time on the internet on Sunday, which would maybe be a good thing if I wasn’t still camped out in front of the computer.

I’m hoping to change this next week. I have journal-like prompts to encourage writing – I’ll use those on Sunday. On Saturday, I’m thinking about doing a quick run-down of anything I made during the week and didn’t post about. I’ve got about three unfinished posts about food that I want to share, I just haven’t gotten around to finishing them. They’re short, for the most part, and if they’re not, I can shorten them and just combine them all into one. Since cooking and baking are two things that I’m regularly doing (and enjoying – laundry and dishes are also something I do every week, but I still don’t enjoy them), I want to write about them.

That’s the thing, really. I want to write. I just find it hard to keep myself motivated.

I do have one goal in particular this week, though. I want (need) to get my scrapbooking stuff organized. As I’m pulling stuff out of the storage bins, I’m finding that everything just ends up haphazardly thrown around the upstairs sitting area. The storage bin is okay for stuff that I don’t need often (like the half-dozen or so blank scrapbooks waiting to be used), but I’d like to have everything else more accessible so I’m not having to rifle through a bin and pull out everything just to find the paper I want. That’s what I hope to get to working on this week, so that next week, I can actually sit down and do some major scrapbooking.

So, here’s another Monday where I’m trying to encourage myself to be more productive on weekends. Let’s see if this admonishment is the one that sticks!

And, because Monday is apparently cat picture posting day, here it is:

The weather has been terrible elsewhere, but it has been very nice here, so I've been opening the windows whenever possible. It never fails to provide fascination for the kittens.

The weather has been terrible elsewhere, but it has been very nice here, so I’ve been opening the windows whenever possible. It never fails to provide fascination for the kittens.

This is the last of the holiday/2013 posts. Time to stop lingering in the dawn of a new year; time to get back to posting about food.

Not all about food. But you get my meaning.

Anyway, resolutions. I don’t have so many of them this year. I’m hoping I can set them up as guidelines, with actual attainable goals, as necessary.

Resolution the first: write every day. This can include the blog – the blog goal is to write five posts per week, which is what I was doing through November and December. I’d like at least two of those weekly posts to be non-food related. I’m not sure what I’m going to write about on those days, so they might be a bit random until I do figure it out. I will hazard a guess that it will have something to do with babyloss and grief. I’d also like to work on novel-writing every day, but especially on days I’m not blogging. Saturday, in particular, will be a novel-writing day. Don’t expect any blogs on Saturdays. I’m going to make a point of leaving the house on Saturday to go somewhere and write.

Resolution the second: read. Last year, I used Goodreads to set a goal to read 50 books; I hit that goal in October. I’m still doing the 50-book goal, mainly because it’s a good, rounded number. Sometimes I didn’t read a book for two weeks, then I’d read two in a week. Sometimes three. It fluctuates. I’m also including a sub-goal: once a month, read a classic American novel. I focused almost entirely on British/European literature in my high school and college years, and I really don’t know a lot about classic American literature. I’d like to change that.

Resolution the third: get healthy for pregnancy. Yeah, losing weight would be great, but really, the focus is on having a healthy pregnancy. That means eating sensibly and moving around more. I’m not giving up any foods, because I don’t like the idea of depriving myself of a food I know I’ll miss (like meats or grains or dairy or whatever), so it’s really a simple matter of eating as well as I can and scaling back on portions, sugar, and fat. I can do that. It also means developing a work-out that I will not get bored of in a week and that I can do while pregnant. I hate exercise, and I really hate exercising just for the sake of exercising. It’s boring, and it does not make me feel good. This one’s going to be a challenge.

Resolution the fourth: continue to improve my cooking skills. Last year, I learned a lot about preparing and enjoying good food, and I want to keep doing that. There are definitely a couple of specific skills I want to attempt – such as making a soufflé, getting a hold of beef cheeks and making barbacoa, trying out more Chinese dishes since we can’t find a decent restaurant to satisfy such cravings, and working on pastry skills. Stuff like that. Also, in regards to Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, I want to do some catching up to the French Friday group and make an additional recipe from the book every week. It’s such a fun book, and I’ve learned so much from it. I just want to keep going.

Resolution the fifth: attempt to get pregnant. I’m pretty sure this isn’t so much a resolution as it is an aspiration. It’s just something we want. But I’m including it with my resolutions, because it is something we need to work toward. There are a couple of things we need to do (like paint the hot pink bedroom) to get ready for a baby. This is nothing I haven’t talked about already, so I’m being brief about this. I want 2013 to be the year I have a healthy pregnancy that ends with us bringing home a healthy baby.

And that’s it. A simple list, I hope, with some attainable goals. Life, I have come to understand in this past year, is a day-to-day thing. Step by step, day by day, we keep moving forward. Even when we have to stop and gather our strength and think about the reasons to keep on going. The important thing is to try, to live as best we can. To have our bad days and accept them and try again the next day.

That’s what I hope to do. To keep going.

Sara

I am a daughter and a sister, a wife and a friend. I am a reader and a writer, a dreamer and a realist, a teacher and a learner. I am the mother of a baby born sleeping. I am on a journey of healing, walking a path paved with tears and grief and hope.

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