2013 New Year’s Resolutions: A Time to Start Fresh

I haven’t gotten to experience much of the darkness and stillness of winter.  Living in California, there isn’t much reason to go inside to escape the cold and the snow.  Here, life simply moves on at the same pace year round with the early dark of daylight savings time offering one of the few clues that winter has come.

Still, I have been feeling introspective during the last few weeks, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what 2013 will bring and what I want it to bring.

Looking back at 2012, I feel like I did a lot of overspending with time, money, and activities.  I’m really good at biting off more than I can chew, so this year I want to focus on simplifying my life.

So without further ado, here are my goals for the year.

Spend with intent.

My husband and I have talked about it and we will be creating a budget and sticking to it.  We’ve spent the last year tracking where our money is going, and based on that we should be able to create an accurate and achievable budget with money set aside for the unexpected and ways to save money for bigger purchases that we know we will need to make in the future.

I also want to learn some new skills.  Specifically, I want to learn some of the things I remember my grandmother doing: canning and preserving food, growing more of my family’s food, baking bread, and so forth.  I suppose these would be considered homemaking skills, but like many skills our grandmothers had, they seem to recede further and further as technology and mass-production continue to expand.  These skills also tie into my first goal because doing all of these things regularly can be a big money saver.  In order to preserve these kinds of traditional enterprises (and even not-so-traditional ones) I would like to

Learn some advanced homemaking skills.

Student cooking in homemaking apartment in Lod...
Student cooking in homemaking apartment in Lodge, 1917. (Photo credit: Cornell University Library)

It would certainly be easy for me to learn how to do these things from the internet, but there is so much love and sisterhood to be gained from passing knowledge down directly person-to-person.  Unfortunately, my grandma is half and continent away, so I can’t learn from her directly.  Thankfully, I have a group of local mom-friends, each with her own set of skills and passions, all willing to share.  We’ve created a small group, a Mommy University, to help connect moms who want to learn with moms who want to teach.  Not only will we all learn new things, but we will also connect with each other in new ways and have time together to unwind and have fun.

I also want to find more ways to give back to my community.  It’s so hard to find time to give back between working at the office and being a mommy and a wife and trying to eke out some time for myself.  Still, despite the hard work that it often entails (and perhaps because of it), there is something healing about volunteering, so I will

Volunteer for a local organization once a month.

A coworker invited me to help out at a local horse rescue organization, and, though I don’t know much about horses, I’m excited about getting started.  And maybe I will learn another set of new skills along the way.

Some things I will not be able to change.  I still have to work full-time.  We still have to rush, rush, rush with work, school, daycare, and everything else.  That is our reality and that won’t change.  Wanting it to change only makes me sad.  So here is my final resolution:

Find peace with what I have.

I suspect this first resolution will be the hardest and also the most important.

Do you have any goals for the new year?  Did you make any resolutions?

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