- Read regularly. Starting with the most important book, the b-i-b-l-e. I've read through The Bible in a Year 3 or 4 times, & I've found that it is the only way I can be faithful in taking time out to read the Word every day. Left to my own devices, I watch too much TV & read recipe books more than the big B. The CPA in me likes a plan that I can tick through day-by-day, so this is a great way for me to work in consistent quiet times back into my daily routine.
- Library. Stat. I know, I know, this is a continuation of #1. But I also want to read more for pleasure. When I had a train ride to & from work in Chicago, I read a ton. I was constantly checking books out of the Oak Park Public Library & I enjoyed that wind down time twice a day. I need to block out time to read at home. Make an appointment to go to the library more often (or work through the stacks of unread books I have at home) & plop down on the couch & read. Sounds easy & enjoyable enough, am I right?
- Take "note" of Gram's good habits. My Grandma K. is amazing for a lot of reasons, but perhaps most notably to her out-of-town grandkids is her faithfulness in writing us letters! She is constantly sending us snail mail, which makes going to the mailbox that much more exciting (not just bills in there!) My goal for 2011 is to send one piece of snail mail a week. A birthday card, thank you note, postcard from our latest adventure, or maybe just an unexpected note to say "hi" to a friend. Hopefully, I'll make Gram proud.
- Add a little variety. When we moved to NC, we decided against getting a gym membership. Unlike Illinois, we can work out outside almost every day all year. We invested in some free weights & P90x to keep up with our strength workouts, & we run or bike on our cardio days. Although we've saved a lot of moo-lah, it's getting kind of boring. When Matt starts school, he'll probably have access to the university's gym, & you better believe I'm buying a family membership. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss spin class.
- Clean up. My friend Jen designates deep clean weeks throughout the year. This year, I'm scheduling several for us, as well. We're good at remembering to take care of weekly chores (bathrooms, laundry, vacuuming, dusting, etc...), but not so great at remembering to wash baseboards, scrub floors (I'm embarrassed about that one!), wash windows, clean cabinets, clean the fridge/freezer, etc. on a regular basis. These chores end up getting done, but usually we wait too long in between! Now they're going on the calendar! Thanks, Jen!
- See the Southwest. Matt & I love to travel. Our budget limits us to camping trips, which happen to be right up our alley (we're outdoorsy-sleep under the stars-hike for fun-type people). This year, before Matt starts dental school, we want to squeeze in another fun, long-ish camping trip. We're thinking the Southwest, as we could hit a ton of National Parks in a couple of weeks time. Plus, neither of us have spent a significant amount of time in that part of the country, so it'd be a great adventure!
- Make it reflect the McAs. I've been itching to put our "mark" on our current home. Although our place reflects our style in some ways, many of the design choices reflect our land lady's taste. When we finally figure out where we'll be spending the next 4 years, I have a serious "to-do" list when it comes to the McA-ifying our home.
- Just get rid of it! Like probably 99% of America, we've accumulated some "junk" over the past 3 & 1/2 year (let's be honest, the last 26 years). It's time to sift through all of our "stuff" & giveaway or sell the stuff we don't use. I'll sleep better at night when I can open our coat closet downstairs without worrying about junk falling out (in our defense, our coat closet is as close as we get to a garage!). Still, no excuse this year. If we haven't used it in at least a year & I haven't looked at it since I packed it up for our move, it's hitting the curb.
- Watch her grow. One of the hardest parts of living in North Carolina is being so far away from our families, & especially our niece, Hannah. It seems like every time we see her, she's learned all new tricks, is increasingly chatty & mobile, & has just plain grown up! This year, I want to make sure to incorporate some impromptu trips in our schedule to see her sweet little self. Believe me, it's good for my health.
- Kick it up a notch. By the end of 2011, I want to be able to shoot exclusively in Manual mode. While I'm at it, I also need to figure out & implement a better system to chronicle my photos. And accept that deleting fuzzy photos of Hannah is a-o-k; I have 500 more. My precious hard drive has filled up quickly since that little lady came arrived.
- Blog when I feel like it. Shocker. I know. But this blog is a hobby. I happen to have a job that I like, a husband who I love, an exercise routine that I know I need to keep up, a faith that I need to grow, a house that needs cleaning (a la #5), a travel schedule that sometimes overwhelms me, family & friends who I like to keep up with, books I need to read & well, a life that isn't chronicled on the internet. So I'll pop in on Simply Suz occasionally, but probably not on any sort of regular schedule. The blog's been a fun diversion for me. It started when Matt was taking classes last spring & I had some time on my hands. When life picks up, I tend to take step back from the blog & I need to be okay with that (somehow I feel obligated to post & am apologetic when I don't...newsflash! this is not anywhere near my top priority!). So please bear with my random blogging!
- BONUS: I know I said only 11, but if we're getting technical, #1 & #2 could certainly be combined. But seriously, my top priority for 2011 is enjoying 2011. The past 3 years, Matt & I have constantly been looking ahead to the future --- toward dental school, moving, starting a family, getting a puppy, moving again(?), buying a home --- the list goes on. With all of that anticipation & stress, we've found it difficult to enjoy our current circumstances. We're in our mid-twenties, have few obligations besides going to work &/or school, have a decent nest egg (due to our extreme frugality), have the flexibility & means to travel... even if it means on a limited budget, don't have a penny of debt (nor have we ever had debt), are in good health, serve a great God, & we have each other. In 2011, I want to give up the anxiety & stress & stop worrying so much about the future. God will take care of those next steps & it does me no good to worry. It's time to start living for right now. Amen?!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Eleven for 2011