A Year From Today

At this time of year, everyone wants to talk about their new years resolutions, but I don’t. Mainly because resolutions never really pan out for me. I set them—lose weight, read more, write every day—and then I do nothing to make it happen. I’d rather talk about what is important to me in the coming year. I’m putting it all out there into the real world (via cyberspace) for all to see. But, first want to visualize it. Allow me to take you into the future, 365 days from now to be exact. This is what I’d like my life to look like on January 2, 2020.

  • A skinnier me. — I won’t say how much weight I will lose. I’d just like to be thinner than I am today. And I will fit into the clothes that are at the top of my closet which don’t fit right now. And I will come home from work to find a Stitch Fix box at my doorstep filled with new clothes that look amazing on me and are a size or two smaller than what I would order today.
  • A healthier me. – I won’t say a prayer at the doctor’s office every time I have to take a test or get my blood pressure checked. Why? Because I will already know that I am doing all I can to pass with flying colors. And then I’ll head home to a well-balanced meal that I planned out ahead of time. I will also make sure that I am in the best frame of mind from a mental health standpoint, and if I’m not, I won’t wait too long to make an appointment with my therapist.
  • A happier me. — Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy, but I’d like to put some things to look forward to on my 2020 calendar, like pre-planned date nights and a relaxing all girls’ weekend. I also want to come home from work every day feeling satisfied that I made a difference in a concrete and measurable way. In my current position, this isn’t always the case. And since writing has always made me happy, I will carve out time to work on my (first!) book to raise awareness about something that is close to my heart, but more on that later.
  • A stronger me. — One of the hardest things I will have to do in 2019 is send my oldest off to college in the fall. For the last 18 years, I have given her roots and I will soon give her wings. I will make sure that she is safe and happy, but not in a helicopter parent kind of way. She must figure things out on her own terms, and hovering has never been my style. It won’t be easy, but I’ll send her out into the real world and be here for her when she needs me. And as a result, I know that my own world will inevitably change and I don’t even know how yet, but I hope to have the strength to embrace it.

Quite a list, right? Next up, figuring out how to make this list come true.

Goodreads at Home

Tsundoku is the Japanese word for acquiring reading materials and then not reading them. I know a little something about this. Barnes and Noble is like my second home. Finding and supporting locally-owned bookshops are a passion of mine. Sometimes, I walk into these establishments and know exactly what book I want to purchase. Although, my favorite guilty pleasure is to spend time in the stacks searching for that next great read. I wouldn’t exactly define this activity as an “impulse buying” because I take painstaking measures to look up reviews of books on-line prior to my purchase. And I can’t even explain the adrenaline rush I feel after buying any book. You can almost see the skip in my step as I walk through the doors anxious to get home and start reading. But the truth is, it is rare that I start the book as soon as I get home. I’m not sure exactly what happens between the bookstore and my front door. It is a such a short drive. Too frequently, I put my new purchase at the top of my TBR pile with the best of intentions—and then I forget about it. You see, I don’t shop for a book because I NEED a book. I have no business even being in the bookstore in the first place. I have plenty of actual books to read on my nightstand and a few dozen backup books downloaded on my Kindle. I know. I have a problem. It’s called Tsundoku. I also have a cure. Today, on the first day of 2019, I set a reading goal for myself—25 books in 12 months. However, I have two hard and fast rules:

  • I must already own the book. No more trips to Barnes and Noble. ☹ I just hope the company stock doesn’t drop due to my absence;
  • If there is a title my book club friends select that I don’t already have, I will go to the library. You know, the other big building an equally short drive away with all the books inside. And guess what! You can borrow the books instead of buying them. (Ok, I already knew that…).

This is going to be a challenge for me. Not only because I love the bookstore, but I also love to peruse lists of recommended books. Especially ones suggested by my good friends Reese, Oprah and Sarah Jessica. But, it’s okay. I’ll simply add them to my TBR list, but I won’t buy them. I promise. In this new year, I refuse to cheat on the books I already own for the cheap thrill of a new one. In 2019, I am embarking on a journey into my own bookshelves. I’m excited to rediscover the titles that I have forgotten and the amazing stories within. Wish me luck!  

My Grown-Up Kitchen

When we moved in this house 20 years ago, I fell in love. I was supposed to keep a poker face in front of the realtor, but I couldn’t help myself. My excitement got the best of me. After losing bids on 2 other homes and an ugly home inspection, we were finally home. A split-level, 3 bedroom home with 2 1/2 baths and french doors leading outside to a beautiful deck overlooking a nice fenced I

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