I was reading off and on all day today, New Year's Day. It was c-c-c-cold and north-windy all day, and the two of us, that Spouse o' Mine and I, had very little planned for our first day of the New Year.
Something I read was about eleven resolutions to make me a better person. Heck, I was on that wagon before the ponies were hitched. What could possibly make me a better person, I asked myself? (Maybe less bravado and more modesty. Yep...)
#1: Physical exercise. Well, thank my lucky stars that both of us had cabin fever today. We got on all our cold weather gear and headed out the door and down the road in 18º and 14 mph north winds. That Spouse o' Mine ran 4K, and I walked 4K and ran 1K. Jiggety-jig! We are better people for it, I guess. Even though my eyes are red and stinging tis evening, after the northern 2k hike back to the house in that wind. Bah! Humbug.
#2: Less television. We can very nearly say we can't watch less television. A few months ago we opted to close our satellite television account. I had mentioned that we were paying over $100/month and perhaps 50% of our channels were infomercials, and of the other, we only watched a few choice channels. We both worried that we would miss our sports channels (and the jury is still out, especially on these dark, cold winter evenings), but so far we are content with our decision. We have a thing called Chromecast ($35) which allows us to pull things upon the internet via laptop, smartphone, whatever, and then it streams to our TV, wirelessly. Very nice. We watch things from Netflix and Hulu, and other regular TV channels (HGTV?) as well. Not for everybody, but for us, it seems to be good fit.
#3: Go outside. We have always been know as the neighbors who are "always outside". Enough said.
#4: Read fiction. Whoa, there! I am not a good fiction reader. I used to be, but it seems (to me) that so much fiction being published nowdays is drivel, with a capital D. So I shall have to ponder this one...
#5: Give. I think this means financially? this one should become easier later in the year when we eventually pay our FINAL semester/quarter of college tuition. Yes. Three kids in and out of college. Eight years. (How did my parents do it with five kids all in school at the same time?!)
#6: Serve. I am doing that. And while I choose to keep it private, I do feel like it is worthwhile to me as well as to those I am serving.
#7: Buy less stuff and more experiences. You know what? I think this just happens as one gets older. At least, it seems to be our practice.
#8: Display gratitude. I can work on this one.
#9: Practice smiling. I practiced this concept at the local Wal Mart the other day. Amazing. I hate Wal Mart. Apparently, lots of other people do, too. Or else they are all lost in thought whilst going through the aisles. But I slapped a smile on my face each time my cart passed another, and you know what? That person SMILED BACK at me. It's like magic.
#10: Stop and just play. I do this a whole heck of a lot, and perhaps I should turn the dial down on this concept...
#11: Determine to be happy. I do steer clear of negativity. Again, though, I could maybe turn the dial down on this one. One can be determined to be happy, but I think we all should be recognizant that there are some instances and people who simply cannot determine this emotion at a given time.
OK. All-in-all, I think if I am to believe this psychological study(ies) I am pretty-well set for 2014. But I know in reality, there is a whole lot more that needs doing to make a person whole and happy, as well as those around her. (Me). And so I shall dutifully observe the things that need doing and improving in my year, and keep plodding along.
On another note, we were to go to some friends' home for New Year's dinner tonight, but the snow swept in and the temps fell to 11º , and the hostess called and said she would understand if we chose to take a raincheck. And so we did! Tonight we shall have pork loin, broccoli, and butternut squash soup, in the warmth of our own home. It works.
Happy New Year.