Happy New Year!

I love the new year! It always feels like a fresh start. 365 blank pages just waiting for you to write your story. This will be my story but I hope if you follow along you might find some ideas that inspire you too.

Of course, the New Year always brings out the resolutions too. I don’t believe in the “don’t, won’t, never” school of resolutions, “I will completely give up sweets!” Or the “nothing to ninety” type either, “I will go to the gym everyday!” when you went 3 times in the last 6 months. I think the best resolutions are those that focus on adding good to your life instead of trying to eliminate bad and those that don’t have a fixed deadline or schedule, allowing you to pick them up were you left them without guilt.

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That said, here are my resolutions for 2017!

I will look for more opportunities to embrace creativity.

This blog is one step in that direction! I look forward to not only developing my voice and working on my nonexistent photography skills but also in searching out fun, new, exciting ways to be creative so I can share them with you. I also received this amazing book for Christmas along with all of the art supplies necessary to complete the prompts.

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If you don’t follow Jennifer on Instagram, @augustwren, you should! Her paintings-a-day are always inspiring and so pretty! And now she has put that concept into book form for us non-artists. Each month has a different theme and set of prescribed supplies and each day has a specific prompt. I’m so looking forward to beginning this journey.

I will work toward making our home a reflection of our life.

Are you familiar with the Danish word hygge? It’s a concept that doesn’t have a direct English translation but revolves around coziness and conviviality. It helps the Danes deal with their long dark winters and contributes to their enviable national happiness quotient. While hygge often involves socializing with friends over coffee or intimate dinners, I believe hygge starts at home. Since I live in Louisiana, battling fierce winters is not an issue for me but my darling husband and I are homebodies. I want our home to be a place of refuge: free from irritations, calm & serene and snug & cozy.

img_0136I’ve already begun a slow-motion redecoration of our home. I’m focusing on serene colors, cozy textures and accessories that make me happy. I am not an interior designer and this is not a show home. This is real life. There is dog hair and there is clutter. But I do want to share this ongoing project with you in it’s authentic state.

I want to read more.

I used to be a prolific, voracious reader. I was never without a book and usually had my next several in waiting. My focus has slipped. I don’t find myself easily sliding into the flow of words and drifting along with them the way I used to and I miss it. I think I can improve this and find myself once again intimate with the words on the page rather than just a casual acquaintance. img_0139

I also want to engage and exchange ideas with other readers to help rekindle that fire. Book reviews, discussions and suggestions will all be in the plan. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, please join in! The more the merrier!

I would like to have a weekly baking day.

We, mostly him,  have a sweet tooth. If my sweetie does an after work grocery run, there are bound to be a few things that jump into his cart. He also likes to bring me treats. Obviously this is not a bad thing and I am a lucky girl, but it has gotten a little out of hand over the holiday season. It’s time to take back a little control over what we’re eating.

img_0114I used to bake for a living so this is not a stretch for me. Simple cakes, chewy cookies and yummy bars are all easily in my reach. And if I’m doing the baking I can control the quality of the ingredients and feel better about what my sweetie is eating. Besides, he’s such a kind and generous soul, I can see a lot of these treats making their way to his office to be shared. There will be recipes!

I want to restart my yoga practice. 

Three years ago, as a New Year’s resolution, I went to my first yoga class. I was clueless and nervous; but once I got over my anxiety, I took to it like a duck to water! I loved feeling my body move in ways I didn’t know it could, to feel my strength and flexibility improving with each class and the calmness that settled my over-active mind. For eighteen months I went religiously 3 times a week. It was an amazing investment in my health and well-being!

img_0009Then a health issue disrupted my routine. At first it was just a missed class here or there and then my attendance became sporadic at best. I haven’t been to a class in over a year. I certainly don’t expect to just jump right back in to my old schedule but I’m going to commit to a beginners class, hopefully once a week. My instructor is incredible and knows about my limitations and I am confident that with her help I can regain my strength and flexibility, not overnight, but eventually.

I will find ways to socialize more that fit my personality.

I am a homebody and an introvert. I am not naturally comfortable at a large social event or in an overly noisy, crowded setting. I have a small circle of close friends rather than a large group of acquaintances and that’s fine with me. When I was working, a lot of socialization occurred naturally. I was good friends with several people I worked with. But now that I’m not working, it’s a little too easy for me to slip into hermit-mode. I need to fix that!

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There are plenty of opportunities that I can take advantage of: lunch with my work buddies, a catch-up dinner with a dear friend, coffee with one of my younger friends who is looking for a little mentoring or a low-key concert with my husband. Those encounters energize rather than drain me. I need to make more of an effort to make them happen.

And last but certainly not least:

I will practice mindfulness and gratitude daily.

As humans we are constantly looking forward, planning our next move. I want to focus on being in the moment. I want to recognize an appreciate all of things I have and how lucky my circumstances are rather than constantly living in the future.

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Whew! I had no idea I had so much to say! If you’ve read all the way through, thanks for sticking with me! If you’ve read something that speaks to you, let me know in the comments, I want this to be a conversation not a soliloquy. What are your resolutions or plans for 2017?

XOXO

Crystal

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Happy New Year! You’re off to a great start. I’m so excited about your yoga reunion. I’m with you on the futility of ‘giving up’ and like the idea of ‘adding to’ instead. I’m going to focus on improving my health by being proactive about heart health. I’m going to get cozy with my timer again – want to balance my fun with function. Two chapters of my book, then 15 minutes of chores. Thirty minutes of Facebook/Pinterest, then 15 minute dog walk. I have a tendency to get lost on the internet and then find I’ve not accomplished anything. Balance is what I want. Congratulations on your next adventures. Happy 2017 to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Round Robin Book Club | The Quirky Quaintrelle

  3. Pingback: The Round Robin Book Club | The Quirky Quaintrelle

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