Charting life's circuitous path

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New Year Wins

Every year seems to go faster and faster and become more of a blur. I stopped making a list for new year resolutions last year.  This might seem odd since lists are what I do – I make daily lists, financial lists, and even quote lists.  In a way, I see life as a series of steps.

But goal lists are meant to be broken.  Like saying “Never!” and then promptly doing.


An admirable yet very negative lists of resolutions I found on Pinterest. Wanting change indicates a dissatisfaction with the way you are.

Instead, I want to think of my wins this last year.  I dwell too much on what I’m doing wrong that I don’t need to sit down at the start of a new, fresh year thinking negatively about my current state.  What I’d rather do is celebrate all of the little and big wins that went toward making 2013 a fantastic year!

  • I’ve become more comfortable with the right portion size, so I’m learning to eat more naturally. Not like a bird and not like it’s my last meal before execution.  This might mean never hitting my “goal” weight, but I realized this year that my “goal” weight left me hungry 24/7.  So I came to terms with my body: I’m still right where I should be with weight and I’m happier for it.
  •  We went to our first party as a couple and had a blast!  The geek club has been a great source of potential friends and I’m so glad we’re taking the time and effort to go to events.  It’s not always easy to leave the comforts of home for a night out with strangers, but it definitely makes you feel more like part of a group when you do.
  • I learned to just “taste” food rather than “eat” food at potlucks.  Not only can I now face a potluck without the fear of losing control and wiping it clean, but I can satisfy my “tastebuds” with just a taste.  (I’ll let you in on a secret: I pretend I’m an editor of Saveur or somesuch and do an evaluation of the food before moving on.  Don’t tell anyone.  Even I think that’s a bit too geeky. 😳 )  It’s wonderful to finally not fear the (frequent) work potluck.
  • I was able to stop reading at least 3 books this year! 😀 This might sound silly, but I typically finish a book regardless of whether I like it or not.  It’s like an obligation or a hope that it must surely get better. The resulting gnashing of teeth are now gone with the small steps I’ve taken in breaking that habit.  If the book is really bad, I stop and move on.  Admittedly, I still find that I’m sitting through a lot of mediocre books, but I’m saving my teeth for the big smiles when I hit the good ones. 🙂
  •  My repertoire for homemade staples increased to sandwich buns and tortilla wrappers. I love the taste of a homemade whole wheat bun vs the store bought buns, and tortilla wrappers are so easy to make, it’s crazy not to!  I now regularly make the following staples from scratch:  chili/taco seasoning, granola bars, buns, tortilla wrappers, and soup.

 What wins did you have this year?  🙂

Here’s to another year of happiness in 2014!cb28ba73e3badcbec5a481f36a840201

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Little keys open big locks


The morning greeted us with snow coated limbs and pillowy piles.  The winter storm of the night before was more like a lamb and left us with a lot of fluff and little in the way of a roar. These kinds of storms I can file away in my slim folder of “good winters”.  Storms that bring long calls with insurance companies and rental car employees are less worth filing, but are somehow, unfortunately, more “memorable”.

A year has fluttered past with little heed to my own desire that it stay a bit and have a cup of tea.  Instead, it’s packed up, shuffled on and in sweeps a new year for all of us to get used to, again.  I’ve been thinking about the passing year, like most, and had come to the conclusion that, well, not much had happened.  The previous year seemed full of excitement – my health improved, I reached weight goals I didn’t know were possible for me, and I was finally getting a handle on what made my life live.

So, in a way, this year felt a bit ho-hum.

Until I came across this list that I had made sometime earlier this year pinned to my refrigerator underneath other clippings.


I made that list because I had begun to slid.  Just a little.  Perhaps around our vacation in April, or earlier.  Whenever it was, I wanted to keep on the path, so I came up with a list that, looking at it now, seems a bit stark.  Note the huge “NO” at the top.  It reads more like a prescriptive plan from my doctor than anything I could really follow or want to.

These kinds of lists are designed for failure.  Telling yourself “NO” will only make it worse when you ultimately cave and sneak a donut for breakfast on Wednesday.  Setting allowances is a good step, but setting absolutes can lead to guilt, avoidance, and an unhealthy relationship with food and with your own desires.  Perhaps that’s why this list was all but forgotten under other bits and bobs.

If taken verbatim, yes, I failed this list.

If I looked at how I’ve incorporated this list into my own life, then I won.  I don’t eat donuts except for special occasions, and I only buy them from our favorite donut shop.  I have stopped eating cereal from the soup bowl and instead, I’ve easily transitioned to the smaller dessert bowls.  I don’t eat snacks at work, but apple slices and half a homemade granola bar, if hungry.  I eat only one slice of pizza and no more.

I do, however, drink my mochas and I thoroughly enjoy them.  Especially when they’re paired with a chewy cookie or a slice of cake and topped with marshmallows.  Yes, I do eat baked goods during the week, but I’ve learned this year to portion size – our cakes and pies provide 12 slices rather than 8 and we eat a couple cookies rather than half the batch.  I’ve embraced sugar as my drug of choice, but I want to keep it recreational. 😉

In a lot of ways, I’ve been successful with the resolutions I set for myself last year. I’ve found a bit more balance with diet, exercise and life.  I’ve discovered that I can do things I’ve never dreamed I could, and that success isn’t always dependent on what happens at the end.  I’ve been less hateful of myself – to the point where whole days or even weeks will go by without me hating some body part.

I’ve yet to discover my career path.  I know that my current career is more of a pit-stop and I really need to face my fears.  I’ve yet to shrug off the anxiety that the weight will all come back (and then some).  I also need to focus more on the now and less on the emotions driving me through my days.  So much is lost as I allow myself to be swept along by my feelings.

So, here’s to 2013.  May you be bright.  May you be happy.  And may you be fulfilling.

myyear(image from Pinterest)

(quote in post title from here)


End of the Month Photo Roundup – December

December – How fast it all goes.

One day it’s Thanksgiving and then suddenly we’re packing up decorations, weaning ourselves off sugar (unsuccessfully and painfully), and trying to scrape together some sort of “new year” resolution that sticks.

I don’t know about you, but I want my December back.

I want to relive my fun trip to the zoo where the lions roared, but we thought it was a recording.

I mean come on! Does that look like a lion that just roared? Sleeeeepyyyyy....

Where you can toss your trash into these nifty mini-compactors (how sad is it that I wanted to make trash to see how this thing worked?).

Isn't it swish?? I'd love to have one in my kitchen. No more taking out the trash for weeks on end!

The decorated tree is down and even though I don’t want to see another for a good year, I do miss our decorations.

Happy snowmen are a must.

So are happy cupcakes. For who has ever heard of sad cupcake?

And a happy whale. What? You don't have a blue whale as a christmas decoration?

So with the advent calendar tossed in the trash and the tree dismembered and packed away, I’m ready for 2012 and whatever craziness, happiness and temptations it throws at me.   And without further ado, here’s my wish list for 2012:

2012, Here I come!

  1. I hope to allow myself more leniency and not beat myself over every little transgression.  This applies to my personal life, my work life and, more frequently, my health(y) life.
  2. I want to continue the exercise and health goals I set for 2011.  I want to keep me as the focus and remember that if I let my inner cookie monster win, we’ll be right back into 2009, overweight and unhealthy.
  3. I plan to build my relationship with myself.  This means tapping into bits of me that I’m scared of, or that I’ve ignored.  That paint set that my hubby thoughtfully bought me last year?  Picasso, roll over right now because I’m moving in!
  4. Balance will be my keyword this year.  Balance in all areas of my life.  What will it take to get to that point?  No clue, but I plan to at least keep it in my sights.  It might get a bit foggy and I might have to take a roundabout or two, but my final destination is set.