Hopes and Dreams for 2015

1 Jan

2014 was such a great year for me that I’m struggling with leaving it behind. The previous few years had been filled with so many huge upheavals and periods of unemployment that it all felt like one big worry. This past year, on the other hand, was like a breath of fresh air.

In the Neuschwanstein courtyard.

In the Neuschwanstein courtyard.

I became a temporary resident of Australia.

I found a job that I can more easily balance with my passions.

I traveled, accomplishing a lifelong dream along the way.

I got more serious about editing this novel.

I read. A lot.

And blogged about it too.

Honestly, one of my biggest sources of pride in 2014 was seeing how much my blog grew. It’s so amazing to me that people want to read what I write (even if the most popular posts aren’t my book reviews, but visa-related advice!). I can’t wait to see what will happen with this blog in the next year, and how it will grow and change.

But the most important thing to me is that I’m sitting here on New Year’s Eve typing about my experiences and all I can really remember is the good: the joy of breaking through a particularly difficult section of my novel, getting lost in castle ruins in Germany, my favorite moments in some newly discovered books. Some not-so-nice things happened, but I love that my focus right now is on all of the fun, wonderful, exciting adventures that I had. I think it shows that I’ve learned to, well…

But seriously, I think it’s so great that for this year, and hopefully for upcoming years as well, I’ve learned to let go of the negative and focus on the positive. This is particularly relevant when looking at other people’s opinions and expectations of me. This year I blazed my own path regardless of what other people thought, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Next year this might be even more important, because let’s face it, there’s always someone who disapproves of one decision or another. I just need to shrug it off because I know what I’m doing, and I know what makes me happy, even if it doesn’t have the same affect on other people.

But enough of that. My goals for 2015 are much the same as they are every year, but I’m spending today–New Year’s Eve–trying to sort them out and actually plan how they are going to be accomplished. It’s part of my first resolution.

I want to get organized. I’ve always felt like a pretty organized person, but since my husband and I have been working full-time out-of-home the last several months it seems like things have just fallen apart. The house isn’t tidy. Cat hair covers the floor. The dishes don’t get done. The laundry piles up. I rush around trying to make lunch in the mornings, running late. We eat take-out more often than not for dinner. It’s driving me insane.

This goal won’t be accomplished in a day, but I’m going to take some little steps. Sundays are going to be my organization days. I’m going to sit down and plan the week every Sunday. I’m going to get the laundry washed, dried, ironed, folded. I’m going to plan our meals, and in some cases, make them in advance. I’m going to do assign chores for the rest of the week: who’s doing the vacuuming, the mopping, the bathroom-cleaning, dish washing. Before I go to bed each night, I’m going to make sure the lounge room is tidy so that it doesn’t feel like there’s as much to get done the next day.

I want to eat more vegetables. A common goal, right? I’ve never been a health nut, but the last few months have been particularly bad in the eating department. While I’m not really seeing the result on the scale, I am seeing it in the spots on my face and my feelings of sluggishness. I can do so much better, and I’m pretty sure this goes right along with goal #1. If I can get organized enough to plan meals and make them in advance, I don’t need to worry about chopping vegetables throughout the week. Right now it’s easier to throw a granola bar or packet of crackers into my lunch than it is to chop a carrot in the morning–but what if the carrots were already peeled and chopped and in little baggies waiting for me to toss those in? Healthier options made more easily available is something I want to make a habit in this house.

I want to finish this book. Finishing and publishing a novel has been a goal of mine since I was seven. I’m about to hit that quarter-of-a-century mark and just feel like enough is enough–I need to push through, swallow my fears, and send this thing out. My goal is to finish this last, major edit by June. While I will hopefully be working on it throughout the week, Saturdays are going to be my novel days as much as Sundays are going to be my organization days. Each Saturday, I will dedicate a few hours to polishing, refining, and rewriting. I plan to write a little something about how the day went on this blog to keep myself accountable.

I want to decorate. I am tired of staring at blank walls. I want to put up pictures, posters, canvasses. I want to make this house our own. I’ve already started on this goal by putting up some of our wedding pictures in frames, receiving frames for Christmas, and researching where to get those posters and canvasses I was talking about. I’ve made up some sketches that show what I want this house to look like and now I just need to collect the bits and put it into action.

I want to keep reading. I already addressed this in my 2014 Book Review round-up, but I want to read another 35 books in the upcoming year–that’s about a book every week and a half. I know I could read more if I put my mind to it, but I like having an easy-but-still-somewhat-challenging goal to look to, rather than a mostly-challenging one. I can’t wait to see what characters I’ll meet this year.

All in all, I think I have a modest list of goals that are completely obtainable if I put my mind to it. I really want to try to make 2015 as awesome as 2014 was. Here’s to a new year!!

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