I love the beginning of a new year.
The arrival of my flexible spending account Visa card means the braces will be paid for, and we can begin Jameson's tutoring and counseling. I thank God that we have the ability to save money this way.
The fresh, blank day planner to fill with dentist appointments, soccer practices and a busy work schedule. I thank God that we have access to all of these things.
This time of year is always a time of reflection for me. It's a great time to evaluate what I've accomplished and what I haven't. This year it's a chance for me to focus on being grateful for the things we do have and not dwell on what we don't have.
This year I came up with my top 10 things to do in 2010. I thought I'd share with you.
10. Watch more TV.
Ok, so I wanna watch more TV. It's not very Ellerbee of me. But I moved the treadmill in front of the TV, and there's so many good shows coming on. What a great motivator to run the tread off the treadmill.
On my list: Lost Season 6, Community, Life Unexpected, Grey's Anatomy, Parks and Recreation, The Office... just to name a few.
9. Read more books.
I really don't need any motivation to do this, but I do need more time to do this. I'm hoping to work my way through a long list of books I want to read this year.
On my list: Loving Frank, the #9 Sookie Stackhouse novel (I know. Trashy. But once you've read 8, you might as well read 9, and I really need her to end up with Eric), The Search for Significance, Olive Kitteridge, The Time Traveler's Wife, The Alchemist, The Lovely Bones.
8. Shop More.
I went shopping yesterday and bought 5 coats for 70% off... for a grand total of $82. This was such a huge high for me and really made me want to become more of a bargain shopper. I could definitely get used to saving that kind of money.
7. Obsess over a professional sports team.
This will probably have to be NBA team because I love basketball so much. I used to be such a huge Bulls fan and this makes sense because Jordan's in Chicago, but I feel like any love for the Bulls would fail to compare to the love I used to feel for them. So maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Seattle Sonics?
6. Squeak by financially.
As long as we are squeaking by, all of our needs are being met. The economy for the past several years has kicked our butts. We sent Jo to college this year. We have 5 children who are growing like weeds and eating us out of house and home. Jeff lost his largest account 2 weeks before Christmas. That's about 25% of our income. I have no expectations of paying off huge bills this year. If we do manage to pay off stuff, that will be a plus!
5. Grow my hair out... except my new bangs because I really like my new bangs... basically because I'm lazy, and I miss wearing a ponytail every single day.
This is self-explanatory and saves money.
4. Make more messes.
When we are making messes, we are having fun and learning. There is a fine line between things being neat and clean and orderly, and having unrealistic expectations. I know that sometimes I have unrealistic expectations as to what the house should look like all the time. When we are home and enjoying the things we have, it means we're not out and about spending money unnecessarily.
3. Sleep more.
I am going to say yes to more naps. Yes to an earlier bedtime. Yes to more sleep. It helps with overall health and mood. I need it.
2. Take better care of my plants.
When I'm doing better, my plants look better. There is definitely a direct correlation between my happiness and time management skills and the health of my plants. I need to invest in some miracle gro, don't I?
I wonder how miracle gro tastes in coffee?
1. Be happy. Happier. Happiest.
This one I'm still figuring out, but I hope 2010 brings clarity to all of us.