December 30, 2011

New Years Resolution

I got to thinking about New Years Resolutions and wondered how many people actually make them. Do you plan to make a New Years Resolution?  If so what are you resolving to do differently in 2012? Or what would you like to change?

I decided to look up the word resolution on  I was wondering what the difference is between having a resolution and setting goals. This is what came up:


1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
5. the act or process of resolving or separating into constituent or elementary parts.

I've never been one to make New Year Resolutions but as a New Year approaches I can't help but reflect.  I like to think about what's happened in the past year and if I learned anything from it.  I suppose that when I reflect I end up making very non-formal goals in my own head for the year to come.  To me I suppose a resolution is too formal; and failing to maintain a resolution would be discouraging and frustrating.  It seems like a resolution is firm and not adjustable.  Whereas a goal, I feel, can be reassessed throughout the year and adjusted as circumstances change.  What do you think?

For me 2011 went very fast, I've heard the years just keep going faster the older you get.  We lived a very full 2011 and many firsts took place.

In 2011
  • Bought a ski pass and was able to go skiing in the Rockies
  • Finally gained confidence as a teacher
  • Blanca (my dog) turned 2 years old
  • Went to Salt Lake City, Utah for the first time and dipped my feet in the Great Salt Lake
  • Tore my ACL while skiing and experienced my first surgery
  • Gained weight
  • Started throwing pottery again
  • Traveled to Minnesota for the first time
  • Got my first tattoos
  • Abruptly moved to Nebraska
  • Left a church family
  • Started attending a church that is probably bigger than the town I grew up in
  • Went to the Iowa State Fair
  • Ate fried butter
  • Became addicted to cheese curds
  • Started a blog
  • Became a substitute teacher, teaching every grade and subject K-8

A few pictures from 2011
That's actually a condensed version of some main things that happened in 2011 and the things that came to my mind first.  As I read back over that list I wonder did I learn anything?  One main thing I learned is that I need to embrace the moment that I'm living and not long for moments that don't exist yet.  For example I grew up skiing and desired very badly to go skiing in the Rockies.  I couldn't believe that I lived in Colorado and wasn't skiing!  Finally after 3 years I got to go skiing; I crashed and tore my ACL.  I've been on the mend ever since.  It wasn't even an impressive crash!  It happened because my mind was once again elsewhere and I was distracted, not thinking about skiing properly. Not to mention skiing in the Rockies is just a little different than skiing in the Appalachians.  What did I learn?  I need to focus on the moment that I'm living in; not on the past or future.

Of course I learned that I love butter any which way it comes and fried butter is amazing.  I learned that I need to make deeper investments in those who I'm blessed to have around me, because things change and they might not always be there.  When we moved from Colorado to Nebraska it happened entirely too fast and I was in need of ACL surgery.  We didn't even really have time to say proper goodbyes and closure was definitely lacking.  Now I'm working on making the best of what I've been given and where I've been placed.  It's challenging not feeling settled and not knowing how long you'll be somewhere.  But I think it's important to make investments no matter how much time you're given. I'm definitely still working on that one though.

Through substituting I learned that I can teach any age and subject.  I learned that I definitely prefer teaching older more independent children over tiny tots.  I love that they get sarcasm and they don't need help going to the bathroom.  It's really hard when you're a substitute because the tiny tots don't respond to you since you don't know their names.  I learned that our Librarians, Art Teachers, Music Teachers, Gym Teachers and other specials teachers do NOT have it easy and they deserve the same respect that any other teacher gets.

I was happy to have finally started this blog. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while.  The fear of coming up with a name, will people actually read this, will I be able to keep coming up with things to write were thoughts that kept preventing me.  There are always fears that go along with putting yourself out there.  One of my biggest successes so far with this blog has been the Crock-Pot Lasagna. I have to admit, that sure surprised me.  Now I'm trying to figure out how to give you readers more of what you want.  That would be one of my goals for this New Year; more interaction on this blog.

It's hard to believe it will be a new year and I hope that I can take these reflections and actually apply them.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this blog goes in 2012 and watching it grow.  I hope that I will get to know my readers better and I expect to hear more from you.  You know the only thing that will keep this blog alive is you.  So next time you feel a prompting to leave a comment or send me an e-mail please do, I would love to hear from you!

May you and your family have a full, healthy and HAPPY New Year!

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