As we begin a new year, it's appropriate to look back on the previous year and note the good and the bad, and thoughtfully consider ways to make the new year better than the last. I'm not big on resolutions, but I am big on looking for ways to simply make my life happier.
One of the things I didn't do a lot of last year was reading.
In 2011, I want to read more. I want to read not just recipes, short magazine articles, and toddler board books, but honest-to-goodness novels. You know the kind with more than one chapter? Those you get so in to that you find yourself sneaking bits of reading time into your day because you can't wait to see how it turns out? This may be easier said than done, for the parenting of children (especially small children) doesn't offer much free time.
Last year I took a lot of photos, but I didn't do anything with them.
This year, I want to continue taking photos AND put those photos to good use. I'm tired of having countless folders of digital photos on my computer, but no albums I can hold and thumb through.
A couple of months ago I discovered MyPublisher, a website that helps you create photo books. The website allows you to simply drag your digital photos onto an online template of a photo album, personalize it with photo information, and within a week or so you have a really nice, professional-looking album of your own photos. Again, it takes time to actually do this little project. I think the time you devote to it really pays off though. You, your children, and grandchildren will have some great books to flip through!
In 2011, I want to get more active. I'm not so concerned with weight loss (though I wouldn't mind it), I simply want to get out in the fresh air more and do more walking, bike riding, and gardening.
Maybe this will be the year I participate in the Emmetsburg Community Garden. My brain swims with all of the produce possibilities-fresh spring peas, crisp cucumbers, luscious tomatoes. The possibility of finally learning how to can what I?grow presents another learning opportunity.
Homegrown veggies are great fuel for walking or biking around town. Maybe, once I'm limbered up, I'll even attempt the other scenic bike trails throughout our region.
Lastly, I want to smile more, laugh more, and focus on the positive more than I did in the previous year.
Sometimes it seems we let the negativity that's around us get the best of us. Whether it's coping during tough economic times, watching our loved ones struggle through what life deals, or even dealing with the negative or thoughtless actions of those we sometimes encounter, I want to be the one who stays positive.
So, I will do my best to make 2011 and myself happier than we were before.
Happy New Year!