Resolving the New Year Resolution

New Year’s resolutions are not one of my strong points.  For the most part, making a resolution, only to break it two days later, was somewhat normal for me.  But not this year.

In fact, I am  making two of them, just for good measure.

Past resolutions usually included quitting smoking or drinking or some other bad habit, or a lot of times, losing weight. But it was almost as if I gave my permission to relinquish control to myself even before I started.  Let’s face it, I’m a quitter at quitting, and a loser at losing.  So I did what most people would do in my situation; I quit making resolutions, something that I knew I was good at.  Last year, my resolution but not to make one.  And it worked.

I have long since quit drinking, smoking, both have become a thing of the past.  I am now looking toward my future, and what I can do to better myself.  I have decided that I want to become more financially stable and to live healthier.

I don’t have a lot of debt, a few credit cards from stores I frequent and those ever-present medical bills.  The health insurance my company carries is not the best, and I wind up paying for much more than my fair share. But the fact remains, if I didn’t have health insurance, it would probably be worse.  With that being said, I resolve to finding a solution to my problem, number one point being learning to live healthier.  Exercise, eating right and avoiding things that are bad for me is just a beginning.  Stress and anxiety are also a bad mix for me and I plan on taking steps to alleviate those, as well.

So this is not another New Year’s resolution; it’s more of an awareness of how I want to live. It doesn’t mean that if I do all these things I will live to a ripe old age.  I could step off the curb and be sideswiped by a bus.  Who knows? But as least I will have peace of mind knowing that I did everything I could to maintain a healthier lifestyle, something I didn’t really care much about in the past.

As for becoming financially stable, this is something that I have been trying to accomplish most of my adult life. I remember living paycheck to paycheck, stretching the money as far as I could and still not being able to pay my bills.  Not only will learning to control my money help me in the over-all big picture sense of finances, it will also give me peace of mind, which fits right in with living healthier.

New Year’s resolutions-who needs them?  Well, according to ezinearticles.com, it never hurts to want to improve yourself.  The website also gives advice for those wanting help with their resolutions.

http://ezinearticles.com/?History-of-New-Years-Resolutions—Where-Did-New-Years-Resolutions-Come-From?&id=890518

Ringing in the New Year means reflecting on the past year, looking to see what can be improved on, and what needs to be let go. We all have the power to create each new beginning as we want. I, for one, intend on making it the best I can.

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The hecticfuncrazybeautifulhumbug side of Christmas

I am a huge fan of Christmas.  I love the music. I love the food. I love the lights. I think I just love the idea of Christmas.  People are nicer.  They are more generous.  And aside from a few Scrooges, people are just better during the holiday season.  If only they could stay that way all year-long.

For some, Christmas is a game, one in which they level up each year.  Others go into survival mode, trying to drown out the never-ending drone of “The Little Drummer Boy,” the insane traffic jams, or figuring out how to make their money outlast the season. There are those who love the challenge that the season brings, and every year finds new ways to drive themselves (and everyone around them) crazy.

But most of us would like to enjoy the season more.  Every year we are faced with retailers who start the rush earlier, enticing youngsters to start bugging their parents for presents, tree displays being put up before Halloween, and the pressure all around. If we could just slow down long enough to remember why we are celebrating, maybe we could carry that message all year long.

Instead, we zip through the holidays more worried about getting the perfect present, making the best food, and having the best parties than taking time to enjoy the beautiful lights, the wonderful music and the delicious fattening food.  We are so busy doing, we forget the best part of the holiday season, to relax and enjoy.

Too often, January 2 comes and everyone thinks that they need to revert back to their busy schedules, where they don’t have the time to be caring, kind and generous.  Maybe they think that they have done their duty for the year and everyone will excuse them because they are so busy. Maybe. 

We’re human, and it’s a given that we can’t always be nice, but what if we could?  Imagine a world where it was like Christmas all year around.  Would we take it for granted?  Or would the world be a better place because of it?  Maybe we need the Scrooges in our lives to show us the kind of people we don’t want to be.  Maybe that’s why we have the Christmas season, to show us what is possible. 

Jesus really is the reason for the season. He represents Hope, Faith and Love.

Without his message, we are doomed.  But if we focus on why we celebrate Christmas, we have a chance to make the world a better place.  If we could just remember that after the Christmas trees are no longer lit, the goodies are all eaten and the presents have been unwrapped, maybe we could remember how good it felt to be generous, caring and kind.

I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite Christmas movies, “The Santa Clause.”

“Seeing isn’t believing; Believing is seeing.” Believe.  Another reason for the season.

Compromising…our government?

Another sad day for Obama fans.  The bullies are at it again.

When did our government become a bunch of namby-pamby sissies who have to use threats to get what they want?  It’s almost blackmail the way they use their brute-strength to pummel the underdogs.

Of course, I’m talking about the Republicans, who have threatened to withhold support for the entire tax plan if Obama didn’t agree to approve a tax break for all classes of people, not just the lower-class. 

Though our president didn’t think it was fair of the Republicans to use such tactics (and he said so on national television), he went along with them, stating that he didn’t want to jeopardize a tax break for the people who really needed it.  OK, so  maybe he didn’t say it in exactly those words, but being a pauper myself, I think that the Republicans are just trying to find a loop hole that will get them from paying their fair share.

Slowly, but surely, I’m finding out how this whole politics-thing works.  I am trying desperately to maintain an unclouded picture of the people who we are paying to run our government for us.  But, for the life of me, it’s not working.  I find myself picking apart all the things that I think are wrong with our government, but I still keep coming back to the same conclusion time and again–what can I do about it?

I support Obama.  I liked what he said about Change. Like many things that are worthwhile, change doesn’t happen overnight, especially when so many people are resistant to change. I think a lot of people expected a miracle when they voted him into office.  They must have thought that he all he had to do was wave a wand and everything would be fixed.  I wish.  A lot of people do.

I can’t imagine that McCain would have been any better at trying to put our country back together if he had been elected instead. At least President Obama wants what’s best for everyone, not just a selected few.

What’s in a name anyway? It’s just a label, after all. Democrats, Republicans, Independents; what it comes down to is that we are all Americans who just have different ideas. I think we’re making a big mistake fighting each other. Compromising works if what is agreed upon is fair and equal.  Somehow, the issue at hand doesn’t fit into that category.

Getting creative at Christmas

Every year, I have a few people on my Christmas list who stump me (and it’s always the same people, too). I find myself in the same position each year, having to ask my daughters what the men in their lives want for Christmas. It’s the same answer; “Oh, anything…”

I hate that.  Why did I bother asking?

I end up getting them something generic, such as a T-shirt or a gift card, and walk away feeling like they don’t really care anyway.

But not this year. 

I have decided that if it doesn’t really matter what I get them, I might as well have fun doing it.

This is what they are getting this year. (shh…don’t tell)

Gravity shoes for Nate.  Not only are they fun, but they will help him corral the kids in a hurry.

A beer-holding Hoody for Jason.  What every Hawkeye-lovin’-Cubs-crazy fan needs to hold their beers, because two hands is clearly not enough.

A custom-made bobble-head for Johnny. (I see how he looks at that one Dwayne has on The Office).
 
 
 Think they’ll be surprised? 
 
I used to worry every Christmas that I would buy gifts people didn’t like or want.  But as I get older, I realize that it isn’t what I buy, but how much fun I have doing it.
 
(Photos courtesy of gifts.com)