My husband and my mother each asked me what my New Year’s resolutions are this year.  I hadn’t determined any.  I guess that I just feel that resolutions don’t need to be made on January 1st: they should be made and kept as the need/awareness arises.   I told both, “status quo.”

Maybe I need to elaborate.

Academic goal: audit classes that I passed as an undergrad.  I started that last semester.  The only problem was that the only time slot that I had available, there were two different things vying for my time already.  I was skipping something in order to attend the first hour and I was skipping something else in order to attend the second hour.  This semester, I had decided that I would require myself to attend one hour of lecture a week.  After all, if I don’t have time to do what I want to do because it gets in the way of what I ought to do, I will intend to accomplish it still but in a lesser capacity.  Only one problem remains: there are no classes that I wanted to audit that would fit into my schedule at either college.  I might have to find an online course, set a timer, and do homework problems until the time runs out.  The plan needs a little reworking.

Career goal: consider the possibility of getting a babysitter for Beth when Sarah goes to preschool in the fall so that I may explore the possibility of working full time.  This one is a soft goal. It is not a soft goal because of the working—I’d rather enjoy that, but because I’m not okay with telling my youngest child, “You’re not as worthy as your siblings to have the privilege of my attention at home.”  That may be a little dramatic, but that’s the way that I see that she might perceive it.  Then again, it’s a case by case decision.  I don’t know what kind of alternate care I might be able to find for her.  My son was enriched by his alternate care while I worked.  My husband and my mother have been asking me about that too—when I’m going to go to work full-time.  Sigh.  I have to fight my very nature to become a stay-at-home mom (that is, until I go to work at one of my two jobs, so I’m not really a true stay-at-home mom), then I get flack for that too.  Which is the choice that aids my family the most?  I’ve been straddling the fence of stay-at-home vs. working mom for seven years.  So, I thought the change would be in 2013, but maybe it’s a 2012 change.

Personal goal: read the Harry Potter series.  I’m working every night while my husband reads to my son.  So, they’ve conquered several books together while my son and I are about to finish our first.  My son is at school all day while I’m home and at home while I’m at work.  I always said that I’d read it with my son when he got to this age, but it looks like I don’t get that privilege.  Maybe I’ll read it independently so that I’ll have something to discuss with my son.  Furthermore, I made the decision that I wanted to read it with him (when he was four years old) after reading about all of the biblical parallels in the series.  So, reading the Harry Potter series would be in the vein of the Chronicles of Narnia series.

Personal goal: follow a predetermined Bible reading plan.  I’ve been picking my own passages.  Really, it’s a lazy choice to use a predetermined plan, but I think it might feel like it’s more of an accomplishment to finish someone else’s plan.

Personal goal: either memorize new scripture in NASB or re-memorize old scripture in A-KJV.  I memorized a sizeable chunk (chunks over four years) of scripture in high school.  We used the authorized King James Version because the most conservative opponents couldn’t argue with that choice.  Now I read NASB.  I have a hard time reading from NASB anything that I memorized in KJV.  I need to be able to quote again.  I don’t know if I want to learn new or remember old, but I have a listening buddy if I need to quote.  (Shout out to Leah!)

Fitness goal: now that I’m back to high school weight, get back to college weight.  Hmm.  This one.  This one I can’t really call a goal.  I haven’t really changed anything in more than a decade.  Eat right and exercise?  Did that when I was fat and when I was thin and everywhere in between.  I lost 20lbs after I started dating my husband. Gained 35 after the first kid.  Gained another 10 when the second kid had long, emotional hospital stay.  Then, came the third kid.  I’ve lost 25 since the third kid was born.  What’s the secret?  Apparently not diet and exercise.  I know that those things do have a bearing, but I did them even while I was getting fatter—so the presence of those elements won’t keep me thin or the absence of them won’t make me fat.  The only thing that changed (despite my husband’s mother’s “interesting” guesses) was that I took my herbs and took a nap.  Yep, the only factor that shows any direct relationship is stress/hormones.  In order to lose the first 25, I didn’t make any special “life changes.”  I’ve been consistently doing that since I was an adolescent.  So, this isn’t really a goal…because I feel that it’s so far out of my locus of control (and any “success” cannot be attributed to me), but a hope for a year that is relaxed, comfortable, and prosperous.  Fat chance.

Health goal: make the majority of our dairy products and bread products at home.  I’ve been doing that since before January 1st too.  I made butter last week and yogurt the week before.  I’ve been intending to eliminate wheat products and make what we really will be using.  My area of fault is sandwich bread for my son’s lunches.  Buying it is so much more practical.  I also want to find a raw milk source because making butter is not a useful skill with store-bought cream; it’s just for bragging rights.  With the yogurt, I’m eliminating the garbage thickening agents, but raw would be better.  The goal might be better stated: make sandwich-worthy bread and find a raw milk source.

Health goal: make more plant based dinners for the family creatively.  See above.  Pasta or rice or bread are easy bases for dinners.  Make them out of plants.  Again, this is not a new goal, but a recurring one.

Personal goal: learn to knit.  I crochet.  It’s a creative cousin.

Financial goal: get rid of debt.  I’ve been adamant about not getting the debt since before I was a teenager.  So, this is not a new goal…for me.  But my other (better/nicer) half has finally gotten on the same page with me.  So, I’m finally starting to see some progress!  I’m still listing it as a “goal” because (though it will take me about four years), I’ll still be putting in the efforts that are not new to me.

Creative goal: sew more.  It makes me calm, but it takes so much time.  Maybe if I did it more often, it would take less time and still make me calm.

Financial goal: either coupon again or make more products at home.  I’ve been somewhat of a couponing hypocrite.  I won’t have the patience to accomplish both goals.  I’ll decide later where I want to put my efforts.

Personal goal: take more naps.  While I advocate being super-productive, that super-productivity has its pitfalls.  Building my stress isn’t a worthwhile goal.  So, I’ll take a nap.

Creative goal: when I need inspiration to continue to contribute to the efficiency goals or health goals or creative goals or fitness goals, go to Pinterest, just keep creating.  Feeding off other people’s inspiration is rejuvenating.

Personal goal: make friends at church.  Oh, wait…never mind.  I did that!  They just aren’t the group where I find people with similar interests and similar walks of life.  They’re much cooler than me.  I’m okay with being the oddball of the group.  Again, feeding off other people’s inspiration is rejuvenating.  I think this still counts, right?

In conclusion, these are not really things that I decided to do because of the New Year.  I feel as though if one waits until a specific date to make a change, that waiting kills the spirit of the change.  If something needs to change, change it immediately.  Fix it!  ”Status quo” in this case is a constant state of fixing and changing…regardless of the calendar date.