Saturday, December 31, 2011

The end of 2011 or ready for the new year

I can't believe this is the last day of 2011!  This year has once again gone faster than any before it.  I think the fact that we moved to Colorado this year and I had a new job and then a promotion was a big part of it.

I'm a little sad to say goodbye to another year as I am a year older and not really any wiser.  There are a lot of things that I didn't accomplish this year that I wanted to.  I guess that gives me some bigger goals for the new year.

Anyway, this will be word vomit about things we did this year, things I wished we had done and things I really want to do in the new year.  I will number this post for my own sake to keep it organized.

1.  Thinking back to the beginning of 2011, instead of choosing resolutions, I did that new thing people talk about and instead of resolutions, had 'one word' for 2011.  My word was 'blame'.  I wanted to stop blaming everyone else for my own problems or for things I was mad about.  Particularly, it is easy to blame your spouse when things go wrong.  I think that was my main challenge - not blaming Todd for things that I am upset about.  And it's tough to look back and realize that you didn't really do what you wanted with your goal.  That is to say that I don't feel I did that good of a job at not blaming other people.  As I was thinking about my new word for  2012, it did make me think more about my 2011 word and then it made me think about how I didn't change as much as I wanted to in this respect.

- Specifically, I think there are many things that I am unhappy about that make me take out my current frustration on others.  Not having enough money is easy to take out on your spouse.  Being overweight and  having no confidence makes it easy to feel insecure and generally in a bad mood and take it out on your spouse.  It's easy to be stressed at your job when you are working a ton and once again, to take it out on your spouse or to blame them when something goes wrong.

2. My new word for 2012 is 'commit'.  If I am going to start something, I need to complete it and commit to getting it done.  I feel like there are so many things I have started that I have never finished.  I need to look at all situations and decide if I want to do it bad enough to commit to it.

- A few examples of things I want to do this coming year, but have to commit to:

- I've got to lose weight once and for all.  I don't want to do it for vanity (though feeling good about yourself is great).  I need to do it for my health.  And on that note....

- I need to take permanent control of my diabetes.  This is so much bigger of a deal than I have made it.  I only have one life and one body and I have to take care of myself and my body so I hopefully live a long time.  I keep thinking about my son and how I want him to have a mom well into his adulthood and the only way that will happen is if I take care of myself now and for the rest of my life.  I have made some steps in the right direction, but need to work even harder next year.

- I need to commit to my education and my job to make it as far as I can in my field.  I think I will have to just suck it up and take another exam for work and once that is over, I want to look into going back to school.  I feel like I have done amazingly well in my field without a college degree, but feel like it is time to at least get an associates degree.  I could have that within 2 years and then if I want to keep going, I could have a bachelor's degree in another 2 years.  This is something I have been putting off for a long time but my company has such a good tuition reimbursement program, that it is hard to pass up.

- I need to commit to organizing my house and keeping it clean.  I know that so much of my stress comes from our house always being a mess and not being able to find things because things get lost due to the mess that is always everywhere in our house.  I don't think there is one room in our house that is fully organized right now and it drives me crazy.  I want to feel like most of our house is organized most of the time.  Right now I feel like most of our house is in chaos most of the time and if a room is clean or organized, it is not the norm.

- This one may seem cheesy, but I need to commit to preserving our memories, no matter what they are.  I have pictures that are everywhere, with no organization.  I have scrapbooks that I have started and never finished and need to get those done and catch up on photos and albums.  Even if I don't do scrapbooks for all of our pictures, if I at least put them in regular albums, I will feel a lot more organized.  I would like to do some scrapbooking on a regular basis, but at least need to get caught up on what I have.

3.  Looking back on this last year, there were some great times and some not so great times.

The great times include:
- Buying a house we love in Aurora, Colorado after we moved here late last year and lived in a corporate apartment.  We didn't get to look at many houses and we were rushed to pick one and we feel very lucky that we really like our house.  We feel like we learned some lessons from our first house and did apply them to what we wanted for a second house.
- Xander continues to be a healthy, growing toddler.  That is not really just one great thing, but in general we are so blessed to have him and he turned 3 in November.  He has changed so much this year and is such a joy to us, even when he is challenging us.
- After being in my position less than one year, I was promoted to the manager of my department when my old boss left.  In less than a year I almost doubled my salary (including what I was paid when I was back in Omaha).  I don't say this to brag but to remind myself how lucky I really am.  I may even be overpaid.  :)
- Easter at our house with several of Todd's relatives.  We met some of his relatives this year that I had never met before and he hadn't seen since he was a child.
- Several visits from Todd's parents and my parents.  These are definitely highlights of our year since we moved away from all of our family and don't get to seem that all that often.  We also made a few trips back to Nebraska to see family and that was great too, even if the trips were rushed.
- We did several fun things since moving to Denver.  We wanted to enjoy the things that Denver had to offer as soon as we could in case for some reason we end up moving again.  We went to the Christmas lights at the zoo last year right when we moved here, went to see the railroad museum and to a railroad theme park called Tiny Town, both for Xander since he loves trains, we've both been to a few Rockies games and went to our first pro football game seeing the Broncos play the Lions (who we were rooting for), we got a family membership to the Denver Children's Museum for Xander, we went on a hike early in the spring, drove to Breckenridge this summer to sight see, drove to Estes Park this fall also to sight see and have  experienced a few new restaurants and have enjoyed shopping at Ikea - which we didn't have back in Nebraska.

Some of the not as great of times:
- Moving away from family.  Even though we were excited for a new adventure, it is hard to move away from your family and friends.  It was also very stressful with both of us already living in a new state and trying to sell our house back home as well as get it all packed up and moved.
- My new job.  Yeah I know it is positive too, but along with the promotion has come a ton of stress.  I spent a lot of time working and not as much time with my son.  For a while, I could tell that Xander was missing me with how much I was working.  The bad part is, we are still behind at work and January will hopefully slow down a little bit, but will still be busy and I will still have to work more than I want to.
- Todd's job being stressful too.  We both had a tough year at our jobs, but we are both thankful that we are employed.
- Our money situation never seems to go as we hope.  I guess that is just life but it seems like we just can't catch a break sometimes and something expensive always seems to come up.  We plan on working hard on our finances next year, but it was a hard year for us.

4. We are looking forward to the new year and a fresh start.  There are more things we want to do in Colorado including going to the mountains more, possibly hiking a few of them.  We also look forward to having more time with our son (mostly me) and doing fun activities with him as he gets older.  We also want to do some more projects around our house to get it the way we would like it such as changing out light fixtures, changing a couple of faucets, touch up painting, painting a few rooms and some other small things.  We also have a list a mile long that 'if we have the money for' we would like to purchase.  We need a new computer desk, a new kitchen table, a new entertainment center for the family room and a few other things.  I guess you just save up and buy one at a time as you can.  I think it will be fun to continue working on our house and having it feel more 'complete'.

5. It all starts tomorrow!  I hope that everyone has a great new year and stays healthy and happy!

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