Lifestyle Goals, Not Resolutions

Our new year kicked off with a start–my partner got a call offering her a well-deserved position with a local city department, and it feels like the last two weeks have been a rush of preparation that comes with changes in employers: insurance, doctor approvals, filling out information, new schedules, and what some call the good stress of moving in the right direction. Add to that a move in my office to a new floor in the same building, and we’ve both been a little frantic since we returned to work on January 3rd.

The start of a new year is a great time to make changes, as many of our resolutions lead us to believe; however, the optimism that comes with January appearing on our calendars rarely survives through spring and often fades as we neglect to make time for the gym, cave into food cravings, and justify skipping a savings deposit in lieu of working toward funding an emergency fund. It’s so common that my partner and I joke that the third week of the new year is the best time to go to the gym because all of the newbies who committed to losing weight have discovered that rushing into weightlifting without preparation does little more than leave you sore and hating your muscles after two weeks of painful recovery days. That’s why we skip resolutions and focus on two ways to make our year beneficial.

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A Minimalist Christmas: Homemade Gifts

It’s the beginning of November, which means two things: beautiful autumn weather has finally arrived and the planning of Christmas gifts has begun. Normally we would be worrying about lists, scouring Amazon for good deals, hoarding B&N coupons, and thinking up until Christmas Eve how we can give the best presents. This year, however, I am doing it differently. After working to live more intentionally the past few months, I realized how materialistic Christmas had become for me, thinking mostly of what the best purchases were, how to stretch my money to but the most gifts, and how to impress people with what I gave them. I didn’t like that one bit. A lot of my focus and stress involving the holiday revolved around purchasing gifts and the financials associated with that process when many times I was taking a guess at what I thought was a good gift. The season had become very centered on tangible numbers, and that felt wrong in so many ways. Continue reading

Alaska

It’s been a good while since my last post, but I have one of the best reasons for keeping my digital absence: we went on vacation and moved in the past three weeks! I have always thought of vacation as a break from stress, and many people see it similarly as removing themselves from reality altogether. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it is better for me to look at it as an opportunity to realign myself and to try to refocus on finding peace to handle my daily life in a better way because that stress and my everyday challenges are still there when I get back home. My parents have learned to do their vacations right–they ship off (literally) to the Caribbean once a year where no once can reach them and spend six or seven days relaxing on the beach. They’ve come to love cruising so much that they decided to take all of us on a family cruise; the only catch was that the warm-weather goers were outvoted by the rest of us, so we packed up and set out to Alaska instead. This was a first cruise for me and my grandmother but the rest of the group were cruise experts. Continue reading