New Year's Eve parties came about, I'm pretty sure, because if you eat an entire box of boneless chicken wings on your own, you won't have room for Doritos and powdered doughnuts. With friends over, you can have some of everything! Without feeling silly about how many boxes/bags you opened! And without, just for example, drinking the entire bottle of champagne yourself!
Remember these resolutions?
Ha ha, me neither! I had them hanging up by my computer so I'd remember to look at them and do them, but then when we changed the house all around they got lost I think, because I don't know AT ALL where they are. ...Oh. Here they are. They were in one of the deeper piles on my desk.
1. I will be less of a self-conscious sissy about hair dye. FAIL. I bought burgundy hair color, but I didn't use it; I researched REALLY bold colors (pink, blue) but didn't buy any. Instead I continued to fuss about roots and timing, and about the hassle of getting dye on towels and pillowcases, and about what strangers at the grocery store would think about it. I did use a boxed blond color for summer, and I liked it okay, but another reason I didn't use the burgundy was that I really liked the boxed blond when it grew out beyond looking just rooty: I liked the mix of my own hair color and the lighter blond, and I didn't want to lose that phase by using a new color.
2. I will try to keep up with my digital photos. FAIL. I kept up for a few months, but then the Snapfish uploading tool broke and I got discouraged. I looked into switching to another service, but didn't. I did finally catch up by doing about four months of photos all at once, but then I've let it slip again.
3. I will persist long enough with the fish tank to know if it's something I want to pursue. SUCCESS. Knowing I was going to persist experimentally took off some of the pressure to LOVE IT OR GET RID OF IT AND MAKE THE DECISION RIGHT THIS SECOND, and I do find I like the tank and want to keep it. I don't have an urge to get a larger tank, though.
4. I'm going to act with less inhibition on generous impulses. SUCCESS, but with a note. I did quite a few things this year where previously I would have gotten into a knot about it, and it was fun. BUT, the note is that I thought more about it, and I think it's NOT such a good idea to keep acting on such impulses: it seems to set up situations where the recipient feels uncomfortable and/or burdened, and wonders if they should reciprocate, and feels awkward if they don't want to. It can actually make people feel BAD, and that's not what I'm going for, obviously.
So while I'm still going to act on such impulses when it's fun and also seems like it can't set up bad feelings (one-time things, or buying a cute shirt for my niece, or buying something for Paul, or sending in something for the assistant teacher instead of just for the teacher), I'm trying to channel some of the generous impulses towards good-works-type impulse-buying. For example, I saw a great deal on Lands' End backpacks and lunchboxes ($10 down from $40 and $4 down from $12, respectively, plus 40% off so it was $8.40 per backpack/lunchbox set), and I bought several sets to donate to a local food/clothing pantry that tries to provide backpacks and school supplies in the fall to kids who need them.
I also found out that our lower elementary school has trouble keeping a supply of clothing on hand for accident-clothing-change replacements, so now I have my eye out for some 75%-off clothes to donate, and I've already sent in two packages of 75%-off underpants and three pairs of pants and three shirts---all of which were low-priced but CUTE, unlike the enormous "Dopey" shirt (INAPPROPRIATE IMPLIED-MESSAGE ALERT) and rolled-up sweatpants they sent Elizabeth home in when she needed a change of clothes NOT THAT I'M STILL STEWING ABOUT IT.
This has been FUN for me. And this type of buying takes away my worry that I'm overdoing it and maybe making someone else feel uncomfortable and obligated, while still using a character trait I enjoy and think is worth cultivating.
5. Buy or make Bath & Body Works lavender-vanilla conditioner. SUCCESS. I bought a bunch of bottles on eBay and now I have enough to feel like I can use it any morning I want to.
This year's resolutions:
1. I'm putting "Don't be such a sissy about hair dye" back on the list.
2. The thing I said above, about channeling the generosity impulse into good-works-type generosity. I'm thinking it could be really fun to use my clearance-hunting impulses for this: if I find a winter coat or backpack for one of the kids on 75% off, couldn't I buy two and donate one? If I find a bunch of great basic long-sleeved cotton-knit shirts at the irresistible price of $1.74, but my kids already have too many shirts, couldn't I have the fun of buying a rainbow of them anyway, but then donate them? YES! Yes, I COULD!
3. Send at least one Any Soldier package. I even bought a bunch of stuff that would be good for packages, I just haven't done anything about it because of "Who to CHOOSE" decision-paralysis.
4. Buy food for the food pantry bit by bit, when I'm grocery shopping anyway. Our grocery store has huge bins right at the front of the store for donations, so all I have to do is (1) remember to buy extras of a couple of the non-perishables I'm buying anyway each week (extra box of pasta and extra jar of sauce, or extra jar of peanut butter and extra box of crackers) and (2) have the bagger bag them separately so I can drop them into the bin on the way out. ...Actually, that sounds like a hassle. Okay, so my resolution is to figure out a way to do it but without it being so much of a hassle, and then do THAT. I think this has the potential to make grocery shopping a little more fun, if I can figure out how to do it easily.
5. Do 30 minutes of housework in a particular room on a rotating basis each weekday. I started this in December but it's not off the ground yet. And I'm concerned that this might be more discouraging than useful, because of the way earlier rooms might already be back to their usual states before I'm several rooms further down the list. But when I tried it, I found it was useful for doing not just regular housework chores (dusting, vacuuming) but also for doing things I'd been putting off (cleaning out all the stuff that rolled under the TV table, put away a clutter pile in the dining room, cleaning the bugs out of light fixtures). It was like instead of thinking "Ug, I don't want to do that, I'd rather check Twitter," I was thinking "Well, I have to be in here cleaning anyway, I might as well do THAT." I made a list of all the rooms in the house, and I just looked at the list each day after lunch to see what that day's room was.
6. Buy a couple of cute tops. They can be t-shirts, even, but then they need to be embellished in a cute way.
7. Find a conditioner that works well for Elizabeth's hair without smelling like grown-up-lady perfume OR Kool-aid.
8. Try to move one number on the scale (like from a 2 to a 3 on a scale of 10, for example) on giving hugs and pats and hair-ruffles and so forth. I don't think in terms of physical touch, so I think I don't give enough of it to the kids.
9. Order a bottle of expensive French perfume. (Good idea, AndreaUnplugged!)
What are you resolving this year? And if you're not making resolutions and think they're stupid, be SURE to tell us all about it. (I'm sorry. It's the champagne talking.) (No, I'm not sorry AT ALL! Ha ha ha ha ha!! -The Champagne.)
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