A new year. A, for the most part, clean slate to work with. What to do with it is almost paralyzingly intimidating.
I know for sure I want to get back on the bike and ride, piling up the mileage like never before. I had the same idea for 2013, right after completing the cross-country ride in 2012, but when 2013 actually rolled around, I could feel the desire to get out on a daily basis just wasn't there. Each day I would get up with the intention of going out for a couple of hours, but deep in my core I kept feeling hesitation. Almost like something was gripping my insides and saying, "No, not today. The time isn't right." I listened to that voice, mostly just cycling to work or to the store. On a few occasions I did go out for longer rides, but these were few and far between. Now, I can feel the desire building to get back out, rack up the mileage. I'm glad I listened to whatever was telling me to not cycle, as this allowed me to turn my attention to gardening and working on art projects, and best of all, just being with my boys. The time I spent with them in 2013 helped me get to know each of them like I didn't before. No amount of cycling would mean as much to me as the memories I have of me and my boys being together through 2013. Because I was home with them, I spent time investing in tweaking our space, finding ways to improve its comfort factor. One of my friends mentioned one day that I'm "surrounding my home in beauty." That warmed my heart.
I also know for sure I want to cook our meals. We eat out far too often. Sometimes five or six times a week. At a minimum of $35 each meal, this can add up to $175+ a week. What a freaking waste. I've mentioned to Hubby on several occasions that our eating out needs to stop, but I cave most of the time because . . . well . . . I'm lazy. There are times after work that I'm in no mood to cook. This, however, is an excuse, and this, right here right now, is going to change. That $175 could go towards groceries that we in turn use to create tasty meals in the kitchen of our own home.
Directly connected to not eating out is my desire to eat real food. No canned foods (unless they're those that I've canned, containing foods I've grown). No boxed foods. No frozen meals. For several years now, I've worked to eat better, but when you live with someone who truly doesn't care what he ingests, and buys all kinds of nasty, processed, full of sugar products, the temptation to indulge is always right there. That darn nasty, processed, full of sugar Devil is constantly tempting me. It's easy to fall into step. But I'm done with that. I'm falling out of step. I started three months ago with my first baby step of eliminating caffeine. Once I knew I had slain the caffeine once and for all, my next hit was soda. After two weeks of no soda, I found myself saying no to sweets more often than I said yes. I now eat very little of anything in the sweets category. Saying no to candy, to cookies, to cake is getting easier and easier each day. And a truly pleasant realization came to me the other day when Hubby suggested I get some pain cream for my sciatica pain--I've not had any sciatica pain for some time now. I hadn't noticed this until he mentioned it. I'm wondering if moving away from the sugar (which I found out is an inflammatory agent) is the reason.
My last "know for sure" goal for 2014 is to reduce the TV watching and increase the reading/writing. When I think about all the hours I've spent in front of the TV over the last year, I cringe. I should actually hand a whip to someone and say, "Give me ten lashes for being such an idiot." Again, because I live with someone who loves his TV and has one in nearly every room of the house (I put my foot down at no TV in the bathrooms), and who has to have all the premium channels, I get sucked in, falling into step yet again. I do have a couple of shows I really like--"Rehab Addict" and "Storage Wars Texas"--but other than these two programs, I can't think of anything I truly look forward to watching. Well, I take that back. I enjoy watching Purdue basketball, both men and women. So, I'm going to limit my watching to the two shows and Purdue basketball. When the shows go on hiatus and when basketball season is over, that's it for watching TV. If I stick to this goal, I should be able to get a lot of reading and writing in. The first book on the list for 2014 is Zombie Apocalypse, which so far is proving to be a fast (though at times very boring) read.
The clean slate that is 2014 has its first few markings on it already, and I'm happy with what's there. The next few weeks, though, are what will make or break what I have in mind for the year.
Happy New Year! May we all fall out of step and find the determination within to fulfill our goals and dreams!