Friday, January 3, 2014

For the New Year 2014

Looking back at 2013, I realize that I've had an amazing, life-changing year. My beloved daughter was born in June, and we have a beautiful little family. I finished the first draft of my novel, started writing poetry for the first time, and continued playing violin and viola (maybe less now that I spend so much time taking care of my sweet baby, but I'm still going). In honor of the New Year, I've come up with a few goals for myself I'd like to share here.

1. Cook Healthy Food with My Family

My husband and I enjoy cooking, but we get busy and tired at night. It's really easy to start relying on take-out or fast food when you're a new parent, but it's much, much healthier to cook at home, and it saves tons of money. Most importantly, I want my baby to grow up eating fresh, healthy food. I got a great food processor for Christmas and I've started using it to puree fresh fruits and veggies for her. Apple-Mango puree is delicious!

2. Write Every Day

I've recently finished the first draft of my novel and had a story accepted into an anthology. That's an amazing feeling. But I know I need to keep going. For one thing, now I have to edit and revise everything! I also have tons of ideas for short stories and other novels, and I want to continue writing poetry. "Write every day" is cliche advice, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

3. Read to My Baby

  My little one loves it when I read to her. She bats at the pages of her books, and plays with her board books even without my prompting (granted, she mostly chews on them, but it's a start). I want her to love reading as much as I do, and reading to her is this special moment we can share.

4. Save Money

I've had some serious financial struggles in the past, and I'm grateful that my husband and I are doing well right now. But we're still spending all of our money almost every month, and we need to start saving. Right now we're using to help us manage our finances and set budgets. I hope someday we can afford to get a bigger car or even (gasp) buy a house.

5. Exercise Regularly

I like to take walks, but it's hard to get out with the baby. Still, I've been trying to take her for walks in her stroller or in the baby bjorn every day this week. Hopefully I can keep it up, since I think it's great for both of us. Maybe I can even get my husband to come along.

6. Practice My Violin and Viola

Writing is one thing, but practicing a musical instrument feels extremely hard when you're a parent. I'm afraid I'll wake her up if I practice at night, and it's tricky to manage when I'm the only one watching her. But I'm determined to find the energy, and I got at least an hour and a half in today while my husband watched our baby. I want to learn Mozart's D Major Violin Concerto, No. 4. Such an interesting and exciting piece should keep me busy. 

7. Stay in Touch with My Friends

At some point this year, I realized I hadn't seen or talked to many of my friends since my little one was born. I've been busy and exhausted, so it's been hard to make the effort to stay in touch. But I want to make more of an effort this year to see or talk to all my friends, especially my single/non-parent friends. It's so easy to become isolated when you're a parent, since you have so little time and energy. Friendship is truly important, and just like any relationship, you need to make an effort for it to grow.

Looking over this list, I realize I've set a lot of goals for myself. I realize I probably won't be able to keep up with all of them the way I'd like, but I'm glad I'm writing them down. Everyday we get to wake up and start fresh, and I hope this list will remind me what's most important to me.

If you have any goals or resolutions for this year, feel free to write them in the comments! 

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