Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Reflection on 2014+ A Playlist for Youtube and Spotify

I'm trying to keep this short and sweet, so as to inspire without overwhelming. So I came up with a few "Reflection Questions" (free printable/click to print) to review 2014. However, if you want a dandy downloadable printable with a more thorough smattering of New Year reflection questions, see this.

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2014?
Participating in the Catholic Motherhood and expanding relationships in our parish.
Contributing to Real Housekeeping. (see the new and improved site!)
Starting to contribute to the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, which I hope to contribute to twice a month.
Reading 35+ books. Update to book post: I also read The Accidental Marriage, St. Francis, & Under the Wide and Starry Sky, Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, and The Catholic Guide to Depression.

What was your biggest regret?

Friendships that could have been stronger and deeper. I could have done more for our parish. I could have worried less. I could have blow-dried my hair more often. I could have eaten less sweets and processed sugar and dairy in general.

What was your biggest obstacle to good health?

My caffeine addiction. I have gone from one cup in the morning to several in the morning and at least one in the afternoon.  I need to replace some of those cups of coffee with tea and/or half caff. Also, Depression, ups and downs and not handling the downs well.  I have strange cravings, and often a bowl of soup and a granola bar is more satisfying than the coke and chips I'm wanting. Also, disorganization. I often skip the meal planning and end up regretting my grocery store purchases. A few minutes of thinking ahead could save me and my health in the long run. Finally, my biggest obstacle to good health was keeping good boundaries with family and extended family.

What was the healthiest thing you did this past year?

Going on a vacation to the beach just our family, getting help from my family with the kids,  and getting help with my health from my doctors. Going to Nashville with Stephen.  All of my solo trips for coffee and reading. All of our date nights.

What was the hardest thing you did this past year?

Grieving the loss of faith but gaining new faith on so many levels. Losing my uncle. Going through health problems. Submitting articles and getting rejection slips.  Standing up to negative people. Naming the hurts and grieving the bitter disappointments that are a natural, but nonetheless still painful, part of life. Naming the "nothing but bad news" people in my life and feeling a healing distance from them.

What are you the most proud of?

Getting the baby weight off from baby #4. Keeping up with my long-distance friends at least a little bit - especially proud of keeping up with the long-term friends. Keeping the unhealthy friends- the ones who make you feel less - the ones who you compare yourself to- the ones who point out your failures- at a distance. Also, I'm proud of my parents, my husband, my kids, and our new kitten. Lots to be proud of. I'm proud of how many times Stephen and I did yoga together.

What do you hope to do differently or better in the new year?

Read more, pray more, be more patient with my husband and children, accept help from others.  Be more organized, (and by that, I mean organize intentionally) & write more. Spend more time doing the things I love, and less time doing the things I don't love.  Do things that bring out the best in me. Work harder on sewing projects, read more and more widely, wake up earlier. Focus on faith, mothering, reading and blogging. Do better at responding to blogs, and keeping up a little on social media, but not getting drowned by it.

I also hope to get into a better beauty routine... wear only the clothes that I love and donate the clothes that make me feel fat/ugly/and/or angry. :-) I love my make-up routine, but I want to slowly rotate in nicer make-up as I figure out what I like. I'm normally more of a neutrogena or almay than sephora type girl, but I still want to know what works with my skin and perhaps try some nicer brands. I actually went to sephora and got three pictures taken of my skin. Apparently I have golden undertones. They will be able to fill you in on exactly the kind of foundational powder will look healthy on your skintone. They will also point you in the right direction according to oily, dry, or normal type skin.

I also want to spend more time outside, or with Homeschool activities or at least a prepared environment for the kids, rather than feeling dissipated and fighting boredom. Also no more disagreeing about which movie to see.  *heh*

How do you hope to improve in your job, marriage, and/or finances in the coming year?

I have reflected on these things privately.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

1. Wake up earlier. My best month was November. I woke up at 5am everyday to write. When it was time to go to bed, I fell hard like a log fast asleep every night.

2. Read more. I want to read 50 books this year. (We'll see how it goes....:)

3. Put my whole heart into faith, mothering, and writing.

4. Put more effort and time into sewing.

5. Become a more accomplished cook/chef. I have some new cookbooks I'm excited about drawing from and adding to my repertoire. I got this one for Christmas, and I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes.

6. Write more. Become a better writer. Blog better.

7. Keep the house decluttered. When I look at the pictures from when we first moved in, I am stunned at how beautiful, peaceful, and uncluttered our home is. It's like a different house! But- of course- that's when NOTHING was in it! Ha. I want to keep our house decluttered because it brings so much peace.

What was your favorite movie of the year?

Guardians of the Galaxy

What was the most fun thing your family did together?
Going to the South Carolina coast; Thanksgiving celebration with my dad's side of the family; playing Pictionary and Farkle with my kids; first Sunday art museum day and walks around downtown.

What was your favorite book of the year?
Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
Also, have you read Bittersweet? There's a chapter in there about "Doing Everything Better." If you own it, do me a favor and pick it up and turn to that section. It would be the perfect thing to read for the New Year. (And be sure to check out her upcoming Devotional).

What is one way that you can make your life better, starting today?

I'm going to draw from the book Small Steps for Catholic Moms by Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss to answer this question.

The one way that I can make my life and livelihood better, starting today, would be to intentionally practice having more gratitude in each day that I have as a gift from my Father God.

I was just reading in the Companion Journal about gratitude. Well, here.. I'll just quote from it for you.
'You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. (G.K. Chesterton).
Together, brainstorm ways to bring your mind back to God and gratitude during the routine of your day. Some people set their watches for pre-planned times of prayer. . . . you say 'grace before meals,' how can you 'say grace' all day long?

My saint for the year is St. Bonaventure. St. Bonaventure, pray for us!
And now--- I have some Music for the New Year to share with you!
{The following playlists are similar but not exact.}

Be aware that I uploaded the entire Chvrches album as the second-to-last "song" on this playlist. It is actually a good album, but you might want to skip over it to listen to the last song. :/

See my updated Pinterest - I've added some boards and just generally cleaned it up!
How about you?? What are your goals and resolutions for the New Year in general and more specifically?