New Year’s: Looking Ahead With Cautious Ambition

The holiday rush is over!

Now, it’s time to celebrate the New Year, which for me, means it’s also time to slow down and focus inward a little bit. Though I know some people are just not that into it, I really like taking some time during the New Year’s holiday to look ahead at what I hope to accomplish within both myself and my home in the coming months.

I wouldn’t call these resolutions…just a matter of strategically regrouping.

From October through December, I operate on overdrive. I’m decorating, planning, running, entertaining and juggling, all while making Christmas gifts and generally jumping from one task to the next. Though this process is exciting and the stuff of making memories, I also end up being so goal-oriented that many day-to-day needs slip through the cracks of procrastination.

However, come New Year’s, I’m ready to ease up and focus on getting both myself and our home in semi-organized order. I usually have a waiting list of things that I’ve been promising myself I would get to after the holidays; like straightening a few drawers, cleaning out a cabinet here and there, and finding ways to streamline tasks for those soon-to-be-busy school days. The freakishly sterile and ascetic pages of a Martha Stewart magazine are usually enough visual stimuli to help motivate me toward these goals. All I have to do is flip through the January issue of Living, and I’m ready to reorganize my closet while simultaneously attacking my house with an electronic label maker…nothing like the images of impossible perfection to get a girl off the couch. But seriously, New Year’s is always a good time to tackle those dozen little projects that will make day-to-day life somewhat neater and easier. This could be the OCD talking, but who doesn’t like euphoric high that comes from a freshly organized something.

This year, I have the added fun of planning and executing the nursery for Bean (assuming that my brain and my budget come to some sort of compromise soon), so that project should fulfill my deep-seated need for little New Year’s home improvement as well. Expect “before” picture soon, because I will definitely want to document the room’s transformation from messy office into baby girl haven.

As for creative projects, I can now tackle all those ideas that took a backseat during my marathon of Christmas knitting. I’ve already started Bean’s first blanket:


And I have a whole list of crafty ideas just waiting to take shape, including becoming reacquainted with my sewing machine.

Budget-wise…well, that’s probably the biggest goal for my year. Adding another child to our family will definitely be a financial adventure, but I also want to work on reevaluating the way we do things. I think the concept of saving needs a little less conversation and a little more action, if you know what I mean. That will require me to work on my self-control in a big way.

So, those are my New Year’s musings in a nutshell. I’m never into overly ambitious, grandiose resolutions that set me up for failure, but I’m also not anti-New Year’s either. If anything, a few carefully constructed goals help ease the sting of the post-Christmas endorphin crash, and they help reboot my internal systems into finding the peace and joy in the simplicity of the everyday.

The promise of King Cake soon sure doesn’t hurt either…

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