In a few more days 2013 will be over. I am one of those sappy sentimental New Year's fools. If I manage to stay up (which, let's be for real, the older I get the harder it is) I will probably cry reflecting on all the ups and downs of my year. And after I ugly cry, I'll feel grateful to have a clean slate.
I'll wake up on New Year's Day ready to make grand changes to my lifestyle. I'll eat a little healthier, exercise and put myself to sleep earlier. And then a few days later, I'll be back to my previous year self. I may have great ideas but I have a hard time with follow through.
But I am getting older and I'm old enough to know better. I need to make significant changes to my life. And there are a few things of 2013 that need to be left behind. A new year is a fresh start - it's a reboot button.
4 Things I'm Leaving Behind in 2013
No More Fat Talk. This on the top of my list. I am notorious for talking about how fat I am. And I use (and think) the words "fat" and "disgusting" about myself way too much. I've been struggling with my weight for last eight years. I go through spurts of losing 5 pounds and gaining 10. I've put on 20 pounds in the last two years. I stepped on the scale this week and hit 170 pounds. (I'm 5'6.) I used to be a gal who loved to shop and now with every few pounds I gain I find myself dreading stepping into a fitting room. It doesn't feel good having to keep buying bigger sizes but the way I feel about myself when I look in the mirror is so much worse.
Stop Thinking of Myself as a Student. After five long, stressful years of graduate school, I graduated in June. It took me nearly 15 years to finish my bachelor's degree. I've been a college student for 20 years - all while working full-time. 2014 is my first college-free year. I've had a 'student' mentality for so long. There is a part of me that sees myself as someone just starting out. But I've accomplished a lot, especially over the last 5 years - and I have to own it. I need to stop seeing myself as a creative writing student and start seeing myself as a professional writer.
Babble. I spent 2013 being a Babble Kid Contributor. I loved every second of it. But I've been doing so much, for so long I'm exhausted. And I need a break from it all. I work a lot. I I work all day in an office, then I come and work most nights. More and more, The Boy is starting to notice how much time I spend on my laptop. He'll say "Close the computer and come play with me." And more often than not, I have to say no because I have to work.
It's ironic that I waited so long to hear those words from him, now that he has them - I am too busy writing to meet his needs. I decided that I needed to scale back on my freelance writing assignments. The Boy needs me more. And I need him just as much.
I published my last Babble post (a round up of my favorite 8 blog posts) and I'm going to spend the first few weeks of 2014, relaxing and not doing a darn thing except spend time with my family.
Wasting Money/Throwing Away Food. We spend a lot of money on food: at the supermarket, dining out and ordering greasy take-out. It's embarrassing how much time and money I spend at the supermarket buying food, only to throw it away because it's gone bad. It's such a waste of money. I am hoping that with a lighter workload, I can get back to cooking real meals for my family.
My goals for 2014 are simple: feel better about myself, live a healthier life and have more quality time with my family. I think these are worth the follow through.
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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.