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Starting, Starting

Friday, January 02, 2015

Sign, Niki's West, Birmingham AL
(at Niki's West in Birmingham)

Friends, I am so happy to be back to a regular schedule.  December was wonderful, and there was so much going on I felt as though I could really attend to things better in 2015 by taking a tiny break here.  I'm back, and have made a commitment to do regular postings here M-F.

Really, there are all kinds of commitments to start the new year.  The best Chanukah present Av got me this year was a subscription to Scribd, half a million books just a touch away on my iPad so I've been reading a lot, trying to learn a lot.  Here are some things I'm working on...maybe we can work on together...for 2015.

I'm thinking I may have gotten this list from Gretchen Rubin who studies happiness and well-being (and I'm starting to wonder: why haven't we all been studying happiness all along? It makes us all so much more satisfying and terrific to be around).  I'm already a happy person, but who can't be happier?  And I want to teach my children this while they're young so they always know there are things they can do to set themselves up for happiness and well-being.  Tenets:

Strong Social Fabric
---I have a terrific family, close friends, and I keep in touch with old friends. I'd love to have more close friends. I'm proud of family we've made -- and over winter break, we spent time in Atlanta with our BB/BS little sister and her family! Can't even say how happy and in love I am of and for our Little Sister and Little Brother (our little brother will be graduating college soon!).  

Activities that fit Strengths
---My work at the magazine and my freelance graphic design work, so I'm good there.

Practice Gratitude
---I love to write thank you notes and send sweet texts and emails. Can do this more.

Optimistic Thinking
---Pretty good at this, but sometimes I can run into...say, a complete stranger...and let their dark cloud muddy up my sunshine.  So I need to work on being more resilient this way.

Volunteer
---I do lots of volunteer work (favorite? I'm a room mommy! (again!)) and I'm happy with that.  Also: I want to set new records this year with my food closet donations (I coupon a lot and can monthly turn $25 into a couple hundred in donations of food and toiletries).  There's a group I'm thinking of starting too, for fun.

Perspective on Wealth
---Not sure what is meant here. Am I okay with not being a billionaire (yet)? haha, I guess.

Healthy Coping Strategies
---Work needs to be done here.  I can not just fall apart, but crazy-girl fall apart if I see an injustice or if someone close to me is hurting.

Focus on Health
---Never thought I would say this, and if you knew me circa 2001-2005 you might not believe it, but I work out for at least an hour 4-5 days a week (I'm not yet back to 117 but I'm headed there).  Each week, I do hot yoga, Sh'Bam, Zumba, Dance Jam, Stretch and Balance, and weights for strength.  I have a way to go, but can get to my goal this year if I work at it.  Okay, 117, you belong to me again this year.

Cultivate Spiritual Emotions
---Is this about finding more spirituality in the everyday?  I get in the zone easily at holidays and services, but I probably need to figure out how to imbue this -- the emotion, not just the doing -- more in daily life.

Have Direction/Strategy
---I think I'm okay here.  This sounds so beauty pageant interview, but I want to be the best person, best wife, best mommy, best friend I can be.  So I'm trying.  I probably do need to put some long-term goals on (digital) paper. 

Family
---My family is what I always wanted, and I'm working on making the very best experiences (special experiences/trips/etc plus everyday experiences -- a comfortable, stable home life filled, filled, filled with love) for our children and husband.  

Also:
I want to keep our home *very* put together (I read this for motivation).  We have guests over a lot, so it never gets bad, but it could be even better.

I'm meditating with Headspace every day and trying to be more mindful.

For my next birthday, I want to do one of those projects where you do one good deed/mitzvah for each year of life.

I need to learn how to sleep better.

Annnnnndddd that's just a start.  I hope you have beautiful plans for this year and we all enjoy a happy, healthy, mindful, well-read and well-rested 2015.  Oh, and 'This Week's Various' will be back on Fridays (and I love hearing from you and learning from you (email me good things!) and you can always contact me here).  xoxo!

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Favorite Restaurants:
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
2. Arnaud's, New Orleans LA
3. Antoine's, New Orleans LA
4. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
5. Root, New Orleans LA
6. Chez Fonfon, Birmingham AL
7. Taylor Grocery, Taylor MS
8. Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston TX
9. Lusco's, Greenwood MS
10. The Dinner Bell, McComb MS

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