Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Revolution - Climbing Out of Your New Year Box

Photo by emdees.

I love welcoming the New Year.

All the craziness of my birthday, holiday shopping and traveling, Christmas, my husband's birthday, and getting the Christmas cards out on time is finished.

Then there's this week of hopeful expectancy. What will the New Year bring? It's like pausing at the top of the world's largest Ferris wheel as the bottom empties and a new group climbs on. The air is clear, the bright lights of the distant city sparkle against the black night sky. You can see for miles and miles. The view is amazing.

As 2007 ended, I struggled to start my New Year's Resolutions List. It seemed that my yearly resolution of losing weight had resulted in a steady weight gain since fourth grade! I knew that most New Year's resolutions revolve around the same ten things. I wanted my New Year to be different, but I didn't know what to do.

I shared my thoughts with my DH (dear husband), Dennis, over coffee one morning.

"What do you think?" I asked.
"I've been thinking about this," Dennis said. "I think we should have more fun in 2008."
I gasped. "But what about my goal of losing weight?"
"Was it on your list last year?" he asked.
"Of course." He knew it was on my list every year since fourth grade.
"Well, did you lose weight?"
I answered with my very best Evil Eye Stare.
"I'll take that as a No," he said with a grin. (Did I mention that my husband is very brave?)
"But I hate to give up my goal," I whined.
"You wouldn't be giving up your goal. You'll just make Having Fun more of a priority."

I finally agreed, and after talking it over, Dennis and I decided that our New Year's Resolution for 2008 would be to Eat at One New Restaurant Every Month. The results? I didn't lose a single pound, but I did have tons of fun, got to know my city better, tried lots of great food (The Blue Koi, Jazz - a Louisiana Kitchen, McCormick & Schmick's, A Touch of Asia Indian Cuisine, BD's Mongolian Bargeque, Spin Pizza, Granite City Food and Brewery, O'Dowd's Little Dublin, Mr. Gyros, Zarda's BBQ, Waldo Pizza, Bristol Seafood Grill, and the Webster House), and got to know my husband better as well.

As this New Year approaches, what will you do? Most people do one of two things:
  1. They choose the lazy way out by planning to do nothing. I mean, it's just another string of 365 days, right?
  2. They dust off last year's resolutions and determine, "OK, this year I really will do all the stuff on my list!" (You know the list I mean. It's the one that says Lose weight, exercise more, be nicer, quit smoking, yada yada yada.)
This year, I propose you trade in your resolutions for a revolution. What will it be for you? Dennis and I plan to find more of those restaurants in our city. I'm thinking about teaching my twelve-year old daughter one new thing every month. (How to Tie a Tie, How to Bake Sourdough Bread, How to Do Laundry, for example.)

What are your New Year's REVolutions? I'd love to hear from you!


Kansas Bob said...

Enjoyed reading about last year's resolutions Heather.. I liked it.. maybe I need to add having fun to mine.. or just join you all on one of your dining adventures :)

I posted my thoughts about resolutions at my place this morning.

Happy 2009!

Anonymous said...

Heather, I think having fun is a great idea! My resolution in 2008 was not New Year's but probably a "June reVolution" to stay in joy. After all, if it was true for Nehemiah [8:10] and company that "the joy of the Lord is your strength," then I believe it would be true for me as well!!!
I became stronger as I came downstairs each morning, opened the blinds, and said, "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" I would do a few stretches, put the teapot on and grab my Bible to spend some time with the One who is my Joy. After a while and after seeing friends burdened down with "living," I thought of a plan to help others develop joy. I presented my plan to "cultivate joy" to 5 friends and invited them to my house for several hours of chatting and laughter--I even read some jokes I'd received in email. They loved it, and so did I. They have been coming each month since, and I'm making plans for our January "cultivate joy" get together. Food is not the focus, so I usually say "bring your own lunch," but once we each made a brunch dish and shared, and since we have all been cooking a lot in December, I plan to make a big pot of soup and get bread from Panera to share with everyone this month. I always make coffee and tea and provide a few nice places for us to hang out during our time together. All of them even came in December--busy as they were, they seemed to know how valuable this time together cultivating joy is for strength to do all that we mothers and grandmothers want to do at Christmas! I believe "the plan" must be working. Besides feeling stronger, my daughter, Melissa, asked me on the phone one day in December, "Mama, where do you get all your strength?" I simply replied, "The joy of the Lord is my strength!" She just said, "Hmmm!" ~~PJRz

Paul Nichols said...

I'll recommend two restaurants from our neighborhood.
Hot Wok Chinese Buffet, corner of 87th and Farley. Excellent.
Frontera's Mexican Restarante, behind the bank at 77th and Quivera. The best in town.

Anyway, Happy New Year.

(I lost 1/2 a pound during Christmas week. Even went to a wedding, too. It was a daunting task, but I managed it.)

Jim and Amy Bailey said...

You guys should try eating at The Blanc...you can find it on Mission near the Blue Koi just north of 435...yummo! Even better...go with the Bailey's!

David Mooney said...

I really liked the part where you compared entering the new year to sitting at the top of a Ferris Wheel. I have had a few moments during 2008 that felt just like that.

Embarking on a new phase of life, not sure of what is to come. It is amazing what can happen in a year. 2008 was a good year but I wonder what is in store for 2009.