Identity, The Personal Journey

New Year, New Me

As I sat with my husband, baby, and 5 year old son on New Year’s Eve (who actually made it to midnight this year; the 4 year old conked out at around 9:30), I contemplated over the many blessings and trials that I had experience during 2015. Here’s my end-of-the-year status update I posted on New Year’s Eve, in case you missed it.

What a year! We welcomed our tiebreaker who competed our family, we had our first guests come visit us in Hawaii, we sent our oldest to kindergarten who has since been fully mainstreamed without any special services, I had to say my first goodbyes to good friends for the first time as an Army wife, I was blessed with meeting new awesome friends, I turned 30, Norman and I celebrated 6 years of marriage, I earned my masters degree after 6 years of starting it! I am looking forward to what 2016 brings, besides a new home!

Last year was definitely a year of breaking down and regrowth as I finally began to recognize and fix some of the troublesome attitudes and behaviors I began exhibiting around late summer/ early fall.  I started faith-based counseling sessions and began to watch church with my family on Sundays.  I also started blogging and decreased my social media use.  I found these activities combined really helped me to clear my head of useless distractions and allowed me to focus on improving myself.

I am truly looking forward to what 2016  has in store.  This is a PCS (permanent change of station) year so it will definitely be a year of change but I want to stay positive about an otherwise stressful situation.  We are moving to a new place, which means new adventures and new opportunities.  In preparation for welcoming such a big change for our family, I have created some goals for myself that I know will allow me to grow into the woman that God has intended me to be.

  1. Read Every Day:  During my daily peruse over my news feed, I cam across a meme that compared successful people and unsuccessful people.  Among the top qualities of successful were those who read every day.  I thought for a minute realized that I hadn’t read for fun in years.  Between moving to our current duty station, getting the kids tested for this and that and getting through graduate school, I simply didn’t have, or rather make, the time to read for fun.  I know I have a natural talent for creating stories and I’d like to one day write children’s books.  But first I need to understand how to properly write a good book that will keep readers interested.  My plan is to read for at least 30 minutes every night before bed.  In addition I would like to purchase at least one book a month to build my library.  In the new house, I want to have a dedicated and adequate space for study, which will also house a reading nook for the kids, a computer work space, and a homework spot.  In this space will one day be a wall full of books because I don’t know, there’s nothing more satisfying than turning a page rather than swiping your finger.  My current book is The Help.

    One day, I will have enough actual books to fill a dream space like this up!
  2. Work Out Every Day:  I used to do this, often and without really needing to plan for it.  But with three active and young children, I have found that working out for fun has sadly become something of the past or something I need to force myself to do.  This simply is not me.  I grew up very active and involved in sports and really instead of trying to keep a figure, being active was just fun for me; it helped to relieve stress from typical daily activities.  I knew in order for me to get back to one of my favorite hobbies, I needed to find a plan that would work for me inside my home while I was watching TV with my husband, or while I was playing with the baby.  This is what I stumbled upon while reading various Facebook updates:6eeb032248c5042c5796db3654cf05b3 (1)
  3. Blog Every Week:  Blogging has been my lifeline; a chance to reach out to others while helping myself deal with some of the challenges that life has recently thrown my way.  It has also been a great way to practice my writing skills, especially since I am out of school and am no longer obligated to write a paper each week.  When I started this blog originally, I wanted to write every week but then life happened and I found it harder and harder to organize my thoughts when I was able to get to the computer.  I really want to make it a point each week to blog about something important that has happened during the week, especially in preparing for our new duty station.  I figure that by the end of the year, I could very well  be working so I might as well take advantage of the time while I have it to spare.
  4. Cook More:  As a stay at home mom, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I am NOT the cook of the home; my husband.  And it’s not that I’m no good at it, it’s just that I don’t like to.  But since finally breaking out my Crock Pot last year, I have found the personal satisfaction in preparing a home-cooked meal for my family.  I have also recently become more interested in acquiring more kitchen tools and gadgets that will simplify my ability to prepare these meals, especially once I go back to work.  I have found myself researching quality cookware as well as perusing different Pinterest  recipes.  By the way, if you have any suggestions for great pots and pans or would love to share some fun recipes, drop a comment! Norman isn’t the only one reading Food Network magazine anymore!

    Other must haves that I will have by year’s end include quality and matching pots and pans, new kitchen knives, and a stand alone mixer!  I just know a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer will 100% make me a better baker!
  5. Get to the Beach Once a Month Until PCS:  When I think of going to the beach, I began to stress out a bit.  The sand!  That sand is the devil that is going to be all over my car and then in my house and on my bathroom floor and in my tub and ugh.  I have to admit that I’ve promised my kids the beach on numerous occasions but failed to deliver, especially since having my youngest last February.  However, we only have about 6 months left here in Hawaii and I know that if I don’t take advantage of all the natural things to do while we are here, I will regret it terribly.  And so, with this new resolve I took my family to the beach this past weekend and it really wasn’t so bad.  The kids had a great time and the baby was finally old enough to really enjoy the sand and the water.  So my husband and I decided to get to at least one beach a month until we move and perhaps collect sand from each beach as a personal souvenir from this duty station.  In addition to beaching it up, I also would love to hike more as a family.  We’ve only really taken our kids together on one hike in the almost 3 years we’ve been in Hawaii.  I’m hoping to uncover more kid-friendly trails to explore before we are out of here.  If you happen to know of any, drop a comment below 🙂
  6. Re-Start My Career… finally:  We have met the ultimate goal for our son to become fully mainstreamed within his general education class by kindergarten, which was a huge milestone for him and for us.  Now that his services may drastically decrease in addition to my middle child starting school full time and my youngest turning a year and becoming a bit more independent, I figure this is the best time to wipe the computer dust off my resume, update my profile on LinkedIn, and prepare to re-enter the workforce.  Honestly, y’all its time.   As much as I admire stay at home moms, I just don’t feel it is for me.  I worked so hard to get my master’s and I want to be able to use it (not to mention earning my own money!)  I will start volunteering very soon which will help boost my experience and fill out my resume since being out of work for almost 2 years.  I’m hoping that this plus taking advantage of some of the resume-building and interviewing classes available on post will put me in a prime spot to score a great position with great starting salary.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  How do you intend to make 2016 the best year ever? Drop a comment below!



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