New Year's Resolutions 2018

Top Four Best New Year’s Resolutions

Every year I resolve to be better.  Granted, it’s the opportunity to do great things.  The very beginning of the year.  The tippy, top of the mountain--or the base, depending on my life perspective.  Am I climbing to the top or repelling below? Over the past few years I think I’ve been somewhere in between and finding balance between the two.  There is not exactly a perfectly straight line between points A and Z, but today I feel that there is a reasonable position for me on a daily basis.  With Capitol Hill Cake Mom, my husband, my kids, my house, my friends and extended family, there are always varying degrees of accomplishment.

As a self-taught baker, I appreciate DIY.  I earned my Master’s Degree exclusively online and I am definitely a self-starter.  The Lifehacker website featured an article this morning that inspired me.  Nick Douglas suggested making manageable resolutions.

Manageable for one may not be manageable for another so we all need to consider what works--and simplify and streamline.  I tried to come up with five solid ones for my first blog, but I'm trying to be realistic--so here's four.

4.  Lose Weight. Tone Up.   Everyone says it, but how can we really make it happen without making it a lifestyle?  Since becoming the Capitol Hill Cake Mom seven years ago, I have been diligent about not eating my work.  I won’t lie.  It’s tough.  Not everything I make is great, but it’s tempting, especially when you work long hours and you aren’t necessarily making time for any significant self care.  No matter how you “slice” it, baked sweet foods are not healthy. You can prepare them in certain careful ways and with ingredients that are healthier options--but sweets are feel good treats.  I accept it.  You don’t need them to live, but they make life easier and more pleasant.   

At 46, my pounds don’t disappear as easily as in years past.  An evening of Coors Light and dancing the night away once washed away five or more pounds within a 10 hour span.  I’ve resorted to rising crazy early in the morning, meditating and trying to get some stretching or push ups going.  At least there is something.  Moving forward into the year, if I can keep it up, maybe it will make a difference.  

3.  Save More Money.  Capitol Hill Cake Mom is not a big money program.  Not working another full time job--other than being a Mom, and most folks do not consider that a full time or even part time job--has been challenging--mostly on the wallet.  I’m not a feminist, but I do believe that housework is nothing to sneeze at.  Done thoroughly, it is worth every penny a live in maid (male or female) would potentially earn.  I don’t have a live-in maid so I do the day to day cleaning, washing, laundering, organizing, tidying and dusting.  Once a week, I have a dedicated and trustworthy man come to my house and take out the trash, pull out the trash cans from the yucky, scary place under my front porch, sort through my “recycling” (it’s in quotes because I really don’t know if anything is really recycled here in D.C.) and neatly line my garbage on the curb.  He also, vacuums and dusts and manages to clean my bedding and some of our laundry. We need him, so that’s a non-starter.

I can, however, eliminate the spontaneous shopping sprees.  Stopping off for a knick-knack or making an impulse purchase is counter productive to the concept of saving.  And when I find coins or cash, they can go into a “piggy bank”.  I’m sure my kids will lend me one for the year.

2.  Cook at Home Once a Week.  In our home, my husband hosts band rehearsals sometimes 4 nights a week.  Different people and varying genres…(shameless that’s just one of the bands...) Times are always different and to further complicate the schedule, I am my daughter’s designated driver two times per week from 4pm-10pm as she practices for her performances with the First Act Program at the Levine School of Music.

I love the idea of preparing my own meals for the family--or even the extended family/bandmates.  Sadly, I have not planned these as well as I could at least in the past 8 months or so.  I fear something like Blue Apron or another Fresh Direct program would be less cost effective...but then there are these ideas….I am already a regular Instacart shopper. I love, love, love Instacart.  I can order in almost any city and the delivery is fast, easy and best of all, the most accurate of all online grocery delivery services I’ve used. But I digress.

Friday night is pizza and movie night and we always order a pizza from either Domino’s , or someone else on Seamless in DC.

My older kids (19 and 18) are both in college.  We only have the 11 year old twins at home. Additionally, my husband sometimes has event work events that prevent him from being home before 6:30 or 7pm.  Nevertheless...

1.  [Have Someone] Walk My Dog Everyday.  Honestly, my dog, Maggie, has been with us for nearly 10 years.  She doesn’t have a bad life.  Food and water are always at the ready.  When we’re not home she has the run of the house--we even leave radios and/or televisions (Animal relevant shows are preferred) on for her.  She sleeps in bed with us.  In fact, she has her own fluffy doggy bed that rests in our bed.  So she has her own space close to both my husband and myself. She lounges on the sofa in our family room with us while we watch movies and when my husband grills--which is often throughout the year- she knows a meaty piece of deliciousness is not far from her reach.  Once a year, we take her with us to the Outer Banks, trips we started taking so she could join us. The only thing we don’t do are the long, somewhat arduous walks.  I know, we’re all busy.  But she is really good at walking with me in front of our home or in the back alley.  So there’s no lack of outside excursion.  It’s the leash thing that seems to be a challenge for us.  Fortunately, it is rare that the house is completely empty.  This is a seemingly simple task.  But sometimes, I get wrapped up in stuff.  Cleaning, talking to my kids, self care...but I want to give back to her what she gives to me.  The unconditional love I get from my dog is amazing.  I want to cherish all the time we have together.  I know it will be gone before my kids are, so walks are a must.  From someone...and I am hereby willing to make sure it happens.  Dog-gon-it, Maggles. This is it.

Happy Friday.

  • SB