New Year’s resolutions seem so, well, cliché. I mean, I make them every year, and then as the year goes on, I slowly break them. Or backslide. Or compromise.
This year will be different. How can I be so sure? Well, first of all we are in a totally new setting, we PCSed to Germany at the end of last year. So it’s a good place for a new beginning. And I had a birthday recently, and am staring – ahem – gonna whisper here — middle age right in the face. And I’m not going to blink. So this year it’s not a resolution. No, it’s a revolution.
Here’s what I’m going to do differently this year:
Change diet and exercise habits at the same time – sounds overly simplistic, but even though I know what I ought to be eating, in the past I have mainly concentrated on exercise. Or diet. But not both. Living overseas has put me closer to great fresh fruits, vegetables and meats (US stores just can’t compete with the corner German markets, and Europeans don’t tolerate chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, and genetic tinkering in their foods).
Turn a negative into a positive – When we PCSed, I had to give up my job at a nonprofit in the States. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to break in to the “GS” (government schedule) world. Instead of becoming frustrated and bitter, I’m going to look at this as an opportunity in disguise – now I’m going to have time to exercise more (see above), cook from scratch, let my daughters be involved in more afterschool activities, volunteer more. I’m working through the pile of books next to my bed. I’m also going to finally start a blog. Really.
Spend more – Wow that sounds weird, right? I’m a financial counselor and I tend to be something of a tightwad. But here we are, stationed in Europe, and I finally have a chance to knock out a huge portion of my “bucket list.” So I’m telling myself that all these trips I have planned (in the next three months, we’re going to Sicily, the Alps, and Croatia) are money well spent. Now is not the time to throw extra money at the mortgage on the house back in the States. No, now is the time to make memories. Because we have no idea when we will be here again.
Save more – Well, I *am* a financial counselor, so I can’t just go completely off the deep end. While I am letting my travel fantasies run wild, I am consciously trying to cut back in other areas. We live in a rural area far from shops and restaurants, so it’s the perfect time to eat in instead of out. We also have completely cut the cord, and don’t have any cable or satellite (I’ve discovered the military libraries have fantastic collections of just about every movie or television series you might want to watch). I didn’t shop in the pre- or post- holiday sales. And we cut gift giving WAY back this year.
These changes may not seem big, but for me I think they will add up to something huge. And now that I’ve written them down for the whole world to see, I think my own personal revolution will be successful.