Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Start, New Year, New Growth

While the new year holiday has long passed, I am still reveling in the idea of it being a new year. For me, a new year always represents a chance for new growth and a renewed excitement for personal development as well as improvement on the way things have been done from the previous years. This Christmas season was rather successful, with all but my Dad's gifts being sent on time. (And yes, I am going to start working on his gift finally tomorrow!) Once the holiday glow seemed to be finally ready to head back into its storage boxes for the year, I looked around the house to realize it was absolutely filthy. I guess with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays my cleaning, as usual, went by the wayside. So, I decided to make good on a promise that I made to myself around this time last year. We were moving from the old apartment to this new one, and upon finishing a 13 hour cleaning day at the old place, I promised myself to never let a place get that way again. Since one of my goals for the year is to follow through on things as well as finish up old projects, I decided to do a top to bottom cleaning of the house.

When I say top to bottom I don't just mean the whole house, I mean every nook and cranny of the whole house. Furniture was moved to ensure vacuuming could be done under every surface and not just around it as usual. This meant taking up the mattresses on the bed and going all under there, moving couches to make sure that was all cleaned. Shower stalls were scrubbed and then scrubbed again. Entire shelves were emptied, items sorted, dusted, and then either shelved again or placed in the donation pile. Floors were vacuumed, dust mopped, and then wet mopped. Papers were organized and either filed or shredded. Cabinets in the kitchen were scrubbed down thoroughly, and the top venting of the microwave was completely degreased. It has been a down right marathon of cleaning that I have not ever performed in a place that I was still going to live in, and I am so happy that I have done this. There was nothing more demoralizing to me than cleaning an old place top to bottom after moving out and realizing that I would not get to enjoy the squeaky clean that I had just created. I am currently enjoying the clean and organized house way more than I ever thought I would. I hope to keep up with the cleaning more in the new year.

Other goals I have for this year are also personal improvement aspirations. I hope to do more fancy cooking and to serve that cooking on the wedding china. So far, I have done it once this past weekend with an in home date night. It was fun, and I am looking forward to another one of them soon. Another food goal is to cook some ingredient that I have never worked with every other week. I worked on cooking a squash type that is new to me, and I still have quite a bit of that to work through. I also want to add some more things to my cooking schedule to remove more store bought items off the list. Yogurt is one of them, and I think that I may have it down to the point where i can share with you all. I also want to nail down that winning English Muffin recipe... it is getting close. I can feel that one being knocked out soon. The hardest thing for me on the goals list is the harp. I really want to be able to play that thing, and I want to commit to it more this year. I have gone through spurts and false starts with it since my husband finished it for me. I hope this year to move past lesson one on the DVD lessons I have. The last, but not least of the goals for the year is to keep in contact with friends better, including the writing of actual letters that you send in the mail. Unsolicited cards and mail from friends showing up out of the blue always makes my day. I hope to do the same for friends and family this year as I try to write more handwritten letters to people. This includes Thank You notes... yes I am bringing them back into my realm of being. I hope you all have not abandoned your goals for the year yet, and if you have perhaps now is the time to recommit to them. The year has just started after all. Forgive your lapses and try to move forward and commit to changing things you would like to see improved in your life.

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