2014: Keep good going

Tis the season for resolutions!! Whether you’re a fan of them or not…we’ve come to that very special time of year when we are all inundated with a flurry of ads for self-help books, weight loss programs and gym specials – and sweeping promises of going cold turkey on whatever vice you have while simultaneously (not to mention miraculously) dropping 50 pounds by March.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I don’t think resolutions…goal setting…aiming to better oneself… are bad. In fact, I think having goals is an essential part of growing and changing, but I do think success lies in how you go about it. And, personally, I don’t think that success lies in picking apart your life and focusing on what you think sucks…whether that’s a relationship, your salary, weight,  job, habits, hobbies, commute, social life… your… hair? Whatever!

What if we spent time reflecting on the good…instead of focusing on what we don’t like or didn’t accomplish? I mean…shouldn’t we be moving into a new year with a renewed sense of hope? Not … “Uhhhg, okay, I’m a whale…why can’t I look like [insert your favorite celebrity here]??? 2014 will be way better if I drop like 30 lbs, right?”

I know that’s not necessarily easy to do, but wouldn’t it be great to look at what made you happy in the last year and create goals that will keep you moving in that positive direction?

So keeping that in mind, here are some of my goals:

  • Run again. The feeling of accomplishment from my races this year was incredible. Time to grab that adrenaline rush again.

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  • Give back. I was involved with a few non-profit organizations through work this year, and I’d love to expand upon that and really get involved with a cause I’m passionate about.

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  • Get social. Like in real life…with real people. Let’s be honest, it can be daunting to make new friends as an adult. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some pretty amazing people this year by going outside of my own comfort zone and joining events/groups filled with people who geek out about the same stuff I do.

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  • Segue that to…embrace my inner nerd. Embrace what I’m passionate about…who cares what other people think about it. I mean…I can love dessert and running, or high heels and Chucks. I can love bopping around to Top 40 AND any number of Joss Whedon projects. They’re not mutually exclusive. Seriously.

  • Schedule time for myself. Pen to planner. and make it happen.

  • Travel. I was finally able to get some travel in this year through work. I’m lucky enough to have friends and family in amazing cities across the entire country…time to plan, pack and take off.

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  • Appreciate it all. We live in a world surrounded by social channels filled with posts that would make you think everyone’s lives are simultaneously super exciting, glamorous, hilarious, perfectly styled and manicured, delicious, filled with storybook love and romance, busy but zen, and fat-free (spoiler alert! they’re not..) – it can be really easy to get caught up in that, and while none of those things are bad, snapshots of other people’s lives shouldn’t influence whether or not I’m happy with mine because… I have a lot to be thankful for.

  • Be happy.

So, tell me, for you… what’s good in the coming year?

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A turkey trot down memory lane

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving – I know we’re almost a week out now…

… but Thanksgiving is easily my favorite holiday…and no, as much as I love food – it’s not about the food. I know I’ve talked about it before – Thanksgiving is pretty much the only holiday that isn’t about the “gimmes” (aside from – hey, gimme some cheese, please) – it’s just about hanging out with your family and eating a killer meal.  

 The fact that Thanksgiving gets trampled by Christmas commercials (I think I said “NO!” out loud at the first Christmas-themed ad I saw in November) or Black Friday madness is just kinda sad to me.

 Okay, off my soap box.

 This year, everyone in my family seemed extra pumped for the time off and for our time together – it’s way too rare. Plans were being tossed around weeks in advance…

  • Charcoal Weber roasted turkey! – yes!
  • Copious amounts of beer? – yes!
  • Hanging out at the local bar (in addition to the beer in the fridge, of course)? – yes!
  • Our first annual croquet tourney? – yes… I’ll probably suck…but yes!
  • Bond…James Bond…marathons on SyFy? – yes!
  • Football game after football game? – yes!
  • Getting the entire family together to see Skyfall? – yes!

 I knew I wanted to make something…but it had to be able to survive a 6-8 hour car ride. So I searched and searched…and finally settled on Jenna’s Walnut Potato Rolls with Honey Butter.

 Had I ever made bread from scratch before? No. Did working with yeast scare the crap out of me? Yes. But what’s the worst that could happen…they’re awful? I’m in.

I started the process on Tuesday night (I’m glad I did…our house gets cold so it took extra time for the dough to rise)…and finished it on Wednesday morning. Was it worth it? Yep.

Our apartment smelled soo, soo good Wednesday morning as I worked from home.

 Eventually, my mom, brother and I piled in the car, and headed to upstate NY… the car ride, which normally takes 6 hours, took 8…but it was so worth it.

For Turkey Day, my cousin roasted the turkey – with this awesome rub he brought from North Carolina – on the Weber…and it was amazing. We spend the day outside – it was sixty degrees! – enjoying the sunshine.

On top of the turkey, we had just about every side dish under the sun. No shame.

Over the course of just couple days, we ticked off everything on our “to-do” list…including some random adventures…like a round of golf and some wine and vodka tasting.

Oh, the trip also included some quality bonding time…

Did I overindulge on Thanksgiving? Definitely. Do I regret it? Not one bit.

What’d you do for Thanksgiving? Do you run a race? Travel? Stay put? Any special dishes that you bring?