Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year, New Colors, New Resolutions

As fresh as the blue on this page, that's how I felt this morning when I woke up! (When you are done gagging, come back and finish reading...ready?)

So I married a guy who LOVES to make goals and New Years is the highlight of his life. It's probably why he's so accomplished and good and easy to be married to; he sees the value in self-assessment, writing down his ideas for change and putting in the hard work to see those changes through.

I, however, get a sick feeling in my stomach when he brings them up. No exaggeration. I seriously feel ill--my heart beats faster, I get crabby and stressed at the thought of adding my "probable failure" into my life.

Because, come on...when do we ever do a Resolution all the way?

BUT, I talk myself down, knowing that trying and getting just a little bit better, is better than not trying at all. And most years, I set a few and feel better once I've done it.

So today, I was ready. The big kids went back to school, the house got cleaned and purged of all Christmas decor and mess and my body, sick from the constant drip of sugar I'd given it for a month (with the weight gain to back it up), was ready for a change. As was my too-much-computer-too-little-scripture-reading-and-quality-kid-time soul.

But I need some help.

I am someone who appreciates authority as I look for ideas on how to improve and so I need your ideas, your articles, your books so that I can get to work on the following (certainly not inclusive--some things are actually too private for the blog) Resolution list:

1. I need to strengthen my relationship with my oldest daughter. (Without too much embarrassing elaboration, let's just say that her similarity to myself causes much friction...totally my fault and I need to make it better.)

2. I need to lose weight by eating better. (I need ideas on how to "Make the Connection"--should I just read that book? or do you have better ones?)

3. I need to feel the Spirit more regularly throughout the day. (I do pretty good at designated "feel the Spirit times" such as scriptures, prayers, meetings, music...but I want to learn how to tone down the business and the noise and feel it's whisperings more often in my daily life.)

4. I want to see the needs of those around me better, know how to fill them--but balance it with the needs of my family. (Could that be a taller order??)

I only wish I could do this all 100%, but I need to focus on whatever positive changes come out of this list, right?

Wish me luck...and give me something concrete to go on! (email anything too long or too private to ...Thanks!


Tammy said...

#1 (easy) bond with Emma doing the things you both love and being the way that you both are, so dress up all fancy, go out for ice cream together and shoe shopping....or have an evening with her where you get out your old photo albums and tell her all the funny stories of us in highschool while snuggled in bed with hot chocolates. #2 you are a disciplined work out guru, but you have cravings to eat yummy what?! You work out, you are fit and you look great. Don't sweat it. #3 Sometimes its mind clearing to take a quiet walk, let the kids run ahead on the trail, and you just walk, look around at the surroundings and you will probably feel more spiritual and inspired. #4 You already do nice things for other people, but to enhance this, make a list of 5 nice things you want to each month so its not daunting: drop a handwritten note to a relative, pick up someone else's kids from school so they can run errands, plan a surprise for your husband, call an old friend to talk, etc. See, you're already there!

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I hear you on about ALL of them. I relate to the "hearing the spirit" thing a ton. I will be checking back to see what others say because I was at church recently and felt the spirit and it was seriously the first time AT church where I had in a long time. Sometimes I hear it more with music BEFORE church or during quiet time with the husband. The kids, mess and chaos of life seem to interrupt it. I think I'm going to try baby steps and maybe just READ the ensign the comes once a month. That and maybe books that are enlightening and music too. Hmmm.. Maybe I should have saved this for an e-mail.
As for the weight thing, I have the same problem. I exercise 5-6 days a week, but I have a problem with portion size and sweets. Weight watchers is great and you can do it online. It teaches you how to eat and I've had success with it although it's mild. I'm still breastfeeding so I think my weight is staying on because of that. I'm trying to incorporate better foods and whole grains into my house. It's hard. I think I'll splurge on the weekends though a little bit because that works for me and helps me try harder during the week.
WHEW! That was a book. Sorry.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Darn...I was hoping you had all the answers. I don't have any good books on those topics, but look forward to all your responses. Always willing to try something new, that's my motto!

Lauren said...

Okay...I started crying when I read this. I guess it just helped me release~ because I feel the same way as you have described, in so many ways...I am gripped with fear to set my New Year's resolutions because of the impending failure...

I think you are truly commendable, because you are striving for perfection...that scripture about, "be ye therefore perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect" (that is not an exact quote...I slaughter quotes, sorry) can feel so daunting...

I agree with what Holly said about the Ensign. I remember hearing a neat short story called "The Talking Cat" by Ted Gibbons...the actual story of the talking cat is kind of bizarre, but in the preface of the story, there is a true story where a returned missionary tells the story of a mission experience in which he is testifying to a non-member about the tremendous blessings that come from the knowledge of a modern day prophet. As he testified, the woman became excited and asked in amazement (after hearing about being able to hear from a modern day prophet each month in a church publication)
"What did he say last month?" The Crux and point of the story is..this fine young missionary didn't know what the prophet had most recently said.

For's just that simple and it's just that hard...all of those "Sunday School Answers" are the answer....why won't I implement them consistently is a question I continually scream at myself...

Don't be too hard on yourself...I just feel compelled to say that I truly admire your goals. I really appreciate your example.

By the way, please excuse the spelling errors in this comment. I can't figure out how to spell check when leaving comments...

Bridget said...

First of all, love the blue and the family photo on the side is beautiful. I feel for you as all my goals are pretty similar.

I have a friend- Annie who you may have seen comment on my blog- who has a notebook that she and her daughter use. Whenever one of them has something they need to say to the other and doesn't quite know how, they write it in the notebook. The other one will silently write back. The rules are you can say anything you want and it doesn't have to be discussed verbally, just stays on paper. she says it has worked really well for their relationship because there are things her daughter will open up to on paper that she wouldn't do otherwise.

gab said... always seem to have it all together online. It's good to know you struggle like the rest of us.

A few years ago I read, "Mittenstrings for God" is a really sweet book about slowing down, enjoying life, being a mom, etc. I can't remember who wrote it and, while it didn't completely fit my lifestyle...I loved the way it was written and the beautiful simplicity the author suggests.

Good luck and please keep us posted!

crystal said...

I love Tammy's suggestion for #4! I'm going to do THAT!

And I agree with her--you look great. If you're dissatisfied, though, read Body For Life...and then DO IT--it's only 3 months. You'll feel hot.

I don't do resolutions. :)

Carie said...

I hear you on #1- I am having the same issue with my perfect oldest daughter who is just like me. (not that I am perfect, she is . . . oh you get what I am saying)

I do have a suggestion for #4 - have you read "A Heart Like His" by Viginia Pearce (aka Pres. Hinckley's daughter)? It is exactly what you are looking for. LOVE love love this book.

Lorena said...

This all sounds just like me...let me know what you decide and I'll just copy you!

Ilene said...

Half the battle is making the list and writing it down. Keep it up somewhere where you can see it (but maybe not Emma can). I have my goals but have yet to write them down. I also like to have goals that I can give a daily/weekly/monthly "check off" so I can have some kind of visual reassurance that I am going somewhere.

J'net said...

Jessica, I can't seem to email you?!?!
Can't yahoo send to hotmail???
Send something to me at and let me answer you back, maybe that will work?
I have LOTS to say about resolutions, but you probably don't need to read "all about my advice!?"
Guess what, your aunt just turned 50 today and that makes me VERY wise now, ha! HA! It really just makes me "still alive!"
OK, do the resolution thing with your husband 'cuz it makes him feel good AND it is positive communication time. BUT, put some fun things on the list...
Like one afternoon a week-- husband comes home early from work and gives you a "girl's" night out with daughter or friend of your choice.
Going to the temple once a month for date night with hubby will take care of the spiritual thing.
Chase or drag him around the mall one evening a week on date night will handle the "work out" program and help you two bond in a positive manner.
Share your meal when you two stop to eat out on your weekly date night.
See where I'm going with this?
Leave kids home for one week this year and go on a honeymoon to a fun place... we live in Hawaii, it's fun!
Kidnap him for a FULL weekend every third month and DON'T come home early!!! Friday night to Sunday night is a WEEKEND!!! Book a hotel and be boyfriend/girlfriend again!
ANY ONE who makes it thru this life with the SAME marriage partner must be doing pretty well EACH year with their New Year Resolution thing?!!?
Stay married and adoring to your partner and THAT alone will keep your kids happy and attended to!
REMEMBER, a happy MOM makes a HAPPY home!
Happy NEW Year of adventure in an all TOO fast world of raising productive children!
Luv, A. J'net

Annie said...

As Bridget hinted, I am very familiar with your #1 resolution, since I have similar dynamics with my oldest daughter. Oh, we could talk, Jessica! She's 14 now and we're doing pretty well, although we definitely know how to get to each other. The notebook is one thing we started. E-mail me (couldn't find your e-mail here) and we can chat.

From my view over here on the other side of the country, you're doing pretty great. Go easy on yourself :) Happy New Year!

Holly said...

I have mixed feelings about resolutions too, I don't want to fail but I want to try. Sorry I don't have any wise words, but it sounds like these ladies are sharing their pearls.

(I have seen your comments on several other blogs I read and I just wanted to pop over to say howdy. Take care!)

Cassie said...

I really loved the book "Life Lessons Learned From The Book of Mormon"...might be worth a shot!

rubberbandgirl said...

I wish you luck.
I feel the exact same way about resolutions.
I try to make two important ones that seem to affect other things in a ripple-like way.

Shally said...

We have some the same resolutions (my husband really gets into it too-- they really do need to hang out! )
Here is what I am trying:

Eating better: I bought a book called "Deceptively Delicious". It has you "hide" healthy foods (through purees)in normal dinner recipes. It is to help kids, but hey, I don't eat my veggies either! I just got it, so I don't know if it is any good, but I have heard great things about it.

Feeling the spirit more throughout the day: I am putting spiritual and uplifting songs on my ipod and playing them in the house more often Songs like "Let them be little" by Billy Dean helps remind me to cut the kids a break! :)Music always can make my mood better.

I am also trying to find a way to help others... hopefully a good idea will come to me soon!

Good luck!

Kristin said...

All I have to say is I get the same sick feeling in my stomach everytime my husband brings it up. Luckly this year he was on call New Years Eve, and has been so tired since he hasn't brought it up yet.

CresceNet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
andrea said...

hey thanks for the activity ideas. the temple was unbelievable, and it was nice for the kids to have something to do other than watch a dvd in the van!
good luck with the resolutions. it's all about the basics. make a choice, follow it through, you'll do great. and when you don't, do it over the next day and do it right.

Paige said...

YEAH YEAH YEAH- you have resolutions and will accomplish them all and I have no advice. I like Tammy's.

More importantly- YOUR KIDS WENT BACK TO SCHOOL??? So jealous.

don't you hate it when you write a whole important blog and them everyone comments on something off topic like your darker, straight hair or your kids in school?

Paige said...

please tell me the removed post? Was it good or rude? Or just a repeat?

TexasTwinsTwice said...

I always get inspired reading your blog--that's why I like it! I now have several books I want to read, and new ideas on strengthening my family relationships & spirtuality. THANK YOU to you and your readers for the good ideas. Oh, and a quote I really like, "A goal not written down, is merely a wish". I say YAY for New Year's Resolutions. I only completed half of mine last year, but that's probably 50% more than I would've done w/out setting them!