Hope, Reflection & Resolution

Initially, I had the intention of writing a post in which I reflected on 2014. As I thought more about it, I found I had no desire to dwell on the past.

“I feel like 2014 got the best of me” I expressed to a friend as we sat talking.

However, over the course of the conversation, she helped me to realize that at this point, from a personal well-being standpoint, I am much better off than I was a year ago.

Financially, I’m definitely not in the same position I was in a year prior. However, my mental and emotional stability are a word away, a world better, than they were in that same time period. And to me, ultimately, that’s what truly matters.

I’m healthier than I was, because I actually have time to train. I also love training, and I have time and energy to engage in something I love. Who could ask for more than that?

So, I look forward to 2015. I’m excited, and hopeful. I think it’s going to be a great year. I’m going to at least, in my own small way make it awesome, and I’m going t dance a lot. It’s all about dancing.


So normally this would be the point at which I talk resolutions. Normally, I would have a well thought out list of New Years resolutions. However, this year, I only really have two, if I would call them resolutions at all:

Be me. I like who I am. I’m a bit unrefined and rough around the edges, but I’m a firm believer that you can’t please everyone, so f**k the naysayers. So I’m just continue being me.

I have a slowcooker recipe book and I want to make every recipe in the book, so that is my resolution, to make that happen, one yummy bite at a time.

So that’s it. 2015 is upon us. What are you doing to make 2015 an awesome year? Also, allow me to leave you with a song that I listened to during the holiday season. It’s a song for the hopeful.


Out with the old, in with the new?

So normally, I am uber-excited to write my year in review and New Years Resolutions blog.  However, it just isn’t catching me this year.  I read my resolutions for 2013 and man…I feel like I failed on pretty much all of them.  A big part of that is that I allowed work to dominate so much of my life in the second half of this year.  I felt like I fell down the rabbit hole and just never saw light again.

Over my Christmas break, I thought about a lot of things, and what changes I need to make in 2014 to be a better person…dare I say, to be like my old self.  I was full of life, and zest, and joy, and found joy in just about everything around me…and I lost that.  I suppose I can’t blame my job for that, because it’s something I allowed to happen, despite what’s going on around me.  I used to be good at maintaining equilibrium…I’ve prided myself on that for so many years, and now, I just feel like I’ve been unable to do that.

Well, I’m changing that.  That’s my only true goal for 2014…to maintain equilibrium.  I’m sure I will add more things to this list over the next few weeks…I always do.  However, for now…I recently came across a posting on Facebook that totally changed the way I plan on approaching 2014.  So…

Resolutions for 2014:

1. Maintain Equilibrium – I am not going to lose myself in my work, or should I say, my personal life and well being will not suffer due to my work.  I simply refuse to do it.  Will my professional life suffer?  I hope not, but I’m done letting my emotional and physical well being suffer while in a thankless professional position that never really feels like it advances.

2. Free my heart from negativity – I found that I harbored a lot of negativity in the second half of this year that just drug me down, and clouded my mind, my heart, and consequently just about everything else in my life.  I’m just gonna let go.

3. Free my mind of worries – I’ve never been a worrier.  I don’t know when I started being such a worrier, but I’m over it.  It’s all about conscious decisions on where I allow my mind, thoughts, and energies go, and I’m over the worry.  As I always say, I’m gonna be ok, regardless.  I’m intelligent, talented, and willing to do what I need to do to get where I wanna go.  What do I have to worry about?

4. Give more – I’m a firm believer in a great way to spend life and times is to give to others.  This is something I want to do more in 2014.  That includes volunteering, as well as just helping people around me.  A friend and I are already planning a Free Hugs day this summer, as well as getting involved in some volunteering.  This will definitely be a year for that.  I’ve told myself for a while I wanted to go and volunteer at Paws (Puppies!!!), so yeah, I’m gonna make that happen this year.

5. Write a book – A bunch of people have badgered me over the last year that I should write a book.  I can’t say I agree in whatever it is they think they see in my writing, but for the time being, a good friend talked me into meeting what others think I’m capable of, as opposed to what I think I’m capable of..in the middle.  I’m going to write a children’s book.  Seems strange, but it’s something I want to do.  I love to create.  I was a musician for years.  I like creating art…and this is an opportunity to do just that.  However, I need to find an illustrator.  Well, let’s write the story first.  I suppose the rest will play itself out.  Can you imagine, me, a published author???  Well, you never know what 2014 may bring.  I already have a really cool story in mind.  Stay tuned.

6.  Run a 10-mile race – I’ve already signed up for it. So, to do this, I will actually have to run.  I hate running.  I’m going to do it.

7. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – I want to train…more!  A lot more.  No more going 2 or 3 weeks without training, because of work.  Screw that noise.  My goal is to get in at least once a week, but I’m more likely shooting for twice a week.  That’s what I’ve done in the past, that’s what I plan to do in the future.  This is the one thing I love to do, so why shouldn’t I do it if it makes me happy.  In 2014, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is going to come first, work will come second.  Let’s see how that works out.

I’m pretty sure I’ll add more to this list over the next few weeks, but I think that’s a good start.  Lofty goals.  I’ve spent the last few days pretty mopey, but when I return to work in 2 days, I will smile, and hit the track running.  I think ultimately, I forgot one of the truest sentiments ever spoken:

“Don’t take life too seriously, because you’ll never make it out alive.”


So, the new year is upon us, and of course, it’s the time to spend some time thinking about what we want this new year to bring for us.  We all love the new year because it feels like an opportunity to start over.  To take new approaches, and perhaps start the new year with a fresh outlook and state of mind.  I suppose I’m a firm believer in having new years resolutions, because if you’re starting something new, you should probably have some goals so as to have a measuring stick to measure progress in your journey….and if you’re going to set goals, you may as well make them lofty.

Well, my resolutions for this year are pretty simple, yet important as I enter this new year with a smile, and lots of hope.

  1. Continue in taking a healthier approach to life: This above all else pertains to every aspect of my life. I want to eat healthier, think healthier, and make healthier decisions that are right for me.   I think we often forget how every aspect of our lives often hinges on every other.  Particularly how a positive mental disposition affects every aspect of our lives…but how many of us walk around every day with such negative and fearful outlooks on what is yet to come?  I want to continue developing an optimistic disposition, and hoping for the best, and dealing with the worst when it comes, by rising above it, rather than wallowing in the depths of depression and lunacy that adversity brings with it.  If that’s not lofty, I don’t know what is.

  2. Be happier with myself:  This may seem odd, or obscure, but I think this is something that many of us can relate to in one way or another.  I want to be happier with who I am, both physically, mentally, and emotionally by changing the things I don’t like, and building upon the things I do.  I think this may require some external changes, but I think most of them are internal…simply learning to come to terms with certain things, and letting go of the negativity.  You’ll find that positivity is a cornerstone of my approach to 2013.
  3. Push unimportant things to the side: We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff.”  I’m totally embracing that more in this upcoming year.  As it has been said:

    “Don’t take life too seriously, because you’ll never make it out alive.”

    We get so lost in the rat race of modern life that we forget those things which are ultimately most important; to laugh, and love, and connect with people and the world around us…at least that’s how I see it.  I’m hoping to embrace this outlook anew in 2013.  Unfortunately, when it comes to letting things go in favor of new opportunities, outlooks, and perspectives, sometimes we have to let people go to. While I’m not sure on my views on the greater scheme of life, along the lines of “Why are we here and what is our purpose?”  I do think we are impacted in some way by the people we encounter…note that I did not say that everyone comes into our life for a reason.  I’m not too sure I’m willing to subscribe to that train of thought.  However, much like in any other aspect of life, sometimes people can wear out their welcome, or we simply grow apart, or beyond our abilities to positively affect each other.  So, as I encounter the Negative Nelly’s in my life, I will have to seriously consider the possibility that this adventure called my life might just be a little too much for them to handle.  In my best James Hetfield voice:

    Sad But True!!!!!!!

  4. Be more open and honest with myself and the people around me:  Let’s just be real: We all lie to ourselves, in one way or another.  Whether it’s about how well your current relationship is going, or how good you look your skinny jeans, we all lie to ourselves, and consequently, to the people around us.  I want to be more honest with myself in this new year.  As I reflect on certain aspects of my life, I know that there are some things that I definitely need to change, and some truths that I simply need to accept and make things more copacetic in the overall picture.
  5. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: This is one of the reasons I relocated to Chicago.  I Love BJJ!!!      What can I say.  It’s my passion, my addiction, my obsession perhaps?  I don’t know how you want to label it, but it’s amazing to me, and I want to continue to evolve and grow in my learning of the gentle art.  This goal closely relates to #1, because I would really like to compete again in grappling competition, but I have a very specific goal weight in mind before I do so, so hopefully in this new year, I can reach my goals.  Particularly, I want to work tons more on my flexibility.  I just don’t do that enough, and I need and want to!  I’m so blessed to be healthy and able to train, and with such an amazing group of men and women.  I can’t wait to do so more in this new year.  I also want to venture out and see some of the other schools in the Chicagoland area.  Gracie Barra is, and always will be my home, but I would like to see what some of the other kids in town are doing.
  6. Be adventurous: My adventurous nature has continued to grow and evolve over the past few years, and I want that trend to continue in 2013.  I want to continue to do wild and crazy things, having breathtaking moments, great adventures, and odd moments.  Whether it’s riding through the city naked, running a 6K covered in glow in the dark paint and glow sticks, or going to a Republican Christmas party…my life is about having fun, and enjoying each day as it comes.  I want that to continue.  I invite you all to come along for the ride.
So those are my resolutions for 2013.  I think they’re lofty enough.  Not too many, not too few.  I think it’ll be a great year, through brute force if not through happenstance.
So what are your resolutions for 2013?  Is there anything that I should add to the list?