new start

I always feel a wee-bit sad when I take down all the holiday decorations. But then I start cleaning and reorganizing like mad, and I’m happy to have a clean slate. I just finished clearing off my studio work-table which was covered with holiday gift wrapping supplies, knitting projects, and presents that still don’t have a home. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m pondering a city stroll, but it’s 29 degrees out and I’m still in my jammies. Before I bundle up, I thought I’d share some of my goals for 2011. I’m not really one for new year’s resolutions; the only one I remember making last year was to get flexible enough to touch my toes without bending my knees. I’m on year two with that one, and still no luck there. Friends like to tell me it’s because I have long legs and I’m 5’9” but we all know that’s a ridiculous excuse. Tall athletes touch their toes all the time. I’m determined to do it before turn 35, so that gives me 4 & ½ more years.

2011 goals:

  1. Learn to cook for myself. I actually love cooking, and after 3 & ½ years of digestive issues, I’m getting pretty good at it. But the recent diagnosis of celiac disease complicates things. I now need to learn to cook dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free for life. I’m taking an optimistic stance to this new endeavor: my sister baked me two batches of special cookies over Christmas (she has the same food allergies and celiacs) and they were amazing. So, it’s possible. I just have to take the time to educate myself and try some new things. Everyone says the first few months are the hardest: discovering all the food gluten is hidden in is a challenge. I’m hoping to have that down by March. I realize that to begin healing my digestive track, I need complete commitment to this way of eating. This means giving up my beloved Peanut Butter Puffins. I don’t regret squeezing in one last bowl before the new year last week.
  2. Challenge myself creatively. 2010 was supposed to be my year of selfish-creativity. I think I was able to stick with that goal because for most of 2010 I was too injured or too sick to make much of anything. I still don’t know what I want MadeByRachel to be. I have no clear creative direction, except that a drastic change is coming. Unfortunately, I tend to shift all my creative hours for after school work, social time, and cleaning, so I’ve never been fully committed to discovering a new direction. I’m hoping to find it this year.
  3. Learn to take better pictures. I hate bad blog pictures, and I’m guilty of posting them. I took photography 101 in high school and don’t remember a thing. I’ve never been good at cameras.
  4. Accept what I have, make what I don’t. When we bought a house, I thought we would have so much room, we wouldn’t know what to do with it. No so. C and I share a tiny closet and small bedroom and both are overflowing. All of my summer clothes are in storage. I’d like to get to the point where every season’s clothes fit into my dresser and my closet. I’d like to alter more of my clothes than buy anything new/used. I’d like to sew for the house. We still don’t have curtains or blinds in any of our rooms upstairs.
  5. Slow down. Way down. 2010 taught me to be present in the moment, but I didn’t learn how to do it until I had broken both elbows and was completely incapacitated and I had no option. And suddenly, I felt like every moment was amazing. I couldn’t rush, because there was nothing to rush to and no way to get myself anywhere anyway. Conversations with friends felt meaningful. Watching movies with C meant just that: watching a movie–not watching a movie while doing homework, work, emailing, etc. Slowing down also takes lots of practice. I have to remind myself of that every day.
  6. Remember that the Ph.D. isn’t going anywhere. I might complete it in two more years, maybe three. Hopefully, not four. Either way, it’s just school. It’s not going to leave me behind, and I don’t have to get scared that I’m not where I wanted to be. Kidney stones, accidents, digestive issues, anxiety, some times happen all in one year. Maybe 2010 will go down as the year I learned that health is some times relative to the individual and it’s not worth holding court over myself about it.
  7. Stick to my 2011 mantra: The glass is always half full.
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  1. Joe
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    And then there’s my mantra: the glass is too big in the first place. Looking forward to working with you again when the moment presents.

  2. Posted January 3, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    ha! joe, i love it. and i can’t wait to work together soon!

  3. jennine
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    oh no! you had to give up peanut butter puffins? that’s my favorite cereal…but yeah, cooking is a great skill to have, i need to learn how to do it better too.

    you take great pictures my dear! but photography is a never ending craft.

  4. Posted January 4, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    thanks jennine!
    (peanut butter puffins don’t like soy in the official ingredients, but there’s a note that says “contains soy in cornmeal”. sigh. o well. so far, i haven’t found a peanut butter replacement cereal that doesn’t say the same. maybe i should create one…)

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