How does a perpetual planner start the new year? By making a list of how to shift my psyche, and embrace the world in a new way…(hopefully sticking with it past Groundhog Day).

After a “lesson-filled” 2013 which including the passing of a parent, and a pet, as well as two emergency surgeries for my husband (with an expected year long recovery), I decided that in order to heal, we needed to live more fully.

Mia’s first selfie

Upgrade to smartphones. After only 40 hours of watching YouTube tutorials; having friends show me features I may or may not remember an hour later; and risking call block from the Verizon Help Desk, I can actually message people and share photos. This may be the most expensive way of sending funny dog pictures to friends. (Tim is using his new phone as a fancy alarm clock.) My best friend’s teenager was able to text me from his hospital bed…a picture of the urinal which he proudly filled up in one sitting. Oh, technology, your uses are endless.

Works In Progress

Works in progress

Try new recipes. All those cookbooks that sit ever so nicely on our kitchen counter, could be used for more than 2 weeks from the day I bought them. Most of the time, I chop up whatever is in the fridge, and boil some sort of pasta to make surprise meals that may or may not need to be coated in hummus, after the fact. We need to try new things and that means a meal here and there that has actual measured ingredients. After all, dinner should not be a crap shoot.

Walk outside every day, even if for just 15 minutes. Mother Nature decided to test my resolve on this one. Being a cold-weather coward, I bundled up on those single-digit days and ventured forth into the icy asphalt tundra of our subdivision. I can only imagine how I looked in my mis-matched but warmest-clothes-I-could-find outfits as I strolled down the street in an incredibly over-sized coat (with lovely 1990s shoulder pads), a bright purple scarf wedged under my sunglasses to cover my face, and a horrible fuzzy hat that is twice the size of my head.

I may have looked like the crazy lady of the cul-de-sac (especially when I forgot to put sweatpants on over my long johns), but braving the cold felt invigorating, and yes, even inviting. A few small birds, squirrels, and my favorite family of crows all showed up…probably wondering if they could use my hat for a nest. No way. Obnoxious earmuffs held my fashion faux pas firmly in place.

I look like a bank robber with no fashion sense.

NOT the photo I’ll use for business cards

So what have I been afraid of all these years (decades even) about being out in the freezing cold? I grew up in Alabama and when you spend your youth in sandals and shorts 10 months of the year, anything under 50 degrees is just wrong. But this month, I went out in crisp 7 degree weather, and sleeting 16 degree weather, and no body parts fell off. I didn’t turn to ice. I didn’t lose a toe to frostbite—not even a fingernail. (I did get a rather sarcastic WOOO WHOOO from some redneck who felt my unattractive attire was worthy of him rolling down his car window to heckle me. Unfortunately, my scarf-covered faced drowned out my appropriate response.)

I realize this 2014 list is not so much about braving the cold, calculated cooking, or embracing technology as it is about getting out of my comfort zone. No, I’m not climbing Mt. Everest, or inventing an exciting app, but I can do more than I have tried to do. Maybe that is what this year is all about—shaking things up a bit. Getting out of our normal routine, attempting new things, and simply being better.

Now, how do I forward a text message?

Written on January 10th, 2014 , Uncategorized Tags: , , , , ,
Debbie Emory

Making Magic Out of Everyday Moments