Things I’m Abandoning in 2015

I just finished reading what I found to be a very inspirational post

( by a fellow blogger regarding the things she wants to leave in 2014.  In other words it’s kind of an inverted way of doing new year’s resolutions.  Instead of saying these are the things I want to accomplish this year, it’s saying these are the things I’m going to stop doing or abandon this year.  For some reason, this really spoke to me so I’ve decided to make my own list of things I want to abandon in 2015.  Here goes!

t.s. eliot quote

1. Focusing on my weight as a pure number.  I’ve got to make my heart realize what my head already knows: numbers don’t matter; how I look & feel does.  If I like what I see in the mirror, my husband finds me as attractive as ever, I’m healthy, & my clothes fit, there is no logical reason why I should care what number is on the scale.  (And all of those things are true, by the way, so really I have nothing to worry about.)  I’ve been telling myself this for years but it’s never fully sunk into my psyche.  This is the year to let it sink in for good.

2. Beating myself up for not particularly liking young children.  I’m slowly starting to realize that there are other women out there who aren’t super fond of babies & toddlers either . . . & many of them have still made great moms.  My tolerance for young children has actually grown in the past few years so while I still cringe at the thought of having a baby completely dependent on me, I’m slowly starting to realize that that stage won’t last forever anyway & “mommy brain” will kick in & get me through it . . . someday.motherhood

3. Eating out entirely too much.  Ok, let’s be real: I love to eat.  I am very suspicious of anyone who doesn’t.  There has got to something majorly wrong with anyone who doesn’t enjoy eating.  Anyhow, possibly because I rarely ever ate out as a child/teen, I have somewhat of an addiction to eating out now.  It’s not something I do every day, I never go anywhere expensive, & quite often I order relatively healthy things (relatively being the key word here).  But nonetheless it’s something on which I know I waste too much money that would be better put into savings.  And it’s not exactly healthy either.  Part of me thinks it’s justified because once I have kids I won’t have the freedom or the energy to go out to eat much, but the more logical part of me knows that’s just a lazy excuse.  Last year I swore to myself I’d do better about this . . . and I probably did worse than ever.  So this year I’m forcing myself to do meal planning each week (nothing formal, just planning it out in my head & making sure I have all the necessary ingredients) & spending Sunday cooking several dishes that will last me throughout the week.  I know I’m a lot less likely to cave to the desire to go out for a meal when I already have good meals prepared at home.  So far this year I’ve made curry pork chops, a delicious curry chicken & apple soup, Tandoori cod & curry lima beans with Tikka Masala sauce, & my coconut curry chicken with mashed potatoes (yes, almost everything I make involves curry).

Curry lima beans & Tandoori cod with Tikka Masala sauce . . . I've had this twice already this week & it's delicious . . . & easy!

Curry lima beans & Tandoori cod with Tikka Masala sauce . . . I’ve had this twice already this week & it’s delicious . . . & easy!

4. Comparing myself to others.  To be perfectly honest, I know that as long as I’m alive I will be guilty of this to some extent, & I also know that I’ve gotten a lot better about this over the past few years.  But I still have a lot of room for improvement.  The fact of the matter is I will never weigh 130 lbs (at 5’6″ & with my bones/muscles that’s not even realistic anyway).  I will never have an immaculately clean or perfectly decorated house.  I will never be the perfect housewife who loves to bake & never leaves clothes in the dryer or dirty dishes in the sink.  I will never enjoy getting drunk & going to clubs & generally living the “party girl” lifestyle that is supposedly “normal” for my age.  And, short of porcelain veneers that I will probably never be able to afford, I will never have perfectly white teeth.  But none of that stuff matters because none of it is a true source of happiness or contentment for me anyway (if it is for someone else, that is perfectly fine of course).comparison

5. Worrying about what others think of me.  As above, I know that as long as I’m alive I’m going to care at least a little about what others think of me.  That’s just part of being human.  However, this year I’ve got to stop allowing other people’s opinions (or what I assume their opinions will be) to stop me from being honest about who I am or what I believe.  To that aim, let me just state a few things I believe that I sometimes keep to myself for fear or how others will react:  I support gay marriage.  I support the trans-gender movement.  I don’t think abortion is a good thing but I do think it should be legal.  I think our country spends way too much time & money on ill-advised overseas missions that are doing absolutely nothing to contribute to our country’s safety or overall well-being.  I support the legalization of marijuana.  I am a Humanist.  I am a Libertarian.libertarian quote

I sincerely hope this post doesn’t turn into a long debate over any of the above issues because that is far from the point of this post.  But I’m also tired of keeping some of my opinions to myself just to appease others.  At the end of the day, I know I need to have faith in my friends & family & trust that they won’t abandon me or treat me like an infidel just because we have different beliefs about some things.dr seuss quoteHow about you, reader?  What do you want to leave behind this year?

The Pain of Regret

When I was probably 19 or 20 I remember a friend of mine telling me that it was a point of pride with her grandmother that her husband of many decades had never even once seen her fully nude.  My friend & I both agreed that this was a ridiculous thing to be proud of, though it was probably not uncommon for our grandmothers’ generation to feel that way.  We also agreed that it was really quite a sad commentary on the mentality of many folks in older generations because it is reflective of a mindset that sees life as something to be feared rather than something to be experienced.

I’ve never forgotten that conversation for one reason or another & I was reminded of it again today.  While scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I came across a meme that several friends had posted that said “I’d rather look back on life & think ‘I can’t believe I did that’ than ‘I wish I had,’” or something along those lines.  That quote prompted me to think about how it really is true that our biggest regrets in life are often the things we didn’t do rather than the things we did do.  Whenever I heard people say that when I was growing up I couldn’t understand it.  But now I do.  Because I don’t have a lot of regrets in life but the few I have are mostly the things I didn’t do. 


That meme also prompted me to think about how dangerous it is to live your life in fear & not experience so many of the wonderful things this world has to offer.  I’m a humanist so I believe that people are capable of both good & evil but if we focus our energies on the good we are capable of creating amazing things & effecting a lot of wonderful change on this planet.  That is exactly why I think it’s so dangerous to raise children in a society that constantly tells them they’re a bunch of lousy sinners who don’t deserve anything good.  When people have this kind of mentality drilled into their heads from day one, there is a tendency to never reach their highest potential.  There is also a tendency to think it’s frivolous to do things just for fun & to feel like you have to live your life making up for your all of your sins.  This leads to the kind of mindset where people think they are holier for not having high-speed internet or modern cell phones or other “worldly goods.”  I wish I were making this up, but I’m not.

I lived the first eighteen or so years of my life with a very long list of things I couldn’t do because they were wrong.  (I’m not talking so much about lying, stealing, or murder.  I’m talking more about movies, music, words, & drinks that were somehow deemed “evil” & thus to be avoided at all costs.  Obviously I am not advocating that life should be lived without any sort of basic morals.)  Somewhere along the line I’m so glad I realized that life isn’t meant to be lived that way.  I’m so thankful for the friends who encouraged me to have fun just for the sake of having fun.  I’m so glad I learned that having fun is NOT a sin, nothing to apologize for, & that I never need a “reason” to spend time with friends, go to a concert, discover a new band or restaurant, or just do whatever I please so long as it’s not hurting anyone else.


This past weekend I went to a concert with a friend from work.  We had a great time & while there we discussed the fact that I’ve never been to a rap concert.  While I’m not a big fan of rap music I do like a few songs here & there, mostly from Flo Rida (embarrassing, I know but the songs I know by him are just fun songs that aren’t terribly crude or full of drug references), & one of my regrets in life is not going to a Flo Rida concert at my college a few years ago.  While I know there is a lot more to rap/hip-hop than “gangsta” rap & the other mainstream crap that is blasted on radio stations, it’s still not my favorite genre, but nonetheless I want to go to a rap concert at some point in my life.  It’s just an experience I think I should have.

Upper Cascades at Hanging Rock State Park near Greensboro, NC which we visited a few weeks ago

Upper Cascades at Hanging Rock State Park near Greensboro, NC which we visited a few weeks ago

What I’m trying to say is that life is meant to be experienced.  Our journeys on this Earth are way too short to be spent depriving ourselves of all of the joy life has to offer.  I’m in NO WAY suggesting you should go out & snort a few lines of cocaine, shoot up some heroin, or have unprotected sex with a stranger.  Those are all choices that have well-documented negative consequences & the chances of experiencing not only short-term but long-term ill effects are far too great.  Therefore those are not “life experiences” but simply bad decisions.  What I AM saying is that never letting your husband see you fully nude is just silly.  Never tasting a glass of wine because it’s “evil” is sad.  There IS such a thing as moderation & maybe if people weren’t so convinced that they’re horrible sinners they’d have the self-discipline to actually practice moderation.

To be clear I’m not advocating that people should focus only on having fun in life.  Obviously we need to be responsible mature adults who work hard, save money, & take care of ourselves & our families.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t squeeze as much fun as we possibly can into our lives. 

I took this while climbing on the rocks at Acadia National Park on my honeymoon in Maine, August 2011.  Amazing experience.

I took this while climbing on the rocks at Acadia National Park on my honeymoon in Maine, August 2011. Amazing experience.


Spring time is here with summer sure to follow, so let’s make the most of it.  Go camping.  Hike a mountain.  Swim beneath a waterfall.  Go fishing on a river.  Attend an outdoor concert, even if you don’t know the band.  You might discover a new one you like (that happened to me last weekend; already ordered & received their CD which I am loving).  Go to a winery or a brewery with friends & taste some new drinks.  Go to that Indian buffet you’ve been wanting to try.  Take a walk on the beach at sunset.  Listen to loud music & dance while doing housework; I promise it’s so much more fun that way.  Take risks; just be smart about them.  Above all, have fun with the ones you love.  Spend time together as often as you can.  Say “I love you” and mean it every single time.  When you get to the end of your life, whenever that may be, you’ll be so glad you did.

P.S. Here’s a link to a song by the new (to me) band I discovered last weekend.  Check out We Were Young by Honor By August.