Cheers to 2020

It was the end of a decade, but the start of an age.

-Taylor Swift

Can I just say, I am not a big New Years person. I don’t go out (like ever) because I’m usually in bed by 10 and staying up until 12 is hard and who actually cares if you went out and popped champagne and danced until your feet were sore? Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, I’d just rather stay on the couch with close loved ones and then go to bed once that ball has done it’s job.

Does that make me a weird 26 year old? Maybe, but maybe not. I really don’t care either way. At some point in the last decade, I learned to not give a shit (or more accurately, not give as much of a shit) about what other people thought of me. I’ve recently started wearing less makeup. I try to do what I want to do and sometimes that involves saying no to things that will stoke any anxious or stressful thoughts. But that also sometimes involves doing things that are going to stoke those thoughts into an, at most times, unnecessary roaring fire. In the last year, I moved across the country to the fine city of Los Angeles, leaving behind the majority of loved ones on the East Coast. That was really hard and continues to prove hard as I return back to visit, only to leave again knowing I’ll need to spend a load of money to return.

Some 2019 memories!

I think resolutions are a good idea though often easily forgotten (especially by myself). I do prefer to set goals and somewhat realistic ones at that. So here are my 2020 goals that I hope to accomplish over the next year:

1. Save money by becoming a more mindful consumer— we all know I could write, produce and star in Confessions of a Shopaholic, but after recently reading The Year of Less, I want to be more mindful of my purchases and really force myself to consciously decide if I really need to make the purchase. I also want to save around 25% of my income over the next year. Might make it into a somewhat shopping ban, stay tuned.

2. Read more—this is such a generic thing but I’ve always included reading in my goals. I read around 25 books in 2019 and I want to read 30 in 2020. I really do love reading and want to spend more time doing that, versus bingeing another bumble gum show on Netflix (but seriously is anyone watching You Season 2? GAH).

3. Make friends— since moving to LA, I’ve made a few work friends who are wonderful but I don’t have any friends to go see a chick flick with, or grab a coffee with. I love my boyfriend and spending time with him is wonderful but sometimes I miss a friend companion, if that makes any sense? I want to try some local art classes and possibly volunteer (things I’ve heard help make adult friends).

4. Make 5 difficult recipes— I’m talking roast a chicken, make REAL spaghetti, the kind of meals that take all day or at least a few hours to simmer and build flavor. I’m hoping to do more than five, but I’m also trying to be a mindful consumer so I don’t want to unnecessarily overspend to reach my goals.

5. Be present— I am 100% guilty of spending a lot of time on my phone. Like too much time. I cringe when my screen report pops up every Sunday morning and shames me into another week. I might take a month break from social media or something wild, but no promises.

Here’s to a new year, a new decade, and all the possibilities that the future has in store. I hope you take today to spend time with yourself, with loved ones, or however you choose to find joy and happiness.

Love always,

Sara

New Year, Same Me.

Happy 2018! How’s your new year so far, Reader? Mine has been pretty quiet, so I’ve been trying to reflect on the last year and what I hope to accomplish in the new. While 2017 was full of ups and downs, it had more downs than I care to remember. As I turn 25 this year, I come to realize that I will never follow the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra; I am who I am and no resolution is going to dramatically change that. I spend too much money on things that don’t matter. I eat eggs at least once a week for dinner because I’m too tired to cook and I have anxiety that causes me to assume the worst at almost every moment.

So here are my goals for 2018. I’ll probably fall short, and if I’ve learned anything in the past 25 years, it’s that…. that is okay. Life is a journey, blah blah blah, *insert inspirational quote to get you through all the bullshit that life throws at you.

  1. I want to spend time in the kitchen making an actual meal, at least once a week. I have so many cookbooks and Pinterest boards full of recipes that are unused. I’m no chef, but I would like a better understanding of food and flavors and hope to develop a skill in 2018 (making chili for the 1st time ever as I type!).
  2. I would like to read at least 12 books over the next year. I’m going to start with something off Barack Obama’s 2017 list and see where that takes me. I miss getting lost in the story of a good book. This is a cliche goal, but reading is so important to me and I’m sad that I have forgotten this.
  3. I want to spend more time with friends and loved ones. Life is short and nothing is as important as the people you surround yourself with. In 2017, I was very lax in spending time with much of anyone and I regret that. I let my anxiety cripple my social life and I’m not letting it happen any more. I have wonderful friends, a wonderful boyfriend and family and I want to spend time with them while I can.
  4. As I said above, I want to stop letting my anxiety rule my life. I spend most days worrying about my family and friends as well as life scenarios that could or could not happen. Whether the fact that my boyfriend didn’t come over for dinner means that he’s over me, or that my boss’s quietness means I’m about to be fired, I need to stop letting these things ruin my days. Much of 2017 was lost to these thoughts and I’m tired of it. I’m taking back ownership of my life, even if it takes me the next year, or the next five.

Reader, what do you hope to accomplish in 2018? Or, better yet, what did you learn in 2017? Let me know in the comments, and I hope you have a wonderful new year!

-Sara

Still Pending: Things I’m Working on in 2016.

Well, it’s almost the end of January, and 2016 is off to a decent start. I never  posted my resolutions for this year, actually I’m not 100% I ever made any to be honest. I’m putting them here, so it’s more concrete and I can be held accountable for them in some way. And I’ll mention what I’ve done so far in 2016 to keep those resolutions.

Resolution: Get myself into a budget and cut my discretionary spending in half

How’s it going? No comment…

The first thing that happens after you get your first job is you get dollar signs in your eyes, and they stay there awhile. At least, that’s what happened to me. Every two weeks, I get money. Money is great. Money can get my hair dyed, get me cool clothes and new makeup. Money solves everything, right? But then there’s bills, and recently, student loan payments. Money is the worst and it makes everything SUCK.

However, I’ve started trying to not spend as much, which is reeally hard. Like reeally hard. I love shopping, it brings me joy and fulfillment, which is probably something I should address with a therapist, but nuance. I’m trying to budget, I’ve signed up for Mint.com (which is awesome, if I actually look at the weekly email summary of my spending…). If anyone has any budgeting tips, I’d owe you forever. Literally. Please. Lend some help to a newbie adult.

Resolution: Hit the gym at least three times a week plus cut out all the unhealthy snacking.

How’s it going? I go to the gym 3 times a week! Then I come home and eat 5 cookies…

Getting a gym membership was one of the first adult things I did, and since I’m paying for it monthly, I need to use it or lose it. At least, unlike Netflix, the gym is good for my well-being. Netflix just makes me sad (Grey’s has wrecked me 5ever). I eat salads and veggies and hummus and lentils all the time. Like so much so, people have asked if I’m a vegetarian. But I also made a pan of brownies last Friday and I think I ate 83% of them by Tuesday night. To be fair, pre-Aunt flo, I’m a ravenous bitch for chocolate, which explains the previous sentence, but still. That’s not exactly healthy.

I’m not saying that I’m swearing off donuts forever, because that’s insane and I would expect someone to come find me, slap me and stuff a dozen down my throat. I just want to not eat so unhealthily that it basically cancels even going to the gym.

Resolution: Not watch Netflix every night for multiple hours. Essentially, I’m giving up binging. I want to kick my butt off the couch and get a life (ew).

How’s that going? I just watched Grey’s Anatomy for the past three hours.

Okay. 1. it’s winter, it’s cold, I’ll start being a person with a life when it’s warm and not January. 2. After work + gym, my brain hurts and I just want to zone out for a few hours and not think, is that so much to ask?!

However, by watching Netflix, I’ve gotten so wrapped up in the lives of the doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital that I’m not as interested in my own lame life. DEREK AND MEREDITH ARE COUPLE GOALS AMIRGHT? Plus hot doctors in scrubs. That’s not in my real life. Also, MARK SLOAN DAAANG. So, I booked a flight to Florida and I made plans tonight, with real people. Ugh are you happy?

How about you, Reader, how are your resolutions going? Or like me, have you been avoiding them altogether? Let’s bond over our failures in the comments, or hopefully, your successes!

Love, B.