I’m Grounding Myself! My One Word 2016

My DD asked me yesterday what it means to be “grounded” because her friend keeps telling her he is going to tell on her for things and she is going to get grounded.  We don’t ground her.  When your six, I’m not even sure what that would entail.  But, today, I’m grounding myself in a much different way.  But, I like the idea of telling people that I’m grounding myself because it does kind of work for what I want to do for myself as well.

When a child gets grounded, they are usually house-bound, required to give up the things they usually do and think about why they are in that predicament.  At my stage in life, this almost sounds like a blessing rather than a punishment.  I would love to have someone force me to stop doing what I spend most of my days doing and just let me think.  But, what I consider grounded to be is reflected in the Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definitions:

—used to describe a person who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life

:  mentally and emotionally stable :  admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious <remainsgrounded despite all the praise and attention>

So, my 2016 word of the year is going to be grounded.  And I want to become a person who is sensible.  One who has a good understanding of what is really important in life.  I want to be mentally and emotionally stable.  I want to be realistic and unpretentious.  And I want to be deserving of admiration, praise and attention in my approach to life.



2014 – In with a whisper, out with a cough…

So, last year we had a quiet night at home on New Year’s Eve.  My husband was leaving for a work trip early and so we went to bed early.  This year, we’re at my in-laws, but with my cold hitting the hardest today, I may be in bed early again.  I slept on the living room couch last night because I was coughing so much and didn’t want to keep my husband and daughter up.  I was awake until 2:30 a.m. and then got woken up by my husband at 7:30 a.m.  And now, my nose is starting to fill again, my head is killing me (just took some Tylenol) and I am exhausted.  But, hey, at least I’m not alone with my DD.  That would definitely be worse.  Her cousin and Gigi are keeping her entertained and I’ve been able to more or less veg out all day.  Although, I need to finish my grading to meet the deadline for one of my campuses.  I don’t have much more to do, but with my head and throat hurting like it is, it is hard to get motivated to finish it up.

I have been putting off getting a new phone because I really wanted to change carriers, but I’m having a really hard time figuring out who to go with to save the most money and not get locked into some lease deal on the phones.  But, now I just may take the lease deal on an AT&T phone and stay with them after all.  I can’t decide.  If anyone has any advice you would like to throw my way, please do!  I am seriously considering downgrading my phone usage.  Right now I have my husband’s old iPhone with tethering and we have a big data plan and unlimited text and minutes.  I’m considering going without the tethering and reducing the data plan in a big way.  I’ve actually considered just getting a pay as you go phone and saving money that way.  We got a home phone for Christmas from my MIL and we have a phone line included on our cable package, so I don’t feel as desperate for a cell phone that does everything now.  I would still be driven crazy when visiting my mom because I would not have any internet there, but I’m thinking it may just be worth it.  Especially considering my new “Less Screen in 2015” resolution phrase.

So, if anyone has suggestions, let me know.  I’m going to do some more internet searches today and see if I can figure it out to start 2015 saving some money on my cell phone bills!

I can’t believe I start teaching the Winter Session class in only four days.  I also can’t believe I start teaching Spring semester in 20 days.

On a good note, even before 2015 has begun, I have already read over 100 pages in Inferno!  So, reading is off to a good start already.

What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?  Anything exciting?  Good phone plans?  Let me know in the comments if you care to!


Countdown to 2015 – Two! One!

Well, I’ve missed a bit of the countdown.  Yesterday we traveled to my in-laws and I started feeling a bit more sick (I think I mentioned I might be getting sick).  Today I spent most of the day in dental offices with my husband, who needs a root canal.  Ever tried to find a dentist, in network, who can do a root canal two days before New Year’s Day?  Well, don’t try it.  After $115 for x-rays and evaluation at a non-network dentist, we were referred to an in-network dentist, where they worked on his tooth but could not do a root canal because there was no endodontist in town and available.  He is still miserable, so we’ll see whether I spend part of tomorrow back in a dentist office again.  But, yeah, 2014 is going out with a real bang – like a shoot me in the foot bang.  But, let’s fill in the countdown here…

2 countdown

For the 2 days post, I will focus on recalibrating my interests.  As I sit here, coughing and watching the Kennedy Center Honors, I realize how many great things I don’t DO anymore that I used to love doing.  The Kennedy Center Honors is like that though – it is there to remind you of how much the arts really impacts our lives.  Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting…and all those who are celebrating them (there were more, but we tuned in late).  They are household names.  They provided me with so many hours of entertainment.  The Police in my youth was a mainstay, playing constantly on my little cassette player that went everywhere with me.  Bruce Springsteen, who is performing in honor of Sting was the first concert I went to at 14 (with my sister at the Oakland Coliseum – and we were in nosebleed seats – and it was awesome).  I loved watching Laugh In reruns with my parents when I was little.  And Nine to Five was one of the best movies ever made.  Bruno Mars singing “So Lonely” makes me want to get up and dance.  Tom Hanks in Big and Forrest Gump truly changed my expectations for movies.  I mean, music, movies, songs…they are life changers whether we want to admit it or not.  And I haven’t seen a movie in the theater in years other than Walking With the Dinosaurs.  I’ve seen so many amazing previews for movies lately.  So, I would like to recalibrate and start watching movies (whether in the theater or at home now – its so much easier than it used to be), listening to more new music (again, so much easier than it used to be), and just enjoying The Arts more.  So, that will be something I work on in the new year.  And I’ll try to share highlights of my experiences here!

one day left

Tomorrow is the last day of 2014.  Although this year has been much better than some of my recent past years, it has still not been great.  My dad passed away in January of 2014.  My mom went through radiation treatments almost immediately following that and has been incredibly depressed at times since then.  But, she’s holding on and sometimes seems to be doing okay.  I’ve had ups and downs throughout the year as well, feeling pretty great at times and totally overwhelmed at other times (this week being one of them, as I’m STILL grading and feel a little lost in where I’m going/should be going next year).  But, I guess that’s life.  I’m hoping for more ups than downs in 2015 and I would love to have an entire year without a catastrophic experience (death in the family, major hospital stay, etc.).  It may be asking for two much, but I can certainly start the year feeling okay about things.  I am lucky, as a woman who went to school with me elementary school through high school is being taken off life support tonight.  I was only in touch with her on Facebook, but it came as quite a shock.  It seems she was unaware of some health problems and went into heart and kidney failure earlier this month, somewhat unexpectedly (she’d had some health problems in the past, but nothing this serious), and now her daughter is having to deal with the decision to take her off of life-support.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as it is a tough way to end/begin a year.  We are young, but not so young we can take life and health for granted.

So, I can’t control much of the catastrophic conditions of others, but I can try to keep myself from dealing with them. So, being healthier is going to be one of my goals for 2015.  Eating better, exercising – nothing crazy.  Just taking care of myself.  First on the agenda is getting in for a physical exam, which I’ve skipped the past couple of years for a myriad of reasons.  Improving my eating and exercise regularity will be first up in that department.  Nothing too extreme as I won’t stick to it.  But, some little changes that will make a difference hopefully.

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring.  I hope my husband’s tooth feels better.  We’ll be celebrating second Christmas, so there is sure to be some excitement and fun.  It looks like we’ll be staying home at my in-laws (we were going to a bonfire, but the hosts have come down with a horrible flu, so that is a no-go) which is good with my throat and my husband’s tooth.  Maybe we’ll try to find a fun family-friendly movie to watch (in honor of that item above) or maybe we’ll just watch the TV countdowns.

How do you typically spend your New Year’s Eve?  I remember from the time I was about seven until high school I always had a couple of friends come and spend the night.  We would watch the countdown shows on TV waiting for our favorite bands to perform, eating junk food, drinking lots and lots of soda and then banging pans out in my backyard at Midnight!  It was the same every year and we never really tired of it.  My parents were always fine staying home with us (I think my friends’ parents were happy to have someone to send their kids so they didn’t have to find babysitters) and letting us watch what we wanted to and eat what we wanted to and stay up late giggling!  I want to do that for Bean when she is old enough.  But, for now, I need to get her watching TV countdown shows with me, eating junk food and drinking iced tea (since I don’t really drink soda anymore)!  Lots of memories flooding back tonight…



Countdown to 2015 – THREE!


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That’s right…three days left until 2015.

I feel like I may be getting sick.  I’m hoping it will pass, but we shall see.

Today’s focus on the countdown is going to be to start participating in a new link up to help me focus on my goals and wishes for 2015.  “My Weekly Wishes” over at The Nectar Collective.  I like the idea of having some weekly goals and some follow up with my followers (and myself).  As I said yesterday, my word for 2015 is “recalibrate” and my phrase is “Less screen in 2015.”  One of the recalibrations I would like to do is building more of a focus outward instead of on myself.  I’ve noticed my DD sometimes acts very selfish and although it has something to do with the season, I feel like our whole family is a little too focused on “getting” things and “wanting” things and not nearly focused enough on others.  So, I would like to recalibrate myself to set an example for my family.

I need some to institute some projects for myself and my family.  This post has some good ideas in which kids can easily participate.  I am also going to check out the ideas over at Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.  If you have some good ideas to share, please let me know in the comments.

The second recalibration I would like to focus my efforts on is reading books.  I am so ready to settle in with some books and read them all the way to the end (currently I find myself part way through a lot of books, never finishing them – I just wait too long in between reading them and it seems to difficult to get back into the story).   As soon as I finish grading (which will hopefully be tomorrow, but at the latest Tuesday), I plan on starting  Inferno (Robert Langdon) by Dan Brown.  I LOVED Angels & Demons: A Novel (Robert Langdon) and The Da Vinci Code, so I’m really hoping that this ends up being the perfect book to get me enthusiastically reading again!  I have a long list of books to read on my Kindle app on my iPad and even a few on my old Nook (yes, I have a lot of ways to read books considering how little I actually read them as of late), so I’m hoping the next five days will really be the shot in the arm my reading needs to get recalibrated once again!

So, Kindness and Reading.  Two more of my goals in 2015.

Looking forward to tracking my progress in My Weekly Wishes in 2015 as well!


Countdown to 2015 – FOUR!


Well, four days until 2015 now.  So, as I said earlier, I thought I would choose a word or phrase for 2015.  It is a popular notion nowadays.  There is My One Word, One Word 365, as well as many one word challenges out there on blogs.  I am not sure I like the idea of having to choose one. single. word.  That seems tough.  But, I can probably reduce it to a short phrase.  Maybe I can find a word…and yes, if you have not figured it out, I have yet to choose a word or phrase.

I like the rhyming scheme idea – like “Long and lean in 2015.”  But, I don’t want to focus on losing weight, so that doesn’t make any sense for me.  “Don’t be mean in 2015.” seems a little negative, and I’m not really mean all that much anyways.  Actually, “Less screen in 2015.” may be on point.  I want to be on the laptop less, watch less meaningless TV, get my daughter off the iPad and watching less TV, get out more, read more, do more.  So, that may be it right there.  I like it.  Easy to remember and will cause me to question myself or her every time we go to turn on the computer, iPad, TV, phone, etc.  There is just way to much screen time in our family.  Both my husband and I use work as a reason and it sometimes is, but we could be a lot better at managing our screen time for sure.  So, there it is…my phrase for 2015:

Less screen in 2015!

And I think to follow that up, if I have to have some kind of one word I will use “Recalibrate”.  I think I’ve focused too much on changing myself in ways that I don’t really need to/want to in the past.  When really, I need to get back to some things I’ve left behind (e.g. my love of reading, my activeness) while still maintaining my overall self-identity.  So, I like the idea of recalibrating.  It allows for some “measurement” but doesn’t indicate that I need to find a new measuring stick, just get back to an old one that worked for me.  It may bring in some new things as well – to increase the precision or make the use of the measurement more efficient, but overall, it is the same tool and the same thing being measured.

So, there you have it – I have a phrase and a word.

What about you?  Do you pick words or phrases or make resolutions for the New Year?  Or do you just ignore the whole thing and treat it like any other day of the year but with a new number on the calendar page?  I would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Post-Christmas, Pre-New Year’s Edition


Christmas crash and New Year anticipation!

Yup…I’m one of those people who seems to crash a bit emotionally after Christmas.  So much build up, so little Christmas day.  But, I recover quickly as I anticipate a new year and all that comes with it.  I do realize that the 31st and 1st are days like any other, but with the calendar change comes a clean slate and new possibilities.  Any day can bring those same things, but it seems that New Year’s day is a shared experience among all people, so it makes it a bit more universal or communal.  What am I looking forward to in 2015?  Who will be in 2015?  What will 2015 bring?  I can’t wait to see!

What about you?  What are you looking forward to?  Who will you be?  What do you think the new year will bring?

My countdown post for today will be on my word or phrase for 2015.  I’m still mulling it over…so, I’m not even sure what that post will be about!  🙂  Guess we’ll all have to wait and see.


Countdown to 2015 – FIVE!


Five days until 2015 rolls into town.  It seems like the years go by in the blink of an eye.  I know that is quite cliche, but it is true for the most part.  I don’t feel like I’ve lived five years since coming home from the hospital with Bean and her new heart, but I have.  I can’t think of a New Year’s Resolution that I’ve really been able to keep in all those years.  I never was much good at keeping them, and now it seems like the possibility is nil. So, instead of making “resolutions,” I’m going to simply establish some things I’d like to do/be in 2015.  Five things…to go along with this countdown.

First, I would like to read more books.  I’ve been saying this for years.  The laptop has created a vortex of reading for me.  I only read blog posts and articles online for the most part.  But, I used to be a voracious reader.  I remember when I was little, I would sneak a flashlight into my room at night so I could read under my covers after lights out.  I carried a book everywhere with me.  I loved to read.  The library was one of my favorite places.  I still love the library, but I don’t give myself the focused time necessary to read books.  But, this year, I am setting a goal to once again become a reader.  Perhaps not voracious, but a regular reader.

In order to do that, I will have to do number two – get off my computer!  I have to really force myself to do this.  I get sucked in.  And I feel like I will miss something.  But, in reality, I am missing other things while on the computer.  So, for the new year, I’m going to institute a no-screen time in my life each day.  It will have to vary according to my schedule, but for at least three hours a day, while awake, I will be screen-free.  This will give me time to read, play with my DD, watch TV without the distraction of the laptop in front of me, etc.  This is something that is truly going to take discipline – something I often lack – but, I’m going to work at it.

So, the first of five goals for 2015 is to read more books and less online.  I love reading blogs and such, but I want to make time of other types of reading as well!