Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Did You Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Happy New Year, everyone!! I hope 2018 is off to a roaring start for you and that you were able to relax, reflect, and enjoy the company of people you love some time over the last couple of weeks. After a very busy few months, including: our bidding on our new home; going into contract; closing; starting renovations; moving in; and quickly getting ready for the holidays, all while parenting two very active kids, it was wonderful to slow down a bit and enjoy some fruits of all this labor. We didn’t leave town; we mostly stayed at home and baked cookies, built fires (we have the tiniest, cutest little fireplace in our new home!), did puzzles, took baths (Drew and I have our own tub in our master bathroom — a first since having kids — so I got Drew some men-focused bath products for Christmas and now he’s as hooked on the experience as I am and says it’s going to make him a “a different person”), read books (Drew got me this book, which I zoomed through in a few days), watched movies, and got very hygge. We hosted friends and family a few times, and we ventured out to friends’ homes to bask in some communal holiday glow together. It was lovely, and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to take on 2018.

To that end, my main goal (not even a “resolution” as that sounds like too much pressure) for 2018 is to relax. I feel happier, more energized, and like a better mom/wife/friend/daughter/citizen when I am not so stressed-out. I spent a lot of 2017 feeling stressed-out and I don’t want to bring that same energy into the new year. This past week has been wonderful practice for relaxing, and I want to continue some of the things I enjoyed in the final days of the year, like:

1. Taking regular baths (it’s so restorative and meditative for me).

2. Reading (books are great, but no shame in reading magazine articles, both online and off).

3. Ordering take-out, heating up quick Trader Joe’s frozen meals, making super easy dinners (like sweet potatoes and black bean salads or scrambled eggs with goat cheese and spinach) as opposed to spending an hour cooking a multi-course dinner for my family, two of whom will scoff at anything that isn’t a chicken nugget (well, ok, Joanie will also eat sushi).

4. Spending time with friends. I just started a bi-weekly neighborhood ladies night out that I hope will help keep me on track when I get lazy about scheduling time with pals sans kids. Family hang-outs are good too, and I am already pretty on top of scheduling those regularly.

5. Saying “no” to perfectionism. One way this is visible is that it’s been over a month since we moved into our new place and we do not have much on the walls yet. This is very out-of-character for me. In the 21 previous times I’ve moved, including all the times I moved as a kid, I had everything — I mean everything — in order and how I wanted it within days. Moving with two kids, and at the holidays, made doing that pretty impossible. When I did finally get a chance to catch my breath in the days following Christmas, hanging shit on the walls just wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time. I wanted to relax. I needed to relax. And so I did. And I feel better–and shit will get on the walls eventually, whatever.

6. I don’t care if Jackson does his homework. He’s six. What the fuck ever. He should not be assigned 30, 60, 90 minutes of homework a day anyway, that’s absurd. I’ll revisit this when he’s 12, but until then, whatever.

7. Stretching out. I use this guy every evening and it helps me wrinkle out the kinks and get in a good head space for a deep sleep.

8. Sleep? Did someone say sleep? Oh yeah, with a 2-1/2 year-old who is FINALLY sleeping through the night and no more babies in my future, Imma get reacquainted with that wonderful thing called A FULL NIGHT’S SLEEP, OH HELL YEAH.

Happy freaking 2018, y’all! I feel good things about it and I hope you do, too! What resolutions did you make, if any?

Related: 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Singles (Who want to Mingle)

28 comments… add one
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    Lianne January 2, 2018, 1:14 pm

    OMG, fuck yes to number 3. I have totally adopted the same mentality with regard to making dinner. We also always have a Digiorno pizza in the freezer. Though I DID get an Instant Pot for Christmas, which I plan to start a forum post on…

    I also want to copy you on 4, 5, and 8…My 19 month old sleeps through the night for the most part but usually wakes at least once per week. This weekend he gave us a run for our money, waking 3 out of 4 nights. This needs to fucking stop before baby 2 comes in April.

    My only real “resolution” is to be more patient. Especially with said 19 month old and his father. It’s a true test of my strength as a human….

    Anyway, Happy New Year!

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  • Taylor January 2, 2018, 1:31 pm

    These are great Wendy! Happy 2018, and enjoy that extra sleep =)

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  • ktfran January 2, 2018, 1:36 pm

    After a pretty fantastic 2017 (bought a condo, got married, traveled, etc., etc.), the holidays were a let down for me. I was sick from the Friday before Xmas until a couple of days ago… I know lots of people were sick over the holiday this year… but I had zero appetite and was basically confined to one small corner of my parents couch until I was able to travel home. It sucked. I’m on meds now and will hopefully feel like brand new on my birthday in 12 days.

    I have two goals this year:

    1. Get out of debt. I’ve aggressively paid it down over the last year and in six months, I will have none. Woohoo! And I’m excited to save that money so in three years, we can totally remodel our kitchen.

    2. Practice yoga again. I need it. Desperately.

    I love your goals Wendy! Happy 2018!

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      Lianne January 2, 2018, 1:39 pm

      OMG, I was sick, too and am still not feeling great. Coupled with being 6.5 months pregnant…ooof. I did go to my PCP on Friday for antibiotics once the ear infection hit. Not fun at all.

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      • ktfran January 2, 2018, 1:47 pm

        It’s the worst! I bet you were so tired.

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        Lianne January 2, 2018, 1:56 pm

        I still am…I took a nap in the mother’s room at work today!

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    MaterialsGirl January 2, 2018, 1:47 pm

    I’m trying to use cookbooks more frequently. I have so many of them and they deserve to be opened! Of course, I’m not talking about ridiculous 30 ingredient things, but ya know. I do a good job of actually making recipes from the magazines I get (Southern Living and Martha Stewart, y’all), especially the fancy ones when we have dinner parties.
    another would be to walk or bike instead of drive more. We already do this, but I’m trying to get even better about it. I live smack downtown.. no excuses.
    I love the idea of keeping the bath nights more regular. Like, at least weekly. I was starting to travel too much and got in a stretch where I think I only had one in a month. Not good.
    Other than that, just keep on keeping on.

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    • ktfran January 2, 2018, 1:49 pm

      Speaking of cookbooks. I get a new one every Christmas. I LOVE cookbooks. This year, I got two because the husband bought me Paul Kahan’s cookbook. The Publican’s mussel recipe is in it and I can’t wait to make it!

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        MaterialsGirl January 2, 2018, 2:08 pm

        oh is the kahan one good?!?! My little brother drew my name for christmas so he gave me all three Thug Kitchen cook books. It’s a little young for me ( I don’t find it as amusing as some do), but I think it’s a good idea to cook more vegan. I’m making one of the padthai recipes tonight to kick start the new year.
        RadioStar gave me the SouthernLiving 2017 cookbook, which has all the recipes they published in their magazine this year. Really it’s a gift for him so I’ll throw the 2017 magazines away.

      • ktfran January 2, 2018, 2:26 pm

        It’s a lot of Publican recipes, so some are fairly involved. It’s a good book in general though… lots of cool stories, including about how they got someone to source oysters for them. It’s pretty neat. And their love of food/sustainability really shows. I know a lot of people think the Publican is overrated, but it is truly my favorite restaurant here.

        If you’re looking for a few really good vegan or vegetarian recipes, Love and Lemons is where it’s at. I received that cookbook last year and I make a lot from either that, or the blog. Check out the blog sometime. The roasted cauliflower and shells is super easy to make and delicious.

        I hear about Thug Kitchen, but never added that to my list. Good luck making Pad Thai! I tried once a long time ago, following the American Test Kitchen recipe, and failed miserably.

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        MaterialsGirl January 2, 2018, 3:48 pm

        i put the Publican Cookbook on my wishlist. Looks great, and I agree: definitely a favorite. Plus, I’ve loved Blackbird forever, and Nico Osteria and a friend is the managing chef at the Publican ORD.

      • ktfran January 2, 2018, 4:16 pm

        I need to go back to Nico. I’m such a nerd… PQM catered our wedding roof party and my bachelorette was cocktail classes at Violet Hour. I’m nothing if not brand loyal.

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      Copa January 2, 2018, 1:53 pm

      Science of Good Cooking is a fun, fairly nerdy cookbook. It explains why different cooking techniques work, and demonstrates with a recipe.

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        MaterialsGirl January 2, 2018, 2:11 pm

        I definitely like those explanations about the science. I was watching Martha Bakes with my mother in law. Learned I should have been storing my hazelnuts in the freezer all this time because they go bad much more quickly than other nuts!
        And i learned more about the many uses of baking soda in cooking

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    Moneypenny January 2, 2018, 1:47 pm

    Those are good goals Wendy!
    So far for me, my goals this year (I prefer goal instead of resolution too):
    – Get my professional license (2 exams down, 4 to go) by the end of the year
    – Take more ballet and talk to my teacher about being in one of his shows
    – Shop my closet instead of going shopping
    – Pay off my credit card debt by being really intentional and focused with my spending

    We’ll see how it goes!

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      Copa January 2, 2018, 1:51 pm

      Are you an architect by chance? (My sister is and complains nonstop about her licensing exams.)

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        Moneypenny January 2, 2018, 1:54 pm

        Haha, yes I am! I feel her pain!

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        Moneypenny January 2, 2018, 1:57 pm

        Also, I wanted to get them all completed within a year and a half. I focus on the fact that most people don’t even get their licenses, so I’m doing just fine. I’m not looking forward to the CSE (CA’s state exam) but I feel like I’ve made good progress so, so far, so good…

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        Copa January 2, 2018, 2:06 pm

        My sister failed a few of her exams and has had to do some re-takes. She’s finally making progress and I think only has two more to go. I feel kinda bad for her, but also feel like she’s taken complaining to the next level. Haha.

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        Moneypenny January 2, 2018, 2:10 pm

        I get that. I am a very anxious text taker, which is why I’ve put them off for so long (I’ve been out of school for 10 years) but I also think it’s helped a bit in that I have a lot more experience. I passed the 2 with the worst passing rates on the first try, so that felt reassuring. I’m doing the 3-4.0/2-5.0 exam combo, if she’s told you about that. I know the 5.0 exams are tough, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it…
        At least my friends are reassuring when I stress out to them!
        Does she have to take a state exam as well?

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    Copa January 2, 2018, 1:50 pm

    Scrambled eggs with goat cheese and spinach is BOMB! And so are a lot of Trader Joe’s frozen meals. I’m sure I’ve said it on here before, but it’s worth saying again, the idea of cooking for a family regularly is overwhelming to me.

    I shared my goals for the year on the forums, but they are:
    – actually take lunch breaks
    – get back on the healthy eating bandwago
    – save more! spend less!
    – read more and actually go that book club I was excited about joining, but then seldom went to, in 2017

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      Copa January 2, 2018, 1:52 pm

      My grammar and spelling here kinda killed me, haha.

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  • Autumnrose January 2, 2018, 2:08 pm

    LW1- side note* The lecture talk about new mommies and birthing rules. Some women like visitors and some don’t. I’m certain this topic has come up between the bff and it sounds like bff has planned her to be there. Anyway, at LW1 I understand what you are saying. It sounds like the SIL is a “snowflake” who can’t handle anyone’s options but her own. She sounds childish and needs to mature a lot. I could understand the SIL if you were probably a racist etc and so forth but you cleared that up in your letter you are not. Its not fair to you that your relationship with your bff has to suffer at the hands of her SIL. That’s wrong to put the bff through this and I’m sure its very stressful on her. She doesnt want to chose between you guys and wants there to be peace but she’s going to have to grow a back bone and tell SIL to “move on”. If she doesn’t do something now than the SIL will dictate her for the rest of her life when it comes to gatherings and functions. And when you are around this ex friend, don’t talk politics. If she brings it up tell her like it is, its not worth causing more drama. I suggest asking your bff what she wants right now and how you can help support her during that time. She may be the SIL but that doesnt mean squat. Your family too if shes your best friend. This need to be squashed before that baby comes. If it doesn’t than you could end up losing a friend. I don’t think you are best rude or selfish… I think you are being an adult trying to rationalism a non rational person on how to handle future situations.

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  • Kate January 2, 2018, 2:09 pm


    But I lost my Fitbit a few months ago when it fell off my wrist, and my eating and exercise habits hadn’t been great. I got a new model Fitbit for Christmas and have been tracking everything and doing their 15-minute Fitbit Coach workouts every day. This always helps me lose a few pounds when needed.

    I already read a lot, get enough sleep, say no to basically everything, spend my off-time relaxing, and my husband makes dinner with Blue Apron. I like baths but they wreck my blow-dry.

    We also have been seeing a financial planner and are on track for retirement, with a plan to keep saving, so that’s good.

    I’d like to get off of sleeping pills 100%, sell our condo in the spring, and probably find a new job this year. Been working on all of those.

    I feel pretty well set up.

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  • CSP January 2, 2018, 4:10 pm

    My husband and I make yearly goals and we are super crazy about them. It is a yearly to do list and we LOVE IT. We put a white board in our office and there are 4 groups (health, home, fun, adulting). Each category has 10 items. They are all attainable goals but it helps us remember what we want to do in a year. in 2017 we completed 28/40.

    Some examples are – each go to the dentist twice, get mammogram, run a 5k, go to the beach, contribute 1% more to 401ks, purge 40 bags of stuff, organize office, ect. And every time we walk into the office, we remember what we want to do. It might sound like overkill but it helps remember what we want each year.

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    Portia January 2, 2018, 9:48 pm

    I never really make New Year’s resolutions. I usually start training about now for my annual 10-mile race in the spring, so it gets me back in the gym (and it’s funny to watch the difference in between January and February at the gym). But maybe I’ll make a goal to have as many sales if not more next year from my Etsy shop – I ended with 44 for 2017, so I’m now on track to hit 100 total this year.

    I might also try to knit a temperature blanket this year (each line corresponds to the actual temperature for each day that year). I’d only need to do 2 rows at this point, and some designs look pretty cute: http://www.deenascraftcorner.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2016-Temperature-Blanket-Final.png

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  • Another Jen January 3, 2018, 9:03 pm

    I decided to keep it really easy and specific in the hope that it will increase my likelihood of succeeding and lead to other small changes for the better.

    1) Eat fish at least one night a week
    2) Start each day with 20 push-ups
    3) Wear grown-up, non-sneaker shoes to work


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    Cleopatra_30 January 4, 2018, 8:52 am

    I am vowing to eliminate texting and driving. I got into a habit of it last year and want to make sure I am safe as possible on the roads. I am always worried any text I get is super important while driving, I am thinking of letting someone I am texting know I am driving to help cull the urge to respond.

    I am currently doing Whole30. I am on and off again vegetarian, health reasons mostly, and I want to see if this one is better for me because of the protein amount (I work out a lot). I am hoping to do it every other month this year, so I can have a break in between and relax the food options a bit.

    Lastly I NEED to manage my finances. I am planning to go back to school in 2019, and I have a couple trips planned for 2018, as well as just general smart financial planning. I might open a TFSA (Canada), if I get my shit straightened out to add more to my savings.

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