Resolutions are hard, even when they sound pretty cut and dry. Even though I only set five for myself, they are an all-important five that I really can't afford to fail at. So, of course, I've been thinking about the main threats to my resolutions.
For me, I think the hardest resolution is the financial management. Part of that is due to colossal student loan debt, my not-too-astronomical salary and my parallel desire to LIVE - freely and happily and cultivating experience. Ah, the burdens of being a lowly library shelver (you can love your job, but your job may not always love you). It's true: this will not always be my job and I do believe I will someday score one that I love as much with a bigger salary (though, let's face it, still probably not a sky-high one). But for now, I have to figure out little ways of reining in all the panic and disappointment that the subject of money invokes in me. Here are some ways I want to do that; maybe they'll be helpful for your financial goals as well:
1. Call all of my lenders and work on ways to lower or delay costs. THIS should be a no-brainer, and really, is...but that hasn't stopped me from procrastinating on this for far too long.
2. Take crazy advantage of sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and AmazonLocal. One of my best and oldest North Carolina friends has come to visit me in Chicago twice now and each time, she has brought with her several Groupons for restaurants so that we could go out and dine in style while she's in town. Why the hell am I not doing this? It's a great way to experience the city for less. I'm thinking that, once a month, I can find a discount for a new restaurant, salon or whatever that I would like to try and that can be the big three for me: a new experience, a social excursion (as it would mean I would probably be treating a friend as well) and a reward for being good, money-wise. You really can't beat that.
3. Try to find ways to stay in more and still be social. As someone who has wrestled with social anxiety, the fact that I now have so many wonderful, funny, smart and just quality people in my life is BIG. I don't want to lose that by withdrawing just because I can't go out all the time (without regretting it later, at least). The alternative is to find ways to incorporate socializing into staying home - lots of movie nights at my place, for instance, or at the homes of good friends. Inviting people over for dinner, perhaps, or accepting invitations to others' homes more often.
4. That said, also embrace the introvert I definitely am. Please hear me and understand me when I say that I really do LIKE staying in, alone, with a book or Netflix. That's my jam, y'all. I find myself feeling guilty about it sometimes, or feeling frustrated with well-meaning friends who assume that something is wrong if I say, "no thanks, I'd rather stay in and finish this fascinating novel I've been enjoying!" I've got to put a stop to this guilt and frustration and let myself enjoy my fiction collection and library hauls; it's better for my sanity as well as my wallet.
I think this little list will help, if I can just stick to it.
One of my other resolutions dictates that I give more time to creativity and new experiences, so I hope that what I have to say next will count toward that end - I am making another blog tradition. Monthly, I'd like to round up some of my favorite posts from other blogs - blogs that I enjoy following and that I hope that my readers will also enjoy following. This will be my first. Behold! I offer you my first MONTHLY BLOG ROLL - five blog posts from the past year (it will usually be from the past month, but this is the first, it's the new year, so...you get the idea) that I liked and you should check out. These are from a diverse variety of blogs that I follow.
1. Love & Squalor's review of Blue Is The Warmest Color - my favorite movie of 2013 and one of my favorite film blogs, together in one!
2. Mostly Food Stuff's recipe for a dreamy quinoa kale salad - perfect for spring (which, I am told, lurks right around the corner)!
3. Casey The Canadian Lesbrarian's list of her favorite queer books from 2013 - I need to read all of these. NOW.
4. Bounding Over Our Step's talk about what the fall of DOMA means to them - Which combines sweetness into an informative post with plenty of eye candy for "wedding porn" lovers who just secretly like to look at pictures of happy lesbian couples. ;-P
5. Broke & Beautiful nod to the studded shoe trend - This is a thing. I keep seeing people in studded shoes (and other studded clothing and accessories) and I can't help but love it, just a little bit. I don't follow a lot of fashion blogs, but I like the budget-friendliness of Broke & Beautiful. Be still, my little, studded, punk rock heart.
In other news, THIS EXISTS!
On that note, I bid you adieu for another week. Love & kisses! Leave your comments at the door.