Tag Archive: new years


New Year’s Again

Image from IMDb.cm

Image from IMDb.cm

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

New Year’s Day always brings out the resolution list for me. Being that it is my birthday as well, it seems like a doubly good reason to set goals for the coming year.

The most popular ones are counted as quitting smoking and losing weight. In the last few years, I vowed to eat healthier and exercise more which had lead to a drop of about 40+ lbs. It wasn’t easy, took longer than I thought it would and is totally worth it.

I always vow to write more, to see more movies, and to spend more time with my family.

One of the movies I was finally able to watch this past week is about making change, it is about hope when there seems to be none. When my daughter saw that The Odd Life of Timothy Green was actually in, she grabbed it for our movie night. This is a movie I would watch with tweens and older. I do not think many children under the age of 10 would want to watch this movie because the pacing is too slow for them.

The story is about a couple who have tried nearly every way possible to have a child. Finally they have been given the news that there is nothing more the doctors can do, they are not going to have a child the old fashioned way.

So that night, in the midst of their disappointment and despair, Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) begins to write his idealistic aspects of the child he is never going to have. His wife, Cindy (Jennifer Garner), joins him in the exercise. Then they put the pieces of paper in a box and bury it in a garden, making the hardest resolution of all. They say goodbye to their dream of having a child.

Later that night, a thundering storm comes through. The couple wake up, hearing a loud noise downstairs. While getting everything settled back into place is when they discover Timothy. A nine-year-old boy has suddenly appeared in their house. He has leaves on his ankles and there is a hole in the garden where the box was planted.

What can they do but what they do which is to love him. They accept him in their family and start being parents. Interestingly enough, they learn the hardest lesson of parenting during the short time Timothy is in their life. As you can imagine there is a sad part of this movie and a happier ending. It is a movie where fairy tale endings can and do happen.

More than that, Timothy Green leaves us feeling hopeful, he inspires the American can-do spirit without the meanness. The boy reminds his adopted parents and us that anything is possible. While the violent movies as of late show us one way to solve our problems, it is not practical nor morally correct to take a machine gun to places that anger us. Instead, this movie encourages us to think of new ways to solve our problems – whether it is making a different pencil or becoming a parent.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

The Year of Completion

Sometimes when I get depressed, I find I have to do the crazy thing running around in my brain to break its hold on me.

Like the time I ate an entire half gallon of ice cream.

I was depressed about various episodes in my life at this time. The only thing I wanted to do was eat ice cream but my head kept saying that was wrong. What would that do to my waistline?

The strange thing was I realized I had to do it. Damm my weight and potential guilt, damm it all. I was going to eat that half gallon.

So I did. I could not even tell you what flavor it was although I am sure it was chocolate of some sort.

By the time I was done, I realized I had a whole evening left. And eating the ice cream had not solved the problem. The problem was still there. The change was how I felt about it. Wallowing in my misery made me realize I could work things through, things could get better and I was being silly in eating that entire half gallon which I probably got on sale anyway.

I was thinking about that last week as the shroud of depression peeled away from me slowly last week. I spent Christmas day in bed after unwrapping of gifts, going to church, having a mid-morning hike and lunch at a chinese buffet. I was so tired, for no good reason, that I laid down and slept for hours. It was dark when I got out of bed. I really wanted to stay there and sleep some more but I felt that the family wanted to see me.

I went to bed at the regular time that night and slept some more. But this time when I woke up, I actually felt rested. Each day became better and then I began to think about what my new year’s resolution should be, what I wanted to acheive this year.

In the last month I had begun to feel as if I was not accomplishing anything. I was feeling as if I have not changed the world or made a difference in the area where I live. I looked at the pile of unfinished quilt tops and home projects that are only half way or one quarter of the way completed.

And it was driving me crazy.

That is when I read one post about resolutions that had been freshly pressed and had my own epiphany. Some of my volunteer efforts are in work areas I am considering. I purposely took them on to dip my foot in that pool. I purposely joined a writer’s group to make myself more accountable in my goal to finally write a novel. I have started decluttering and getting rid of the stuff I do not want while keeping those things that make me happy.

So I decided to make this year the year of completions. Those six unfinished quilt projects are getting done. The kitchen cabinets are getting painted and new hardware, the living room will get new paint and slipcovers for the couches. My daughter’s room is going to be painted to reflect her tween status. Closets, including the Closet of Doom,  are getting cleared out. All of these things that I have wanted to get done are getting done.

My plan is to take on one thing at a time. I have to keep up with writing and that will be on a different schedule. But craft, decorating and decluttering projects are going to happen step-by-step. I do not plan to run around willy-nilly getting things done. Just as the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace program talks about starting with the smallest thing first to give a sense of making progress, I plan to work on those projects that are easiest to complete right away. First off will be an embroidery kit I have been working on for years. Next will be the quilting project needing some applique work. In the spring, I will work on painting projects.

Along the way I plan to put up pictures to show how it is progressing. You will see the before and after pictures of rooms as well as some projects.

Then, there are the rewards.  Being kinder to myself was brought up in the comments last week and I intend to do that, to remind myself that I am human and what gets done, is what gets done. But when something gets done that is a big deal, I plan to reward myself for doing the job, for completion.

So task number one of making the goal known is completed. Next up, working on that embroidery project that should have been done at least ten years ago. I am very excited about this.

Are you working on any resolutions?

Resolutions

This is the week in which we think and write down those changes we want to make for the coming year.

Image by PPDigital

We want to stop smoking, lose weight, be kinder to those we love. We want to be better humans or maybe prove that we can finish something. There are dreams rumbling in our hearts and brains that want to come out. Goals and end results that want to be made.

Maybe you do it by completing a marathon, finish writing that book, getting that degree, making partner, becoming a doctor.  

Blogs fill the internet with people working on a goal, a list, a quest. It might be Robert reading the Time’s list of the best books of the modern age. Or maybe it is Maura’s list of 36 things to do before her 37th birthday. Then there is one of the most famous quest blogs – that of Julie cooking every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook.

We see others striving and making it. I see people in the film business who cannot do anything but make movies. I admire people who start their businesses and see it through good times and bad. I wish I was that brave.  

I haven’t written my resolution list yet. I know a few things I want on it. Such as having most of my debt gone by the time I reach 50 in two years. Finish the novel that has stalled. Keeping up with my writing group (those people are kick-ass and I love it). Find a sense of purpose because right now I do not have one.

That is the point of resolutions. They give us a direction, something to strive for, a goal. Those ten pounds don’t lose themselves, we have to work at it to make them go away.

Image by Seeman

I say this knowing my oldest is going through the same thing but he is about to turn 20. It is ok for a 20-year-old to feel this way but a 40-something feeling this way is just cliché. Worse yet, I don’t have the money for the little red convertible to go with a mid-life crisis.

While I am muddling through, what I want to know from all of the people who stop by and read my words is how you have gotten through something similar or what resolutions you are planning for this upcoming year.

Happy New Year.

 

Editor Note: I found this post on finding direction on Freshly Pressed today. I really liked it and hope it helps others who are stuck in place for the moment as I am.

You know that feeling when you have the right amount of energy and your head is feeling clear? Some call it being healthy.

 I am there.

Picture by Doctor Bob

I have energy, actual energy. I want to get out of bed and do stuff. Like my workout or making food or writing a real blog entry. If I am going to sing, I am going to give it my all.

 Bring on that karaoke version of Hound Dog on YouTube.

 It is wonderful to feel totally on again, not just halfway there. My thoughts are not turning to when I can go back to bed or the next cup of hot tea or finding a blanket so I can be a part of the simple goings on in my house (which by the way needs a thorough cleaning). After three weeks spent trying to get over a cold that coupled itself with a nasty cough and nasal congestion, I am thankful for the return of good health. I plan to guard it at all costs.

 All of this down time has helped me make some important decisions. Back in November, I complained about the ennui I was feeling. How I saw many roads and was not sure which to follow. I felt a lack of purpose in my life, a lack of giving and a lack of using my talents to their full potential. 

Picture by Seemann

I decided to go ahead with the magazine. I had done so much research already that I know which printer to use, I know how I want to distribute the magazine, I know the approximate monthly costs. Oh, and I already have a logo thanks to a designer friend of mine. Writers are not hard to find because I know many and believe that others will come along. I have come to realize that sales people are out there and I will find them. The tough part is finding a backer. I am ready to do that.

The next improvement of the year is to find a charity to give my talents to, whether it is a few hours a week or a month. Last week, I called my local Habitat for Humanity and offered my services. I am happy to do whatever but did make the request to do any needed writing.

Picture by Chelle

 Lastly, I am doing an overhaul of my personal appearance. I need a new haircut and to put my wardrobe into one that is well put-together whether it is a casual day or dress up day. After going through catalogs and magazines, I believe it will take only a few pieces to get there. Trouser cut jeans, a black pencil skirt and a wide black belt are the building blocks I need to buy. I can make a few new skirts with material I already have in my stash. The boots that I saw and loved at Prada for Breakfast will have to wait till next fall. 

I have other goals that include getting to a networking situation once a month and finding ways to earn more money until the magazine is up and running. Plans are underway to be a better mom and to be better to myself. I am trying to be reasonable in my goals but understand that doing the little things, one day at a time, is what is going to help me get to the place I want to be.

How are you making this year a better year for you?

Family Movie Night

Sprinting towards the new year for me means making resolutions.

I look for goals to set in order to be better. I am trying to curb my late-itis, my desire to actually write more and maybe work on that novel I have been talking about. I think many of us look to that New Year’s Day as a time of making things better – be it weight or  personal issues.

Sometimes, I seek inspiration from the movies.

There are many that have been made about redemption or pose a cautionary tale. The movies I list for this week are for adult consumption. I  like to think that kids do not need to make resolutions this serious.

Picture from IMDb.com

I think about “Citizen Kane” which was written and directed by lead actor Orson Wells. The story is about a rich man who ran newspapers, married well and left his wife for a singer. He tried to make the singer an opera star but that failed. At the end of his life, he dies alone and a servant begins to burn everything. His final muttering of “rosebud” pushes reporters to examine his life more closely.

This movie was ahead of its time in the mid-forties with camera angles and story-telling devices but it has inspired others throughout the years. All the while Citizen Kane, a thinly veiled portrait of William Hearst, posed the question of how to truly live a good life.

Al Freeman Jr. Wesley Snipes and Alfre Woodard in "Down in the Delta," Picture from IMDB.com

Redemption is not hard to find, you have to look for it. And find it you will in Down in the Delta  with Alfre Woodard. A drunkard who is raising a 13-year-old boy and an autistic 2-year-old daughter with her mother in the projects of Chicago, Woodard plays a woman who can not read or write or find work to support her family.

That is when her mother takes charge, forcing the younger woman to visit an uncle in the South. Woodard must clean up her act, earn money to pay back her ticket and remember what it was like to be a member of the human race. It has been a few years since I saw this movie but I love it for its simplicity and hardness.

The late Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett in "Mr. 3000," picture from IMDb.com.

 Sports movies like to tell the tale of a redeemed hero and one that I had not thought about for years is Mr. 3000 starring the late Bernie Mac. This movie has the former player coming back to baseball because it was discovered that three of his hits were not legal. Suddenly he is not Mr. 3000 and if he is to remain so he must be a player again and get those three hits.

 Is there resentment among his new teammates? Are they aware of his deficiencies as a player in the past and in the present? Can he learn that sometimes a sacrifice fly is nobler at times? Will his knee hold out long enough for him to get to 3000 hits? You and I know the answers to these questions but enjoy the ride as a rich and selfish man learns a hard lesson. Plus, I enjoy watching Bernie Mac work his magic along with Angela Bassett.

 What movies inspire you to be a better person?

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note to P.O. Box 306, St. Anne, IL 60964.