It’s the new year and I, along with half of the world, am thinking about the things I want to do this year. Resolutions or whatever word you want to attach to it. I prefer to call them my “year-long to-dos.”

The first thing I want to do is get (and stay) organized. Like, truly organized. I know where most everything is, but in that “it’s behind that pile of books, under the blanket” kind of way. The best way for me to get organized is to do the second (and hardest) thing on my list: purge.

I actually started this process last week. I cleared almost everything out of our office, which had become our de facto storage area. Mike jokes that I am a borderline hoarder, and it’s kind of true. I have such a hard time getting rid of stuff. ESPECIALLY the thing taking up the most room in our office – outgrown clothes. Why is it so hard for me to part with the clothes my children have outgrown? But I’m doing it. All the clothes have been sorted and will soon find new homes. SOB.

I need to get better about making a schedule for myself. My kids are on a pretty good schedule, but I am not good at scheduling my own things. Mostly work time. In the past, I’ve felt guilty about getting work done while my kids are awake. But, if I only work when they’re asleep, I’m awake until the very wee hours of the morning…and since James is waking up so much lately, I’m getting unhealthy amounts of sleep. I’ve decided I’m going to work during one of James’ naps. Annie is getting so much better at independent play, so I think this is going to be doable (famous last words).

This also leads into my must-do: take better care of myself. I started on the healthier path last fall: exercising, eating well, and making good choices. Getting enough sleep (or at least, more sleep) is a huge part of that. I am going to get allergy tested, have a physical, the whole shebang. I also have to start the process of getting my teeth fixed…my teeth were no great shakes to begin with, but throwing up twenty times a day for nine months absolutely destroyed them. It’s awful. And it will take a ton of visits and money (boo) to get them fixed, but as of next week I will finally be finished paying my medical bills from the last two years. I can’t put off the teeth any longer, even though dental work terrifies me.

Most of all, I want to work on being a nicer person. I want to have a slower temper, and I want to do unexpected things for people. The tiniest thing can change a person’s entire day…buying a stranger’s coffee or sending a friend a real card in the snail mail, even sending a text or email saying, “Hi, I thought about you and it made me smile.” The power we have over others can be pretty amazing, and I want to teach my kids to do something good with their influence. If that’s the only thing I check off of my 2014 To Do List, I’ll consider the year a success.

kissing these two