January 01, 2011

New Year, Recap and Goals

It is New Year's Day and I sit here in my home alone, quiet. My boys and their father are off to the UF Penn State game, where they are ever so hopeful that the Gators will pull this one out, where I, being the realist have said to them, "When Penn State is completely kicking their butts at halftime, it's a good time to leave to avoid traffic..."

They agree.

I'm still in my pajamas and muppet slippers, having cleaned the kitchen, started laundry, read my book while eating a quiet lunch, called a couple girlfriends I needed to catch up with, and spent some time reflecting on this past year and what it meant.

In essence, it has been... a very good morning, the perfect start to a new year.

I think what I like about New Year's Day is... the closure. It may just be a date, it may just be 1 January, or day 1, but it gives a perception of being able to start over, clear the slate and begin again. What's old is gone, what's new is coming... move on already.

And I desperately needed that as I will profess with great confidence that never have I had such a horrid wicked year as 2010, other than 2000. The year 2000 sucked sewage laden pond water and 2010 wasn't much better.

I'm looking for 2011 to climb out of the pit and see us onto greener pastures.

I've spent a lot of time mulling over all that went wrong this past year, most of which never made this blog. I do try to harp on the happy, or at least laugh when I can at the more trying times, but if I couldn't find a way to laugh, other than the slow sliding miserable death of my father in law, it didn't make it on here.

I've taken a lot away from 2010, learned more about myself than I thought possible for one year, and am intent to do right by those lessons... if anything to save my own soul and make it through to the end of the race.

That's the goal, is it not?

I think that mostly what 2010 taught me is that life is one huge frickin' roller coaster and it's impossible to steer it, sometimes you just have to hang on for dear life and pray you don't have a heart attack when your little car goes speeding at alarming rates on out of control curves or crazy downhill slopes of which you cannot see the bottom.

Gripping hard, gritting of teeth, and praying seem to go far when faced with obstacles you can't get about.

There was a lot of that this year. Praying being first.

What I'm thankful for this past year?

I'm thankful for our overall health.

That Bones made it into a school where he is thriving.

That Mr. T seems to have had a GREAT year and some light was shed upon what course of action he should take next in high school.

That Ringo seems to be... OK, and even though he has struggles that are not blog fodder, he's going to be a GREAT adult and I really like the man he's becoming.

I'm also thankful it was his wrist he demolished and not his neck.

And I'm thankful I won that huge fight with the head of one of the departments at his school and his grades in her class this year reflect that I was right. (Byotch. It was ugly, I wasn't backing down, and my trump card paid off. I'm not there to win friends... but to get the best education for my son possible.)

I'm thankful I have a job still. (Even if it causes chest pains and there are things that I detest.)

I'm thankful my husband's business finally picked back up. It was scary for awhile. Living out of savings is always disturbing.

I'm thankful we are conservative with our money and we had savings... of which to live. Scary stuff... seriously.

I'm thankful that my younger sister is pregnant with her second child as I'm so in love with her first, I cannot wait to love another.

No use dwelling on all that was wrong... I'll dwell on what to be thankful for an press on to this year's...


1) I'm down a dress size and have one possibly two more to lose. I hope to be there by April. I'm excited at the change and the overall better way I feel.

2) I'm starting to exercise again, having taken the entire year of 2010 off, due to time constraints. Thirty minutes a day, 5x a week, walking and cycling.

3) Moderation in all that I do is key. No running. Just because I CAN run until I vomit... doesn't mean I should...No matter how great it feels later to have run off all potential stress.

4) I'd like to survive teaching my son to drive. You'll see this goal again in five years when it's time to teach Bones. For now... I just don't want to get obliterated on some highway while Ringo is driving. I have two other kids to turn into adults.

5) I want to figure out this year, or at least start to, what I'd like to be when I grow up... 'cause what I'm doing now for a paycheck ain't it. It'll kill me before my time if I keep it up... so if I'm going to do big stress, I'd rather have a big paycheck to go with it. My paycheck is not currently commensurate with the stress level. I need to figure this out.

6) It's time for me to start learning to be fluent in another language. I have picked French since I've taken so much of it in the past. (I can still read it to some degree, I just can't speak it.) If some things I'm working on right now don't pan out, I may start in the Fall at the local college and pick it back up. It's all based on time... whether I have it or not, and I should get started. I could be fluent in a few years... and I think it would be easier to travel abroad with a European language under my belt. My kids are out of the house in 6.5 years. Planning for the future and all that...

I guess that's it. Nothing too lofty. I'm keeping it simple because I suspect I'll be hanging on for dear life again. 'Tis the way with teenagers in the house.

And to round out the year with two final pictures.

This is of me and my favorite nearly two year old niece, taken on Christmas Eve. We had just finished taking the family photos, an absolute riot I might add, and suddenly there were photo ops with her having donned a Santa hat.

Green Mardi Gras beads are now the jewelry of choice at Christmas. It's all about the accessories. She's a trendsetter. (Don't even think of trying to slip any other color Mardi Gras bead necklace in that beaded mess about her neck. It's not tolerated, as my boys found out.)

And lastly, our Christmas picture for this year. I won't begin to go into all the drama that occurred during the preparation for this shot, but suffice it to say, my eldest rose to the occasion as I left in a snit telling them in so many words that I really didn't care what they wore or what they did anymore, just show up so I could snap a picture and get them mailed and btw, Merry Frickin' Christmas.


He grabbed his younger bro by the neck and got him dressed and pretty much orchestrated the picture. I was done.

A man of few words, he accomplishes what he sets out to do, thankfully.

So from the House of Boudicca to Yours, here's to a Happy New Year for all of us, and good riddance to 2010. I figure I have a 10 year reprieve until we have to do a repeat... or so it seems.

Happy New Year!

(To those who have been following me these 6 years... are they getting big or what?!)

Posted by Boudicca at January 1, 2011 01:06 PM

Happy New Year!
Fantastic pics.
Wishing y'all a happy and peaceful New Year.

Posted by: bx19 at January 1, 2011 02:12 PM

Do I HAVE to wear THIS??

Posted by: bx19 at January 1, 2011 02:16 PM

They look like a boy band in this pic.

"Bou's Kids on the Block", maybe?

Posted by: Harvey at January 1, 2011 02:47 PM

adorable niece... do those boys have the same father?!

Happy new year, my friend. Perhaps 2011 will find our paths crossing again in real life. :-)

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at January 1, 2011 02:56 PM

bx19- Oh they were cool with what they were wearing. What *I* picked out, they HATED. These were all new clothes picked out by their fashionista Aunt who works in the fashion industry. I picked out Christmas colors. One of them wanted to wear some grunge rock band black tshirt, another one had a wrinkled white shirt on, and other was declaring he had NOTHING that even remotely resembled Christmas and he was wearing Gator colors. My eldest made them put on their new clothes. Coming from him? It's cool. From me? No frickin' way...

Next year, if they fight, everyone is getting a card with just a black picture. Just a black square and I'll have it say something like, "Merry Frickin' Christmas from the family who can't agree on what to Frickin' Wear."

Harvey- Well, except for the music they listen to and the instruments they play! My house is very music-y. Just nothing boy bandish... for sure. ;) Now if they want to form one and bankroll my retirement, I would listen to proposals...

Writersblock- You're a funny girl! Actually, I sat down and REALLY looked at the picture earlier today trying to pick out similar features. I think when they're all men, they'll look more alike, other than coloring. And Ringo looks MORE and MORE like my paternal grandfather and I've had TWO people tell me Bones looks like me, but I'm not seein' it...

I may catch you in Orlando yet! I'm thinking this is the year you may have to tolerate a visit from me. :)

Posted by: Bou at January 1, 2011 03:43 PM

It's because Bones face is broadening that he looks more like you.

It will be interesting to see the growth patterns the next two years. Mr T looks like he is going to be a tall one.

Posted by: The Thomas at January 1, 2011 04:07 PM

And by more, I mean ... look back at your 31 going on 12 drivers license picture you posted a couple years ago. Same eyes and cheek bones.

Posted by: The Thomas at January 1, 2011 04:11 PM

Happy New Year! I do hope this coming year is much more... quiet for you. Of course with boys that age in the house it may be a forlorn hope. LOL.

That pic of you and your niece is terrific! Congrats on the weight loss you have going now. I hope it continues to the place you would like to be.

And you have just reminded me that I had planned to write a New Year's letter this year since I didn't quite make the Christmas card thing go. *sigh* Oh well!

Here's to looking ahead instead of back! The future holds hope that things will get better.

Posted by: Teresa at January 1, 2011 04:23 PM

Thomas- You're right. I hadn't thought of that. I thought for the longest time he'd have his father's narrow face, but he's getting more of my moonpie face. Ringo's, whose face I thought would be round, narrowed quite a bit.

T looked for the longest time like my Dad, and he still does, but there are features we're trying to place. He and my nephew (my husband's eldest nephew) have these crazy long torsos and necks. We think it must've come from my mil's side of the family, perhaps her Mothers, but there is no one to ask. No pix. And ALL the men in that line died young. I think, however, T is about tapped out. He'll be grow maybe 4-5 more inches, to 5'6".

Teresa, Last year sucked. The noise? It's all good mostly. I can deal. It's happy noise, laughing and carrying on. Just the drama... not so much. That will be gone mostly this year if Bones can stick on track and stay out of trouble and now that the big drama is gone.

I actually feel good. What I'm hoping for is to get off this yo yo of lose/gain, lose/gain. That's not good or healthy. I'm hoping I finally found a way to keep it in a permanent loss column.

Posted by: Bou at January 1, 2011 04:34 PM

I can hear T screaming way up here. The boys must be jumping in their seats. What seats? They probably haven't even been in them.

Posted by: mom at January 1, 2011 04:48 PM

Happy New Year to the Bou family!

Posted by: Jean at January 1, 2011 04:58 PM

Great photos!!! Sadly, mine were so uncooperative I got NO picture this year :( . I think the repo elf needs to pay a visit!

If you figure out what you want to be when you grow up, please tell me how you figured it out. I am still wandering in the woods, trying to think of something practical, profitable, and appealing. I would love to study penguins, but I'm not sure you can make a living at that.

Posted by: PeggyU at January 1, 2011 05:28 PM

Mom- I think they had a great time. Don't you know they never sat. I'll know how much he was yelling by the quality of his voice when he gets home!

Jean- And to you as well!! I'm so excited about your job for the new year!

Peggy- Ya knowwwww... if they give me grief next year, I'll threaten with the repo elf. They make me nuts sometimes.

My sister, Mo, has a friend who used to study bats! But... alas... no money in that either. I guess I'm just at the point where I feel like if I'm going to be so stressed at work where I get chest pains or feel like constant crap from stress, then I need ownership for my project and more cash. On a side note, my big lead engineer up in the great white north, just retired at the ripe old age of... 55... due to stress. He was on the short list for lifelines if he didn't get out. I'm happy for him... not so happy for me.

Posted by: Bou at January 1, 2011 07:13 PM

Happy 2011! Hope all new beginnings sown this year bear fruit!

Those boys are no longer... boys. Only one qualifies and he's growing like a weed, too! What a good looking bunch! :-)

Posted by: pam at January 1, 2011 09:11 PM

Hey, maybe Peggy, you and I should start some sort of consortium related to "What do you want to be when you grow up?"...for adults. There's got to be money in it somehow....there's definitely a market for it/ large customer base. If only we could determine just exactly what "it" is, I'm sure we could make a fortune! (Hmmm....did that sound like a stoner thought or what?!)

Anyway....Happy New Year to you and yours! This year will be better, dammit!!! :-)

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at January 1, 2011 09:37 PM

Ringo and T have really shot up! I can remember when all the boys were about the same height. Flambina really looks adorable.

Best for the new year and I hope that the temp project manager job actually becomes a temp job.

Happy New Year!

Posted by: Denny at January 2, 2011 12:12 AM

Pam- You are right. They have become... young men! When in the world did that happen? Probably about the time I turned into a middle aged woman. Something else I didn't see happening.

DDP- Seriously, there are a bunch of us women out there scratching out heads thinking, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" And I don't need to make a lot of money. My prerequisite is if it's big stress, then it needs to be better money. It's not worth risking my health for the way things are where I work. We should start a company... "Time to put on your big girl panties!" Heh.

Denny- Now that my lead is gone, I'm not sure what's going to happen. It could go either way. My home-based lead thinks I'm going to be busier. Just show me the money...

She is so yummy, isn't she? She's very very smoochy!

And Ringo is shaving and T is trying to grow side burns and Bones is my only little boy left For now.

Posted by: Bou at January 2, 2011 11:21 AM

Happy New Year to the Bou Family.

New years equals a new beginning and from the looks of last year everyone I know is glad that year is over.

Optimistic about this year, something I haven't been in a few years now.

And those boys do look quite a like, the nose, cheek and mouth area, all the same.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at January 2, 2011 11:50 AM

... she IS a little Flambina!.....

Posted by: Eric at January 4, 2011 08:46 PM