Hello, 2011!

I haven’t wrote my goals for 2011 yet because I wanted to think hard about what I truly wanted to accomplish in 2011. I hate using the world “resolution.” I don’t know why, but it just bothers me. Because no one really seems to take “resolutions” seriously. You see tons of people at the gym on Jan. 1 with a the resolution of “losing weight” and half of them (or more) are gone by February 1. So, I asked myself a few questions and developed my goals for the year. Therefore, this is what my vision of 2011 looks like:

What is my natural hair color? I will find out in 2011.
I started highlighting my hair when I was a kid. It all started with lemon juice in the hair, to help bring out the natural highlights. Before long, I was addicted to dying my hair color. Brown, dark black, blond, red, etc. I haven’t colored my hair since our wedding. At times, I think about throwing in the towel and going dark again. I always liked my hair REALLY dark. But really, how long can you dye your hair before it all falls out? My hair is thin enough the way it is; so let’s find out what my real hair color is in 2011.

Why do I make the most awful purchases in the entire world? I will be a better, smarter shopper in 2011.
My husband and family are probably laughing hysterically when they read this one. I seriously am the queen of making horrible purchases. If it’s on sale, I have probably bought it. One time (at band camp- kidding, but I always get made fun of when I start stories off like that…anyway) I bought a book for my nephew for his bday because it was on sale. When I got home, I saw the corner of the book was bitten off. Probably by some teething child in the cart at Wal-Mart. Cool.

Another time I got my nephew a t-shirt because it was on sale for a dollar. Sure enough, when I got home I realized it had a huge streak down the middle of it. Fail.

There also was an e-Bay phase in my life that was completely traumatic, it was actually just a year or two ago. I was on a mission to get anything Northface without paying retail price. I ordered two jackets (both were too small), so I had to return them. One seller actually messaged me back and said, “I got the package today, but there is some of your DNA on the coat.” Um, excuse me, do you work for CSI: New York? Because if not, you are creeping me out.

Finally, the worst purchase of 2010 happened the day after Christmas. I got the diet pill- Alli. Yes, I read the warning labels, but I should really say I skimmed through warning signs. I was more concerned that the pill was FDA approved. So, I went for it and spent $40 on the diet pills. Why? I have no idea, I was on a mission to loss weight (which hey- diet and exercise really DOES work, in case you are wondering). The warning signs aren’t warning signs, rather they are “What you should truly expect to happen to you, for real, no messing around. This is not a warning; this is reality.” And what happens when you take Alli? You shit your brains out. And it’s oily (like they warn), but seriously it was like the 2010 oil spill all over again for me. Yes, that is too much info, but you are probably laughing- so deal with it. And finally, when I looked it up online, people were complaining of anal leakage and having to wear diapers because they couldn’t make it to the bathroom on time. That did almost happen to me once when I was at work. I was on a mission to get the bathroom and someone asked about my Christmas. I wanted to cry and just yelled “GREAT!” and kept walking. Sorry, if I was rude. Hope you understand now.

What can I do with the extra money I save by not making horrible purchases?  I will pay it forward in 2011.
I believe in Karma. If you do good things, good things will come to you. And if you are jerk, people will always treat you like a jerk. I think the theory is rather easy to understand. I’ve found myself living by this theory. I will always give food to a homeless person on the side of the street. Or a few dollars for a meal. It might not seem like a lot, but it gives that person another way to get through the day. I’ll always help out a family or friend in need. I will donate to charities as often as possible. I will continue to donate blood. I will donate old clothes and items I am not using to Goodwill and other foundations. I will volunteer my time to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s truly the simple things in life, which often don’t cost us a lot of money, that make the biggest differences in other peoples’ lives.

How can I be a healthier person? I will run, bike and walk  2,011 miles in 2011.
I’ve already wrote about this goal, so it’s probably nothing new to read about. But I am still very excited. I know the goal is very big; however, it makes working out a priority. For the longest time, I only worked out when I felt like it- or had extra time. Well, in today’s world, who has extra time every single day? Not a lot of people.You MAKE time. You MAKE working out a priority rather than an option. The goal is really keeping me on my toes. In one week, I’ve ran 32.5 miles and lost 8 lbs. I almost cried. Seriously. I stepped on the scale again to make sure I wasn’t still dreaming. For a second, I felt like I was on the biggest loser. I closed my eyes and saw Jillian giving me an air high five and the pretty blond lady told me I was safe from elimination. And you want to know? I am safe. Because I am only competing against myself. I am the only person who can eliminate me! I am only comparing my personal bests to myself; it doesn’t matter if the person next to me at the gym can run 7 miles on a 6.0 speed. I can’t. So why worry about what they can do? I am doing the best I can and one day, I will be like that. One day, but not tomorrow.

How can I feel peace in my life? I will continue to write and pray in 2011.
By doing what I love (writing), it gives me such joy and comfort in life. I truly can’t explain to how much it means to me that people actually read my blog. Some people I haven’t talked to in years will send me a message on Facebook and tell me that they read my blog all the time. Or that my stories have inspired them to do something or think differently. I’ve made new friends by writing this blog and connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter. Your friendship and readership gives me so much happiness in life. I have bad days too and sometimes just to hear your stories and read your comments truly perks me right up. Other than writing for happiness, I will continue to pray for peace and balance in my life. For strength and courage. To be a better person. To be reminded of how blessed my life truly is; and I’ll always be sure to say thank you for all the beautiful people in my life and the health I’ve been blessed with so far.

Before I used to say “new year, new me” – but that isn’t true. You don’t change exactly WHO you are in one day. One calendar year. It’s a process. A journey of self-discovery. So rather, I’ll end by saying “New year, better me!” Cheers!

Much love,
Ashley

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