Happy New Year! What are you waiting for?

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Happy New Year to one and all.   I hope my long-time readers will remember the post I had one year ago in which I said my byword for 2014 was going to be “play.”

And more or less, I did.  I don’t mean I skipped along merrily through each and every day like a manic Easter Bunny, scattering flowers and candy while ignoring chores and duties.  But I did try to take advantage of more opportunities to have fun.  I think even Mr. Silver Nail appreciated it; for example, in the fall I kept urging him to go on walks with me in the gorgeous autumn weather, kicking through fallen leaves like kids, before winter descended.  In the summer I urged more picnics and hikes.  Here’s where we went on the 4th of July:

Strawberry Lake

For 2015, I want to STOP WAITING, and I’ll suggest the same for others.  I am just terrible about putting things off, big and small, using the “when-then” excuse.  Maybe you’ve heard some of these excuses.

“When I lose weight then I’ll buy myself some nice clothes.”

“When I have a trip to Italy planned then I’ll learn Italian,” which is negated by “When I learn Italian then I’ll plan a trip to Italy.”

“When the weather is sunnier/cloudier/warmer/cooler/breezier/less breezy then I’ll go for a walk every morning.”

“When all my nails are grown out then I’ll get some pretty polish.”  (Note:  at least one nail is always broken.)

“When I have more energy I’ll go to the free concerts in the park every week.”  (Hint:  going to the concerts would give you more energy.)

“When the kids are older then I’ll go back to college,” which becomes “When the kids are on their own then I’ll go back to college,” which becomes “I can’t go back to college because now I’m too old.”

“When no one will laugh at me then I’m going to learn to play the bagpipes.”  (Good luck with the no laughing part.)

“When I have more time then I’ll take better care of my skin,” which becomes “Now that I’m retired and have time to take better care of myself, what’s the use.”

See what I mean?  Do you do this too?  You wait and wait and wait for things that never come or happen because you have essentially sabotaged yourself.

Let me tell you about a really silly example, but one that’s been bothering me.  When we were first married, almost 34 years ago, my new in-laws gave us a set of good china.  It’s lovely.  I kept it carefully displayed in a corner cabinet but could never quite bring myself to get it out and use it.  No occasion seemed special enough.  Then when the kids came along, heaven forbid we should actually use the dishes and risk any of them getting broken.

So year after year, decade after decade, they have sat in the cabinet.  I’m sure my grown kids will have absolutely no interest in inheriting the set some day because the china means nothing to them.  Because I never used it.  Because I waited.  And waited.  What was I waiting for, a visit from the Queen?  I should have realized that a simple meal with my family was the most special thing of all.  Better the dishes should have been used and broken (which they probably wouldn’t have been anyway) than never used at all.

What’s something you’ve really wanted to do or try that you’ve been waiting on?  Learning a new language?  If you have a tablet there’s a free app called Duolingo that’s awesome.  Have you been wanting to play a musical instrument or sing or take up ballroom dancing?  Stop waiting.  Just do it (apologies to Nike).

And now a random contest.  Tell me, in the comments section, what you’re going to stop waiting on and start doing, or what you want to do.  Proof is not required.  I’ll pick some random names and send some random stuff.  EDIT:  1/5/15 — I have picked two names and will be emailing the winners soon.  Thanks for all the great comments!

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30 responses »

  1. I’m going to learn to really play the piano this year. I took lessons as a kid but with only a paper fold out keyboard I only lasted a year in them for obvious reasons. I have wanted a piano all my life and now it’s time to get one and learn to play. (Hubby is a musician so it isn’t like it would collect dust should I lose interest later.) I tried guitar but it is too hard on the nails and fingertips so I will leave it to the hubster and do something I always wanted to do. I also want to learn to speak fluent Spanish. Real Castillian Spanish not this tex-mex lingo that I use now. And I am going to get this false eyelash application nailed down this year too! I have struggled with that, but if I can do liquid eyeliner, then why can’t I figure out eyelash strips?!!! Okay, that’s my short list. Buying our first house is also on the list, but that is planned for later in the year like Nov/Dec. (we hope.) Last item on my list is to use as many new untried polishes as I can from the stash and stop reusing favorites over and over, mix it up more – And the biggest and probably hardest one is to not buy any more makeup or polish until I have used what I already have on hand. Unless it is a very unique and unusual polish that there is no dupe or cousin to in my stash already.

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  2. I laughed when I read about the china. I’ve been married for 3 years and my wedding china is in the cabinet, still unwashed. I’m not only too nervous to use it, I’m too nervous to wash it (thinking I might chip it or something). Your post inspired me – I’ll get out and use the china this year 🙂

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  3. Kelly Galnares

    Ugh, I can relate to the weight loss/buying clothes thing. I tend to not buy anything really nice because I want to lose weight. And the china, even though I don’t own any, I do the same thing with nail polishes and beauty products. If they are limited edition or discontinued, I won’t use them. I really enjoyed this post. It makes so much sense!

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  4. We have several sets of China and they all get used. What I NEED to do is unpack the Waterford crystal that’s been in a moving box since 1992 and start using it! I was – like you – always afraid it would get broken. Well, last night we used the Waterford flutes by sister-in-law and hubby got us when we married in 2011 FOR THE FIRST TIME. And we’re using them again this morning. Bellinis for breakfast, anyone? Life is too short!

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  5. I can’t tell you how much I related to this post. I started the waiting game back as a child. About age 8 or so, I received a special pair of red shoes that I adored. They were too pretty to wear. I just stared at them in my closet all the time. Well, you can guess what happened — very quickly, I outgrew them. I had only a short window in which to enjoy them and I blew it. You’d think I would’ve learned from that lesson, but nope, I grew up to be a “when-then” type of person, though I have gotten better during the past few years. With age comes wisdom (and the realization that years are limited, lol). Time is a-ticking. So, this year I plan to become a redhead if only for a short while. My brown (and somewhat greying) hair has always leaned a little red anyway, I have fair skin and blue eyes, so I’ve always thought I’d make a good redhead. What am I waiting for? I think I will do it soon! Thanks for the inspiration and the kick in the pants! 🙂

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    • Love your comment, and I love red hair! Sounds like it will be gorgeous with your complexion. I always hoped one of our kids would have red hair, which runs in my husband’s family, but nope.

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  6. Michelle Talavera

    This may sound very cliché but I am joining a gym in the next few days and I’m going to get this weight off! I have done it a few times doing Weight Watchers alone, still doing WW but adding the activity should help. I love your stop waiting suggestion!

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  7. Honestly, I’ve been waiting to have a kid. And really, I shouldn’t wait anymore. I’m never going to get to that mentality that I am 100 percent ready, but I just need to think of it as a coldish swimming pool and just go for it. The shock of the cold water will wear off and I will get used to it. I need to stop being afraid and just go for it. So that is my New Year’s Resolution, to get pregnant at some point in 2015!

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    • I agree so much that one is never 100% ready for kids; the time is rarely ever perfect. If we all waited to have kids when we were the right age, in the right house, earning the right income, had the right level of maturity, etc., the human race would’ve died out loooong ago, lol. When you do have them, you just naturally fit them into your life and it all works out somehow — the highs and the lows and everything in between. Best of luck to you in getting pregnant, Traci! (And please, don’t anyone take my post as saying everyone must have kids to enjoy a fulfilled life — not at all true! Just that if you do want them, go for it!) 🙂

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  8. I can so relate to this post! My problem is that the stars have to align and everything has to be perfect before I can complete something – it seems that one thing leads to fifty other things instead of me enjoying what I have. For example: For Christmas, my husband bought me a beautiful Restoration Hardware cabinet for my bathroom that I plan to use for linen storage. Instead of just enjoying it – I have in mind about 10 projects that I want to do before I use it (clean out bathroom cabinets, buy the “perfect” rug, new color scheme, etc.). Unfortunately, I do this with every project!

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  9. Wow, I’m in awe of all the things you’re all listing, big to small.

    I’m pretty bad about starting craft projects and not finishing them — cross stitch, quilts, needlepoint. Once I read that if we don’t finish projects like that it’s because we’re afraid of being judged (and found lacking) on the final product. Could be, could be….

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  10. Alright alright already, I promise to go back to Duolingoing Spanish every day. Are you happy now?! And I’ll start eating properly instead of continuously suffering the consequences of not doing so.

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  11. Well, I can relate to this post. I”m presently re-cuperating from surgery, but I’ve had in my head things I’ve wanted to do, but have put off for a long time. When, I moved to WA, I left all my CA friends behind, so have wanted to do something to expand my social life. My ideas are finding a church, and also getting involved in a MS support group. The lack of transportation is definitely a problem, since I no longer drive. I also want to help in some way. Maybe getting involved in some sort of organization where I’m working physically getting beyond myself and my problems, and maybe make a difference in somebodies life, if that makes sense. My “excuse” is after I feel better. I’ve had so many health issues, especially lately. But, I need to find a way to maybe start small, and not to be hard on myself for not doing more. Yes, I do have some heart tests, and possibly another surgery, so I need to be realistic of course, and follow drs orders. And, also, my devotional time has been terrible. If I have a relationship with God, then I should be spending more time with him. So, for now I’m resting, and hope the future and the new year brings some changes in my life. Happy New to you, Susan. And, thanks for the post. I loved reading all the other responses. Good topic.

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    • I’m so sorry you’ve had health issues and I hope your recovery goes well. It is hard to get out and about in a new place, and starting small is a good idea. Sometimes organizations that need volunteers have plenty of people who want to do the visible, active jobs, but no one wants to do the behind-the-scenes tasks, like stuffing envelopes or filing. I do some of that once a week for the camp where I volunteer once a year in the summer as a “Camp Grandparent.” Office work isn’t glamorous but it needs doing so badly. Get well soon; I’ve missed your comments!

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      • Thanks,Susan. Behind the scenes is good for me. I actually prefer that. Just a way to get out and help in some way according to my abilities. I have no special skills, so give me an ordinary ‘:boring” job, and I’m happy. We’ll see what comes, and what God has planned for me. He knows best, so I need to rely more on his guidance, and less on my agenda. Easier said than done. Thanks for your get well wishes,

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    • I hope you recuperate quickly, Suzy. What part of CA did you come from? I’ve lived in southern California (my husband’s birthplace) for the past 20 years after living in the midwest for the first half of my life. I love it here, especially this time of year, though I do miss my side of the family and wish I could get back to see them more often.

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      • Mary, I just saw this. I don’t get notifications of comments in my email. Just thought I would check in to see if there were any new comments. Love to read what others want for themselves for 2014. I’m hoping to have the courage to fulfill at least some of my goals. Mary, I’m from Southern Ca. I grew up there, and moved to WA in 2004 with my husband. Since 2007, I’m a widow, and thought of moving back to CA. I have 2 of my kids, along with grandkids there. But, it’s just too expensive to move back for me. I live off Social Security Disability, so it’s just not financially possible. But, I do love CA. So many wonderful memories growing up. I too wish I could see all my kids and grandkids more often. My youngest is here in WA, 2 in CA, and one in Oregon, with 8 grandkids scattered throughout. I guess it wasn’t meant to me. Thanks for your kind words regarding my recuperation.. I wish you a fantastic 2015.

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        • Hi Suzy. I completely understand. The cost-of-living is really high here in California, one of its few drawbacks (along with horrible traffic, very little rain and the threat of earthquakes & wildfires — but you, being a native, know all about that! lol). I’m glad at least one of your kids lives nearby. Sorry about your husband. 😦 That must’ve been really tough, especially coming relatively soon after your big move north. I wish you a happy and as-healthy-as-possible 2015, too!

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          • Thank You, Mary for your kind words..Yes it was tough, and losing my big sister in 2013 didn’t help. Alot of my childhood memories that I can share, and early years being with my husband seem gone as well. I was with my husband since I was 17 dated 3 yrs, married 34 years. It’s still hard after 7 yrs learning to live without him. But, life goes on, and hoping to make the best of 2015 as much as possible. Oh yes, I’ve been through some earthquakes, but it seems the wildfires are getting worse. And, the drought. I wish I could give you some of my WA rain, and in turn you could send some sunshine my way. HaHa Wishing you a happy, healthy 2015 as well.

  12. Oh wow, there’s a lot I can relate to in this post. I’ve been quietly contemplating crafting with the hoardes of polish I’ve accumulated over the past couple of years. I struggle with the “it’s so pretty, but I can’t use it because what if it’s discontinued” mentality, but harsh reality is it’s not doing any favors to anyone sitting unloved in my Helmer. My long term goal is to make pretty things with them.

    Duolingo is great! I started using it this past year then fell off the bandwagon. I want to jump back on and see what I can learn!

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  13. We’ve been in this house 11 years now, married 7. The house is full of stuff, and I too have never used the wedding china. I am not really burning to use it, but that’s because I’m a hoarder. Gotta get thru this clutter!! I’ve done some lighter cleaning/sorting, but lots more to go. Wish I’d never let it go so long, but doesn’t feel like 11 years! :O

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  14. Such great comments on this post!

    I’m a big believer in inertia — I stayed in New England after college because I got a job, and it was just easier to continue where I was instead of uprooting myself. But after almost 20 years, I’m going to uproot and move back to PA to be closer to my family. It’s a big move — I have to sell my condo, get certified to teach in PA, find a job and a house — but I’m not going to let my unease with change deter me this time. 🙂

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  15. I have really enjoyed reading all of the posts.

    For me, I need to be in the STOP WAITING!!! place in my life. I know life is short, but somehow, I let myself forget, and just kinda been going through the motions. So my focus is going to be my home. My homelife is fantastic, but my home.. needs to be decluttered. And I need to be a big girl and do it.

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  16. And also, totally rock my nail polish collection!! Get all of those untried (sadly most of my very large stash) and wear them and love them!

    Reply

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