2017 Resolutions – With a Little Help from my Friends

Hello 2017!

WordPress just told me that it’s been 20 days since my last post. GAHH! Where has the time gone?! Soon I’ll be telling you about it on my Fly on the Wall post next week.

I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and goals. Each year is an opportunity to take stock of that last year and articulate ways to improve, to be a better parent, wife, employee, and person in general.

While I talked about Less Hurry, Less Worry last January (and yes, I still need to follow my own advice), I have another part of my resolutions for this year: with a little help from my friends. 

I heard this Beatles song just earlier this week, as my son watched an episode of Beat Bugs on Netflix. If you haven’t checked it out, you should – it’s cute, and we could all use tolerable kid’s shows, right?!

Anyway, these adorable Beat Bugs sang With a Little Help from my Friends on this particular episode, and it struck me how fitting this song was for the day.  I had enjoyed a much needed phone call with a best friend who lives several states away. It was so wonderful to connect with her and share what was going on in our lives. We have known each other since elementary school, so some things can just be left unsaid when we talk, as we have such a beautiful history together. We totally understand what we’re going through as the “default, do-it-all parents” of younger children.

It dawned on me that I need calls like this more often! I need help from my friends to stick to my goals and resolutions in 2017 and beyond! While I often like to be independent and just “deal with it” on my own, that strategy doesn’t make me feel better. It’s okay to reach out and bend a friend’s ear for awhile. Social media can’t be a substitute for a real, live phone call or face to face meeting.

With support from my friends in more phone calls & get togethers, I hope to work on these resolutions:

  • Be less judgmental
  • Complain less
  • Be more patient, especially in the mornings (a carry over from Less Hurry, Less Worry)
  • Floss more (I say this every year!)
  • Eat less meat

I hope to have more updates on how I am doing on these to keep myself accountable both on my blog AND with my friends.

What are you working on for 2017? Are friends a key part of making your resolutions happen?

Happy New Year from Japan

Happy 2014 everyone!  I hope you enjoyed the many holiday festivities with family and friends. Frigid Wisconsin wind-chills are keeping us home bound today, so I hope to relax, blog, and take a nap while my kids test out their many Christmas gifts. We’ll see how that goes…

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a package from my dear Japanese friends yesterday.  I wrote briefly about them in my Memories of Japan post.  Since first meeting the mom eleven years ago, I have received a New Year’s card and package of goodies so I keep my taste for Japanese cuisine EVERY YEAR.  It is so sweet of them to remember me and my family (and reminds me that I need to do a better job sending my own holiday card and U.S. treats in return).  I certainly hope our families paths will cross again with a trip to Tokyo someday, or I could host her family members on any U.S. travel.

Here’s part of the card, including pictures of her daughters, who were six and nine years old when I first met them.  Aren’t they beautiful young women now?!

New Year's Card from my Japanese friends

New Year’s Card from my Japanese friends

This was the first Christmas where I truly felt my age, as younger cousins and relatives really seemed to be so much bigger and look so much older!  I am somehow THAT person who says to the younger generation, “Wow, you are getting so big!” This statement also applies to my Japanese friend’s girls.  Where does the time go?!

Here are some of the goodies that we received – mostly savory, salty crackers with some bean paste candies tossed in (and not pictured as my kids DEVOURED them).

Japanese treats and Green tea I received

“Candy” to remind me of true Japanese cuisine.

With fond memories and a gratefulness for their friendship after all these years, we’ll enjoy these treats as a family. Happy New Year!

What American goodies should I send to my Japanese friends?  I’d love to hear your suggestions!

I also included a few related articles, so you could learn more about New Year’s traditions in Japan.  When I asked my friend about Christmas, she said that it is considered more of a holiday for couples, who commonly dine on Kentucky Friend Chicken!!  Certain elements have been adopted in Japan, as noted in the second article.