Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Healthy, wealthy, and wise

Happy New Year all! I hope you had an excellent Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus and that 2012 brings great things.

I try not to do resolutions per se (not a fan of the word), BUT I do have a few goals for the new year. Well, it's really just one time worn phrase but I think it fits well with the way I envision 2012 - to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.

for the love of tomatoesHealthy

Emotionally, mentally, and physically. This means better foods (unprocessed as much as possible) and continuing with the two activities I really enjoy - swimming and Ukrainian dancing. I'm planning on growing a vegetable garden for the first time ever and can't wait to see what it will yield. I need to take care of me so that I can take care of my family.

This means being content with my lot in life (more on that in the "Wise" portion) and showering the important people in my life with happiness and love.


A. and I do have savings and retirement plans in place but we could be doing better. One of our priorities is to travel and we plan to save more to make that happen. We also need to stick to a budget and spend waaay less on food. Going to the grocery store every day for meal specific ingredients is not a way to save money. With any luck, our vegetable garden will be a big help on this front in the summer. 


While I may not be going back to school any time soon, I intend to read about and research topics that interest me. I took an International Relations course when I lived in Vancouver and really liked it. Have I done any reading on the subject since then? Not really.

KnowledgeI need to realize my limitations and focus on what I excel at. There are so many incredible and inspiring people doing amazing things that it's difficult not to compare my achievements with theirs. The thing is, those are THEIR achievements and I'm sure there are things I've accomplished that many people haven't (eg. working in Afghanistan!). Am I a good cook? I like to think so. DIY? Maybe not so much. I will continue to try new things (lord knows I have enough projects on Pinterest) but I'm going to try really hard not to beat myself up if I don't get something perfect.

A. and I both have cases of "the grass is greener" and I plan on concentrating on and being happy with what we have RIGHT NOW. We miss Vancouver, want to live in Ontario, our house is too big, our yard is a mud pit. Maybe I can be happy with living in Calgary (close the the majority of both of our families) and the fact that we have a beautiful new home. It may not be magazine worthy but it is ours and it works for our family.

There was a great post on Apartment Therapy about Pinterest fatigue and loving the space you are in and I completely agree. It helps that we are finally starting to personalize the space (after a year!) by hanging art and it was great to get back to our own home after our Christmas holiday. It was a nice feeling, walking in the door and realizing how much I love our home. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Do you have any goals for 2012?


  1. I'm with you on the "not comparing myself to others" thing. It's so hard when I know so many amazing people doing awesome things. I have to keep reminding myself that nobody does everything, and I should focus on the things I love and am proud of doing.

  2. I've come to realize after living a lifetime that the "grass is never greener" on the other side...in fact what you already have is the absolute best...it just needs to be nutured and appreciated...and I don't second guess myself anymore...or wonder what if? it just drives me crazy in the end...so I've learned to be content...I have everyone and everything I need to be completely happy...yup it took me a long time to realize this...I'm happy...

  3. Fantastic goals! I also have a hard time not comparing myself to others too. When I just think about myself, I'm fine! When I compare myself to others, I get down.

    As for missing Vancouver, if you went back for a visit, you'd be shocked at how pricey it was. I miss it sometimes too, but GOD DAMN it is expensive. Visiting it in November really made me think about that.

    In terms of growing veggies, I would highly recommend checking out Grow Great Grub and You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail. She has LOTS of great ideas. Grow Great Grub is vegetable specific. Her website- http://www.yougrowgirl.com is pretty good too.

  4. Great goals to start the year with! We all need a little help with these things. Hope that you and your family have a healthy and happy 2012.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement ladies! I wish nothing but great things for all of you this year. :)

  6. All get and inspiring words to think on. You should check out p2pu.org. It's life long learning website taught by and for everyone. I'm hoping to get more involved with them this year. Really inspiring group

  7. Oh, and another comment. Athabasca University has some interesting courses. I've taken a lot of online classes (although in person classes are fun too because you can make new friends. Online just happens to fit better with my schedule) I'm doing food security through Ryerson now, but I've also taken classes from BCIT and Athabasca. Athabasca has deals for Albertans, and they have some interesting options. I may eventually take some English classes from them, just because. I was never an English major and sometimes I feel that I missed out.

  8. Great goals, Court. I can relate to many of these.

    As for the money one, the biggest thing I have done to control money we spend on food is to meal plan and shop once a week. I have a love/hate relationship with this system but I think its benefits are three-fold: save money by shopping smart and maximizing leftovers and minimizing food waste; save time by shopping less; and eat better by planning balanced meals.

    As for the house - I hear you, we've been in our house for 2.5 years and the walls are still woefully bare. Maybe this will be the year I actually decorate!

    Lastly, too true - remember that you have many unique talents. You are probably the best home cook I know - your veggie chili, your butter chicken, and your carnitas have all earned a place in my recipe book :) Come to think of it, I'd love to see you share more recipes on the blog!

    Take care and happy 2012!

  9. One last thing - I find sometimes when I'm feeling down about the state of my house, closet, lot in life... it's helpful to keep two things in mind: perspective and gratitude.

    I hate the ugly vinyl tile flooring, scratched up hardwood and hideous bathroom fixtures in my house, but the fact that I own a house with power, clean water, heat, comfortable furniture, bookcases lined with books I love, etc... that's all so much more than most people in the world have. Yes, I have worked hard for it (and will continue to - gotta get rid of that ugly tile at some point!) but so much of what I have is mere luck - I was lucky enough to be born in a developed country, have caring parents who valued education, could feed our family good food and take us to the doctor when we were sick. The cards have never been stacked against me.

    Anyway, I know that seems a bit grand and oversimplified, but I do find myself trying to remember those things when "first world problems" bum me out. I'll get off of my soapbox now - no preachiness intended!

  10. Emma, thanks for the meal planning tip. That is my goal for the year. I used to be great at meal planning and grocery shopping but something changed when we moved back to Calgary and now it's a habit I need to relearn.

    Alexis, I've looked into Athabasca (my SAIT diploma will fully transfer) but I'll probably hold off on taking actual courses until A. is done his Masters.