A new me, a new us, and a better family unit --- this is going to be tough. Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive, I didn't expect it to be easy. But after the last few days, I feel like I have committed to climbing Mount Everest before I have mastered ascending the neigbourhood toboggan hill.
Here are a few of my aha moments!
First, the financial diet...
I spent a few hours on New Year's Day reviewing our finances and what an awaking that was. I uploaded our bank accounts to Mint.com and used the Trends feature to see where we spent our money for the last 3 months. After you remove Christmas spending,we still spent in the thousands on nothing (coffee, restaurants, wine) and the stuff we wanted but didn't need (books, iTunes, toys, electronics). Wow! As my husband said,"There are people who wouldn't spend a thousand all year on such unnecessary items." The good thing of course, is that it identified an easy first place for us to start reining in our finances. As a result, my husband and I committed to no coffee purchased at Starbucks or Tim Hortons, no more alcohol, and the tough one, no more restaurants out. We have also agreed to not purchase any more books, music, etc. --- anything desired but unnecessary --- until we have zero credit card debt.
Second, the undisciplined reality...
I spent all of yesterday, and I mean ALL of yesterday, organizing one years worth of digital photos. (I still have many years to go.) It was an in-your-face screaming reminder of how undisciplined my husband and I really are. The files were an absolute mess. Backups of backups, all with different files names, some with just the default names. I had no idea what the files were of. I spent the entire day (I started before anyone else was up) in my pajamas sorting, renaming, and storing photos. It was a nightmare!
I have started this many times. I was a scrapbooker before we went digital (about 7 years ago) and I really wanted to spend some focused time this year on scrapbooking and documenting the many photos we have and the stories behind them. Our son is always asking me to tell him stories about when he was a baby, which I do. But I know he would absolutely LOVE to see all the pictures that go with each and every one of those stories. And sadly, I don't have any albums. And some of that goes to my lack of order around these photos. But in 2011, I didn't just throw my hands in the air. I persevered and did what needed to be done. I went to bed feeling pretty proud of myself.
While I am very pleased with my progress in organizing this one small year of photos. It was a very big realization that we have undertaken a lot this year. There are many baby steps required.