I have been a lackluster blogger, partially due to some life events that have taken a lot of wading through and partially because I did an update on this blog, and the new and improved version of WordPress was slightly intimidating with the sheer number of changes.  Nevertheless, today is the day.  I will conquer my apprehension about the changes and learn how to update this blog.

If you’re reading this, I’ve succeeded.

If not, send help and cookies.

Welcome to 2019, by the way.

I thought instead of updating about my intentions for this new year, I would write about some things that worked REALLY well for me last year.  (And hardy har side note, these will not be affiliate links because I blog so infrequently, that I lost my affiliate privileges with Amazon.  Oh well.)

  1. ,Wicker Baskets. I’ve always had a love affair with wicker. But in 2018, I managed to snag about eight or nine wicker baskets at a local thrift store. I used them to store all of the kids’ toys that are not very visually appealing (i.e. plastic stuff.) I also used a couple to sort out different math manipulatives. It kept everything looking more contained, and I’ll be sad to leave my wicker baskets here. Check your thrift stores, and you too could find happiness in a wicker basket.
  2. Instant Loss.   In 2017, in a facebook group that I am in, a woman posted about how her Instant Pot had helped her lose 40 some pounds in only a few months. She quickly became a blogger and has now written a cookbook. We’ve loved all of her recipes, and I did lose 20 pounds using her recipes last year (although I gained 12 of them back due to high cortisol levels in the last three months. Woops. Something to work on.) We do tweak some of the seasonings on the recipes to fit our tastes, mostly because I just can’t ever leave a recipe alone.
  3. Capsule Wardrobe. This is a change I installed later in the year. I finally bit the bullet and began to make a change toward a capsule wardrobe for myself with a defined color palette. It has been refreshing to have so many options. I have taken great inspiration from the Frump Fighters facebook group, as I’ve never been one to figure out what goes together well. God bless ladies who put together plans and specific details to help people like me. In the coming year, I’m working on refining my clothing options to include more handcrafted and ethically produced clothing.
  4. Gratitude journal. This has been something that I’ve done for many years now, but this last year it really helped me change my perspective on some really dark days. When you cognitively have to decide to be grateful about something and write it down, it reminds you of all of the goodness and blessings that are all around you, even when they’re less visible.
  5. Instagram. Yep. Social media. So sue me. I’ve really loved Instagram this year because it’s a visible reminder of things I’m grateful for or lessons I’m learning. Sometimes it’s just a humorous anecdote or moment I really loved from the kids’ homeschool days. I don’t often post complaints or about things or ideas that I disagree with, because I’ve consciously made a choice to cultivate beauty and joy. Barking my opinion into the void doesn’t make the world a better place. If you’re on Instagram, you can find me at www.instagram.com/thosekindsofpeople (or click on the instagram widget on this blog.)
  6. Overdrive (for locals). The library that is in our town has an app that you can use to check out eBooks and audiobooks. This has been my late-night fiction binge central. It’s also allowed me to learn a lot about nutrition and holistic health this year, although admittedly our health habits took a turn for the worse in the fall of the year.
  7. Audible. Amen. Our kids love hearing Cherry Jones reading The Little House On the Priaire Series, and now we’re working through Tolkien’s works. It’s been so much fun to have quality audiobooks available for us. For the amount that our family uses audiobooks, it was definitely worth the membership.

You really wanted me to have ten, didn’t you? There are some other things that worked really well for our family this year (and conversely some things that actively sucked life and joy from our family.) However, I’m feeling on top of the world just having written This Much Down. Watch out world, I’m coming back to the blogosphere. (Do people even use the word “blogosphere” anymore?) In the next few weeks, I hope to write a little bit more about where we find ourselves, because I’m realizing that I do, in fact, need some sort of an outlet.

So here’s to 2019, outlets, good health, finding more wicker baskets in France, and following through with good intentions. And here’s to pressing publish and hoping that all of my efforts today have not been in vain.

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