2011: A more modest approach to "go big or go home"

by Kate Torok

I was going through some drawers in our hutch about two months ago, reorganizing and cleaning, finding all sorts of things. Candles, old Valentine’s Day cards, pictures, a frame we never used, and the—I found it. It was a crumpled up, torn-off, semi-folded piece of paper, and written on it, were my New Year’s Resolutions for 2010. Suddenly, I remembered the night I wrote it back in 2009. I remember being fired up that I WOULD achieve all of the things on my list.

And looking back, sadly, I achieved none.

At the risk of you losing you now because I’m not going to get into the list itself, let’s just say that I always aim pretty high. I have a “go big or go home” attitude. And to that end, I wrote things down that, in retrospect, I can now say I didn’t have a shot in hell at completing.

So, in the spirit of not dwelling on the past, and only looking forward—here is my New Year’s resolution list for 2011:

1. Read more.

You’d think as a writer, and as someone in the public relations/advertising industry, I’d be reading a ton of books. Sadly, I can’t find the time. My daughter is my world, my husband has some portion of it, friends and family get in there, and then there’s work. I’m just like everyone else: busy! So, I have to make an effort to make the time to escape reality once in a while and read. I could read industry books, but I prefer the Jennifer Weiner-esque books about women who are struggling with love, sex, or their careers. Those fake characters remind me that my life is pretty great.

2. Be a better wife.

How? I know I take my husband for granted a lot. After only four years of marriage, we’ve slipped into the every day “this is life” mode a bit. Routines are infectious and make our world go ’round. But I miss spontaneity sometimes. I’m going to aim to bring that back in 2011—in all sorts of ways.

3. Keep in touch with old friends more.

If my friends read this, they’d laugh, because they constantly tell me that I am the ringleader of the group and that if it weren’t for me, we wouldn’t get together as much as we do. But for me, it’s not enough. I’ve done a pretty good job of weeding people out of my life who offer nothing to me at this point—and who I offer nothing to in return. We could have been friends a long time ago for many reasons, but life evolves and people change. And so do friendships. So, the ones I maintain are sacred to me, and life is too short not to burst at the seams with happiness and laughter among friends and people you love. So, friends, you’ll be hearing from me more.

4. De-Facebook.

I’m one of the 50 million people officially obsessed with Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook since right after my ten-year high school reunion in 2007. The reunion itself was organized via Facebook. And I am at a point now where I check it probably six times a day and update 2-3 times a day. In my defense, I also maintain and manage the page for my employer, which has turned into an almost full-time job for me as social media continues to take over the world. But, I’m going to try to steer clear of Facebook a little bit more on a personal level. After all, doing that might help me achieve resolution 1, 2 and 3, you know?

5. Potty train my daughter.

The process of potty training scares the bejesus out of me. I hate messes, and anticipate many, and that is going to have to be okay. For a while, she was asking about the potty, telling us she wanted to sit on the potty, and so to the potty we went. We bought a cool Dora the Explorer mini-potty seat (with handles) and she loved it. But, she would sit there for a minute or so, and then proclaim, “All done!” And there was nothing. So, we need her to make the connection that going to the potty involves more than just sitting on the potty. And that is tough. She’s in daycare, and they’d like them all to be trained by three years old. So, I have until August. And I need to figure out how to balance the training, and how not to push her into it. Any and all tips welcome.

6. Buy, buy, buy.

Per my previous post, I am hellbent to buy a new house in our new town. So, in 2011, we WILL buy and we will find a house we can grow into. My hatred for real estate is something fierce, so there are no plans to ever…move…again. Well, voluntarily. 🙂

Happy New Year to all, and to all, a good year!

2 replies »

  1. Hello Kate,

    I enjoyed your article. Everything was great and I can see that I need to read more…but that probably won’t happen-too much homework. The chances of me doing Facebook are slim-to-none. You’re right about our need to keep in better contact with friends.

    As I was reading your #5 it took me back to the years of potty training my own children. So, here is my best advice.

    First, get some of those thick cotton terry cloth panties. (I don’t know if they still sell them but they should.) I see that most people nowadays use Pullups-they may be okay, I do not know. The cloth panties will collect any solid in a big clump and you simply drop it in the toilet and flush. Your daughter will not like being wet and will catch on really quick.

    Second, get a small cup of water and take it with you when you take her to the restroom. You sit on the commode, while she sits on the potty. Offer her the water and ask her to stay seated until she goes. If and when you go and she hears it…that is a big deal too. Both of you should rejoice in that.

    Third, and possibly first, start at a time when you both have plenty of time. A 4-day weekend will be better than a two day weekend, etc. You must get her up in the morning and sit with her. In two hours you will take her again-whether you need to go or not! Keep doing this until you figure out her schedule. (Some of this you already know because of the freqency of diaper changing.) But stick with her schedule.

    At night, you do not need to take away the nighttime pamper until she tells you that she is ready. Make sure that she goes potty before going to bed-EVERYTIME!

    Now, she’s getting good and you want to take her shopping. Remind her to use the bathroom before she leaves home-EVERYTIME! That way you won’t be taken by surprise or from your task. Pay attention to the time.

    I am not an expert! I am a mother and part of your support group. It takes a lot of work and time but you’ll do and be okay. Make sure you use your own mother as your best resource. Ask her how she potty trained you.

    When your daughter is 31 years of age and asking for a glass of water, take it to her, sit with her if need be, and ask very sweetly, “Do you need anything else?”

    Love and blessings,