Resolutions, Bucket Lists, Hopes And Dreams

I’m already two weeks behind in my resolution to make some New Year’s resolutions.

This is exactly why I shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions.

running out of time for resolutionsIt seems that I’m not alone. Yes, we all have goals and dream to be the best version of ourselves. But one grand statement of action, commencing on January 1st and likely cast aside by January 18th may not be the best way to inspire ourselves.

The brilliant and hilarious Lin Brehmer from WXRT radio in Chicago summed it up best in a “Lin’s Bin” piece about New Year’s resolutions.

Lin’s advice?

One should always wait at least a week before implementing new year’s resolutions because by that time, the impulse will have passed and we can all continue with our lives unencumbered by the sort of promises so ridiculous that we can only make them to ourselves.

Check out Lin’s entire essay here.

So what to do, then?

Yesterday in yoga class (by the way, returning to yoga class would have been one of my resolutions for the year – Yay for me!), a gal mentioned that rather than one big resolution for the year, she breaks it down into monthly plans.

Keep it simple, she advised, but keep it up so that the resolution becomes a habit and one builds upon the next. Theoretically, by the end of the year, she will be practicing 12 new behaviors which she feels will mark improvements in her life.

Not a bad idea.

In the blog world we hear a lot about picking a word which will act as inspiration for the year.

One of the best I’ve read so far comes from my friend Dana at Kiss My List.

Dana’s word of the year:

Embrace

As in, embrace yourself – flaws and all, embrace your friends and family with warm hugs and, yes, even embrace the challenges that might come your way this year.

As I told Dana, any word that means both “a hug” and “to accept” is pretty powerful.

Here’s to a 2016 with more hugs and more acceptance!

Then there is the whole concept of a bucket list. A compilation of all the outlandish things that you’d love to do but the successful completion of which is unlikely or nearly impossible.

Another blog pal, Eli from Coach Daddy, introduced me to the concept of a reverse bucket list. (Giving credit where credit is due, Eli learned about the reverse bucket list from Tessa of Nothing Was Said.)

A reverse bucket list is made up of all the things you have already done that are pretty darn amazing. Sort of an itemized list of your accomplishments to remind you how great/lucky/blessed your life has been thus far.

I’m definitely going to create a reverse bucket list and will refer to it whenever I need a little boost.

My very favorite notion in the personal goal setting genre, however, is one I learned about from my daughter, Annie. Again, giving appropriate snaps to the original source, Annie got this idea from her dear friend Heather.

Heather created a list: 30 by 30. Thirty things she wanted to accomplish before turning 30. She crossed off the last item as she spent her 30th birthday on Machu Picchu. Pretty impressive, eh?

Annie wanted to give herself a little more time, what with having a full-time job and a one year old, so she made her list 35 by 35. Many are things she wants to do as a family with her husband and son. None involve a trip to South America.

I like this idea of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), recording a list of all those things I’ve said, “someday I/we should do this”.

Nothing crazy. I’m going to treat my list not as a high-bar challenge but rather as a reminder of experiences I’d like to add to the story of my life.

My next big birthday is coming too soon to have that as my target date. Accomplishing 60 tasks in 21 months seems a bit ambitious and might cause me to temper my dreams.

So I’m going to make mine 65 by 65.

I’ve decided to break my list into categories. I will set my sights on things to do, things to see, things to learn, things to try, things to taste, places to go and people to meet.

I will let you know when I’ve come up with the entire list and keep you posted on my progress.

Of course, this entire conversation will be moot if I win the billion dollar powerball jackpot. Just sayin’…

How about you? Did you make resolutions? Choose of word for the year? Any suggestions for my 65 by 65 list?

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My 2015 To Do List

Albert Einstein defined insanity as the act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

By that definition, the idea of me making ANOTHER set of New Year’s resolutions is totally insane.

So I won’t.

But, a to do list is a completely different thing.

I love making to do lists. It’s so satisfying when you can check off a completed task. And I feel absolutely no pressure to finish everything on the list. If I did that, what would I have to carry over to my new list?!

So without further ado, and because the clock is ticking down on New Year’s Day, here’s what I came up with. My 2015 to do list.

15 in 2015

In 2015 I Will…
  1. Shower my grandsons with as many hugs and kisses as they will allow.
  2. Try new wines.
  3. Improve my knife skills. (For cooking not for surgery or being a ninja.)
  4. Learn HTML code. Also, hire someone to help me when I screw up the HTML.
  5. Attend at least three Notre Dame home football games. I would prefer victories if that’s ok.
  6. Visit Napa, Sonoma and Santa Barbara wine countries. (See #2)
  7. Sign up for French lessons.
  8. Pay it forward whenever I can.
  9. Read more. And I mean books, not People Magazine or TMZ.
  10. Become more active on Instagram (for Clare).
  11. Host not one but TWO wine tasting parties to make up for the fact that we skipped 2014.
  12. Wear my yoga pants for yoga and not just for grocery shopping.
  13. Make plans to meet – in person – some of the fabulous bloggers who have been so kind and supportive.
  14. MOVE BACK TO CHICAGO!
  15. Finally, and most importantly, take every opportunity to celebrate the blessings of family and friends. Nothing else matters without them, right?

Wishing you all a year filled with love and laughter, many more highs than lows, good health, good fortune and an abundance of blessings.

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What A Year It Has Been

Rather than making a bunch of resolution that I will likely not keep – thus disappointing you and me – I’d rather take this opportunity to look back on what a great year it has been. Consider this my blog version of a holiday letter.

After a trial run a year earlier, Mocadeaux was launched on February 25, 2013. There was no looking back this time!

In March I wrote one of my first posts about wine, recounting our visit to the Family Winemakers of California Tasting Event. We loved meeting the winemakers and hearing the stories behind their wines.

Chihuly

In April, I traveled to Florida and spent a day touring the Chihuly Museum with my mom.

On our way to the museum, I got a call with the news that there was water in the basement of our home in Chicago. Because we have the most wonderful friends in the world, the crisis was handled and the basement mopped up by Cooper and Earl whom I dubbed “my knights in shining white garbage bags”.

I decided to get serious about this blogging thing signing up for an online class taught by the incomparable Liv Lane.

The class gave me direction, confidence, and  challenged me to write this “brave post”. Liv’s class also introduced me to a bunch of blog pals including the supremely talented and completely awesome Kelly McKenzie, my partner in “Partners In  Pair Tree – Kelly And Mo Celebrate December“.

Glacier National Park

June found me on the road, first traveling to Montana and the gorgeous Glacier National Park for a girlfriends’ getaway then to Oregon for wine tasting with Peter.

Lessons learned:

  • always hike with your bear spray
  • the one thing better than owning your own winery is having friends that own a winery

In addition to celebrating the birth of our nation on the 4th of July, our family gathered in Florida to celebrate the 95th birthday of our very own Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Mo Wine Please

Prompted by an ice-breaking activity at a meeting over the summer, I launched my “Mo Wine Please” feature and spent the rest of the year writing about wine – a lot.

I hope you enjoy reading about wine as much as I enjoy doing the research for the posts!

The fall brought more travels – including trips to a couple of Notre Dame football games and Bloggy Boot Camp in Minneapolis.

A Country Chic Thanksgiving at my brother and sister-in-law’s house kicked off the holiday season.

Pair Tree Day 25

December was spent having fun with Partners In A Pair Tree while enjoying a month of holiday parties and traditions.

Throughout the year I have traveled to Florida, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis and Nashville visiting family and friends.

Peter and I say that, considering we live 3,000 miles away from our kids and grandkids, we get to see them a lot. And we are very lucky.

Lucky gal

Reviewing all of the good times I’ve had this year, I have to agree with my friend Sheila who ended her Christmas card letter saying:

“As time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that our greatest blessings are our family and friends.”

Looking forward to another year of celebrating life’s blessings, I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2014.

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