Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflections on 2011 and Resolutions for 2012

2011 was a pretty fantastic year for me. ...and going into it, I didn't foresee that... I dedicated the year to working towards my goals and resolutions and I hoped that it would lead to new chapters in life in 2012. I thought this past year would be all work and little play. I didn't expect for a few fantastic things to happen already!

I knew that I was going to Italy at the end of 2010, and I will always cherish that little trip. I visited Verona, Venice, Padua and Milan for just a few days during the middle of March.

J's picture taken in Venice
When we were taking the vaporetto (water bus) back to the train station to leave, the sun finally came out and I got to see beautiful Venezia in the sunshine this year!

But I didn't know that I would manage to escape retail, move into a place of my own, finally meet my Italian penpal and finally hang out with my old college friend F.

I am happy working as a Leasing Consultant at an apartment community. Although, recently, my boss was promoted to another complex. I am sad to lose such a great boss and an excellent Property Manager, ...but she was always away saving other properties. One of them finally kept her and wouldn't give her back! In this change, I hope to have a boss that likes to stick with the property and will finally allow me to do what I was hired ten months ago to do, be Leasing Consultant, not run the property day-to-day and be the face of the community. I am truly excited for 2012 in this way.

I moved into my beautiful one bedroom with a balcony over Labor Day weekend and I can tell you that I love every single second of it. This apartment home makes me so happy. I love how it is set up and how it enables me to live my life how I want. I moved so early because the most perfect apartment in the community for me became available in September. Since I could finance it, I went ahead and signed up for an apartment at least four months earlier than planned.

My Living Room

I love to entertain here and have had two parties so far, an apartmentwarming and a holiday party. I am planning to hostess an Italian Sunday dinner the Sunday following the Superbowl (February 12th). I will try to make it as traditional as possible. This will be small since I only have a small table to seat attendees around. It should be fabulous and I'm already looking forward to it.

2011 has treated me well in so many other ways. I am very grateful. There are too many to list, so I invite you to take a look at my previous posts if you are curious! Life is what you make it and I tried to make wonderful things happen for me over the past 365 days.

I also wanted to take a moment to reflect on last year's resolutions.

Resolutions for 2011:

1. Significantly pay down my credit card debt. Even though I went from four credit cards to two, I still did not significantly decrease my debt as desired. I only cut out a lot of temptation to overspend.

2. Find a new job and escape retail. I left my job as a Store Manager of a name brand luggage store to be a Leasing Consultant at an apartment community in my hometown. My first day was March 7, 2011.

3. Pack my lunch the night before a workday. Even though I didn't manage to accomplish this, I did move upstairs from my office. I just go up to my apartment to prepare and eat lunch, ...if I have a coworker to cover the office. And I remember packing my lunch before I moved many a time.

4. Only possess what I love, want and use. I have truly decluttered my home including my closet and I love it!

5. Have a fabulous time on my little trip to Italy. I had such a great time! Grazie to J for helping me out on this one!

I wish I could have paid my debt down more, but, with these resolutions, I had a successful year.

My resolutions for 2012 are:

1. To diligently work towards the life I want. A friend recently told me that he's concerned that I will run off to Italy any day now. I told him not to worry; debt anchors me in America. If I didn't have any debt, I would be living in Italy right now. I need to pay down my credit card and student loan debt so I can afford such a venture. I need to relearn Italian for that too. In addition, I need to try to break into my career field of choice, International Education, and more specifically to work in a study abroad office on a college campus. I want to try to accomplish small things almost every day that will lead me in the direction of my dreams in the future. And for fun, I hope to visit Boston, maybe for my birthday...

2. To live a more chic life. I have always wanted to be grown up and sophisticated. And after falling in love with Italy and developing more Italian values, I want a passionate life too. I actually live fairly well and with intention now. For example, I keep my apartment home very clean and uncluttered. I keep my nice things nice. I also actively plan great activites. I lead a civilized, mannered life based on respect for myself and others. Plus, I strive to look presentable always and professional at the office. Furthermore, I pride myself on taking care of myself well, and that's very important to me. I want to work even more on this however. I am full of ideas right now since I am currently reading Jennifer L. Scott's Lessons from Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris (which I highly recommend!). In particular, I hope to add more routine in my life. I think so much better after having eaten an actual breakfast and hope to rise earlier each morning to have one. Another example is to continue to focus on portion control, which is a struggle for me at every meal. I know I could elaborate much more here, but I plan to report my efforts towards a more chic life on this blog. Perhaps I'll update every day for a month on this very subject like Fiona did last September in her blog how to be chic... We'll see.

3. ...which leads me to my next resolution, to blog more frequently. Always having kept some sort of diary, I adore this blog and looked forward to it for a long time before I finally created it. As a woman of my word, I like that I will feel obligated to update more, especially about my lifestyle, and that this will help me keep my resolutions. I also hope to regularly post on the subject of style on Sundays soon, as promised. I hope you readers enjoy it as much as I do.

I had fun in my New Year's celebrations. I started off the New Year right this morning by reading my Christmas present to myself, Lessons from Madame Chic, while sipping a cup of hot chocolate. Again, I love this book. I had followed the series that inspired it on the author's blog, The Daily Connoisseur. Go on over to Amazon and order it now.

I wish everyone a fabulous new year! I hope that it's the best yet.

To a Happy New Year!

I had a good time on my day off this past week. One highlight was when I viewed the movie Midnight in Paris. I loved it! I highly recommend it as well. Having studied Art History, I delighted in seeing so many artists portrayed. I also treated myself to a professional pedicure, my second ever. My toes and feet look so nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I realize that I'm embracing routines that help me live well, but I couldn't make this a routine based on my budget. I want to live within my means. I'll have to paint my own toe nails with only sporadic salon visits.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle- thank you so much for mentioning my book on your blog- I am so glad you've enjoyed it! I have mentioned your blog on my blog this week... Here is the link:

    Happy new year to you