New Year, Same Me: Resolutions & Other Nonsensical Goals

Cheers and welcome to 2018!

Not that long ago, we expected that by 2018, we’d have flying cars, highly integrated AI robots, and intergalactic travel. While we’re not all the way there (a shame, because flying cars would be the bomb and soon enough we’ll really need a new home planet), we do live in a time with toilet stoolssmart speakers, and too many memes to know where to begin. Lucky us?

I am grateful for GIF technology. [Source]

Strangely enough, we also live in a time where teenagers challenge each other to eat laundry detergent, millions of people receive a “my bad” text after practically crapping their pants, and our megalomaniac president’s diplomatic skills apparently start and end with the term “shithole/shithouse countries.” At least women are finally paid the same as men, right? Damnit.

All that said, there is a lot of good in the world, too. For example, it brings me great joy that we are increasingly confronting the uncomfortable truths about our society, like our collective tolerance for sexual harassment, assault, and inequality. (The Women’s March is this weekend, folks!)

Lest I get too carried away, I’d like to quickly shift gears to the main, and completely inconsequential, point of today’s post: new year’s resolutions.

According to John, resolutions are “the exact middle ground between lying to yourself and lying to other people.” Sounds about right. [Source]

We are officially 16 days into the new year, which means 99% of people have already ditched their half-hearted resolution efforts. Here’s a little-known fact: you can’t fail your resolutions by mid-January if you don’t even set them until mid-January. All your other favorite bloggers (she says humbly) may have long since shared their objectives for 2018, but here at Baby Brown Bear, I’m just getting started.

My Goals for the Year

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t normally do new year’s resolutions. In fact, I’ve been known to roll my eyes at the idea of a “new year, new me.” Why wait until January to make changes when you can start working towards self-improvement any day of the year? Truthfully, I think waiting until January often adds unnecessary pressure and ends up heightening the bar for disappointment if those goals aren’t met. No one needs that.

Me listening to other people talk about their resolutions. [Source]

Only once in my 30 years have I actually set a new year’s resolution. A few years ago, a friend and I decided we would run at least one race every month. Surprisingly, we did it. Had we not joked about and done it together, there’s no way I would have even considered creating such a challenge. I guess accountability matters.

This year, however, I’m getting behind the idea, partially because I’m in a new decade and partially because I already had goals I wanted to achieve and figured I might as well start now in the blank slate of January. It’s for the sake of accountability that I’m drawing a line in the sand and sharing these goals with you.

1. I will learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube

There’s really no rhyme or reason for this one other than that I think it would be a fun challenge. As far as I know, there’s a simple algorithm to solving the puzzle. Perhaps I’m being extremely naive and will end up throwing it across the room in tears. Only time will tell.

Status: Still need to purchase a Rubik’s Cube. I’ve gotten far with this one.

More likely what my patience will allow. [Source]

2. I will finally see a movie by myself

There are two important things to know about me that until this year have been mutually exclusive: 1. I am an extremely social person whose existence requires human interaction to survive; and 2. I love going to the movies. It is because of the former that I have not done the latter alone. That will change this year! It only took 25 years for me to go to a restaurant alone, so it seems almost fitting that five years later is when I’ll finally check off this bucket list item. (Side note: my bucket list is actually more exciting than this would suggest.)

Status: Just need to find a babysitter. Oscar noms, I’m coming for ya.

That popcorn will never have tasted so good. (I love future perfect tense.) [Source]

3. I will connect my phone to the Bluetooth in my car

I’m not technologically illiterate, but I am an all-star procrastinator. That’s why I’ve had my car for five months and have yet to connect my phone to its Bluetooth speaker.

Me with Bluetooth technology. [Source]

Instead of shouting into the phone on my lap, I’ll finally sound like a real, responsible adult who knows how to read a car manual. Woohoo!

Status: Next time I’m in my car, I swear.

At least my current setup is better than this. [Source]

4. I will commit to writing at least two blog posts a month

At one point, I was averaging a post a week. While that requires more time than I’m willing to spend right now, I do think it’s realistic to publish at least two a month. To help accomplish this, I recently acquired a 2018 planner I’ll use to sketch out a rough content calendar. If there’s anything in particular you want to hear from me, go ahead and let me know. Otherwise, I’m excited to finally have a place to organize my thoughts and plan ahead.

Status: Already started (because, yes, this totally counts).

Get enough coffee in me and this could be a reality! [Source]

5. I will start writing a book

This is, as you can tell, a much loftier goal, but it’s here nonetheless. I’ve wanted to start writing more seriously for a long time. The problem is my inspiration; I have several ideas swirling around in my head, but none that have seriously compelled me to put pen to paper. Even though this hasn’t necessarily changed, I decided that I just need to start somewhere. No, I may not end up writing the next great American novel (there’s that humility again), and whatever I do write might amount to nothing, but I’m excited and scared and nervous to try, and that seems to be what resolutions are all about.

StatusNew scratch notebooks and pens purchased. Will need a babysitter to go anywhere with this one, too.

Note: I am neither a hipster nor Tom Hanks, and will therefore not be using a typewriter. Cute GIF though, right? [Source]

Let’s Do This

I figured a healthy mix of achievable and intimidating is a good place to start for my first real list of new year’s resolutions. At least now, I intend to check in on these goals throughout the year. I may even periodically post about my journey (fully recognizing that you don’t care about the Bluetooth thing).

Readers, please join me on this path to self-discovery and, well, basic adulthood. While we’re at it, what are your 2018 goals?

Titus may not be the best role model, but he is role model. [Source]

 

 

 

 

[Featured image source]

 

DIY Moisturizing Hair Mask

Like many women, I’m guilty of occasionally thinking the grass is greener when it comes to my hair. I recognize, however, that I’m lucky in that my hair dries straight and requires no dye or color treatment (minus a lemon in the sun every so often like I’m a preteen).

This is really helpful for me because I am lazy when it comes to doing anything with my hair. Ninety percent of the time I wear it in a basic pony; before becoming a stay-at-home mom it was still probably around 65%.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy getting dolled up and doing my hair and makeup, but I also very much enjoy having a pony and bare face. I’m also perpetually running behind schedule (a classic procrastinator), so by necessity I’ve developed three getting ready routines:

  1. Full hair and makeup for nice events that will have some sort of photographic evidence (e.g., a wedding)
  2. BB cream, powder, mascara, maybe eyeliner (if we’re getting fancy), and a 50/50 chance of hair being dried for when I need to look presentable but no one really cares, including me (e.g., work)
  3. Chapstick and nothing more for most other occasions (e.g., watching six episodes of True Blood in a row and telling myself that Baby Bear is still probably too young to understand what’s on the TV)

Given this information, it should come as no surprise that I am also lazy when it comes to scheduling regular haircuts. In fact, I probably have only two a year.

You see, I really like to switch up my look with dramatic haircuts every couple of years, which I think is a result of refusing to dye my hair but still wanting change. And, I figure if I’m going to grow it out and cut it all off anyway, I might as well wait long enough to donate it and help out people in need. As a result, I’ve donated roughly 70 inches of hair in the last 12 years. (While I’ve historically done Locks of Love, I’ve since discovered that I’d rather support Pantene Beautiful Lengths and will likely donate there next).

Since I put my hair in a constraining pony so much, go so long between cuts, and want to donate the healthiest hair I can provide, I like to treat myself to a seriously easy DIY hydrating hair mask every so often.

Here’s how you can do it yourself.

DIY Hydrating Hair Mask

After reading through suggestions, I realized most of the masks recommended used the following, plus more. Since I already had these at home, I just messed around until I found something easy and effective.

Ingredients

  • Equal parts extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil (start with 2 tbsp. of each and alter as needed depending on your hair’s length)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado, pitted and smashed
  • A towel on standby

20160331_195949

Okay, so I accidentally left the avocado pit in for this picture. I’ll award points if you creatively figure out how to use it for your hair.

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly add the coconut oil and whisk until it’s melted and mixed in with the olive oil. Then add the smashed avocado (careful, it might be hot!). It will be fairly lumpy.

20160331_200034
20160331_200041

Wet your hair using warm water. Grab your towel and keep it nearby.

Bring your head and your oil concoction to your kitchen sink. Over the sink, slowly dip the ends of you hair in the oil. Since the avocado is clumpy, use your hands to spread the mixture up the strands, avoiding the roots.

Once your hair feels saturated, secure it with a bun or push it out of your face if it’s not long enough to tie up.

20160331_200421

I repeat: do this over your kitchen sink. I learned the hard way that you do NOT want to clog your bathroom sink with oil and avocado. Papa Bear was not pleased.

Wrap the towel around your head to keep oil off your face and clothes.

Let the oil sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes. I’ve done as little as 30 minutes and as long as 4 hours, but the latter was because the landlord turned our water off for a burst pipe. Perfect timing.

Shampoo and condition your hair as you normally do. The first time it dries, it might be a little oily. After that, it should be silky and smooth!

20160402_131749

I felt like such an idiot posing for this picture. 

In addition to this hair mask, I take biotin vitamins to help my hair grow a little faster (and to help make up for my trichotillomania habits, but that’s a post for a different day).

Your Turn

Tell me what YOU do to keep your hair healthy. I’m always looking for new suggestions. Of course, I’d prefer ones that don’t require too much effort.