A playful year of fun and magic

If you’ve been here for a while, you already know I’m not a fan of traditional New Year’s resolutions. A few years ago, I even came up with a monthly list of ways to dominate next year without a typical resolution, which I continually utilize as a guide for success.

Now a lot of people who don’t do traditional resolutions like to choose a grounding word that they use to guide them through the year. I’m not that type of girl. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-skirt gal, myself. Instead, I choose to label my year as it begins to play out or even at the end of the year. And this year was so perfect, you guys. I mean, not everything goes according to plan and things change and resolutions are hard to follow, but wrapping up your year with a bit of positive energy never hurt anyone.

And so I thought I’d tell you how I categorize my years.

In previous years, I’ve had The Experimental Year, a year of trying different stuff in the world of dating and boys, which was also the year that ended in a chance meeting with a handsome Irishman at a bar. I’ve had the Storytelling Year, in which I asked myself, “Will this make a good story in the morning?” and if the answer was yes, I did it, regardless of whether it was a “good” or “bad” idea. I’ve had good years and weird years and even bad years (like the Year I Didn’t Feel Good Enough; though I also came away smarter and more ready to tackle the world than ever before). And I always try to find the positive spin to the end of the year instead of wishing it away like just another fucking zit. (Side note: I hesitated in linking the aforementioned piece because there was a surprising amount of backlash to it. And that backlash made me want to stop writing, but I won’t self-censor any longer because that post wasn’t specifically about 2016. It was about every year.)

I take the biggest changes, most exciting adventures, and my highlight reel and try to find an underlying theme. This year started shaping itself before I even realized it was shaping. And it all started with a fake resolution.

I play games

At the beginning of this year, I thought I’d be cheeky and come up with a ridiculous New Year’s resolution. I made three. Two of which I’ll actually hit. 

  1. Play 365 games
  2. Play 100 DIFFERENT games (so that some of those 365 could be repeats)
  3. Play at least 25 different games that we own and have never played

Number one…that one is probably not going to happen. Unless we can play like 200 games in the next 3 days. Doubtful. But that’s okay. I had fun.

Number two…I have six more games to play. MUCH more doable.

Number three…DONE. Well, at least we made it through several of our untouched boxes (of course, we also bought a few new games…)

Silly resolution aside, gaming was a good start to a truly magical year.

I played in a Dominion Tournament at GenCon. I lost, but I had lots of fun!

I played in a Dominion Tournament at GenCon. I lost, but I had lots of fun!

I play with video

I’ve been dabbling with some different video styles on YouTube. I started a few things that could absolutely become the first of their own series (C-Rex Adventures, 60 Seconds of Chrissy), but we’ll have to see where 2019 takes us! It’s all in good fun which, for me, is super important. I can’t take myself too seriously, guys.

T-rex costume reaches for a ball at the bowling alley

I play dress up

In March, I took on something called The Disneybound Challenge. Every march, an Instagrammer/Blogger runs an Instagram photo challenge for people who DIsneybound (for those of you not in the know, this means dressing like Disney characters, something I apparently have a knack for. I nailed it for 31/31 days and continued to play dress up throughout the year (today, I’m wearing an outfit inspired by Moana’s Hei Hei).

This is a Disneybound of Olaf. The "buttons" are actually Olaf disney trading pins.

This is a Disneybound of Olaf. The “buttons” are actually Olaf disney trading pins.

I play pretend

In April, I began training at The Second City Training Center. In March, I’ll finish a year of improvisation and “graduate” from the A-E improv program at SCTC. Since August, I’ve performed in eleven shows (all student shows, but performances on Second City small stages nonetheless), with at least seven more shows before March comes to an end. When you’re improvising, you’re basically doing what small children do in free play — you make up stories. Sometimes you’re the mom. Sometimes you’re the baby. Sometimes you’re an accountant named Stan. But always, you should be having fun playing with your castmates and classmates.

Level D show photo from Second City Training Center Chicago

These crazy kids (a few of my SCTC loves are missing from this photo) give me life, you guys. This is one of the best things I’ve done for myself. And I’ve been saying that a lot lately.

I play house

Sometimes, I even pretend to be a grown up with my Grown Up. We have a really neat house that I have spent a lot of time in this year (thanks to the job quitting and the new puppy). I may make a terrible housewife, and I’m a horrible housekeeper, but I am good at playing house. You know. Pretending to be good at those things. On social media. And when we host parties. But definitely not in real life. There are rooms in my house where the clutter goes to die. I’m trying to fix that, but it’s a lot harder to get rid of clutter than I thought.

 

 

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I play with my hair

After years of planning and scheming, Kaitlyn and I finally took the plunge and dyed my hair hot pink. (Kaitlyn is my incredible stylist. She’s pure magic). We started with a super sweet gentle pink, and now it’s this hot pink, bold AF shade that I cannot get enough of. I’m never* looking back.

This poor man. I fangirled John Grogan so hard I cried. He is, though, one of the writers that made me want to be a writer, so I think a little obnoxious fangirling was to be expected.

This poor man. I fangirled John Grogan so hard I cried. He is, though, one of the writers that made me want to be a writer, so I think a little obnoxious fangirling was to be expected.

I play with puppysaurus rex

Adopting a puppy was one of the craziest things we did this year. Not only did this furball full of love and ENERGY enter our world, she dominated it. There is something magical about a creature that wakes up with the sun and says, “It’s time to play!” She naps when she’s tired and wants to play the other 77% of the day. This is a lifestyle I can get behind. Now if only her version of play was the same as mine. Unfortunately, two black lips and a few deep scratches later, we’ve learned the importance of training our sweet girl (but we always train with games and play and toys and treats instead of negative consequences. And boy does she love toys and treats! (I think I may have spent more on Nia’s Christmas than Brian’s…don’t tell Brian).

A sleeping puppy on your tummy is probably one of the greatest things ever.

A sleeping puppy on your tummy is probably one of the greatest things ever.

I play Disney (and that other park with Harry Potter [ and that OTHER park with Bugs Bunny])

After immersing myself so heavily in Disney Instagram, I became obsessed with needing to get back to the parks. I wanted to knock Dapper Day off my bucket list and asked my pal Laura if she wanted to go. When she said yes, I booked a hotel for November and started planning. When my cousin invited Brian and me to visit Universal Studios with him and his wife in October, it sealed a deal I made in my head. I was going to get an annual pass to Walt Disney World. (If you go more than once, the price of the pass is worth it (especially with added discounts and perks and such). I was lucky and able to use credit card points to reimburse my Disney pass purchase, so it was essentially “free” in my head, which makes it all the more logical. To me. And so I visited the happiest place on earth twice in a matter of two months, catching both the Halloween and Christmas seasons. And then…just for fun…because it’s close to home and the season pass was so cheap…we got season passes for Six Flags (Great America, but we can go to any of them with the pass). I guess I’m kind of a theme park addict…

Magic Kingdom Disney Photopass hub grass Cinderella Castle

Playing on the hub grass in front of Cinderella Castle seemed like a great idea.

And so with that, I give you Chrissy’s Year of Play. In which I truly embraced my inner child and let her help me find the joy I need to live this life and take the next steps on my journey. Being a creative is hard. Being an empath is FUCKING hard. Learning how to free yourself to determine your path? So hard. But so worth it. I honestly believe that my role in this world is to bring joy and laughter and share that light with you. And so when you see me behaving like a kid in a candy store with a light-up skirt and hot pink hair, remember that we all have a part to play. This is mine.

*I reserve the right to change my mind on the “never” at any time. 

If you could put a theme to your year, what would it be? What are your highlights from 2018?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

New Year’s Resolutions…You’re Doing Them Wrong

Show of hands, Blog Friends…

Who’s making a New Year’s Resolution this year? I’ll bet it’s related to weight, money, happiness, or education…amiright?

New Year's Resolutions

Fuck that shit, you guys. Everyone makes THOSE resolutions. It’s time to get serious about your life. Do some hard thinking and really plan out the year that you want. Lucky for you, I’ve come up with the perfect system for resolution making. It’s seriously flawless. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the ultimate resolution checklist by month to make it easy for you to achieve your goals. You’re welcome in advance.

January Goals

Do fucking nothing. You’ve spent the last 2-8 weeks preparing for the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice or whatever…and before that, there was that whole Thanksgiving feast thing to worry about. Slow the fuck down, young padawan. January is a month of rest – not a month of fixing your life. You’ve survived the last however many weeks, months or years without hitting up the gym…I’ll bet your body can do another 4 weeks while you cuddle in front of the TV doing absolutely nothing.

February Goals

Get the fuck out of town. If you’re in a cold-weather climate, you’re probably cold, tired and depressed because you haven’t seen the sun in weeks. Even if you’re just hitting up a local indoor water park for the weekend, buck up and get away. Even if it’s not cold, go somewhere different. Use the time away to think and unwind. You’ll be revitalized to really get moving on these resolutions you’re about to start.

Marco Island Florida

Valentine’s Day

  • If you’re single, ACTUALLY ignore Valentine’s Day. Don’t say you’re ignoring it and then go out with all your girlfriends to celebrate you. Go to work. Eat a regular candy bar and not 27 mini candy bars in your favorite game of heart-shaped chocolate roulette. Eat your regular frozen dinner and skip the bottle of wine tonight. Spend a few hours playing Candy Crush or whatever it is you do when you’re not doing anything important. It’s just another day.
  • If you’re in a relationship, go ahead and do something on Valentine’s Day. Even if you could give two shits about that “silly Hallmark holiday,” you’ve got a honey to hug, so hug them.

March Goals

Drink more. It’s still cold. And gray. And snowy. Or rainy. And the days are still pretty short. So go ahead and enjoy a bottle or two of wine. Your waistline won’t mind…Plus it’s good for your heart (I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I’M A MASTER OF BULLSHIT. DO NOT LISTEN TO MEDICAL ADVICE THAT I PRETEND TO GIVE.)

April Goals

Go outside, lazy. The weather is finally picking up. It doesn’t matter if you’re just dining al fresco in 65 degree weather…get your ass outside. You’ve been cooped up inside eating and drinking for 3-5 months. You could use a little Vitamin D.

Spring Tulips on State Street

Plan for something amazing. It’s now time to start thinking of a summer getaway. If your local weather gets sweltering, head north for a cool, breezy summer vacay. Or head somewhere even warmer. Or plan a getaway to meet up with a bunch of people on the internet that you’ve never met before (or that you meet every summer just like summer camp only better). Do  what you want, yo. It’s your vacay.

May Goals

Wish me happy birthday, bitches. As I was born in the beautiful month of May, you should plan to stop by and say happy birthday to me. I mean. You know. If you want.

Pick some flowers. Just, you know…don’t be an asshat and pick flowers from your neighbor’s garden. Go to a field or park where you are allowed to pick flowers. Or try your own backyard. Dandelions and other “weeds” totally count. But not that kind of weed. It’s like you’re not even listening to me. Sheesh.

June Goals

Overuse your grill. If you don’t have a grill, you’re doing it wrong. Stop cooking inside. Your home will stay cooler, and your food will taste better. If you don’t believe that everything tastes better on the grill, you’re wrong. And that’s that.

July Goals

Drink a cold one (or twelve). It’s summer, and what’s summer without a frosty beer? Try something new, this time though…No more of that Miller Lite bullshit. Journey outside your boundaries of piss water, and drink a crafty craft beer.

I love this beer.

I love this beer.

Cash in on those vacation plans. Whether you’re heading to a small local getaway like the Wisconsin Dells, a nearby beach, or a local lakeside escape, go enjoy a weekend or week of summer. You’ve been working hard on your resolutions; you deserve it.

August Goals

Plan out your Halloween costume. For real this time. Don’t SAY you’re going to have a plan and then forget until October 25, when you’re forced to tease the fuck out of your hair, thrown makeup all over your face and pretend to be a crazy lady.

Halloween teased hair

 

September Goals

Get your Christmas shopping done. Imagine you. In December. Without a fucking shopping care in the world. You don’t have to worry about who’s got free shipping. You won’t have to step foot in a mall from November through January. Pat yourself on the back this year and get that shit over with early.

October Goals

Go ALL out for Halloween. I’m talking costumes. Decorations. Treat bags for the kids. Get wild and have fun. You know you’ve always wanted to.

Eat your favorite candy. It’s okay. You didn’t make a goal to lose weight this year. You’re following the resolutions that will allow you to have more fun this year. So go ahead. Buy that bag of Almond Joys. I won’t tell.

November Goals

Celebrate Thanksgiving, and DON’T call Thanksgiving or a dinner with friends, “friendsgiving.” Thanks in advance for limiting the hipster buzzwords from spreading like gonorrhea.

Avoid getting suckered into Black Friday. God created the internet for a reason. You can do all your sale shopping from the comfort of your home…while you’re still in your underwear. Or naked. Just…you know…avoid taking selfies.

December Goals

Plan for next year. Don’t wait for me to tell you what to do. Make your own list this time. Maybe you can give me a few pointers, because I’ll surely tap out halfway through December in stress mode.

Eat, drink, and be merry. Seriously. You only live once. Enjoy it.

Happy New Year, guys! What goals would you add to this list?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

It’s Not a Resolution Because I Said So.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.

But I do make plans.

I have BIG fucking plans this year, kids. Big ones. Huge. Rock-my-world-massive freakin’ plans.

It’s going to take some time. And a whole lot of work. But in the end, I’m going to be more awesome and super proud of it.

10 Awesome Things I’m Going to do THIS Year.

Putting on the granny panties and the British accent(catch the reference and I’ll give you a cookie):

Number 1: Obviously will lose 20 lbs.

2018 update: Hey, I may have actually done this. I may have also gained 20 pounds so the net is a little off…but I mean I lost 20 lbs somewhere…

Number 2: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket. Finish master’s degree. Sure, it’s a useless degree when it comes down to my future career not being teaching…but it’s still a master’s degree. And I’d like it to be completed. (I mean really…it’s one silly little thesis. How hard can it be? I write for a living.)

2018 update: It only took a couple more years, but in 2015, I graduated with a Master’s degree. And Brian framed that MOTHAFUCKA. 

Number 3: Will be published.

2018 update: Again, only took a few years, but in 2016, I was published in Jen Mann’s anthology, I Just Want to be Perfect. And I can die happy (actually, not yet, bitches. We’ve still got work to do).

Number 4: Will publish a book. Will write a book.

2018 update: Okay, I’m still working on this. BUT I’m much farther along than I’ve ever been. More than 10K farther along. It’s coming you guys, and I’m so excited about it. 

Number 5: Will self-publish the aforementioned book.

2018 update: I mean, unless I can sell it to a publisher…

Number 6: Will get an amazing job. (I feel as though I should put this one a little higher on the list…but I mean…at least it’s on the list, right?)

2018 update: Been there done that. Quit that shit to chase all the fucking dreams. 

Number 7: Crap! I still need 4 more things… Will take at least 3 internet vacations. Yes. That’s a good one. I like my internet vacations. Going off the grid. Maybe at least one will involve a beach. There’s no internet on the beach.

2018 update: Who even knows if I did this. 

Number 8: Crap! I still need 3 more… this is not as easy as I thought it would be… OH! I know! Will attend awesome blogger event…Blogher 2013. And meet bloggers. And give hugs to strangers. Done and done.

2018 update: I did that. Four times at Blogher, twice at BlogU, and twice at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop that blew my MFing mind. 

Number 9: Will make money on blog. I don’t care if it’s $5 or $5,000…I will make dollars.

2018 update: Dudes and dudettes, I dominated this for a while. I mean, not full income dominated, but I was pretty good at the hustle…

Number 10: Will win a million dollars from McDonald’s Monopoly. 13 is my lucky number. This is the year of my golden birthday. 2013 is it, guys. I can feel it. I’m going to be a big winner this year.

2018 update: Now it’s all about the Jewel Monopoly, but a girl can dream right?

What are your big plans?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!