cautiously optimistic

I have always said resolutions are stupid.

They always sound so…stock. Hackneyed.  Trite.  Unoriginal.  And then? They are forgotten before January is over.

There is a reason gyms give you the first month free.  They know you’ll be lured in with “free”, then pay for more because “free” rocked, but then never come back.  Easy money.

So for the 35th year in a row I wasn’t going to make a single resolution.  It’s not that I am perfect or that there aren’t aspects that can’t be worked on, but well, I don’t enjoy setting myself up for failure.

I don’t like to be called a pessimist, by the way.  I don’t just assume everything bad will happen.  I prefer the label “cautiously optimistic.” I mean, my glass is half-empty because I drank the first half, not because life sucks.  I like to believe the waitress will probably come back and refill it.  But she might not.  And I will be prepared for that disappointment and be happy for that delicious first half while looking forward to the half I have left.

2013 is the year I will turn 35.  For some reason that is already bringing some serious introspection to my brain.  But with this new year and this big birthday, I am feeling cautiously optimistic.

I have, in fact, let myself resolve on some specific plans of action.  That’s right…I made some resolutions this year.

First, I have been thinking a lot about this blog.

Next week Sluiter Nation will get a shiny new look.  I’m working on making my pages match without looking too similar.  I am reworking my About Section so that besides giving our story in a nutshell, it also effectively spells out my intent for this space: To be a legacy.  To be the stories of our life when we are no longer here.

My resolutions for this space are to tell our stories honestly.  To put more of our beliefs and practices here for our children to know about.  To talk more openly about topics I wish my parents had talked about with us…or at least written down for us to pour over as adults.  To remember that when I write about us, I am writing about US. It has nothing to do with what others think of me/us or what they choose to do.  To be honest anyway.

I’ve also been thinking about my job and my education.

Today I applied for another Master’s Program.  I already have a Bachelor’s in Secondary Education with a major in English and minor in Spanish.  I also have a Master’s Degree in English with an Emphasis on Teaching.  This program would give me a Master’s in Educational Technology/Media Center Specialty.  Not only is technology something I am interested in, it will also open a few more options for me in my field be it training other teachers or moving from the classroom into the Media Center someday.

Most importantly it will help me get the 30 credits needed to get to the top of my pay scale at work, which my family desperately  needs.

I applied to begin in the fall of 2013, so that gives me time to figure out financial stuff and put away some bucks so we can afford to pay for it.  Also, the classes are almost all online, so I won’t have to spend more physical time away from my family than I already do.

Of course, my relationships have been on  my mind too.

I want to spend more quality time with my friends.  It’s not that I need to go out more or pack more into my busy schedule, but I do want to spend time with those who are important to me.  I have a handful of close girl friends who I just want to get coffee with once in a while.  Or lunch on a Saturday.  It doesn’t have to be hours and hours. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate play date.  I just want time to chat and catch up.

I want to date my husband.  I miss being alone with him.  Alone in a restaurant or a movie or out shopping.  Getting in an out of the car without unbuckling car seats or lifting babies.  Having a conversation that isn’t interrupted.  Saying the inappropriate thing we are both thinking, but can’t say in front of the littles.  And then giggle madly about it.

Lastly, I have been thinking about me.

I need to find time to spoil myself.  And not with coffee treats or cookies.  That just ends up making me feel bad about myself.  No, instead of eating my feelings, I need to use some of the bits of money I make here and there with freelance writing and ad revenue and treat myself to a pedicure.  Or go to the library to actually just read.  Or let myself buy that pair of skinny jeans I am afraid of, but really REALLY want.

Not because I met some goal or resolution, but because I need to like myself. I need to remember how it feels to just be Katie.  To just smile about things that are a wee bit selfish because they make me happy for me.

I need to feel better about me.  Maybe that means cleaning up my diet even more or taking the time to hit the gym or maybe it just means going to bed a bit earlier.

Maybe it’s all of these things and more.  But this year I will try those things and find what makes me feel good.  I will pay attention to my mind and body and learn to take on or turn down opportunities depending on what my gut (and tear ducts) say.

And I will moisturize.  Because dang it, I am sick of dry hands, feet, and elbows.

2013 is going to be great.

I am cautiously optimistic about it.

2013 looks pretty good from here.

2013 looks pretty good from here.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Proactive and optimistic, a good combination

  2. I hate to moisturize. I am lazy. Not a fan of flossing either.

  3. Mamaintheburbs says

    Great resolutions! I too tend to eat my feelings and lately I’ve been doing a little too much of it. I need to make my way back to exercise and running bc that always made ME feel good. I think us mothers forget to treat ourselves and we forget to make ourselves happy bc we are too busy pleasing others. It’s hard to do it all.

  4. Love!

    I have no doubt that this coming year holds many new joys for you….dates, smiles, new hopes and dreams.


  5. I think you have solid, workable, achievable goals. That you want to do something for you – YES, I am so onboard with that. I was just thinking to myself, I’m nearer 40 than 30, so I really need to start taking care of myself. Starting with a pap smear and a visit to the dentist. Then get my hair fixed, and my nails done!

    Also, I want to do more things that make ME happy. Going to BlogHer will make me happy. I want to make that happen.

  6. “but because I need to like myself.”

    I’m with you on this one. Big hugs! Hope this year brings a lot of positive changes.

  7. I think you have some achievable goals. Go for it!

  8. Good resolutions! Most people fail at resolutions because they just say them to themselves and have no plan for how to carry it out. Resolutions are just goals and you have to follow the steps of goal setting to make it happen. That’s why so many people fail. My financial goals are posted on the fridge. I also have a calendar I use to pay bills and I set amounts I’m going to pay and when to reach my financial goals. Even if I don’t accomplish all of them, at the end of the year I can be proud of what I did accomplish. Good luck! You deserve to have coffee and pedicures with friends more often. I’m going to focus on that for you.

  9. I think we have a lot in common, Kate, and I didn’t relaize it before (even though I read your blog every day). I could’ve written these myself, except not as well. I’ll be right there with you this year!

  10. I always refer to myself as cautiously optimistic!

    Great resolutions. Especially that one about doing things for yourself. We all need a little more of that, don’t we?

  11. go get em, girlfriend. Show 2013 just what an incredible force of nature you are!

    (and I don’t do resolutions…every day gives me another chance for a do over…wishing you all GOOD STUFF this year my *amazing* friend)

    • Kir, this does not surprise me about you at ALL! You are ALL CAPS OPTIMISTIC! I love having people like you in my life!

  12. I put on eyeliner today. It’s like moisturizer.

  13. Good luck, Katie. These are some very achievable resolutions. Like you, I never make any but have some loose goals in mind. I could go for a pedicure one of these days as well! 🙂

    • Girl, my tootisies haven’t seen a pedicure tub since just after Charlie was born. So about 9 months. Which I know isn’t that long in the whole of things, but it’s such a nice treat!

  14. I still haven’t decided if I am making resolutions this year. I am thinking that is probably not a good sign.

    I like yours. They would definitely work for me. Except my big birthday is 40, not 35.

    And now I have liked you on Facebook so that has to be a positive for 2013.

  15. I have a feeling you and Cort would get along swimmingly with K and I. We giggle at inappropriate things all the time.

    Also…I have NO idea how credits work for you pay bump but I thought I would plug our PD resources (we have free online too:


  16. I am with you, although it will be a little bit before I reach skinny jean stage. I don’t like me much either. Not because I am a bad person, but I hate seeing me undressed. I hate my face and elbows and this fat roll that I swore I would never have when I was 10 and saw it on my mom while she was dressing.

  17. I need some serious moisturizing myself. I feel like I channel Curly from “Of Mice and Men” this time of year and need a moisturizing glove on both hands and feet! Congrats on applying for the new Master’s program! It sounds interesting. Just out of curiosity, what does “media center” mean these days in schools? I always associated it with the library, but it sounds like it’s much more technology-centric?

  18. I think that you have this resolution thing covered. You are in inspiration to me… and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. 🙂

  19. Cautiously optimistic… I like it! And so proud of you.

  20. Happy New Year Katie!! I was just catching up on your blog and noticed your banner change – LOVE IT!!

    I agree – resolutions do suck and I am also of the cautiously optimistic variety. 🙂