New Year spread tarot reading with my Familiar cat Rooney.

Becoming a Queen of Wands.

The Page of Wands comes up a lot for me in tarot. It makes sense. That card, after all, represents someone brimming with creativity and way too many ideas, but who doesn’t necessarily know where to begin, where to channel that energy, or what to focus on.

And, let’s face it, that’s me.

My cat Rooney won't kiss me at midnight on New Years.

It’s why I own 20 domain names with nothing attached, five blogs that sit dormant, countless social media accounts I’ve barely touched, and stacks full of books I’ve never read. Because I get an idea and my mind races and I get so excited that I have to drop everything to start, and then get another idea and move on to something else. It’s a vicious, fruitless, cycle.

Last year, I really focused on, well, focusing. I chose to work on my roadside attractions blog, Silly America. I chose one big project to work on at a time. And I was able to see results.

It was hard sometimes because I would come up with something new and would have to tell myself, “no.” And sometimes I got so focused on focusing that I lost sight of everything else (like over my two-week holiday break when I worked on one single project for 12 hours a day for 12 days straight). And sometimes I neglected other goals that I really should have been working on to turn all my attention to that one thing (goodbye going to the gym).

But, overall, I made more progress on something than I never would have made progress on if I had allowed myself free reign.

New Year spread tarot reading with my Familiar cat Rooney.

Yesterday I sat down and cried over a perfectly perfect new year tarot reading. It showed that while I don’t yet feel like I’m where I want to be, over the past year I have taken steps to get myself there and that I can’t discount what I’ve accomplished so far on my journey.

For the coming year, the cards told me that I need to focus on self-love, self-care, and body image. And I couldn’t agree more.

So here’s to being an Empress in 2020, to continuing to move from being a Page of Wands to a Queen…and to maybe even learning to read tarot without consulting a book of definitions…

Here are my “New Years Resolutions,” my goals, my areas for focus, in this coming year. What are yours?

Celebrating New Year's Eve with my friend Stefany at Four Moon.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with my friend Stefany at Four Moon.


Focus on my health.

Yesterday I weighed myself one last time and then hid my scale at the back of my closet. I have this tendency to step on that scale much too often, especially when I’m working out regularly, as if thirty minutes of cardio will magically lead to a ten pound drop. As if that number means everything.

But then, when I’ve worked hard, and the number doesn’t waver, it can feel frustrating, like I’ve wasted my time, like i might as well not bother. Which is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Because, obviously, thirty minutes on an elliptical won’t equal losing ten pounds. But it is movement. And it’s the movement that should matter.

Do I still want to lose weight? Yes. I really do. But, more than anything, I just want to feel healthier. I want to get to the train without my heart racing. I want to climb to my third floor apartment without feeling like I have no breath. I want to sweep my apartment without throwing out my back.

Moving forward I’m going to try not to focus on the numbers, the weight, and just try to shift my life to a healthier life, in all aspects of life. Physically and mentally. I hope to exercise more, move more, eat better, not consume things that make me feel sick, drink less, worry less, stress less, remove myself from bad situations, floss, dance.


Focus on my blog.

Last year I started focusing on my roadside attractions blog. In December, year over year, I had over 300% more traffic and was making over five times the revenue than in December 2018. That wasn’t a fluke. I worked hard, and strategically, to get there. While I had very good growth, growth I am proud of, those numbers are still relatively small and I am still very far from my blogging goals.

I have a list of posts I want to work on for my blog, projects I want to tackle, and strategies I want to develop. Posts and projects and strategies I am beyond excited for. I’ve been trying to focus on one thing at a time and, this year, I hope to launch some of my bigger ideas and continue working to make my blogs more sustainable financially.


Focus on the things that give me joy. (And rid myself of those things that don’t.)

I love travel but it hasn’t been my priority in the last few years. While my old passport was so full of stamps it needed extra pages added in, my newer one, which isn’t even new anymore, is nearly empty.

In 2019 I took a big road trip and remembered everything I love about travel. The wonder. The anticipation. The joy. The freedom.

I want to travel more, both domestically and abroad. I have a family trip to Disneyworld planned for August. I’m hoping to again go to New York for the Fourth of July. My friend and I have been talking about taking a trip to Dollywood (yes, Dollywood). I want to take a short trip to Casey, Illinois (a small town that has a bunch of world-record holding world’s largest things). And I really just want to go to a beach in Mexico.

I just need to find a way to make travel a priority again. Because travel brings me all the joy.

But, beyond just travel, I want to find new opportunities that will challenge me. I want to stop spending so much time obsessing over people who don’t give me a second thought. I want to take more long walks on the lake. I want to visit more farmers markets. I want to love cooking again. I want to light candles and drink tea at the end of the night. I want to snuggle all the cats. I want to dance every day.

I want to focus more on those things that give me joy and focus less on those things that don’t.

Did you make New Years Resolutions? What are you focusing on in 2020?

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

1 Comment
  • Ed Rex
    January 1, 2020at11:46 pm

    Ah, I totally know where you are coming from. Getting an idea in your head and you simply have to start it only not to finish it as you are starting something else!

    Do you have any ideas wall? Once you have an idea, you can write it on a post it note and put it on the wall in their respective subject groups. That way, you can always go back to it later on once you have completed an idea. (Usually the case, everytime that I discard half of them as I think I’m being ridiculous after a think on it.)

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