The mister and I are big fans of resolutions and self improvement goals in general, and we made a good many resolutions this year. Perhaps 2016 is the year we’ll be perfect parents, super fit and as zen as Buddha himself, if only, you know, for two fleeting seconds. I’ll take what I can get. This year’s resolutions all trickled down from two general themes — to live more frugally and to be more present. To that end, we created a monthly budget that we’ve sworn ourselves to stick to and we’ve set a bunch of goals for enjoying the here and now and letting the petty shit go. So here we are on January 13 and I thought I’d let you know how I’m doing:

Goal #1: Budget: We’ve been sticking to our budget to the letter; however only 13 days in and I’ve already started a little white collar embezzlement. Of course it’s “white collar” embezzling because any other kind of embezzling would just be tacky. So I overspent on groceries by $10? I’ll just take that $10 out of the Target budget. Oops, I’m at Target? I’ll get that $10 from our entertainment budget, and I’ll pay it back from next month’s entertainment budget and we just won’t do as much entertaining next month, I tell myself. In the old timey days they would have called this “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” So, in summary, totally kicking ass on the budgeting.

Goal #2: Presence: This one isn’t as black and white as the budget so it’s hard to evaluate. But today I was at Starbucks doing some editing while the kiddo was at school, and I had my headphones on and was super focused. My mind wasn’t wandering; I wasn’t thinking about everything I had to do today; I wasn’t worried about anything. It helped that I was editing a really engaging article, but still, I was present, and it was about to become very obvious to everyone at Starbucks. My Google Play brought up “Under Pressure,” and I was INTO IT — head bobbing, finger tapping — INTO IT. Then, all of the sudden I hear someone beside Freddie Mercury and David Bowie singing — someone terribly off key. “Cause love’s such an old-fashioned word, and love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night….” People were staring. I was singing out loud. I was present, damn it.

Guys, I’ve got these resolutions locked down.