My plans for 2019, more or less

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life82 Comments

This year, I want to drink more water.

As I was coming up with ideas for my Letterboard, trying to be clever because if you’re going to put words up, they sort of have to be clever (just browse through Letterfolk’s Instagram feed and you’ll see what I mean!), I was thinking of ways to make drinking 75 ounces of water daily seem easier.

Perspective is a beautiful thing.

I do think new years bring with them a lot of hopes—and pressures—to do more, be more, live more, love more… you get the idea. And I personally love the shift from old year to new. In my mind, I always visualize the change from one year to the next as a calendar that is stacked. You always step UP into January. You never step down.

I have a few plans for the new year, too. One of them is to get back to more personal story telling, but I am not sure what that looks like just yet.

For years, I have used my blog as a place to write about my life. I started blogging in 2005, then took the whole blog down in 2006 after I got tired of dealing with asshats and dumb comments, and then I started over in 2007 when I realized that my blog was a sacred space where I could explore my own story. Trolls and, well, asshats be damned.

And I blogged weekly for many, many years, surprising even myself with my frequency and dedication.

Much of it was related to my work in the crafty world. But much of it was dedicated to my personal life, within limits mind you, but personal nonetheless.

Then this middle place arrived. A time wherein children started moving out. A time wherein Aunt Flo packed her bags for good. A time wherein I suddenly felt more private and more protective of my life and part of me has recently wondered is that simply the invisibility that we embrace with middle age?

I started to feel more balanced in some ways, not needing to write things out as much; not wanting to put stuff out there in a way that now, with my growing, dare I say wisdom, would seem irresponsible or manipulative, or at the very worst, harm in any way the people I love.

And a big part of it is my children are not children and their stories are not my stories to tell.

But what about my story?


There are aspects that I think, thanks to years of therapy, might not resonate today in this space for many reasons. Mostly, I am not the same neurotic person I was a decade ago. Neurotic people who like to write can be so much more entertaining. I’ve grown up a lot because therapy held up a mirror and I was offered a choice: stay the same childish human I had been my entire life, or step up and assume the mantle of adulthood in a real and responsible way.

I am a different person today and that is a good thing for all involved. Especially for me.


But the thing is, I still like to think I’m smart and funny. I use my Instagram Story to let that side out. Maybe that is what has lightened the blogging load for me in some ways. As a self-employed woman and an introvert (which is hard for some people to accept), I still need outlets for fun. Or silliness.

But I do miss writing. And it seems that this so called middle place is in danger of becoming an invisible part of my history. And even though there is a real beauty in being able to stay in the background, because you can observe what is happening all around you in a real way, I don’t want this phase in life to go undocumented.

I mean, no one told me about the chin hair. Why don’t we talk more about the post-menopausal chin hair?

Believe me, I have so much more compassion for my Nana, who always seemed to have giant hair growing out of one of the moles on her face.

Now, I get it.


So for 2019, I have a few goals. I’d like to blog more stories about my life. I definitely want to share more cards and some scrapbook pages and projects, too. See, the thing is that I’m not a prolific scrapbooker and so most of what I do is for my Design Your Story column in Scrapbook and Cards Today magazine (where I also serve as the magazine’s art director), and also for upcoming classes.

But make no mistake: I am still a scrapbooker, friends. It’s a hobby that stuck. For better. I need to wrap up two more months from 2018 in my year-long Scrapbook Your Year project, get a book ordered and then I promise to share a video as soon as I have the book in my hands.


Finally, I’d like to drink more water. Last year was not a banner year in terms of my health and the thing is, it’s not going to be handed to me anymore. Apparently I’m going to have to work a bit for it, which is why I’m all in for Fit 2019, too. Yes, it’s part of how I make my living. That class has been a big boost to my business over the years. But in this lovely middle place, where I am so grateful to be alive and functioning, I need to make some better investments in my self care.

So that’s the update from CZ Central. A nice enough place in the middle of life where I hope to share more stories in 2019. I appreciate you for stopping by.



A HEAD’S UP: The introductory price for Fit 2019 ends on January 15th at midnight. It’s $26 for a year of tracking materials, inspiration and a very supportive community of people who are trying to fit self care into their lives in a real and sustainable way. It’s not too late to join and save. Click on the image above for more information and to register.

Cathy ZielskeMy plans for 2019, more or less

82 Comments on “My plans for 2019, more or less”

  1. #1
    Deborah P

    I’m happy to see you write in any form or fashion because I enjoy your humor. And honesty. Chin hair? Let’s also talk about either side of the mouth hair too. And neck hair. Why can’t it all just come out on my head or eyebrows???

  2. #2
    Tammy B

    I am all in for teleportation! In fact, I would volunteer to be a test dummy! Any way to get from point A to points B, C or D quickly and without stepping foot in an airport is okay by me. And don’t even get me started on chin hair. I haven’t even hit the big change yet and I’m pulling out hairs left, right and centre, literally! Have a great week Cathy! Looking forward to seeing more of your stories and projects on your blog.

  3. #4
    Jessica E

    Hey Cathy! I was finishing up my Scrapbook Your Year album yesterday (yay!) and noticed the cards with year numbers only go up to 2018. Is there any chance we can get some cards for additional years beyond 2018, pretty please? Thanks for creating a project that I feel actually excited to work on and be “caught up” with every month!

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Jessica! Sure thing! I will upload one for 2019 and then one that can be edited as well, going forward. 🙂 Give me a day as I wrap up some other projects.

  4. #6
    Mary S

    Cathy, I’m glad to see that you’ll be writing more. I love your work and was thrilled when you jumped into making cards. I was telling a friend about my planned resolutions for this year and thought, shoot, I’d better write them down or there’s no chance of accomplishing them. I’m up to 12 and all are doable. I don’t want to have to put them on my list again next year, except for the ‘eating better – moving more – drink more water one.’ That’s always on the list. Here’s to a healthy 2019 for you and me!

  5. #7

    Love the honesty on your blog!
    As for more water, I find that setting a goal of drinking this glass before lunch, one at lunch, and one after has helped me. Also, don’t overlook adding flavor to your water. There are a couple of different products for that and that also has helped me at times.
    Good luck!

  6. #8

    The Hidrate Spark start water bottle has been a game changer for me. It tracks your water intake & glows & sends a notification to your phone when it’s tome to drink!

  7. #9

    Chin hair, neck hair, facial peach fuzz, back fat (seriously – where did THAT come from??), saggy upper arms… middle age should come with a manual, or at least a manufacturer’s warning about all the parts that start to wear out! Love your writing whether it’s funny or serious and glad you’ve decided to share some parts of the middle!

  8. #12
    Carol Halvorson

    Love that you are putting your humor into the written word along side your IG spoken words! After listening to people talk all day long, I like the quietness of the page. LOL
    I really enjoy that you moved over to our side! The card makers that is. 🙂

  9. #14

    I always enjoy your writing! I was just thinking this morning that I’m going to have to leave it in my living will that my daughter must take care of my chin hairs *and* my mustache when I’m no long able to. At least as my age advances, more of those hairs are white. As for the water–there’s an app for that. I use one called Watered on my iPhone and watch. I set it for 8 cups of water a day (8 more than I was drinking!) and it taps me and reminds me every hour and a half until I finish up. Good luck with the other goals. I just made goals to make Christmas cards every month and make and send more random cards to my loved ones. Have a fabulous day!

  10. #15
    Paige H.

    I have followed you for years since the early days of the scrapbooking industry boom and while I am a few years older, I feel like we’ve “grown-up” together. Besides sharing the same birthday we have so many similarities in our lives, including our introversion with a need to still have expression (humor or otherwise), our weight and exercise ups and downs, our children being close in age and similar in their stages of life (I have two daughters, a college sophomore and a senior), and I can relate to having grown in to an overall different emotional place . When you blog or post, there is always something that resonates and I’m always grateful for the connection! (@p_haf)

  11. #16

    Glad you’ll be blogging more. IG Stories are super fun, but there’s nothing as satisfying as the written word. As for the invisibility of middle age…I’ll be 48 in June and it is going strong. Your observation is definitely something to ponder on and perhaps act on this year. Thanks for sharing!

    1. #16.1
      Cathy Zielske

      There definitely is something about writing and reading. It slows us down. Makes us work a little harder. I like that.

  12. #17
    Sandra W

    You always make me smile. Love seeing all the great work you create but equally, I look forward to having a chuckle with you. Happy 2019!

  13. #18
    Melissa D.

    I have wondered where my desire to keep things more private was coming from…too much social media? Overload from others? Etc. It never occurred to me that it may just be part of getting older. I’m glad you mentioned that. It gives me pause to consider. I’m happy you are posting here, and on IG. I love your stories and humor. As a fellow friendly introvert who also still enjoys fun, keep up the great work!

  14. #19
    Deborah Lockridge

    Yes! Why don’t they warn you about all the weird things your skin does when you get older? Love reading your blog.

  15. #20
    Heather Bogaty

    The invisibility comment resonates with this 52-year old. I’m trying to make visible magic this year instead of all behind the scenes as has been the norm for a few years. I’m looking forward to a great year!

  16. #21
    Mary Jo

    I started drinking a bottle Hint water to get in another 16 oz a day. It’s just bottled fruit infused water so it’s not blah and has no sweetners. I tried a fruit infused water pitcher to make my own and save money, but I haven’t gotten it quite right yet.

    It’s not the cheapest, but I get it on sale when I can from Target, a local grocery store, or just order a variety pack directly from their site. The one bottle a day pretty much replaced soda for me. That’s how much I look forward to it!

    Anyway, that is one trick that helped me 🙂

  17. #22
    Karen S

    Speaking of things that happen to you as you get older, I saw an orthodontist today about braces! Me and my teenage daughter sporting a matching set. How cool is that? Nobody ever told me that your teeth shift as you age . . . it’s one of the leading causes of malnutrition in senior citizens . . . really.

    Love your writing, your honesty, your blog. Keep it up. I’d be lost without you.

  18. #23
    Honore´ Francois

    I fondly remember your blogging days – both the before and after! I am a couple decades older than you (I’m pretty sure) and I blog most weeks, M-F! In 2017, I blogged 365+ days…and yes, I write about my life, share my thoughts and ask lots of questions, for I am ancaro imparo (still learning). So, I say, go for it! Write! Write! On the blog and in your journals…

  19. #24
    Lara C

    Cathy, I have enjoyed your blog since 2005!
    Keep it up 🙂
    Try a squeeze of lemon in your water, or even grapefruit. Good for metabolism too.

  20. #25

    Chin hairs…when I got married 2nd time at 56 I told my new husband 65 that he had to take care of my chin hairs when I got too old to see them. Sigh…he couldn’t even see them then. Glasses for reading, different glasses for the computer and …are there glasses to see facial hairs even with the magnifying mirror? I used to wonder what people used those mirrors when I saw them in hotels.

    HA! After I drink my pot of decaf/stevia tea in the morning, I switch to decaf coffee alternated with water. Fortunately, the toilet is just outside my studio.

    1. #25.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yes, my office? Also right next to the bathroom! lol. A good thing with all this water I’m trying to down.

  21. #26
    Pam B.

    I loved reading this. I *still* laugh just thinking about your post about your faux-Penzey’s D*ckweed bottle. I’m actually snickering again right now. I love the way you have kept your posts real and dealing with the asshats of the interwebs. I just turned 50 last Sept and am also dealing with stray chin hairs and — what?? — white/grey eyelashes and eyebrow hairs coming in (just to name a few) and having to get new glasses every year or two. Bleh. I’ve loved watching you change and grow over the years, like a friend (only online). I still love your style and am amazed at the artsy side of you that came out after you started making cards. It’s like watching a friend turn into a butterfly. Not that you were a caterpillar, but ykim, right? I miss seeing all the updates on my scrappy friends and their kids (Stacy J., you, Lisa B., etc). We’re all documenting life and its changes, so keep it up and thanks for keeping us publicly posted.

  22. #28

    Dang, Cathy. You have just put into words how I felt 7 years ago, when my son left for college, and I too, hit that middle space. Invisible. Story-less. Kind of irrelevant. As I’m writing this, it occurs to me how a whole bunch of us spent so many years flipping through the glossy pages of scrapbook magazines, looking at all of those layouts that featured kids, and we forgot how to tell stories about ourselves.

    I work full time, but a few years ago I decided to start volunteering. So now my golden retriever Charlie and I go and hang out with elderly folks at senior centers, or we go to the library and kids read books to him. I may start taking him to the USO center at my local airport. Point being, I needed to create a new story for myself, one that didn’t have my son as the main focus. Last year I created a 6 x 8 album where I only put *my stories. It’s still kind of slim, but at least I have an outlet.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think a lot of us can relate.

    1. #28.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I wish I had a Charlie. Maybe I need to be on the lookout for nice older dogs, huh? 🙂

  23. #29
    Lisa Hetrick

    Everything about this just makes me smile! And yes the chin hair. Why? Why? Why? The struggle is real and daily. I’ve greatly enjoyed your storytelling over the years. Keep telling them. The truth is…we are all connected and need to share in the highs and lows. So good. So much grace.

  24. #30
    Mel H

    Cathy…you are my spirit animal. “Trolls and Asshats be damned.” That is worth the solid price of admission.

  25. #31

    I’ve been a follower and fan for quite some time; and it’s always so refreshing to read your blog. Your candor, honesty and humor always resonates with me, thanks for sharing. Being older but not necessarily wiser, I am here to say the aging process it not for the faint of heart! I try to take it as it comes. Look forward to 2019 at CZ designs.

  26. #32

    Thank you Cathy for being so real and not being afraid to let us know.
    You’re inspiring. I’m glad to know you’re going to keep blogging.
    Let me share my story about stray hairs. A few years ago, I was visiting with my Mom and some friends after church one Sunday when one of my Mom’s short and elderly friends reached over and suddenly yanked a hair from the side of my neck! I was shocked. She held it up and proclaimed it’s length to be about 1.5 inches. Groan. You can bet I’ve been looking for those hanging hairs myself ever since!

  27. #33
    Sandy Bridenthal

    Lesson learned: Never travel without tweezers. My sisters and I do a weekend away at least once a year. On one of these trips, Sister # 3 noticed a chin hair, which was growing longer every hour. We finally determined that this constituted a medical emergency and contacted the front desk for use of a first aid kit, which did include tweezers which were used to remove the offending chin “splinter”, a term much easier to bring up in polite company. (Not that my sisters and I qualify for polite company.)

  28. #34
    carol ann

    I don’t care about anything negative about you, Cathy. No one’s perfect – I speak from experience. I like you just the way you are! Blog away, write away, craft away… you’re fine to me and whole lot of others here! 🙂 We love you, girl!

  29. #35
    Sharon Fletcher

    You hit the hair on the chin!! This menopause thing…let’s definitely talk about it. We need to share that its a bumpy slide down this side of puberty. And I would say, its freeing too. I feel as if I am having an opportunity to redo my teenage years only with much more wisdom! Here’s to having more fun, sharing and writing! I look forward to your writing and sharing. And sharing in FIT 2019 this year! We’ve got this as we will support and lift each other in this journey!

  30. #36
    Juli P

    Long before I heard of your class or knew it was a thing, I declared 2019, my year of self care.
    I’ve got a 12 and 14yo and a dog and a husband….then there us me. Last on the list.
    This year, I’m moving myself up higher on the list and doing things for me!
    Thanks for helping me do that with Fit 2019!

  31. #37
    Amanda M.

    This really struck me: “and part of me has recently wondered is that simply the invisibility that we embrace with middle age?” PLEASE don’t be invisible. Even if the world tells women to disappear as we age, we shouldn’t. You’re funny and your voice is needed. I love reading your blog.

  32. #38

    Yes, to hearing more CZ stories and reading more CZ writings in 2019. What a joy you are…seriously.

  33. #39

    I’d like the first one and the last one. the rest not my bag.

    I struggle daily with getting enough fluids. Eventually got to see a Speech and Language Therapist (did *you* know that’s who deals with swallowing problems!?) hoping for miracles only to be told basically it’s keep working hard at it. every bloomin day. And I am, but not making much progress. So if you can glug down a cupful of water I salue you – your very good health!

    always wanted teleportation as my super power when I was wee, cos if you fly you’d still get wet. and it rains a LOT here. but I did worry about how you’d know not to re-materialise where someone was standing, or in a wall, or something. I did not get less weird with age, did I.

    I don’t make goals, they only make me feel bad. But I want tons of stuff, and I’m working towards it, always, in my own way. This year is not looking easy for most people in prospect, but one lives in hope. Sometimes hope is all you have left. that and breathing.

    you write your stuff, I’ll read it! and when you figure out the teleportation thing, pop over for some tea and shortbread ;P

  34. #40
    Steph Whitmore

    I love reading about your world Cathy, and I love reading about how you view yourself; you make it somehow easier for me to accept myself. So please, keep writing because there is a person on the other side of the world (me) who wants to keep reading.

  35. #41
    Lena D

    The BEST thing I ever did was get laser hair removal for those chin hairs! OMG, it even stopped those cystic ingrown hairs I would get from plucked hairs regrowing. Had I known that it doesn’t work on the gray chin hairs, I would have done it years ago. While you’re at it, you can say goodbye to the mustache too. Sooo worth the money. The darker, most offensive hairs were gone pretty much after one or two treatments.

  36. #42

    Keeping it real, as always, Cathy. I’m quite a bit older than you, so a lot of this is in my rear view mirror now, but your comments reminded me of a scrapbook layout I did years ago, when this was happening. I did some research on the stages of life and what each one brings. The result was a layout called “three goddesses —- Maiden, Mother and Crone”. Yes, crone! It was enlightening.
    According to Jane Fonda, I am in the final chapter of my life (crone). May it be a long chapter.
    Please don’t ever stop writing your stories and sharing them with us.

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