I get so sad when people say that they won’t even bother making any new year’s resolutions because they either don’t care or don’t think they’ll actually stick with them. It will be a sad day when I ever think like that. One of the many joys in life is having things to look forward to and feeling empowered to make positive changes in one’s life. So my very close friends know that I take my new years’ resolutions very seriously. So seriously, that I’ve been thinking of them since mid-December and only now do I feel ready to declare them. In the spirit of what I’m trying to achieve in 2011, I have only one. But I will show you how I plan to apply this one to a few different areas of my life:
Learn to do things in moderation
This is a concept that practically does not exist in my vocabulary. Except for the few areas in which I don’t know how I learned to be so uncharacteristically laid back, I am usually a black and white/ all or nothing type of gal. This extreme thinking has helped me in many ways. If you are a frequent reader of my posts, you will know that I believe in excellence. In the pursuit of goals and dreams, there is no option but “all”. This thought leads to amazing discoveries and achievements. However, I must admit that it also does cause me undue stress. So here are a few areas where I can scale off the two ends of my spectrum and try to live more in the middle:
Cleaning: Let me try to explain to you how I tend to do laundry. My husband asks, why must I wait 2 weeks for there to be several full loads? Can I not do one load every couple of days? I generally will wait until my bathroom is swimming in clothes before I lug several baskets worth downstairs to the laundry room. So if you live with me, it’s a necessity that you have at least 3 weeks worth of underwear and socks. Of course, though, my answer is quite rational. I am trying to save time. If you do one washer load and then dry that load while you’re washing another load, the overlap allows me to save time and energy. Then by the time the third load goes into the wash, my second load is drying and my first load is being folded and put away. Furthermore, it is much more cost efficient and proper to wait until you have a full load of colors and a full load of whites. Yes, in theory, quite logical. In practice, however, I end up taking several days to finish those few washes and the folded laundry sits in my room for another few days. So maybe, just maybe, he may be right on this one. I guess I could “clean as I go” too a little more. I’m going to try, really.
Writing: I need to be in a “mood” to write. The act of writing is a very draining process. I put my heart and soul into trying to do justice to my thoughts and feelings, and if my energy tank isn’t full, it feels like such a shame. And then to think of putting my words on display for all to read when they’re not up to par… results in a lot of unfinished and unpublished posts. But, I could work on this. The point is to practice writing, to get material up, to possibly gain a following, so that one day, I might write a book. And just like everything else, ‘practice makes perfect’. Not ‘perfection justifies practice’. So this year, I’m going to try not view writing as having to give my soul and instead, try to keep it light, fun, and more brief.
Friendships: I have a few best friends and then… well that’s kind of it. I can count on my fingers the number of people I consider close friends, and for those people I would go to battle in a heartbeat. But it’s difficult for me to do the casual staying in touch with good folks that don’t fall in that category. You know, meet up for lunch, drop a phone call once in a while, that kind of thing. It does sound nice to have a circle of acquaintances and friends, with whom you don’t necessarily have to share your life. Marrying my husband has been great for me here, because he has a circle of really great people as friends. So, this year, I will try to be a better friend to all those to whom I am not a best friend.
Home Improvements: I just got back from my sister-in-law’s house, where she did such a nice job decorating and building her home over the last year or so. This is such a relevant comparison to show how I can apply this moderation concept for the better. Here I’ve been thinking that if I’m not going to do the entire room: furniture, decor, paint and all then I’m not going to do it. And she on the other hand, has been working on one thing at a time, as she can, as it comes. That little by little theory is much less stressful and allows you to enjoy the process just as much as you enjoy the finished product. So I will take a chapter from her book and work on that this year.
Vacationing/ Resting: I love vacations. They keep me going. When I’m overworked, the light at the end of my tunnel is always my countdown to my next big trip to the Caribbean, which happens but once a year. I’ll spend the entire year’s vacation fund on one big trip and go all out. Now, let me not be too harsh on myself, because there are great merits to doing something right. Rather than waste a bunch of money on lavish dinners and such, putting that money towards a trip of a lifetime certainly in my book is much more rewarding. However, I could probably trim back a little and apply those trimmings to shorter weekend trips, day trips and such to give me short bursts of fuel throughout the year.
Exercise: I know y’all out there can feel me on this one, because it’s probably one that most Americans struggle with. The whole: exercise 5 times a week or not at all thing. The whole: spend a few hundred a year on the gym and go all out or not at all thing. I consider myself pathetic in this area. What ever happened to good old calisthenics? What ever happened to nice little walks? Why must I either go hard burning 300 calories in an hour or not even bother at all? Well, this year, I’m not going to all or not even bother. Let’s just get moving, life’s too short.
My temper: Most, most, most of the time, I am mild tempered. Yes, most. I will toot my own horn and say that I can be pretty cool. I try not to take myself too seriously and I really enjoy interacting with people. However, there are moments when I get edgy. Yes, if I feel wronged, the hair on my skin stands straight up and my fight, not flight, instincts kick in. This happens with friends, this happens with poor client service reps at the store or over the phone, this happens with my husband and my family. But, you know, your character really shows when you’re put in tough situations, and I need to get better at that. I’m no good person, if I can’t be good all the time. So, Imma try to relax a bit, my friend. Life’s toooo short.
Stress: I stress about work constantly. Nothing I do is good enough. It’s quite contrary to what I am told and yet I am my absolute worst critic. I’m not exactly sure how this fits in with the moderation theme, but I think somewhere in there, I have some room to give myself some room. Maybe I can not dwell on all the sentences I could have spoken more eloquently. Or waver between the two dangerous emotions of loving and hating my work. Maybe, I can accept the great things about what I have, what I’ve achieved, where I am, and just for a moment, stop and appreciate them. Sounds okay to me.
Maybe, reader, if you’re still there, you might share your new year’s resolution below.