So, I’m not really big on resolutions for the New Year, but I thought I’d start out with some goals. I have a few things that I have planned that are specific goals I’d like to accomplish, like running my second 10K next weekend or going on a Disney Cruise before the year is over. Other things are just more generic areas of my life I’d like to improve.
2014 I hope will bring a bit more stability. This year has been a rocky one and there were a lot of things that I would care not to repeat. There was some great stuff too, but definitely more dark than light.
I would like to read more in the next year. I am ashamed to admit that I only completed four books, two fiction and two non in all of 2013. For someone who loves to read, was a lit major, and is certified to teach English (fun fact), this is pathetic. I know the beginning of the year is typically beyond crazy, at least through March, so I’ll try to set the bar at a realistic 10 book minimum. This should be doable with a book between now and March and then one per month for the rest of the year. I will make this happen. I just need to shift some things around.
Writing is another thing that I love that I have put on the back burner. Yes, I blog semi-regularly over at http://www.onthegoinmco.com, but I would like to be more consistent in my writing both there and here. I’d also like to get back into more creative writing, which I miss dearly. I don’t think I want to put a quantitative measurement on my writing, but just do better at it than I did this year.
Along these same lines, I want to relax more. Whether that is traveling to Orlando less than the usual 2 – 3 weekends a month I currently do, or just not running around like a crazy person when I do travel I’m not sure. I need to take more time to focus on me and recharging my batteries. Tonight is a good example. I’d love to have spent New Year’s Eve with friends at a party or in the parks as I have the last couple of years, but it just doesn’t make sense. I need to listen to my body and rest more. Go to the beach more often. It is ten minutes from my house for god’s sake and I maybe get there three or four times a year. I could save a ton of time and energy and money if I didn’t travel every other weekend and maybe that’s what I need to do. Sure, I’ll miss my friends, but maybe they can come to visit me for a change.
Speaking of saving, I want, no, need, to get back on track. I can’t say how much stress comes from not having money when I need it, but let’s just say it is a lot. I can work harder to get out of debt and pay off some of those stupid bills that cause me headaches. Again, maybe not going away as often might help here.
Running for me is a bone of contention right now. I enjoy the bling, and the 5Ks are fun, but they can add up money-wise, especially for some of the Disney races. I don’t want to completely give up on running, but maybe shift away from races after February and focus more on doing it for myself and to try to get healthier. I need to not focus on how others are doing and compare myself to them when it comes to running. I’m overweight, have had major knee surgery and have asthma. These aren’t excuses, but realizations. I need to working on being a better me, not running against my friends and their accomplishments.
I want to be a better person all around. A better friend, sister, daughter, granddaughter and just a better human being. I will try to stress less over the small stuff. Focus on the good stuff. Live in the present, but respect the past while not dwelling on it. I hope we all are in for a happier and healthier 2014. Happy New Year!
So here’s the funny thing I’ve learned about life: you get what you give. I, as people often do, started to think several weeks ago about what I was going to do to improve the new year. Many choose to label these “new year’s resolutions” and promptly do away with them when the year isn’t so shiny and new any more. I decided to take a new tack this year. Figuring the huge grandiose ideas were not the most attainable, I opted to start small.
I have set two rather straightforward goals for myself. One is rather simple, but harder to abide by than I expected: don’t leave anything on the bathroom floor. I know, this may sound silly to some, but I have a really bad habit of bringing my clean clothes that I’m going to wear for the day into the bathroom before I shower, taking off the dirty clothes, and leaving them in a pile on the floor. In the grand scheme of things I know this may not seem like a big deal, but it always has bothered me (my bedroom floor, now that is another story). We are only about halfway through the month and I’m doing really well. I haven’t once left the clothes on the floor for more than a few minutes after getting out of the shower. I consider this a coup.
As for the second goal, it has been a bit more challenging. I have decided I’m not going to have any more bad days. Last year was not a great one for me. To briefly recap: I was unemployed for the majority of the year, I was really sick with bronchitis five times in 2011, and I had ridiculous car issues costing thousands upon thousands of dollars. So to improve over last year won’t be much of a challenge, I hope. Not having bad days I’ve convinced myself is very simply mind over matter. Sure, bad stuff is going to happen. I’m allowing for exceptions if God forbid there is some kind of monumental loss in my life, however, that doesn’t mean I’m going to allow it to consume me and take over my life.
One of my favorite quotes from my high school yearbook senior year was “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” This is so damn true, but I don’t realize why it has taken me fifteen years to come around and recognize this fundamental truth of life. Yeah there are going to be moments when you are pushed to the brink. When that one person who always gets under your skin picks a day to unload on you it will be hard to let it roll off your back, but if you don’t, what do you gain? What does holding on to anger and fighting fire with fire get you? Life isn’t about winning arguments. It is often about surviving. To survive you must adapt to your surroundings and adjust accordingly. The trees that bend with the wind don’t tend to snap.
This is not to say that you should just sit there and take whatever crap people throw at you. Don’t be a doormat. But you can choose to walk away from an untenable situation, or kill them with kindness. It is amazing what a smile and a kind voice can do to diffuse tension. One thing I am personally trying to do is to be more communicative. I have, on occasion, been known to hold back and sit on things and think too much. Scenarios spin through my mind and often out of control. Had I simply asked a clarifying question to the parties involved, things may not have happened the way they did. Headaches, annoyances, etc. could have been avoided and hurt feelings could have been spared all around.
For my part, I am trying to become a better me. I don’t want to change who I am, because I like me, most days anyways. I just want to continue to strive to improve and ameliorate myself to get to that place I want to be. I’ve learned it isn’t about having what you want, but much more so wanting what you have. Embrace the good in life. Don’t seek out the negative. I guarantee you it is out there and you will find it. Don’t start creating conspiracy theories whether it is at work, with friends or family. If you are unclear of why someone is asking something of you it is perfectly acceptable to politely ask them why they want to know. I also promise you that if you look for the positive things in life you will also find those, they are just sometimes hidden and you have to dig for them.
I’ve never shied away from hard work in my life. I’ve had my fair share of challenges and tend to excel when difficult situations are thrust upon me in work and academic environments, so why can’t I adapt and apply those skills to my personal life? Guess what? I’ve decided I can. So here we are, on day 17 of the new year and I have yet to have a single bad day. I’m keeping a positive outlook on things. Sure I could bitch and moan about this or that, but really where does that get me? I will vent of course, but harping on the negative is a thing of the past for me. I choose to make them all good days. I won’t let others bring me down. It is my goal to bring others up. Who is with me?