It seems like everybody I know had a very hard 2010. Myself included. Lots of changes, lots of angst, lots of growth. It's nice that everybody takes the new year as an opportunity to take a deep breath and say "phew! I made it. Next year will be better". Really, it's just another day, but just that psychological break seems to be enough to rejuvenate us and give us hope that things will indeed get better. Optimism is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I have a hard time remembering what I've done for New Year's every year.
NOT for the reasons you may think, (except that one year.....but unfortunately I remember everything. Ev.er.y.thing. But more on that later) but for the sheer fact that I am boring. At the heart of it, most of my adventurous spirit gets lived in my head. When it comes down to ACTUALLY going out and doing something crazy and fun, I find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying "meh. I'm tired." I hate this about myself. My friend Carolyn is the exact opposite, and I absolutely adore that about her. She always has some great party to go to, or some amazing club she and her friends found, or tickets to some kickass concert I would die to go to. Alas, she lives in the San Francisco area. More to the point, she's out there living. I want to be more like that. Beginning to blog has inspired me to get out there more and document, take pictures and think of ways to turn it into a funny and entertaining story. That brings us to another thing I hate about myself. PROCRASTINATION *enter echo-y sound effects here* Looking back over all of my diaries I kept as a kid (oh man, did I ever keep diaries!), when I wrote down my New Years resolutions, there was always that blaring one: no more procrastination! I even specifically remember an entry from when I was about 11 or 12: "no more procrastinating! Do it now, do it right!" Ah, yes. The unjaded enthusiasm of youth. There is wisdom in this, however. It can also bleed over into "not living life enough". Next year I'll plan something fun, when I have more energy I'll do such and such, eventually I'll visit my friends in the Bay Area.... You know. Don't deny it. It's a universal truth. My Mom used to have a magnet on our fridge (is it still there?) that said "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers. AMEN.
I have always written down New Years resolutions. They were usually the typical ones everybody always has. Lose weight, exerise more, eat right, procrastinate less, blah blah blah. Well, I'm going to keep mine a bit more attainable. I know I hate gyms, I don't need to lose any more weight (never thought I'd be saying that at ANY point in my life!), and I'm always going to procrastinate just a little bit. I know me. Me is a lazy bastard. So I'm going to share my resolutions with ya'll, so feel free to hold me accountable and wag your finger at me and say *tsk tsk* if I should falter. I can take it,
1. Procrastinate LESS. Some people can procrastinate, and it's not really that bad. My problem is that I'm EXTREMELY forgetful, (I blame the ADD. Really. Blame is freeing and fun!) and I know that it probably won't get done unless I do it now.
2. Walk or rollerblade the dogs every day. Twice a day is ideal for them, and it needs to happen. I'm not saying I NEVER exercise them (they would be unlivable), but they do get restless. This holiday season when I was sewing sewing sewing, working, knitting, sewing some more, working, etc..etc, they just didn't get their exercise. The guilt ate at me every day. No more guilt! More walks!
3. Talk less, listen more. This seems to be a common resolution among people, but for me it's especially important. Me? A talker? NEVER! I've tried to understand why I talk So! Dang! Much! and I think it comes down to that old song, "I'm just a soul whose intentions are gooooood! Oh lord, please don't let me be misunderstood." Almost like I keep trying to pick the right words, fail, try again, repeat ad nauseum. Or like I want to prove how clever and funny and smart I am. Ouch, that hurts to write. Hello mirror, you're not being very nice today! There's another quote I try to keep on constant rotation in my head from Abe Lincoln: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Really, I don't need to voice every. single. thought. about everything and every topic in a conversation. Especially when the alcomohol comes out (hooo lordy! Bonnie's gonna get chatty!) I need to keep my yap shut. It'll prevent that feeling later of "ooohhh, I talked waaaaay too much. So much for that next party invite." Really people, it comes from a deep-seated social anxiety that goes waaaay back to my childhood of trying WAY too hard to fit in with the cool kids. Trying REALLY REALLY hard to be entertaining and prove that I belong there. Usually with the opposite effect. Moving on.
4. Spend more time with friends. This past year, it has become GLARINGLY apparent that I have neglected my personal relationships. I am way beyond blessed to have the kind of friends that go back to Jr. High and High School days where you form those bonds that are truly, truly unbreakable and unconditional. We've been through the shit storm of adolescence and come out the other side as family. The kind of family you choose. I love these people with my entire heart and soul, and need to spend more time with them. Not as a "oh, aren't you SO lucky I'm spending time with you!" sort of thing, but as a soul-nurturing "you've been feeling rejected by a lot of people lately, and need to be reminded that the people that matter most are still there and missing you." Knowhadimean? And new friends too. The ones whose calls I never return because I always mean to "later", and forget. See: procrastination. friend-loser habit extraordinnaire.
5. RELAX. When the hell did I become such a stress case? I used to be the gooiest, most easy-going person on the planet! Yes, a lot of big stuff has happened over the past few years, and I'm an emotive person. But I need to realize that being expressive and emotive can come off to others as "total nut ball stress case!". I despise the current practice of "fine". "Oh, I'm fine! How are you?" You can be having the worst day in history, and you MUST smile and say "I'm fine!". I'm a terrible liar. Always have been. It's not that I can't, it's just that I really hate lying. I'm not saying you have to tell the girl at the grocery store checkout your life story, why you're having the worst day ever, but a simple "it's a rough day, but I get to go home soon. How's your day?" will suffice. Tell the truth, people! It's freeing! But yes, I definitely need to relax and take things in stride a bit more. It's a constant learning process. I wish I could apologize to everybody I know, and tell them "really, I'm not this person! I swear!". Nobody likes to be around a stressed out whiner, and I've watched a lot of people I care very much about pull away from me gradually. This must change.
6. Don't overload my plate, metaphorically speaking. These past couple of years have been a good lesson in finding out what kind of person I am. Going back to school and taking a full class load, working, volunteering at the zoo, homework, etc, was a crazy schedule. I did very well, getting mostly A's and one B+ in biology. There were some freakout moments (umm...I may have freaked out more than once about my spanish class. The teacher was awful. Don't ask.) It sounds stupid, but there were a couple of things that helped me get through it. One was a bracelet that says "believe in yourself" (cheesy, I know, but I love it) and the other was a necklace with a picture of a bee on one side, and the words "just be" on the other. It reminded me that no matter how crazy my schedule was, I was exactly where I was supposed to be at that moment. Don't think about where I'm supposed to be later, or how much homework there is to do, just slow down and be exactly where I should be. That was a big comfort, actually. Nevertheless, I've found that I'm a much calmer, happier person if I balance my schedule a bit more.
7. Finances. Yes, that old cliché. I discovered mint.com, and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. They even have an app for iphone, ipad, etc. It helps you budget, reach goals by taking leftover income after bills and adding it to your goal. It's all automatic. It's incredible! Once you put in your banking, credit cards, all that info, it analyzes what kinds of purchases you've made and categorizes it for you. Then it starts you out by creating a realistic budget based on your spending habits. It's so freeing seeing an actual number in front of you that says "it's okay to spend $ on xyz, because you've already budgeted for it. No guilt, no guessing if you're going to make all your bills for the month. All it takes is discipline. So go! Run, don't walk over to mint and create your own plan today!
I think that's about it. If you've read this far, you get a cookie. Or an aspirin. Whichever you prefer. Oh! I lied. One last resolution. Blog blog blog. It goes along with the procrastination resolution. There have been so many things I wanted to write about, but haven't. Then I wind up hating myself for not writing, feeling anxious, guilty, etc. So why not save myself those awful feelings and just WRITE?! Dooo eeet.
So how about you all? I'd love it if you would leave a comment telling me just one of your resolutions for the new year. Please?
As a New Years gift for anyone who's reading, when I get home this evening I'm going to write out a doozy of a New Years story for you. There are definitely better stories out there, but for living a pretty dull life so far, it's one of the best I've got. Now my boyfriend Brandon and I are waiting to be picked up by his Dad, Bill, to go skiing at Blue Mountain. Hopefully I won't be writing with a broken leg later! Nah, I'm a decent skier, and I've never been reckless. Happy New Year, interwebs!