It’s that time of year, and I’ve seen so many resolutions that people have offered up in the past week. Generally, I shy away from resolutions knowing that they tend to be quickly broken and so often forced – if you’re to believe what you read from the “experts” every year around this time.
Last year, my resolution was simple: to do something just for myself once a day, no matter how small that thing was. It could be reading a chapter in a book or having a piece or chocolate or snoozing the alarm clock – whatever tickled my fancy. I didn’t do horribly at this, but I definitely wasn’t focused on it after awhile. It was too vague in some ways, although the intention was right.
This year, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out that really what matters is being happy, so I’m concentrating not on the nebulous goal of “being happy” but rather on some of the concrete things that I think should help to push me further in that direction on a regular basis. Fortunately, it’s not like I’m *un*happy now the majority of the time.
My first resolution is that I need to either fish or cut bait. I’ve complained previously, both here and to friends, about how I don’t enjoy my job anymore for a number of reasons and how I’d love to quit and stay home. Yet I haven’t submitted my resignation. It’s really hard to walk away from a job in this economy, as I’ve pointed out before. But no one wants to hear someone complaining about something and not doing anything about it — including me. This year, I either need to a) fix my job, b) quit and stay home or c) deal with it and say no more on the topic.
Secondly, I want to spend more time doing things and less time thinking about how much work they’re going to be. (Ok, so this one is somewhat nebulous. Deal with it.) I’m the queen of making commitments and then procrastinating because I know how much work it’s going to be. Then I actually do whatever it is that I’ve committed to, and it’s never so painful as I’ve made it out to be in my head. I’d rather just be done with things and avoid the stress.
Along those lines, I really need to organize a couple of key things:
The first is the office in my house. It’s become the repository of Things That Don’t Really Have A Home, and whenever the cleaning ladies come, more items migrate in that direction. I have a folded up Northwestern rug that I received for Christmas three years ago sitting on an old entertainment center. Both need to be removed. I have a volcano science experiment of Mister Man’s sitting on the same entertainment center, and I should really just do it one day. The list goes on and on — I have a plan of what I want to do in that room, but there is probably three or four days of solid work to be done in that room to get everything sorted and organized, and to get that entertainment center cleared off enough that I can get it donated elsewhere to move in some appropriate furniture instead.
I also need to organize the wee ones’ baby books. I have notes here and there on many of their firsts, and more are in my head (such as Mister Man’s first words of “NO NO NO NONONONONO” when we were in the hospital day three of four at seventeen months for rotovirus). None of this is captured in a baby book, and I want to do this for them as much as for me. Ditto on photo printing and arranging. I have photos starting with a 2001 trip to Seattle that are still sitting in digital format on my computer. You can only imagine how much work I have ahead of me on that one.
The other big thing that I resolve to focus on is not saving things. I tend to be a collector of things rather than a user of them. I’ve only recently started to figure out why it’s so hard for me to “waste” something special – ignoring the fact that some things are only good for a certain amount of time before they’re worthless (witness me doing my marathon free coupon day earlier this week for items that all expired on December 31). Again, being able to take pleasure in things – and I’m talking about everything from “fancy” linen replacement napkins that I received as a sample from a vendor in 1998 (literally) to gift cards to restaurants to bath salts. The pleasure I get from them shouldn’t be in the receiving of them but in the enjoyment from using them.
It’s ironic, but all the things that I am resolving to focus on are items that create stress in my life. Why I allow those areas the power to put stress on me when it’s all in my control is beyond me. But I think I really just need to deal with them. All.
So cross your fingers for me as I hold my breath and ask for a leave of absence when I return to the office on Tuesday. Hey, it’s a step in the right direction, right?
So what are your resolutions for 2010?