So, Welcome 2009.
Get I get a Wooooo!
I spent the countdown and post-countdown in heavy slumber, on the couch. I vaguely remember kissing the Mr at midnight and going back to sleep.
I must admit, it’s tough to get it up for the New Year. All of the New Years business is starting to become, for me, like Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day—some manufactured, amateur-night thing that you’re supposed to do, but really kind of empty. Taking Stock and Making Plans and Resolving to Be Your Bestest You. It was all wearing on me, weeks before the actual end of the year–and yet, it has been on my mind quite a lot (though glib posts about more superficial issues sure do make a nice digression, eh?).
I’m feeling uncharacteristically negative and curmudgeonish and unmotivated this New Year, partly because of the economic upheaval, and whatever its implications are for us, and partly because I have this very keen sense of time passing much too quickly and slipping away from me. In the past, I was such a good resolution-maker! It always took so little to get me rallied up for starting anew (which is why, as someone who has been on the academic calendar for so many years, September is such a total high for me) –and lord knows that I’m a very strong starter. Writing down some key resolutions and even some sub-steps to achieving them was always something I did without too much effort. Now, I can’t even come up with anything to want in the coming year–anything that I want enough to resolve to get, anyway.
Slowly, though, some ideas are starting to take shape, and they might even be better than my usual Lose 20 Lbs., Be More Frugal, etc. This limping along into the New Year–if I can gain some direction to the limping–already feels a little bit better, a little bit more real, than my usual epiphanies and Big Bang beginnings. A lot less sexy, but maybe better.
So, for 2009, I seek to:
Dig Deep. This quasi-mantra has been knocking around in my head for a few months now, courtesy Gretchen Rubin, a favorite blogger of mine, and The Happiness Project. It encompasses a lot, and I realize that it goes against all of the conventional wisdom about making resolutions (the big, specific goal broken down into measureable smaller steps and whatnot) but it just feels right. Because, after all, the number of New Years resolutions that are actually kept are pathetically few.
So, time to try a new approach. Not terribly specific, not very flashy, but important, and applicable to so many circumstances which affect my life. And most importantly, addressing a deficit that I have. Digging deep will mean not caving in to exhaustion and letting LittleMan just have that fucking Oreo right before dinner, just because I don’t have the energy to hear another round of persistence from him. It will mean stopping, many times per day, and refocusing on the task at hand, and its completion. It will mean digging for the patience to deal with family members and not just knee-jerk reacting.
Achieve Mastery. Again, not all that specific, not all that sexy. But I’ve realized that while it’s great to be a Strong Starter (and no one who has met me would deny that I am a champion among strong starters), it’s really a lot of worthless bullshit unless a) you’re part of a team which includes someone who is maybe a less creative/brainstormy, but who is a great finisher, and who actually likes that role, or b) you’re also a decent finisher. Because good, solid finishers are underrated.
So, while one of my biggest strengths is that I love to learn new skills and absorb as much as possible, this will mean choosing what to learn this year, and achieving mastery, rather than getting just enough knowledge or skill and then losing interest. Becoming highly competent in Whatever It Is. Microsoft Excel. Spanish. Cleanng my House. And knowing when to limit what to start, in order to master something which has already been started.
Sharpen and Use Existing Skills. Like empathy; bringing people together and hooking them up; cheering on the efforts of others. Identifying what I do well and not categorizing those things as uniportant, un-lucrative, useless. Doing these things better in order to help others and help myself.
Create Something. No idea what I mean here. But I have always had the feeling that I was meant to create something, and I’ve always had a yearning to do so. And since I’m woefully deficient in any visual or fine arts, this probably means something in writing, or possibly cooking. I’d like to have created something by the end of 2009, and maybe this blog is the beginning of that.
Well. What the hell do you know–in the course of writing one post, I have gone from Eeyore to Tony Robbins. Or some such thing. These resolutions will be subject to review and revision, and small print, but I will give them my very best effort.
I wish I could aspire to some kind of greatness, or recreate myself, or seek and sieze something this 2009, but I feel the need to be a lot more realistic. And I believe that by doing these things, I’ll be that much more ready to not squander those great things when they come my way.