Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My resolutions for 2013

Happy New Year.

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve written resolutions for 2013. I had a few hundred words typed out here prior to New Year’s Eve and I just deleted all of it. That draft was preceded by a much angrier draft I wrote while in a gloomy mood the other day. Neither one, I felt, really reflected what I wanted to say on record. This might not either, but I’m going with it because, eventually, you have to get it done.

And that’s been the common thread in every draft of my resolutions I’ve written for this new year — getting it done. This past year, as this blog will attest, was bizarre. It started off fiscally strong but personally miserable, and ended fiscally dire and a more tolerable strain of miserable. For all of its highs — and there were many — 2012 dug me into a personal and professional hole. So the theme in 2013 is to dig out of that hole. It might require drastic action, but I’m ready for it.

1) Make a change. My current situation is unsustainable and I’ve never been more ready to take on a new opportunity. Even if I have to move far away to do it. It worked the first time I did it; moving back, not so much. I’m never happier than when I’m independent, working in my field of expertise and making a difference. Sometimes that makes for very difficult choices, but anything worthwhile is like that. If I can do it here, I will. But I’m open to new possibilities.

2) Live my ideals again. In Missouri, I carved out a decently principled life. Money went farther, I recycled, ate healthier, went to the YMCA and rode lots of bike trails. I had a more diverse array of friends, the roads weren’t uniformly bumpy and the state actually sent me my income tax refund. I’m not saying it was perfect (especially as far as partying and culture were concerned), but I miss so many of the little things that made my life feel like mine. And I realized that I don’t have to be the freak. I hope to find someplace where I fit in better, or at least where my lack of interest in killing animals, binge drinking or tea-partying doesn’t immediately exclude me from half of all activities.

3) Shed excess weight. Not literally, because I’m not exactly hefty (though more toning is definitely in the cards), but metaphorically. It’s amazing how much useless excess you encounter every day; for me it’s unwanted mailing lists, a glut of phone numbers I’ll never need again, documents ripe for shredding, memory-hogging computer files, space-hogging physical files, old possessions I don’t need, etc. It’s long past time to pare it all down. What I’ve done to this end so far has proven to be therapeutic.

4) Be more assertive in attaining what I desire. I’ve often held back on being aggressive, lest I come off as a pushy, Type-A jerk. Sometimes that’s led people to see me as the exact opposite, a total pushover. Neither extreme is true, and I’m determined to find a better middle ground.

5) Continue to be more positive and grateful. Negativity is a bitch, and made me its bitch for a long time. I’ve made it a point in the past few years to be less like my more negative influences and adopt a happier outlook on life. It’s tough, but it’s helped tremendously. At worst, I better sense when I’m dragging down everyone around me. And that’s helped me reduce the frequency of that happening. Besides, it feels much better not to have an emotional mess to clean up later.

6) But not to a delusional degree. I have a hard-and-fast personal rule that all happiness must be based in reality. If I’m happy, it’s because I have a reason to be that way — not because I’ve resigned to mediocrity, plied myself with medication or surrendered to Jesus. If I’m not happy, I strive to find a reason to be happy. A real reason. I could have settled a million times, but I didn’t. Maybe that’s why I’m hardly ever satisfied, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

7) Be grateful about the resolutions I don’t have to make. I’m healthy. I’m on good terms with my entire family and most of my friends, even the ones with whom I’ve had friction on the past. My credit’s in good shape. I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I am, as always, completely clean and sober. I’ve been remarkably consistent in writing and creating. My current bumps in the road are relatively minor in the scales of life and the world. By and large, I don’t have it bad.

8) Finally finish the Best of 2004 and 2005 for this blog. They've both been almost finished for years. I need to clear that out of the brain cache. It's the least I can do.

Here’s to 2013! The best year ever? It can be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2013 will be the greatest.