Happy 2014! May that not be an oxymoron.
This is the first time in four years that my resolutions don't involve changing my whole life yet again. In a sense, being in a comfort zone has put me outside of my comfort zone. You know what? I’ll take it.
But first ... let’s see how I did on my 2013 resolutions. This should be interesting, given it was one of those bleak, nothing-to-lose eras.
• Make a change. Yeah, that happened. Check!
• Live my ideals again. Not entirely there yet, but making significant progress. Check!
• Shed excess weight. Check in the sense of culling the computer and mailing lists. Not so much as I’d hoped in the literal toning.
• Be more assertive in attaining what I desire. I decided this wasn’t important. I’ve never had assertiveness issues in getting what I want; I just didn’t want a whole lot at the time. That changed, and when it did, I was right where I needed to be. Asterisk!
• Continue to be more positive and grateful. I’m getting really good at this. Check!
• But not to a delusional degree. Oh no. It’s all real. Also, I get aggravated at least once a day, sometimes intensely so. You have to have healthy perspective, after all. Check!
• Be grateful about the resolutions I don’t have to make. Truer than ever. Check!
• Finally finish the Best of 2004 and Best of 2005 for this blog. Not accomplished. Though to be fair, I did work hard on both and might have even finished them. If they’re not up sometime this year, then I am officially awful.
So that’s 5.5 and an asterisk out of 8 for 2013. D equals diploma.
Now, onto the fresh set of resolutions for 2014:
• Work out every day, or as close as possible. The ultimate cliché resolution, and one I never needed to make in the past, because it was my life. But after several years without a regimen, it’s time to find one again. I’ll be 34 this year. There’s no reason anyone ever has to guess that.
• If my back stops being my back, that is. After moving to Reno, my recurring sciatica became an issue again. For the past few weeks, the pain has been particularly acute, affecting my left leg especially. I can’t currently afford therapy or (shudder) surgery, and it stresses me out at times, which makes the pain worse. In the meantime, I’ll do what I can to work through it and not let it turn me into jelly. I suspect this flare-up happened because, for the past five months, I’ve been sleeping on an inflatable mattress. Which brings me to my next resolution:
• Get my stuff, finally. Most of what I own has been in a storage unit in Lafayette since September 2012. My furniture, bike, books, lamps, CDs, DVDs, records, video games, personal writings, my bed, all wall adornments and so much more, locked up for the past 16 months. That’s a long time to be nomadic. I hope none of it has been eaten. Price and logistics have kept it all there this long, but I’m close. I’ve never been materialistic as an adult, but I’ll probably still cry when it all arrives. And maybe, just maybe, the bed will help my back. The mattress is hard enough.
• Resume work on my book, or possibly another one. It’s been almost a year since I revisited If That’s What You Want. My mindset has changed in a lot of ways and I think that will make the story a lot better. Also, once I get my home office set up, I’ll have a lot of free time — and, at last, a desk — to go to Creative Town.
• Be more conciliatory. Despite my best efforts, I find myself aggressively territorial at times. I hate that in other people and also in myself. It rears itself especially in politics and sports. But sometimes it doesn’t, and the results are happy. Ultimately, we’re all people. I have to remember that more often.
• Let things go. This past year, I visited a college friend I hadn’t seen in a few years. As a fellow journalism major, she’d witnessed some of my angriest outbursts, but also a lot of good times. I told her I felt bad about the times I was less than mature. She said (paraphrasing), “You can’t change the past. All we can do is learn and grow and be better people now, and you’ve done that.” I felt a huge release after hearing that. My superb memory might ensure that I retain a lot of painful memories, but that doesn’t mean I have to let them get to me. The past is the past. The future is ahead.
• Do something good for somebody. This tends to just happen.
I guess that’s it. I try to aspire all the time anyway, as everyone should do, so this is more of a refresher list than anything. I hope that’s the case for you as well. Strive always.