Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Tuesday Ten: Happy New Year!

Yeah, I know, it's not quite The Thing any more to make New Year resolutions. I stopped making them myself a few years ago, partly because I never kept them and partly because I couldn't think of any "good" resolutions in the first place.

But this year....I've got some goals in mind. It's not about making a resolution as a tradition, it's about resolving to point myself in the directions I want to head anyway. What better day than the first day of a new year to take some time for personal reflection and goal-setting?

Tuesday Ten: Ten Resolutions for the New Year

1. Get it done.
Remember my to-do list? The junk list?

Get it done.

The basement is nearly clean. We've just got a few things to get rid of and it will be neat and organized for, say, a couple months.

I finally posted the porcelain doll parts on Freecycle. And our old baby gate.

I promise myself that I will paint the bathroom no matter how much I hate to paint.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recyle. Environmental responsibility. Reduce my carbon footprint.

Carbon Conscious Consumer Logo

Whatever you want to call it. It's not just about using less wrapping paper. We're heading for more of a lifestyle change than a specific strategy: Beginning to look for less packaging, buy only what we need, reuse what we can, recycle what we can't. Wash clothes in cold water, bring our own bags to the grocery, buy local produce. Volunteer at the community garden. Simplify our lives. Walk more, drive less. Appreciate what we have.

3. Count my blessings.
I will strive to live a life of gratitude and joy, thankful for the gifts in my life instead of wanting-needing-yearning for more. I am blessed beyond measure. What more could I need?

4. Learn to meditate.
I went for my yearly check-up last week. My doctor and I had a discussion about anxiety. Anxiety of the "Everyone hates me" dwelling on every possible way I might have offended another person keeping me up at night kind. It's gotten really awful over the past year. Silly, and embarrassing to admit, but there you have it. It's one of those monsters that shrivels when you expose it to the light of day.

Anyway, she prescribed an anti-depressant. I'm not totally averse to taking medication, by the way, but the next day I read this 2006 Psychology Today article, "Mastering Your Own Mind," about meditation.

A little time to myself.

It can help reduce anxiety.

No side effects.

Plus, meditation sounds kind of cool. I'll be able to say stuff like, "Oh, this morning when I was meditating...."

(Shhh...don't tell my Irie sis. I like to make fun of her and her "woo-woo" ways. I don't really mean it because I think she's cool, but it gives me something to laugh at, so just don't tell her I actually take her seriously and respect her and stuff. That'll take all of the fun out of my life. Hers too, I'm sure. Heh heh.)

5. Regular gym schedule.
I go to the gym. But I need to go regularly.

I want to start swimming late at night when the pool is empty. Very very empty. Otherwise, people might see me. Exercise swimming is a whole new world to me. I've never done it before and I don't know what I'm doing. I might look stupid. I may have mentioned something about anxiety....looking stupid is just. not. okay.

So maybe my gym resolution should really be to just get over myself already. Heck, I could probably make that resolutions #5-10 and be done with my list.

6. Find a church.
One that suits our whole family. We're at a crossroads. We love some things about the church that we've been attending, and at the same time we're feeling called to find another spiritual home.

I'll start with the church down the street, the one within walking distance. Wouldn't it be lovely to get up on Sunday morning and walk to church instead of grumping everyone into the car?

7. Wardrobe.
A whole new wardrobe!

Just kidding. Really, I want to simplify the wardrobe I've already got. Get rid of the things I don't wear regularly. Buy thoughtfully.

I figure if I simplify I'll have less laundry to wash.

8. "Buu-uut Yes! We have no bananas! We have no bananas today!"
Find more ways to say "yes" to my children. Even though they're not perfect, they're perfectly who they're meant to be. I resolve, not just for this new year, but for always, to remember to honor the messy loud forgetful lovely young people in my life.

9. Sing more and grump less.

10. Life is good.
Not a resolution. Or maybe it is. Life is good.


Lisa said...

Cat, you inspire me. Could I just adopt 8 or 9 of your resolutions instead of laboring to come up with my own?!

I can't fathom you looking stupid. I want to be just like you when I grow up... Never mind that I'm older than you! ;)

Sara said...

I love the list, especially number 10. I need to keep that in mind myself.

KarenK said...

Remove me from your possible list of midnight-anxiety-makers, m'dear, you couldn't possibly do anything to offend me.... although you keep trying, heh-heh. I love you so much. I also know all too well the hateful midnight gremlins who wear spiked shoes and dance in your head, around and around... one concrete thing that helped for me is a bedside notebook and pencil; write down one word for the anxiety-maker thought, then push that thought away to deal with it tomorrow. I don't mean this to be a simplistic solution; most complex feelings like anxiety and depression don't have simple answers. It's just one tiny step. The medication-vs.-meditation struggle is not a cliche, it's a reality. Although you may be anxious, you know that you are loved very much by many people.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Lisa...and I will add to that when people ask me now if I could sit down to lunch with one inspirational person and ask them questions...I think, my dear, I would pick you! You are just...well...awesome! I'm going to steal a few from your list as well. We should all set our meditation time aside and then chat about it later in the day (in our free time, right?) Happy New Year!!!! Julie