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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Tomorrow is my birthday. It's also my New Years' Day.

You ever get so excited about something that wouldn't really excite too many other people you know .. or even make so much sense at all to them, really -- 
 but when you finally begin, you get that flutter in your chest about it?

That's how I feel about 2016, and the things I plan in it.  Sure, I know, you've heard it from just about everyone you know so far about the New Year.  You pretty much hear the same vague platitudes every year.  

I'm going to do SO much better this year.  I really feel it this time.  Changes are coming, and they're good.  All I have to do is get out there and DO IT!

Sound familiar?  It does to me.  I am pretty sure I have a blog post every single "first week of January" for the past four, maybe five years.  I'm too embarrassed to actually check.  I'll let you look back for me and rub it in my face later.

For some reason, I've been writing down jots of resolutions on post-its and scrap pieces of paper for the past three years.  It seems, perhaps, less daunting if I put them on a tiny piece of notecard than a banner across my phone wallpaper.  Less forceful, less taunting if I don't get them done.  Here's what I wrote last week, during my lunch break at work, while feeling particularly spirited about 2016.

- Increase Work Ethic.  Decrease Procrastination.  Eric and I have finally started the extremely overwhelming task of unpacking the bags, stacks of boxes, and generalized crap I have stored in our basement from my apartment, at which I lived for nine long years and have been here for almost a year.  I had found it nothing short of exhausting to even LOOK at the volume of sheer crap that I own and stashed away.  Without getting TOO fluttery-eyed, E has gently, step-by-step, helped me finally sort through my belongings, donating six bags to charity, filling almost three large boxes of items to sell, and unearthing treasures I all but forgot I had.  We can finally see the potential of creating the basement into the living space we dreamed it could be, and I am falling in love with the house, and my husband, more and more each day.  It's this sense of work ethic, taking pride in what you do, that I admire so much in others and wish to have more in myself.

- Read and Write More.  Screen/Phone it in less.  I almost didn't write this today.  And I had been so ambitious.  I had taken NOTES earlier last week in how I wanted to frame this entire post out, and have it ready ahead of time.  And what happened?  Right now it's after 10 PM on the Sunday night before back-to-the-real-world, goodbye-holidays work begins.  Everyone is dreading it.  

(Did I even mention tomorrow is my birthday?  Everyone hates my birthday this year.  How about that.  #pityparty)

 But instead of griping that I didn't get to do what I wanted and wasting time in front of the TV, I finally just sat myself down at my desk and am writing my feelings out.  And I gotta tell ya, it feels gooooood.  I have a lot of rust in this creative side of my brain, but I can feel it starting to churn again.  I just read today that "neuron elasticity" is a thing (how that for a non-creative way to put it) .. I need to get that back.

I have to really focus on the things that matter to me.  Stop wasting time on things that don't matter and spend time on the things that do.  For me, aside from friends and family, that is writing and reading.  I hope to make this really actionable.  (ugh, excuse the buzzword) 

- Live Intentionally.  I think I will save more about that one this week.  But I think you know where that must be going.

I didn't number these 1, 2, and 3, as I believe they're all equally important to me coming back to here in December and considering these accomplished.  Let's see how I do.

A funny aside: As I was cleaning the basement with E the other day, I came across last year's resolutions.  Gosh if they don't sound similar.  I think I'm better armed to accomplish this year, however, and I look forward to it.

Thanks so much to many fellow online writers that have shaped me to really WANT this for 2016.  Taylor, Helene, Ashley, Amanda, Shannon, and others.  Let's really do this.  I mean it this time.  

Stifle the laughter, would you?