Random Thoughts on the New Year

In the tradition of starting the way I wish to go on, I overslept by several hours this morning.  Then I hopped on the exercise bike* for a while and then showered.  I drank a glass of water and then had some coffee with milk.

This is all being placed under the heading of Taking Care of Myself, which is my theme of 2015.**  Even the milk.

There were several bright spots in 2014, including meeting a few dear friends face-to-face for the first time (Hi, Marion, Lyra, Laura, Lisa, Amy, Dee, and Luis—and also Sherry, because seeing you is always wonderful!), finishing the draft of a novel and receiving some terrific comments on some stories I’ve written in the past.

But those lovely moments were more the exception than the rule.  And I think, looking back, that this was mostly my fault.

I was anxious last year.  Worried and self-conscious and depressed and burnt out.  I experienced several disappointments and disappointed myself in the handling of them.

The biggest reason for this was that I kept holding myself to personal standards I could not possibly meet, and didn’t realize that my mistake wasn’t in failing those standards, but in holding myself to them in the first place.

How can I possibly care for myself when I’m too busy beating myself up?

So I’m going to try not to do that this year.

This year, I’m holding myself to different standards:

I’m going to sleep more without guilt

Sleep QWERTY

Who says sleeping is a waste of my time?

Behind too sleep deprived to function is a waste, too, right?

___

 I’m going to read a little every day

Inside a Book

Why mess with an excellent track record?

___

I’m going to write every day.

Jane Writes

And whatever I write and however much I write will be enough for that day.

Doesn’t mean I can’t improve on the previous day’s efforts.

Does mean I’m not allowed to beat myself up for “falling short”.

___

I’m going to follow Anne Lamott’s anti-diet.

Stop and Eat the Dandelions

I’m throwing out my food journals and exercise journals and apps and scales*** and so on, and will be making my own decisions about what makes my body feel right.

As my nutritionist told me:
“If you need a calculator to tell you how much food you “deserve” to nourish yourself . . . something is wrong.”

___

I’m going to get  up and move a little every day.

Bubble Wrap Dance

And whatever I do and however much I do it will be enough.

Because moving, like writing, is one of those things that gets better with practice.

 ___

I’m going to be the best parent I can be for my children—
not for other people who might be watching.

Rock Star Parenting

I am only beholden to my kids to be a good parent, not to anyone else, strangers or relatives.

If I get it wrong—and this is where the impossible standards will rear their smug-ugly heads, I’m sure—we’ll sort it out in their therapy sessions, later.

 ___

I’m going to be kind to others
but set my own limits.

Zap Sign

Not because I think there should be limits to kindness, but because it isn’t kind to carry people if you can teach them to walk, instead.

And kindness given out of obligation can slide into resentment pretty quickly.
And then into guilt about that resentment.
And then . . .  yeah.

 ___

I will stop apologizing for not matching other people’s assumptions about me.

‘Snot my problem I’m not what you expected.

dorothy-parker-quote-i-shall-stay-the-way-i-am-because-i-do-not-give-a

And to be fair, I will stop assuming that I know what those assumptions are in the first place.

That one’s all on me.

 ___

And the big one:

I will stop blaming myself for not getting all of this right all the time.

Broken cup

 Because that’s another impossible standard I can’t maintain.

 ___

These aren’t resolutions, exactly, but I’m resolved to give them a try.

You?

_____________________

*This is a lie.  There is not enough grace in my body to hop onto anything, much less an exercise bike with a high, extra-wide seat (plan ahead, I always say) that has been wedged between two sold pieces of furniture.  I have to hop several time on one foot to get off the blessed thing without falling face first onto my printer, but that’s not grace, that’s gravity.

**The theme of 2014 was the Year of Health.  I bought and used the exercise bike and dragged myself to the dentist and the eye doctor—the latter just under the wire—and was informed that I have, as Jane gleefully put it “anti-diabetes” or “hypoglycemia” as my doctor and endocrinologist put it.  So now, I also have a nutritionist who is one of the cooler people I’ve ever met.

***Except the food scale, because I use it to weigh ingredients from a couple of my British cookbooks.  And also letters.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on the New Year

  1. That’s a good idea. Resolve to do more of the things which are good for you, physically or emotionally, and to be kind to yourself when you fall short. Everyone should have that as their resolution!

  2. Me? I’m all about the attainable goals this year. I love your list. I am right there with you about sleep. I’ve been goofing around with Lumosity tests and it’s clear that when I haven’t slept well or enough, my brain function declines.

    Here’s to a happy, healthy 2015 on our own terms. xo

    • I read somewhere that 95% of all people need 8 or more hours of sleep to function—but 80% of all people think they’re part of the 5% who don’t.

      I might have that wrong, but not by much! 😀

      And, yes, I’ll l’chaim that! ❤

  3. Rock on, rockstar! I didn’t mean to make resolutions, but I think I just promised a blog-buddy “not to fuck around.” And I think that for me means work on the Fucker 5 days a week, no matter how little, until I’m freaking done or need a break. And I possibly promised the dog and myself that I would walk every day, at least until spring time.

  4. I adore the idea of assigning a theme to a year. My theme for 2015 will be coffee.

    In all seriousness, I think your goals are wonderful and I wish you best as you reach for them. Take care and sleep well, my friend!

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s