So, it’s that time of year again. Resolution time. Last year, I called it “New Year’s Revolutions“, and the year before that I wrote a long and detailed list of the things I wanted to change and achieve in the coming months. I’m not very good at keeping to my resolutions. I do try, but usually fail by about, oh, January 5th. But the whole point of a New Year is being given another chance. Another chance to try again. And try I shall.
But I am also going to not limit myself to just trying at New Year’s. Every day should be a new chance to try again. I think part of the reason I fail is that I use the whole “New Year” thing as an excuse for not trying for the next 11 months. But, I say optimistically, with fingers behind my back, I am done with excuses. I am going to treat every day like New Year’s, which means I can start fresh every morning. If I fail, I just have to keep going until I succeed.
This is my plan. I am not good at plans so failure is almost guaranteed but I have now given myself permission to not give up. And not quit. I am very good at quitting but I am going to try and not do that too often this year. There are things I need to achieve and overcome this year (too personal for even over-sharing me to discuss here) and I will not reach any of my goals if I keep giving up. There are things about myself I need to change and fix if I am to go forward in life.
There are the usual goals about weight loss. Sigh. How long have I been making that my New Year’s Resolution? What, 25-30 years now? I have yo-yoed back and forth between one weight and another for some many decades, I have no idea what my natural body shape and size is any more. But I have hated my body at whatever size it is, and I need to stop doing that. My body survived a life-threatening illness and I need to remember that. I need to remember and acknowledge that it survived against all odds and kept going, no matter what. So, if nothing else, I should treat this old rust-bucket of a body with some respect. Sure, it’s a little flabbier and wobblier than I would like, but it’s still there. I’m still upright and breathing, walkin’ around with all my limbs and digits and brain cells (although that last point is debatable). So I need to try to be as healthy as I can. Which doesn’t necessarily mean being as skinny as I can. It means feeding my body with the right fuels and exercise. It’s not about fitting into a tighter skirt or being able to get away with short shorts. It’s about being healthy and fit and strong. I haven’t been that for a long time and I really need to get my shit together where that is concerned. My body deserves that, it really does.
I need to think about my career. I need to seek that which will bring me fulfilment and authenticity and joy. I don’t know if it is possible to have that in a 9-5 job, but I am going to try and find out. I like my current job, but I don’t love it. It doesn’t full me with excitement or happiness or anything even remotely approaching those things. It pays my bills and gives me a sense of satisfaction some days and I am very grateful for it. It provided me with security and emotional support when I needed it most. But it isn’t my dream job and I have to figure out what is. Because I really don’t know. And time is running out. At some point I am going to have to figure out what I am supposed to be doing, what I want to be when I grow up. Because I truly don’t know yet. Failing that, I need to be ok with having “just a job” and acknowledge that it allows me to do the things I do enjoy in life, outside of work. We can’t all be Oprah. Some of us have to have the little boring jobs that keep the world turning.
I need to be less of a hoarder. I know I say this on a weekly basis, but seriously, I just need to learn to let go of things. Things are not people. I can let go of a bunny ornament someone gave me in the fifth grade. They will not mind if I give it away now. The world will not collapse and I am not a bad person if the Christmas card I got in 1983 from a classmate ends up in the recycling bin (seriously, I just found that card today and struggled with getting rid of it). I have to learn to hold on to memories, instead of stuff. But it is hard. This last couple of days I have been getting rid of things my ex-husband gave me. Love letters and silly little notes, cards and printed emails. They need to go, and I have relinquished them to the recycling bin, albeit with tears and a great sense of loss. Giving them away is like giving away evidence. Evidence that someone once loved me. But then I have to remember that that person does not love me, and may not have ever done. I do not want him back, so holding on to the notes and letters is dumb. Just plain dumb. And it hurts me. Having them in the house is like keeping someone locked up in a hidden room somewhere. Always lurking, always just out of sight, but still there, reminding me of failures and heartbreak.
And I need to let it (and him) go.
On that note, I also need to stop demonising my ex-husband. Yes, he hurt me. Yes, he was cruel and broke my heart and made me into a crazy person, but he is not necessarily evil. He’s messed up and has bigger issues than I would ever be able to fix, but I have to let it go. I have to let him go and wish him well. And his partner. I need to direct sympathy and empathy towards her and not wish any harm to either one of them. Not that I have ever wished them harm…but I may have been glad when they got fat or got a crappy job or looked bad in a photo. I need to stop doing that. It doesn’t make me feel any better and just means I am not as nice as I generally like to think I am. I just need to let him go. Because I loved him once and would never wish him harm, not really. I can’t get back the years I wasted on him and I am just adding to my own misery by keeping him in my thoughts at all.
I need to start therapy again. I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I need to try and find someone who will really push me and help me work stuff out. I need to utilise that 50 minutes with them to full capacity – not use it as a chat session, otherwise known as “Avoiding the Real Issues”. I need to own up and be real and honest and candid. I need to be ok with crying and embarrassing myself (because they have seen it all before) and I need to know when to stop seeing a therapist and find a new one. Until I find one that works. I need to not tell them what they want to hear (I’m really good at that – I’ve been doing this a long time) and I need to put in the hard work in terms of trying to change and acknowledge things I can’t change. I need to grow up a little.
I need to start learning to say No. I need to be ok with saying No and not feel guilty about it or try and make up for it by doing more than the original request asked for. I need to learn not explain my No – the No itself should be enough.
I really, really need to learn to like myself a little more. Or at all. I don’t know how to do this, and if you have any suggestions, please send ’em on over. I don’t know how to like what I see in the mirror. I don’t know how to not lie awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong in the day, all the mistakes I made and how many people I let down. I need to stop thinking of myself as ugly and useless. But it’s really hard to break the habit of a lifetime. And how do you change the way you look to yourself – get new eyeballs? I need an Instagram filter for my own eyes.
I need to learn to deal with my social anxiety. Deal with it and accept it and learn coping strategies. Because I am not going to become a social butterfly overnight. I don’t even know that I want to. I just want to be free of the terror that comes with invitations to parties and weddings and shindigs. I want to be able to accept these invitations happily and easily and not dread their impending hour. I need to be ok with NOT accepting them too. I need to not beat myself up about not going to things. I’m not a terrible person, after all, if I decide that a pub crawl is not my thing or if time spent at a Hen’s Night is enough to make me want to gouge my own spleen out. But I do need to be better at social stuff. It is hard every day for me, just interacting with human beings in general, and I need to be able to take that off my stress list. Again, I don’t know how to do this, but I am going to try and figure it out.
I need to grow up financially. I need to budget better and spend less on frivolous things. I need to seriously look at buying a house. Which will mean buying somewhere that is in a suburb less lovely than the one I currently rent in. I cannot afford to buy here and I need to accept that. Or get a better-paying job. Or marry someone really rich (ha! kidding!). I don’t actually know if I can afford to buy anywhere, but I need to look in to it and find out for sure. I need to sort out my future security and top up my superannuation and prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse on my own. I need to secure my future. And I need to have my own place so I can get a cat. This is more important than anything.
I need to laugh and smile more. I need to fake it ’til I make it.
I need to go to bed earlier and sleep better.
I need to get up earlier and do more in my day.
I need to ask for a pay rise.
I need to delegate better at work. I have an assistant – she should be assisting me. And I have to let her.
I have to stop being scared of men.
I need to stop comparing myself to other women.
I need to hug more and allow myself to be hugged.
I need to swim more and not worry about what I look like in bathers. I love the beach – why am I not there all the time?
I really do need to learn to use chopsticks.
I have to travel. At least one destination per year from now on.
I need to stop trying to fix people and their problems. I can’t help everyone and I should sort my own stuff out first, before I concentrate on other people’s issues.
I need to express my disapproval of racist/sexist/bigoted jokes and comments when in social situations. Saying nothing is not good enough anymore.
I need to stop procrastinating. In regards to everything.
I’m going to write more. Writing is what I love to do and, even if it’s just for me, I need to make time to do it.
I need to breathe more.
I need to practice gratitude.
I need to be kinder to myself.
I am going to try and not feel guilty about having restful days. I’m not good at relaxing or doing nothing – and I think you sometimes have to give yourself permission to do that so you can rest and recuperate and give your body and mind some breathing space.
I need to be more ecologically friendly and responsible.
I need to see more people and be less hermit-like. Whether I like it or not to begin with.
I need to just be. And be ok with whatever and whoever I am. Because I am tired of fighting ME. And I’m nearly 42. Enough already 🙂
Sorry for the long post. As always, it is more for me than anyone else. I hope you have a lovely New Year’s and that the year ahead is happy, successful, fulfilling and authentic. I hope you have love and laughter, joy and positive experiences. Learn lots, love lots and let go.
Happy New Year everyone – see you in 2016 x