Trying Again

Trying Again

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.

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 🙂

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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

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Ten ways you can help make the world a better place

Ten ways you can help make the world a better place

The world is a funny old place.  We’re supposedly so connected with all the new technology we have, but we don’t know how to connect on a real level any more.  We text and email, poke and ping, but we don’t know how to talk to anyone.  We’ve forgotten our please and thank-yous.  We rush around and sweat the small stuff and don’t stop to smell the roses or hug the person who means the most to us.  Little things add up to big things and sometimes we need to stop and take a minute to remember that life is made up of moments and people, not money and stuff.  The world needs a little more “us” and a little less “me”.  There are simple things you can do that make a big difference:

 

  1. When you’re at the checkout in a supermarket, talk to the person serving you.  Don’t tell them your whole life story, but ask them how their day’s been, if they’ve got a long shift, etc.  Just be pleasant.  Remember, they’ve probably had to deal with lots of rude, grumpy, harassed people all day.  Standing up.  All day.  Wearing an ugly uniform.  They deserve your patience and respect and courtesy.  Smile and say thank you.  A “have a nice day” goes a long way.
  2.  Servicemen.  That’s one word, not two.  Servicing men is not what I’m telling you to do.  Unless you want to – I won’t judge.  What I am telling you to do is be polite and friendly to any man (or woman) who comes to service your washing machine or clean your windows or fix your reticulation.  Offer them a cup of coffee or a cold drink.  You’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this.  The same applies to work situations.  Yes, you’re busy, yes, you have little time to spare and deadlines to meet.  But you can offer someone a drink and a smile.  Be appreciative.  You need that photocopier to work, right?  This guy is fixing it for you, right?  Then be nice.  The lady who empties your grotty rubbish bin each afternoon?  She doesn’t do it because it’s her life’s dream to pick up after you – she could probably think of a hundred things she’d rather be doing.  So make her day a little bit more pleasant by saying thank you and acknowledging her existence.
  3. Let someone in.  When out and about driving on our busy, hectic streets, make it a rule to let at least one person in in front of you, every day.  One person.  It’s no big deal but you’re making that one person a little less stressed.  Maybe, down the road, someone will let you in too.  God help you though, if I let you in and you don’t give me a courtesy wave.  That’s just rude.
  4. Don’t be a mucky pup.  This is one of my biggest pet peeves.  When sharing a space with other people, pick up after yourself.  I will never understand why people can’t put used teabags in the bin.  When it’s RIGHT NEXT TO THE SINK.  It’s not a monumental task to throw it in the rubbish bin, is it?  And tea stains, what is up with people not wiping up their spilt tea?  Gah!  It drives me nutty!  Wash your dishes, wipe the sink, put your cup away.  Be aware that other people have to use the same space as you and they don’t want to have to live or work in a manky filth pit.  Work place kitchen areas are the worst.  They bring out the inner grot in many people.  Just because you treat your own home kitchen like a pigsty, doesn’t mean your co-workers have to put up with it in their place of employment. 
  5. Random acts of kindness.  Practice them.  Someone at work looking a bit sad or worn down?  Leave a little gift on their desk to cheer them up.  Make it anonymous if you like (keep ‘em guessing) and let them know that someone is thinking of them and hoping they’re ok.  The days of helping little old ladies across the street may be gone (they’re just as likely to run you down in their gopher or hit you over the head with their handbag) but you can always offer someone a hand, open a door, help them carry something heavy, return their library books for them, offer to take it in turns to clean up the kitchen (see #4).   It’s not hard.
  6. Tell people you love them.  Not just random people on the street – that might be a bit weird – but the people in your life who are there for you.  I am lucky to belong to a family who uses the “L Word” a lot.  Telephone conversations are ended with it, cards are signed with it and children are taught what it means.  To give and receive love is one of the most important things in life. When I was sick in hospital, I believe I was saved by love.  Sure, the medical professionals working around the clock to keep me alive played a part in my survival (a very large part) but I can’t discount the people who loved me and surrounded me with nothing but positive energy and hope and love.  I know it sounds corny but it’s true.  At the end of the day, no one was ever disliked for caring about people. 
  7. Be tolerant.  This can be a tough one.  The world is filled with people and situations that try our patience.  We may have different values to the people we share an office with or sit next to at Bingo and it can be hard to bite our tongue and turn the other cheek.  But everybody is different and everybody has views and opinions – it would be a boring world if we didn’t.  It’s how we learn and develop and find out new things and ways of doing stuff.  I’m not saying if someone is openly racist or homophobic, sexist or just plain rude, that we have to smile and suck it up and pretend it doesn’t bother us.  Some people do need a wake up call.  Some people need to be told their attitude stinks and they have bat-crazy ideas and opinions.  But, for the most part, it is better to let bygones be bygones and crazy people be crazy people and just be tolerant.  For instance, I love animals, but I have some friends who don’t. Does that mean I should shun them and not allow them to darken my doorstep with their animal-hating presence?  No, of course not.  I don’t understand their feelings or opinions about animals, but I respect their right to have an opinion, even if it differs from mine.  If they are otherwise pretty cool people, who would never actually harm an animal, then they are alright with me. Everyone should be able to like what they like and do what they like, as long as it harms no one else.  Don’t you agree?  Just be nice, dammit!
  8. Don’t gossip.  Ok, we all do it.  But we shouldn’t.  Enough said.
  9. Give.  Whether it be time or money or donations of food, give to others who are in need.  Send a cheque, bake a cake, donate a bunch of clothes or school supplies.  Just give.  It will make you feel good – I promise.
  10. Be aware of other people.  The world doesn’t revolve around you and there are other people on the planet who deserve attention and respect and consideration.  When making decisions, think about how it will affect others.  Don’t leave your shopping trolley in the last remaining car parking space because you were too lazy to take it back to the trolley bay. Don’t shove library books back in any old order on the shelf.  Recycle. Don’t litter.  Don’t hog the remote.  Do think before you speak.  Don’t take the last cookie on the plate before offering it to anyone else.  Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself. 

Simple stuff, but stuff that we sometimes forget in our busy, stressful lives.  Being nice doesn’t mean being a pushover.  It means being respectful and thinking about others a little bit.  You can still be assertive and self-confident and a go-getter, but it’s wonderful if you can combine that with a bit of kindness and empathy.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned.  Maybe “nice” isn’t trendy any more and we’re all supposed to look after number one.  But what a lonely and empty world that makes.  So, today, just try and be a little kinder, a little more tolerant and much, much nicer.  And that means being good to yourself too.

Have a nice day! 🙂