New LIFE Resolutions?

New LIFE Resolutions? January 24, 2014

I realize I’m way behind on my “New Year’s Resolutions.” Good thing I’m not resolving to be more on time with those this year…

Nonetheless, I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit lately, and I do have a few things I’d like to work toward. I typically think it’s a waste of time and energy to spend more than a passing thought on New Year’s Resolutions because often they fall by the wayside anyway. Not to mention, the usual resolutions involve things like “lose 15 pounds,” “work out more often,” “eat healthier,” “save more money,” etc. Those types of things should be thought about and improved upon throughout the year, and throughout life, so it seems wasteful to think about them once a year and fail to follow through.

This year though, I think I do want to make some resolutions. Some life resolutions. What exactly do I mean by that? Well, I think this year is a good time to do some real reflecting on my life, and there are a few things I’d like to start doing more regularly. So, without further ado, here is my list:

1. Start doing more things that I enjoy doing, more often. Lately, especially the last few years, it feels like my husband and I are are trying so hard to get to our end goals that we, too often, forget to stop and enjoy the moment. I think this is one of the things that so many people get caught doing. We have big dreams and goals for our life, it’s true. It will take a lot of time, energy, effort, and luck to get there. But if we spend every waking moment working toward those things and forget to enjoy the little things now, we may eventually reach our dreams, but we’ll look back and think we missed a whole lot. And what if we do reach those goals? Then what? There’s always more—as you start achieving dreams and goals in life, the dreams and goals evolve, they change, and they grow. You’re never really “there.”

So, I want to start doing the little things I enjoy doing more often. I started reading for fun again. Whoa, I know… big step there. But truly, it’s something I haven’t taken the time to do in several years—more than I’d like to admit, actually. I want to enjoy a date night with my husband every now and then, and get outside more often. I need to start biking again, not because I want to get more exercise or lose weight (which are both, admittedly, true too) but because biking is one of the two things on earth I enjoy doing more than almost anything else for myself. I was once asked what I could possibly think about for so many hours on a bike. My answer is the sky’s the limit, and it becomes not only a time for personal reflection, but my time to enjoy my existence on this earth and the beauty of the world before me.

2. Start writing regularly here on this blog. Why? Well, for several reasons really, but mostly because I enjoy it and because I’ve got the means to do so. When I started writing here, I felt really unsure about it—what if people don’t like what I have to say or don’t agree with what I want to write about? What if I don’t know what to write about? But really, if people don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. That’s the beauty of the internet—don’t like something, don’t have to read it. Or, don’t like something, tell the person how much you hate it and then continue to read it so you can continue to tell the person how much you hate it. Whatever works.

The other reason I want to write more often is because I want to do something that has been floating around in the back of my mind for a really long time (since high school for sure). I want to learn about and start practicing Buddhism. I studied Buddhism in college—I learned all about the academic side of it, the history, the cultural aspects, the scholarly debates, etc. But that didn’t really tell me a whole lot about becoming a practicing Buddhist. Honestly, I’m a bit scared of it I think. I haven’t been a “practicing” anything, ever. And I probably won’t be a very good practitioner, honestly. But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn more about it, visit with some other practitioners, and start working toward clearing my head about it a little bit. Buddhism is about as close to my personal life philosophy as any religion will get. So, I want to take that step, and I’m going to start writing about my journey. If I’m curious about it, there have to be others who are, too. And since I have no idea where to start, maybe me writing about it and struggling through it will help some others who are wondering about the same things. Either way, it will be fun and refreshing for me.

3. Lastly, I want to stop using the word “just.” This seems like kind of a random life goal. But after reading this article, I realized that I do this, a lot. “It’s a word that minimizes contribution. Downplays achievement. Shows a lack of confidence. It’s often a knee-jerk reaction to a compliment.” Yup, I do this, and I don’t like it.

“I love your outfit!” Me: Thanks, I just threw it together quick…
“Your dogs are so well-bahaved!” Me: Oh, they’re just tired. Or We’ve just taught them the basics so far.
And, the big one: “What do you do for a living?” Me: I’m just a content administrator for a website.

This. Is. Important. At least to me. Especially that last one. It’s important because I love what I do for a living. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished to this point, of the things I’ve learned without formal training. Why should I make it sound like I’m “just” anything? Whatever I am, whatever I do, it’s me. And there’s no reason I should downplay any of it. I’m happy where I’m at with my career, it feels good to get compliments, and it shouldn’t be difficult to show other people that I feel that way. So there!

Really though, I thought the article brought up a great point that hit home for me, and I’d like to try to be better about this because life is too darn short to go through it worrying about what other people think of me. I guess that’s a lesson you learn as you get older!

So, there you have it. New direction for this blog, with some random other thoughts thrown in when I feel like it. Love it or hate it, I hope you’ll join me on this journey, wherever it goes!

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