The New Year Resolutions.
What I’m Going To Do in 2017.
How I’m Going To Make Myself Better.
How to Stop Making Excuses.
I’ve been making these lists the past few years and posting them here. Then later I publicly flog myself for not doing the 20 million things I want to do.
I stepped back the other day and thought, well, why HAVEN’T I done those things?
I’d realized I’d set myself up for failure. I wasn’t planning. That and I was wanting to do too much, which turned out to be overwhelming so I’d just go back to scrolling through Facebook and Instagram.
Stuff doesn’t just happen. While I prefer that it just does, I know in reality, depending on what it is, it just doesn’t.
Other than committing myself to things that involve other people relying on me (Group vacations or athletic events, OMR trainings/meetings), I hadn’t followed through with the first step that I tell myself every year – print out a paper calendar, tape it to the wall, each month side by side so I can see it daily, and write in all the stuff I want to do this year.
That’s all fine and great but it’s like a brainstorming session – you can come up with a million ideas but who is going to do the follow through?
Looking back at my previous lists, as well as my ongoing internal list of things I want to do all the time, there’s a lot. And how much of it is reasonable?
I want to play all the time – yoga, ride, trail run, scramble, get back to indoor rock climbing, try out water sports.
I want to garden all the time – make my backyard a sanctuary, do manual labor and put some much-needed sweat equity into the house.
I want to work on personal development – read those self-help books that help me look a little deeper and help open my perspective on life at almost 38, with no kids, not married, GREAT job and yet still frustratingly wonder “WTF am I doing with my life?”
Frankly, I feel like I should be traveling the world as a vagabond, not trying to Martha Stewart the shit out of my cozy 2 bedroom, 1 bath little house, with a 9-5 job. (at the same time, as I wrote that out, I realized that sounds kinda fun too – SEE! TOO MANY WANTS).
(This also brings to mind a Gloria Steinem quote from an interview in 2015 on Fresh Air about her latest book, and is pinned to my wall – “I think in general, as a culture, we tend to think there are two choices: settling down or traveling. And actually you need both … birds need a nest and they still fly. It took me a while (to understand) that it wasn’t either/or – it was both.”)
I’ve recently gotten into professional development – I want to take classes – certified or not – on digital marketing and social media, help develop my skill set to help my current job and see where that takes me. Put those skills into practice. As the world knows, I’m terribly bored with my current skills.
I want to bring more creativity into my life – sewing a little bit last year helped that, and dating someone these days who thinks outside the box, thus leading to some very imaginative conversations, has me excited too. Take drawing classes, finish up a few of those woodworking projects, hell, even paint the house different colors. I want to write and read more.
But all these things take time. And I could pick one of them and focus on it the entire year, neglecting the others. But how is that balanced?
After last year’s insanity, in which I became the absolutely most busiest I’ve ever been in my entire life (which is hard to believe since I seem to be busy all the time, but when you’re eating out three times a day for 2-3 months straight because you have no time to cook for yourself because of work and volunteer activities and bike training, that’s the extreme end of busy for me), I finally was forced to step back and take stock of my mental, emotional and physical capacity in early August.
Relinquishing a lot of that “I must do this and that” because that’s who I am or who I USED to be was a huge relief. I just wanted to “be.”
But that’s a key question – who I USED to be. Life changes. There are no constants. I need to be accepting of that. Except tea. There’s always tea.
I’m in mountain rescue but I haven’t climbed a damn mountain in three years – am I still interested in this work? I am, because I love the concept of SAR and participating in it when I can. And I want to use OMR as a way to practice communication strategy and public outreach. But again, that requires sitting down, time and focus.
I like to plan and pay for events (i.e. organized trail runs and bike rides) so I have something to look forward to, and it forces me to commit to it, but then it hurts when I have to say no to something else when it comes up and conflicts with my original plans. I hate saying no. As cliche and millennial as it is, I DO live that life of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). I also question why I don’t just go out and do it every weekend like everyone else (run, ski, etc) and realize I always have something else going on. So it’s not like I’m at home sitting around watching TV all the time. I take pride in knowing I DON’T do that but I also wonder, then what AM I doing?
KG and I have had several conversations about the FOMO effect recently. We’re both pretty independent people who need “me” time to take care of stuff. We get in a funk if we don’t have that “me” time. We struggle to give each other that space yet want to spend time with each other so not to miss out on experiencing things together. Thankfully, we talk about it, rather than me wringing my hands at home going, “oh god, am I giving him enough space? And yet I can’t be afraid to tell him no for my space. We both have major projects we’d like to complete on our own, how do we do it and see each other and yet support each other but also have fun like we’ve been doing the past few months …”
(Which, I’ll admit, I still feel this at times. This is old anti-communication Tiffany speaking. She’s continually working hard to break through those barriers. She’s still realizing that relationships go through evolutions and development and not everything is sparkly and hearts and unicorns and rainbows all the time, despite how much she wants it to be).
KG made another good point too. He has developed a list of governing values – a set of overall rules, values, moral codes that he lives by. And he makes most of his decisions measured against these values. He said that should be my first step, which will help guide me toward the things I REALLY want to do (and not what I feel I should do or what I THINK I want to do just because it’s been like that in the past) and add value to my life. Not take away value (i.e. time management, enjoyment, etc).
I’m also realizing that while I’m a people person in most capacities, in the past year I’ve discovered I REALLY like being alone too. When it comes to learning/education – I enjoy in-person environments the best, networking, sharing ideas, brainstorming, being creative together. Call me old school that way, I guess.
At home, in the evenings, especially lately since I’ve been sick, I’ve been enjoying being at home with an online course, a book, even editing for work (and snuggled under that amazing blanket I got from KG for Christmas).
So, all this rambling – what’s the result?
I FINALLY printed out all 12 months of 2017 and they are taped to the utility closet door, so I see them every. single. time. I pass by it on my way to the bedroom and kitchen and bathroom. I keep a pencil nearby to update each day with whatever fun activity I’ve done that day. Kind of like a daily journal. DONE.
My 2017 “resolutions”: (initially laid out early Jan 2017, with updates early Feb 2017)
Regular yoga (Start with just Wednesday nights, my favorite yoga class at the YMCA – that’s ME time). No one gets in the way of these, not friends, KG, dinner, work, anything. Someone must be dying, bleeding or throwing up for me to give up this. (UPDATE: So I’ve yet to go to that specific class – even though KG pushes me to go it when I mention I have other options on the table- but I discovered YouTube has a ton of yoga videos, and I found a pretty good 30 day series that I’ve been sticking with, so, progress!).
Regular cycling – weekends, as they get nicer. I have a nice regular group of cycling friends now to rely on. Sign up for STP again? (Update: talks with friends point more toward RSVP and/or the week long bike tour of Oregon in the summer)
Creativity (classes) (still working on this – thinking more of the yard and interior of the house right now – hitting up the sewing machine may be a good start though)
Professional development (UPDATE: UW social media course was cancelled so, do a social media marketing online course via coursera; then sign up for the digital marketing course at UW in March!)
Personal development (take those books on your shelf, make those dark week nights your reading nights)
Get back into mountaineering shape – this will happen in time as the season gets warmer. If I set a goal to climb Baker (FINALLY) that will help get my butt in gear. Use the Melissa Arnot plan. Or shoot – train for another triathlon! oooohhhhh I wonder who i could get to do that with me!!!
This post feels a lot like the previous ones, but this has more awareness and energy behind it. More external moral support instead of just my brain. more intention with ideas of how to move forward. And the list is not nearly as long and overwhelming. And it will be printed out and posted next to that calendar. OOOOOHHHH – corkboard with command hooks for the wall. That’s enticing.
Another concept I came across the other day too – living a life that is meaningful versus finding ways to be happy.
SO many buzzwords and phrases – finding your passion in life. finding happiness. What does happiness look like? Working to live, not living to work. make your job not feel like work. Another post for another day.