So 2015 was more challenging than usual. Mostly okay now but I had a lot of various maladies many of which took a while to resolve. This was partly because of the usual stuff–trouble getting appointments, things taking a while to heal, travel and vacations–but partly it’s because I got in my own way a bit too much. I’m smart and anxious and the first trait has a terrible multiplier effect on the second. So the end of this year saw me really working on calming down. Which sounds like an oxymoron but it’s really helped. Doing some regular meditation, staying offline for the first and last parts of the day, letting things slide more than seems reasonable at the time (but turns out to be ok!) all helped to wrap the difficult year up nicely. And I got better health insurance. And I’m working towards looking for a job that will handle this part of my life for me, the insurance part, but my status as itinerant freelance librarian doesn’t always lend itself to this.
So anyhow, I did my year end wrap ups which are listed here in one place:
And I checked back on my resolutions last year, both my offline resolutions and my online resolutions. I got my laundry done in decent fashion last year. I read before bed almost every night. I quit being only an armchair activist (mostly) and collated my online activities. It helped. I’m one of those people who resolutions work for. Making a promise to myself has motivational power. Totally AOK if they’re not your thing.
This year, in addition to flossing (because WTF why can’t I floss?), I have a meditation-inspired mantra which is the title of this post. I like it because emphasizing any of the five words can give you a different starting point and personal assignment for the day.
LET this day be good – get out of the way and leave the day be and it will be okay
Let THIS day be good – you can’t control what’s happening or what happened, let’s focus on today
Let this DAY be good – just a few hours, we can pull it off
Let this day BE good – the day without me will be fine and does not have to be special or exceptional, it can just be
Let this day be GOOD – good is okay. Good is fine. Settle for good.
That’s what I’m up to on this chilly January morning. Best of luck for a peaceful new year.
2013 could have been a better year. My personal year went pretty okay–I did less traveling, I went places I liked, I hung out with people who delighted me and saw a lot of friends–but it was tough for some other people I care a lot about. I wrote out my libraries list and was pleased with it. I will work on my reading list real soon now. I didn’t keep track of my guestroom list last year for some reason. I’ll probably get on that again. My exercise routine has become standard so while I can tell how many time I visited the gym last year (78), I’m not sure how far I biked or swam or fast-walked. This is okay with me. I spent maybe a third to a quarter of my time in Westport and that seemed about right. Jim and I rang in the new year with neighborhood friends (I dressed up, more pics here) and then went out to a poutine and chicken parm breakfast in Barre the next morning. We would have tanked the day early by having Oreo pancakes and bacon but they were out of Vermont maple syrup AND bacon by the time we got there so this was probably a good thing.
My resolution this year, if I have one, is to keep on keeping on as much as possible and to work on “not getting wrapped around the axle” so much, to quote a phrase my father used to like. That is, I’m sure there will be ups and downs to this year, like every year and I’m sure I’ll have my share of annoying travel, bad nights of sleep, and interpersonal conflicts. But those only have to last as long as they last and not live on in my head as some sort of personal instant replays that I carry with me and go over and over. Not living within my own stress or finding ways to dissociate stressful things from the rest of what’s going on in my generally enjoyable brain is my goal. This is in keeping with my time-taking resolution last year. Keeping fewer lists, keeping less track, less score. That went okay. Happy 2014 to those who celebrate that sort of thing.
Last years resolutions, such as they were, went pretty okay. I lost the weight I’d wanted to lose, I cooked at home like crazy, I spent more time home and with my family, friends, and boyfriend, and felt like things went okay. Now I’m chipping away at some other things I’d like to do better on. Most importantly: not rushing through things in the name of “efficiency” when I don’t really need that extra few minutes for anything else more important. If I rush through doing the dishes I often break them. If I rush through errands I often forget something. If I rush through a meal I often don’t appreciate it. If I rush out the door I don’t feed the birds and where did I have to be in such a hurry anyhow?
So, I’ve been getting into the habit of not being late exactly but not trying to be so punctual that I am painfully early. And not being such a taskmaster about things. I have the capacity for great productivity, but that’s not the only axis along which I should be measuring my value, to others as well as to myself. I get to work at the school more or less on time, not thirty minutes early. I start working at MetaFilter when my shift starts and not whenever I sit down at the computer. I cook meals that take hours sometimes.
It’s tough because I get the fidgets when I’m not crossing things off of a checklist, but for me that sort of thinking was a bit of a trap. Or, rather, maybe I didn’t have the right things on the checklist. Things like go stand in the woods, have a cup of tea, call a friend, lie down and read for an hour or more.
So far, okay.
That was a lot of lists. I always wonder if, in the absence of religion in my life, I find some sort of meaning in assiduous data collection. The good news is that if I decide I don’t care, no one smites me.
I have been having an okay 2008 all things considered. I spent the New Year’s Day after a really fun party hanging out in bed with coffee and later tea and later cocoa catching up on reading and email and setting the mp3 player to play every favorite song I have (about seven hours worth, totally worth the time). Then I vowed to try to not do that again in 2008. There is value to staying in bed, but I’m into working on the things I can accomplish after putting on pants, this year.
This week has been about snow and snowshoeing and shopping (spending holidaytime money — I got magnets and a swim towel and gloves and showshoes and a necklace and something else I can’t remember) and getting back into the world of work and schedules, at least in theory. Next week I get into work and schedules in earnest so this weekend I’m taking some time off to screw around in the political wonderland that is New Hampshire with a few friends and maybe get some bowling in.
Yesterday I went showshoeing for the first time in my life with my friend Kelly who is a great person to do these things with because she pushes but not so much that it’s unfun. My resolution, for today, is to do this again.