Happy New Year!

Welcome 2007!

I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions, but this year it feels important to have a plan for recentering my life. Over the past couple of years I’ve felt myself become increasingly directionless and unhappy, resulting in a lot of angst and days without any kind of meaning in my life. In recent months I’ve made some major decisions, experienced a shift in my worldview (there will be more on this in future entries, for sure), and changed some things about the way I live my day-to-day life — and as a consequence, I’ve started to feel a resurgence of excitement and interest in the world around me. Having gone through so many months without it, I’ve come to value it more, and I don’t want to lose it again. Hence:

my New Year’s resolutions.

More than anything else, I made these resolutions to clarify what is important in my life, and remind me to keep myself centered around those things.

First: my relationships. My family and friends give my life meaning. No matter how depressed I’ve been these past few years, I’ve never been so down that I couldn’t find joy and reasons for living in spending time with those I love. But I know I have a tendency to let my contact slide when things aren’t going well, and I want to change that. Giving and receiving love are the most important things we should do when we’re feeling somehow less than our best selves, and they can restore us to who we feel we should be. But I also know that keeping in touch is a reciprocal process, and that not everyone finds it easy to return calls, write back or make time to get together. I understand and accept this, but I find that sometimes all it takes is one person’s effort, and this year I resolve to be that person. I really want to try harder to stay in touch, and if that means flying out to visit people, sending tons of joyfully received but unreciprocated letters (I know, I must be one of the eleven people left in the online world who still send letters), or leaving lots of “just saying hi” voicemails, then that is what I want to do.

Second: my health. About a year ago I wrote that I was scared about my future health and ready to take action to improve it. That was last January, and what have I done since then? I’ve made some changes, but definitely not the drastic transformation I thought that entry would galvanize me into making. A year is long enough to make a real difference, but I didn’t have a plan. This year I will. I’m constantly saying that my health is really important to me, but I’ll never make it better unless I make time for it in my life — the same way I make time for shopping, cooking elaborate dishes, or playing games online! I am going to stop brushing off exercise (and sleep, now that I think of it) as a luxury reserved for my free time or the days when I’m not stressed. If I can eat cake and play Minesweeper when I’m exhausted and busy, I can take a walk and go to bed on time.

Third: my creative spirit! This one should be more or less self-explanatory. It’s the same deal as with relationships and health — if I want art to be a real part of my life, I need to devote time and consistent effort to it.

So, to make sure I really act on these resolutions (and have lots of great stuff to report by next January 1!), I’m going to hold myself accountable, and you can help too. Every week and month, I’ll post goals here on my journal, and post progress reports when the week or month is up. This will make a nice record of how things change for me over the year, and will also give me good little checkpoints throughout the year for me to step back and see whether I’m keeping up.

To this end…
Goals for this week (today until next Monday) are aimed at getting the year off to a good start:
1. Finish writing thank-you cards, return Christmas/New Year’s calls and emails, and spend time with Dana, Sophie, and other Leland friends.
2. Run at least one mile every day that it’s not raining. If it’s drizzling, still try to run. Stop staying up past midnight every night.
3. Either: begin sewing with new instruction books, or practice sketching with new drawing workbook.

Goals for this month (January) are aimed at recentering my life:
1. Reconnect with anyone about whom I’ve said in the past year that I “really should get back in touch with.” Return all emails.
2. Reestablish a regular exercise routine, including more running and rigorous hiking. Go to yoga at least twice. Establish a regular bedtime (within an hour’s consistency).
3. Organize art supplies and install shelving above desk, including space to store the supplies. Establish a regular schedule of drawing that is learning-oriented (free drawing I will do no matter what). Revamp website (over the next few months, if necessary) and update more frequently. If possible, get a sewing machine and learn to use it.

Good luck to us all in keeping our resolutions in 2007!

[This post was imported on 4/10/14 from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]