I have this trouble where I try very hard not to do something — drop a screw, tip over a paint can, upend a box of packing peanuts — and whatever I’m working so hard to avoid is exactly what I end up doing, because I’m trying way too hard.
That same self-defeating thing happens with my new year’s resolutions. Every year I make some resolutions, and I succeed wildly — at everything else. And then at the end of the year, I go over my resolutions and despair at habits I haven’t managed to break or to form, while ignoring all the stuff I got right. So I start off the year on a downer, which is totally unnecessary, and keeps the spiral going. This year, screw that fuckin’ noise.
This year, I’m going to make a list of hopes for the year instead of resolutions — positive wishes to start the new year out right.
1. I hope we have a quiet, relaxing, fun year.
The last couple of years have been full of stress for Stephanie and I. Between surgeries and home purchasing and moving, we’ve been caught in several storms and I think we’ve come through them stronger, both as individuals and as a couple. But I’m hoping this year will be a lot less of “you and me against the forces of the universe” and a lot more of “you and me in sync with the forces of the universe.” I know that unexpected things always come up, but I think we’ve got a pretty good foundation to deal with them.
I hope we have a lot of time to just hang out in our house together, and with our friends. We’ve created a nice space for ourselves and our pets. I enjoy hanging around the house with Stephanie and playing games, reading and relaxing. And I enjoy having friends over. I hope we can do a lot of that this year. I was intrigued by the idea of creating a Porch Sitter’s Local here in Indy – we certainly have the porch for it.
I hope we can get a some stuff sold on eBay this year. I still have a stash of stuff to sell on behalf of my mom, and we’ve been collection a pile of sale-able items post-move sorting, and I’d love to get through them.
There are lots of festivals and events around Indianapolis that happen every year, and that I’ve never attended. I’d love to do some of them. We’ve missed the pride event a couple of years running, and I’d like to do that this year, if we can. And we have a great new neighborhood to explore.
2. I hope my frikin’ house sells.
I think I’ve done all I can really do to make that happen, and all I can do is routine maintenance and keeping on top of things. This is just one I have to leave up to the world to take care of.
3. I hope I can take time to express some of my creative energy.
I hope I can finish some webdesign projects that have been lingering around. My dad has a site he needs created, I have Stephanie’s blog design to work on, IndyScribe needs an overhaul, and I have another art site I need to work on.
I hope I can get some more work done on my novel. I still think I have a great idea, and I want to build out some time to get it working. I think that what I was missing with NaNoWriMo was some element of illustration/art/design that I want to go with it.
I have some furniture I want to refinish – I’ve done some of that in the past and found it to be a really relaxing, rewarding type of project. I’d want to work on some of the stuff I have stashed in the garage.
I hope to design a nice garden/lawn space around our house. I want to plant some vegetables and a raspberry bush this year – things I have no experience with at all, so that should be a fun challenge. I’m hoping to find out if some of the more experienced gardeners in our neighborhood will give me advice and let me look over their shoulders.
I hope to get some time to work on the interior design of our house — we have lots of fun art that still needs to make it onto the walls, and we have some areas where we can make some creative use of space. There’s lots of interior painting we want to do, also.
I hope I can become a better photographer and get some great, fun pictures. I’m learning more about my camera and how to adjust for lighting and other factors. Maybe our trip on Route 66 will be a good opportunity to get better at taking pictures.
I have some art projects dinking around in the back of my head, too, and I want to find time to work on them.
3. I hope we get to do some more traveling this year.
Stephanie has a work conference to go to in January, in Wisconsin, and I have one in March, I think. We have plans to drive Route 66 with a New Beetle Caravan in June, and I think those are solid, unless something unexpected happens. We talked about visiting my family in Iowa in the spring, but we’ll have to see if that fits in for them and us.
I haven’t got Stephanie’s skating competitions this year sorted out in my head yet, but those will need to go on the calendar, too.
One thing I’ve never done is go to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival. It’s usually in August. I don’t know if we can swing it after a big trip in June, but it’s one cultural activity I’d love to go to someday.
I’d also like to explore Indiana a little more, if we get a chance. I’d like to pick out some touristy things from the Enjoy Indiana website and got to them, like French Lick or New Harmony, or maybe the Park County covered bridge festival.
4. I hope I can be less angry all the time.
I have such a level of frustration and irritation, and it gets in the way of getting things done and of my relationships with other people.
I was blaming that on reading too much negative stuff online, and too many angry political discussions, and I’m sure those things don’t help. But I have to acknowledge that it’s something inside me and how I interact with the world that needs to change, not just external things. I’m trying to change the way I react to things that bother me; to not have knee-jerk reactions without thinking about what’s going on first, and that seems to be helping.
I’m trying to set limits and say no more — lots of my stress comes from being overwhelmed by obligations; occupationally, financially, socially, politically. I’m becoming better at not letting other people hijack my time and energy, and letting myself recharge in between. I’ve noticed that going to water aerobics is amazing for de-stressing; I always have an endorphin high and feel completely zen-like when I’m done, so I have at least one outlet for stress.
5. I hope we can help defeat Indiana’s anti-marriage equality amendment in the Statehouse this year.
I foresee this being an exhausting, stressful experience, and I’m not looking forward to it at all. But we do have a much stronger position after the 2006 election, and I hope that will make the coming fight much less painful.