Good MORNING, Everyone!
How are the hangovers? The regrets? Do you remember everything from last night? I hope you do – I hope I do, too, at the writing of this post (I’m planning ahead). No, no, as I write this I’ve working out my approach to New Year’s Eve as “err on the side of me needing to drive home”. Why? Well, it’s all part of my plan for my 40th year on the Planet Earth. What can I commit to that will make my life better?
So, let me start by saying that I’ve never really cared for New Year’s Resolutions. If I decide that I want to do something, I set out to do it. Just a small issue: I get bored easily. Pretty much as soon as I figure out that something is either A) too easy, or B) too frustratingly difficult, I toss my hands up in an “I’m bored” or “I don’t want to do this anymore” and move on to the next thing. That’s what they, the experts, call “lack of persistence”.
Personally, I find this lack of persistence annoying. As in, “why do I get bored so easily and why do I have to make everything so difficult!” annoying. That’s right, I feel that way about myself sometimes. More than sometimes. In other words, this is a personal challenge, and I have accepted: persistence is something I can develop.
For starters, in 2015, I was tipped off to a smartphone app called Duolingo. Since Mr. Muse and I had been trying to learn Spanish for more than a couple years and falling off the wagon, repeatedly, on getting out the discs and practicing, this little app seemed a good idea. So far, it’s been working well. There are no discs to get out and my phone is almost always with me, so even if I can only force myself to practice for five minutes, that’s still five minutes of practice gotten in for the day. I haven’t missed a day in nearly three months. It’s something I’ve committed to; I’m developing persistence.
And that’s my personal theme for 2016. Commitments. What can I commit to for myself? No berating myself over what I “resolved to do” and then conveniently forgotten. Spending even 5 minutes a day using the Duolingo app is easy, it’s convenient, and I dare say it’s become habitual in using it. THAT kind of commitment. The kind that becomes habitual.
So, what are the things I am planning on committing to because they are reasonable, attainable, and I really, truly, want to do them?
1. Drink less adult beverages. I found that a few things have happened in the last couple years when I have adult beverages. Firstly, hangovers. Hangovers are not fun. Secondly, I sleep like shit. Nothing like laying there in bed, tossing and turning, even though your mind really wants to shut off, but everything else can’t. Thirdly, and perhaps most vain of me, when I don’t drink often – I get an almost flat stomach.
2. Keep learning Spanish. Last month I actually went to a local Mexican grocery for piloncillos (cones of brown sugar) to make buñuelos for last night’s party. I got through whole transaction speaking Spanish. Yes, I spend fifteen minutes on the drive there repeating over and over in my head what I had to say, but I did it. It was an attainable challenge.
3. Exercise more. I’m over 30 and my “metabolism has taken a shitter”, as a previous doctor pointed out to me (that’s not why they are “previous” – they moved on to a new position). Besides my desire to continue fitting into the clothes I presently own and my own vanity at really liking having a flat(tish) stomach (see #1); I haven’t forgotten that with my heart issues, I can’t just sit around, resting on my laurels. We, as humans, are made to MOVE. Also, diabetes runs in my family, I swear – EVERYONE has it. That might be an exaggeration, but it certainly seems like everyone does and personally, I don’t want it.
4. Read more. I went from an being avid reader to reading nearly nothing by the time I discovered that gluten was a big problem for me in 2012. Brain fog was a bitch and it was disheartening to go from ripping through a book or three every month to not being able to finish a book in a year. Since being gluten-free, I’m reading again, and a lot – just not as much as I’d like. Also, once again, I’m retaining what I read.
5. Write more. This is something that requires a little help from Mr. Muse. We both work full-time and setting aside time for writing often gets pushed to the side in lieu of things like house cleaning, working out, or being so tired that all I want to do is veg out on the couch and watch marathon runs of episodes of The Simpsons on FXX. Basically Mr. Muse will have permission to
nag say to me, “Did you write today? Did you plan on writing today? Did you at least think about writing today?”
6. Make more memories with friends and family. I saw this article about ways to catch up with friends, and as much as I enjoy going out to dinner (and drinks… again, see #1), dinners out don’t typically stick with me for memory-making. Dinners AT people’s houses do. Camping trips do. Kayaking down rivers do. So this year, after a suggestion from me, I think all the friends are committing to making memories by having more experiences.
7. Take more photos AND print them off. When I was a kid, I would grab the photo albums from the book shelf and flip through the pages, wondering. There were photos of my dad in bootcamp and Vietnam. There were photos of my mom as a 16-year old with her first horse. There were photos of my grandpa with his polka band and my grandma competitively dancing. I, and most other people my age, are guilty of taking photo-after-photo on our smart phones and they never see the light of day. For me, that needs to change. Also, I noticed that I don’t have any photos of Mr. Muse and me from 2015. I want to be able to waltz down memory lane in a year from now, or 40.
8. Make our cat, Alex, as comfortable as I can as his aging body shuts down. He’ll be 18 in May 2016 – if he makes it that long. His kidneys are failing. We’re pretty sure he went deaf shortly before Thanksgiving. And now, I’ve noticed that when he goes to sit, he doesn’t “quite” sit. He hovers, then he decides to lay down. I watch him closely, looking for the sign(s) that it’s time to say our goodbyes, that he no longer seeks out attention, that he no longer chases his compatriot, Rupunzel. That he no longer will tolerate me administering fluids every 2 or 3 days. That the spark has left his eyes. As I write this, he’s still got the spark, but I’m resigned to the fact that in 2016, it will go out more than likely.
So, for 2016, those are my plans. The big plans anyway. There are still the honey bees, gardening, modeling, traveling, etc., but my 40th birthday isn’t too far away and I think it’s about time I really work towards those things that I really want to be doing more.
What are your plans for 2016?
(NOTE: This post was supposed to publish at 5 AM today. Apparently WordPress wasn’t up for the task on the 1st day of the year. I, however, was successful last night and hangover free today.)