New Year, Old Me

I like the clarity a new year promotes – an opportunity to look ahead and say “here’s what I would like this year to look like.” (For me) it’s difficult to separate everyday happenings from my perspective and have that kind of regular foresight into my future. So I enjoy the opportunity to think about resolutions but more generally, I like the chance to consider what part I might play in shaping the next year of my life.

2015 resolution | from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com

Since this blog has been around for a while, I thought I’d review previous years’ posts.

2014 –  “rules” for 2014, which are interesting to look back on now that I’ve quit my job and wholly embraced my introvert tendencies

2013 – I listed three “classical” resolutions then four things that were realistic accomplishments for the year. Interestingly, the four “realistic” things really happened.

2012 – all about school. It was the year of the Comp Exam and my mind was firmly fixed on getting that degree done.

2011 – No real post. I think that year was just kind of a “survive” kinda year.

2010 – difficult to review because it was a recap of 2009 and ended up being almost a letter to my future self. We had a rough year in 2009.

2009 – I might actually recycle most of 2009’s resolution list. I kind of love reading posts from this time. It was before the Ectopic (note the capital E) which, in retrospect, significantly changed my outlook on my entire life. Interesting that it’s taken six years to get back to the same kind of mental space…

I’ve got a one-word resolution for 2015. I plan on using it as my north star, as a way to make decisions, overcome obstacles, and let go of the things that plague me in the wee hours of the morning.

parent | from sundriedtomatoe.wordpress.com

The word is PARENT.

I want to see the close of 2015 with Hubs and I as parents. Whether we are parenting foster kids, adopted kids, or miracle babies, PARENT is the name of the game this year. It’s been a terrible long road and I expect it will continue to be incredibly difficult. But that’s my goal, that’s my guiding principle, and that’s the thing I’m going to spend emotion on. I’m going positive, full-bore, meaningful.

Wish me luck. I’ll keep you posted.

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Some Rules for 2014

The last few days of December are always a good time to ponder the coming year. It’s also a good time to contemplate changes or improvements in my personal life. Here are a few I’ve been mulling over.

  • Stay positive: avoid being cranky, take breaks and work up to baseline nice on bad days. Recognize low times and counter them. Look forward to the little things.
  • Be professional: keep the talk light, avoid drama, be like water. Remember that supervisor and coworker loyalty is to work first (they’re not friends).
  • Look professional: not just at work but any time in public. It’s a small town and people notice. Appearance is the first sign of quality.
  • Embrace the introvert: consciously turn down any invitation that doesn’t generate an immediate, enthusiastic reaction. Make the first response, “I would prefer not to.”
  • Learn from everyone, even the slimiest of people. Everyone has solid reasons for doing what they’re doing; instead of dismissing try to understand and appreciate where they’re coming from.
  • Avoid criticizing: refrain from sharing negative (that is, anything not overtly positive) opinions or comments unless specifically solicited. Human beings have enough to deal with without having to field unwelcome negativity.
  • Speak only good of others. No one needs details on another person’s failings. If anything must be said, keep it brief and pointed. Otherwise, focus on building others up.
  • Steer clear of ugly people. If they exude or cause feelings of ugliness, meanness, or negativity, keep them at a distance.
  • Don’t take no shit from no one. No position or relationship gives a person the right to be rude, wrong, or ugly. Check them when they are uncouth, or just plain nasty.

This list is a sort of roadmap for improving quality of life in my own brain. Lately I’ve been noticing more and more cranky thoughts and I’ve been listening to myself in less-than-complimentary conversations. I speak the truth but truth alone isn’t enough of a justification for saying a thing.

There are plenty of excellent people in my life, and plenty of regular people with excellent bits, and even some trolls who have breakout bouts of excellence. Every day, hundreds of times a day, life is somehow “up.” I have the ability to maintain a “half full” mindset and I’d like to be more active in doing that. So better cultivation of the up side is in the cards.

Conversely, I agree to a lot of events I’d rather avoid. I spend time with people who are less than good to me. I allow others to speak negatively to and with me. This list isn’t just about seeking up sides, but also about actively avoiding down sides. I have the ability to avoid those things that suck me dry; I’m gonna work on that too.

What about you? Anything you’ve been marinating on for Resolution Day?