Friday, January 1, 2010

Add Me To The Bandwagon

It's that time of year, and I've seen so many resolutions that people have offered up in the past week. Generally, I shy away from resolutions knowing that they tend to be quickly broken and so often forced - if you're to believe what you read from the "experts" every year around this time.

Last year, my resolution was simple: to do something just for myself once a day, no matter how small that thing was. It could be reading a chapter in a book or having a piece or chocolate or snoozing the alarm clock - whatever tickled my fancy. I didn't do horribly at this, but I definitely wasn't focused on it after awhile. It was too vague in some ways, although the intention was right.

This year, I've spent a lot of time figuring out that really what matters is being happy, so I'm concentrating not on the nebulous goal of "being happy" but rather on some of the concrete things that I think should help to push me further in that direction on a regular basis. Fortunately, it's not like I'm *un*happy now the majority of the time.

My first resolution is that I need to either fish or cut bait. I've complained previously, both here and to friends, about how I don't enjoy my job anymore for a number of reasons and how I'd love to quit and stay home. Yet I haven't submitted my resignation. It's really hard to walk away from a job in this economy, as I've pointed out before. But no one wants to hear someone complaining about something and not doing anything about it -- including me. This year, I either need to a) fix my job, b) quit and stay home or c) deal with it and say no more on the topic.

Secondly, I want to spend more time doing things and less time thinking about how much work they're going to be. (Ok, so this one is somewhat nebulous. Deal with it.) I'm the queen of making commitments and then procrastinating because I know how much work it's going to be. Then I actually do whatever it is that I've committed to, and it's never so painful as I've made it out to be in my head. I'd rather just be done with things and avoid the stress.

Along those lines, I really need to organize a couple of key things:

The first is the office in my house. It's become the repository of Things That Don't Really Have A Home, and whenever the cleaning ladies come, more items migrate in that direction. I have a folded up Northwestern rug that I received for Christmas three years ago sitting on an old entertainment center. Both need to be removed. I have a volcano science experiment of Mister Man's sitting on the same entertainment center, and I should really just do it one day. The list goes on and on -- I have a plan of what I want to do in that room, but there is probably three or four days of solid work to be done in that room to get everything sorted and organized, and to get that entertainment center cleared off enough that I can get it donated elsewhere to move in some appropriate furniture instead.

I also need to organize the wee ones' baby books. I have notes here and there on many of their firsts, and more are in my head (such as Mister Man's first words of "NO NO NO NONONONONO" when we were in the hospital day three of four at seventeen months for rotovirus). None of this is captured in a baby book, and I want to do this for them as much as for me. Ditto on photo printing and arranging. I have photos starting with a 2001 trip to Seattle that are still sitting in digital format on my computer. You can only imagine how much work I have ahead of me on that one.

The other big thing that I resolve to focus on is not saving things. I tend to be a collector of things rather than a user of them. I've only recently started to figure out why it's so hard for me to "waste" something special - ignoring the fact that some things are only good for a certain amount of time before they're worthless (witness me doing my marathon free coupon day earlier this week for items that all expired on December 31). Again, being able to take pleasure in things - and I'm talking about everything from "fancy" linen replacement napkins that I received as a sample from a vendor in 1998 (literally) to gift cards to restaurants to bath salts. The pleasure I get from them shouldn't be in the receiving of them but in the enjoyment from using them.

It's ironic, but all the things that I am resolving to focus on are items that create stress in my life. Why I allow those areas the power to put stress on me when it's all in my control is beyond me. But I think I really just need to deal with them. All.

So cross your fingers for me as I hold my breath and ask for a leave of absence when I return to the office on Tuesday. Hey, it's a step in the right direction, right?

So what are your resolutions for 2010?


Melisa Wells January 1, 2010 at 5:31 PM  

I haven't made any resolutions, but yours actually fit my needs quite well. So maybe if we both work on all of those things together, we might double our success? (worth a shot...)

Alexis AKA MOM January 1, 2010 at 6:33 PM  

I'm bad at resolutions, I'm doing goals ... LOL

Good luck with the job hopefully the leave will give you perspective about staying home and if it's doable. I've been blessed finding a job working from home so I can still bring in money and keep me.

Keep us posted darling!

I hear you about the kids books, I've been so bad!

Regina January 1, 2010 at 6:51 PM  

Oh, I feel like you are writing about me! Best of luck to you as you prepare to make these changes...

I've yet to put my goals to paper - but I'm drafting it all in my mind! Surely, it doesn't really start until we return to work - or so I will believe!

Claudya Martinez January 1, 2010 at 6:55 PM  

I think we should all use things instead of save them. Life is a special occasion.

Happy New Year!

Swishy January 1, 2010 at 7:06 PM  

Those are fantastic goals! Happy New Year :)

septembermom January 1, 2010 at 7:09 PM  

Good luck Michelle! I know everything will work out with your goals.

I have to clean out all the "unnecessary" in my house. That will be an endeavor for sure :)

I also want to show more patience (pray for me) with the kids. I know that it will be a challenge. I haven't made a real resolution list. I better get started :)

Hyacynth January 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM  

Those are all totally doable. But as with any resolution, sometimes you do best when you give yourself a time frame. Say, pick one and try to accomplish it during January ... then so on for each month.
I'm with you on needing to organize. And I'm going to lose this baby weight -- eight more pounds 'til I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight!

Karen January 2, 2010 at 7:24 AM  

Good luck with the resolutions. I think focusing on the things that are stressful are good. Eliminate as much of it as you can!

WeaselMomma January 2, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

Good luck and I will get organized vicariously through you.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet January 2, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

You can do it! I've done my goals and am going to break them into small goals to make it more feasible and easier. :D

Teacher Tom January 2, 2010 at 10:27 AM  

I have a solution for the saving-and-not-using quandary. I think your girl is still in preschool, right? I'm sure her teacher could use most of that junk, if only for making collage art. I used to be a big time middle class bag lady, but now I just haul all of the still-useful-but-not-used stuff into school and let the kids have at it.

Happy New Year and good luck!

Live.Love.Eat January 2, 2010 at 12:33 PM  

Those are great realistic goals rather than the be happy generic one. You'll do it!!!!!

Hap Hap Happy New Year!!!!!

Anonymous January 2, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

I think that is a very admirable - and totally managable - list of goals for 2010! Best of luck with the job situation . . . it is so hard to give so much of your life to something that doesn't bring you an abundance of happiness. I will be thinking of your on Tuesday!

Michelle January 4, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

Melisa - I think that's actually a brilliant idea. Shall we keep each other honest?

Alexis - I think goals is a much better way of putting it actually.

Regina - It sounds like my goals are fairly common, or maybe just that my issues or stressors are?

Unknown Mami - You're so right, and sometimes it's really hard for me to remember that. I'm working on it though!

Swishy - Awww, thanks!

Kelly - It's good to know you have confidence in me :) I forgot about the patience, but I suppose that's a big piece of it, too.

Hyacynth - Of course they're doable. But if they happen or not, that's the question. You're right on the timelines, but ummm I have to think about that some more!

Karn - Thank you! Here's hoping I succeed without adding new stressors.

WeaselMomma - Vicariously? You have five children and organize vicariously? Say it ain't so!

Sherry - That's absolutely the right way to go. I think I need to do a little more focus on my own part.

Tom - Yep, she's in preschool. I'm the PTO president, and you don't want to know the stuff I've brought over there for them to use! It's definitely part of the strategy :)

Stephanie - The be happy generic one doesn't seem to work so well, does it? Fingers crossed this one does!

Nichole - Thanks... it is hard, but having made a decision, I am so much at peace right now. And really sorta looking forward to going into work tomorrow.

-Bridget January 4, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

We have a lot of the same goals, they are certainly all with the same simplify and to reduce stress. I'll be right there with ya ;)

Michelle January 4, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

Bridget - We absolutely do. And it seems like there are lots of others. I just hope that we're all successful enough to be content with life!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom January 5, 2010 at 7:24 AM  

Happy New Year! I think your plan sounds great, and I agree, I do much better with concrete resolutions than vague ones...I'm still working on mine, thought I have them roughed out. There are several related to organizing (okay really one that I'm breaking down into several!) and the rest are about slowing down and being deliberate/enjoying the ride. I'm trying to assign steps for each one to each month - I'm hoping that helps :)

Michelle March 8, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

Steph - Organizing? Yeah... I'm with ya on that one. There is a lot of organization I need to do around here, too. I'm slowly working on it. I like your plan though!

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