Obligatory New Year Post

Everyone is doing these year-summation and New Year’s resolution posts, but I find myself resisting that. Partly because, well, I’m not sure how I feel about 2012. It wasn’t a bad year but not a particularly good one, either. I kind of feel like I spent most of the year in a state of blah. There were so many things I should have been doing—dating, eating better, exercising more, writing, meeting my goals—but most of the time I opted to collapse in bed wasting time on the Internet instead.

Although, at least I can say that my time blogging didn’t fall into the “wasting time” category. I did meet my goal of posting 50+ times last year, and I had a lot of fun doing that and staying involved in 20sb.

So here we are, 11 days into 2013, and thankfully, I’m on my way to having a more productive year. And while I’m trying to get a lot done, I’m also trying to cut myself a bit of slack and not hate myself if I don’t meet those goals as fully as I’d like to, since that sometimes leads to giving up. Progress, in any form, would be a good thing. Here are some of the things I’m going to work on:

  • Dating. It would be so, so nice to be in a relationship with a guy I love. Dating sucks, and the longer I’m single the more discouraged I get, but I’m just keeping my eyes on the prize here.
  • Financial things, which I won’t bore you with.
  • Eating better. I’m not going to do some kind of detox like the 17-Day Diet I did last year, which did help me lose weight in the short term but which I wasn’t able to keep up. But I am keeping track of what I eat, cutting down on sugar, and cooking more.
  • Really committing to exercise. I’m taking a break from distance running for now, although I might do some shorter races this year. When I was training for my most recent half-marathon, I found myself dreading the runs on my schedule, which is a pretty good indicator that I’m not getting any joy from running. So while I’m still going to run sometimes, no races with double-digit miles for now. I am also trying to make it to the pool, the yoga studio, and the gym more often. I went to a boot camp class on Monday, will be going to Zumba tomorrow morning, and am making my way through Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred. (In more than 30 days, though—that whole cutting myself slack thing!)
  • Certain work-related goals that I’m not going to get into here.
  • I don’t talk about this much on the blog, but I have a church I go to that I really like and I’d like to get more involved with it.
  • Getting more organized. This is embarrassing to admit, but I’m a bit of a slob and more often than not, my bedroom looks like my closet threw up. I need to get rid of a lot of the shit I don’t need, too.
  • Getting more sleep. Amazingly, I’m already making progress at breaking my terrible habit of staying up late for no good reason, and I feel better already.
  • WRITE. I love writing fiction. Why have I been doing so little of it in recent years? I’m thinking about taking another Grub Streetclass as well.
  • And the most fun one—traveling to England and Ireland! I have never been to Europe and would love to change that. And I have some amazing friends who would be great travel buddies as well.

On a related note, recently, after hearing about it from several other bloggers, I completed the Joy Equation with Stratejoy. I’m kind of skeptical about self-helpy kinds of programs like that, but I really liked it and felt like my head was clearer once I finished it. It helped me zero in on the values that are important to me and give me a clearer idea of what I want my future to look like.

This is going to sound kind of vague, and I apologize, but 2012 was also a year where I kind of challenged some of the things I thought I wanted. For most of my twenties, I’ve been working toward certain things for my future that, I realized this year, I no longer think I want.

The summer right after my senior year of college, I was living on campus at the school I’d just graduated from, working one part-time job in the morning and another in the afternoon and then going back to the dorm room to search for jobs online until I went to bed. I had no idea what my future held in terms of jobs and living situations but did have a weird, completely unfounded faith that everything would work out—and it did. That summer ended with me finding a job and an apartment in an instance of absolutely perfect timing. I am kind of astounded when I look back at how optimistic I was when I was twenty-two. The faith I had in myself and in the future seemed to be completely unfounded and misplaced—but it wasn’t. And now I wonder if some of that belief is what actually created that future.

So now I’ve done something I’d previously been terrified of—imagining a life different from the one I’ve spent years imagining. Now that I’ve let go of something I’d held onto for way too long, weirdly enough, I don’t have any fear at all. I have two quotes from books I love that come to mind (and I’m pretty sure I’ve used both of them before on this blog):

“Not giving a shit, she decided, is like the defrost option on a car’s heater that miraculously unfogs the windshield, allowing you to see where you’re headed.”

-from Empire Fallsby Richard Russo

Not to say I don’t give a shit about anything, just no longer about things I shouldn’t.

“And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn’t that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you’re less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn’t it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you’ve experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you’re seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this.”

-from The Correctionsby Jonathan Franzen

So that was all a really long, complicated way of saying something that I probably could have just said in the words of George Michael: “Cause I gotta have faith.” And that’s something I’m going to work on, too- while it’s important to take steps towards goals like I’m doing now, what’s also important is working on having more confidence, more hope, more faith that in the end, everything will work out.

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