Sunday, December 29, 2013

On Resolutions

I'm sure this surprises exactly zero people, but I don't do resolutions. For one, the whole thing feels like the trite way of doing things you should do all the time, anyway. It's kind of like how people only talk about how thankful they are at Thanksgiving, or only go out of their way to show someone they love them on Valentine's Day.  I get that turning over  a new year makes for a convenient starting point, but why put all the pressure on yourself starting the day after you stayed up late and nearly drank yourself to oblivion? And if you don't keep to the resolutions, then what? Does that make you a failure? Weak? It seems like a lot of setting up to fail to me.

Usually when someone discusses their official New Year's Resolutions, they are full of things to do, to change, ways to cut out all badness in their lives. I do a lot of bad things in my life, and I'm not proud.  But if you told me I had to give it all up or change it all on Wednesday? Game over, man. Sometimes the selfish, unhealthy, dangerous, or lazy treats are what give us the power to spend more effort on other good things, allowing us to be more giving, healthy, dependable, or active.  I'm often curious how people have let their lives get so out of hand that every single thing has to be changed.  Isn't it okay if we stay the same sometimes? I am always up for change, but it should be more organic.  Lose weight, save money, quit smoking, start volunteering whenever you're ready to do so, not when an arbitrary date changes.  Changes made organically always seem to be more fulfilling, and usually, more successful

So rather than spend a lot of thought on what I'm going to do and change, I try to be more open minded and self-forgiving.  I'm learning to cook more, so that I can have better food, cheaper, and at home.  I'd like to stop being so sedentary.  I have plenty of opportunity between ice skating, Wii, walking Toby, or even (gasp!) the gym in my building. I should take advantage of these more often.  I'm trying to keep a more positive outlook on things, and realize that just because people make different choices than I do, neither of us are wrong.  I want to experience more of the world around me, so I'm venturing out to see places I've never been, and be more open to trying something brand new.

These things do not require a great change of my personality, or even a whole lot of effort, to be honest.  I do have some actual goals for 2014, but they involve financial stuff which is even boring to me. I would like to run a few races just to see if it's as much fun as it looks. Still, if these things do not come to pass, I'll be okay with it.  To be honest, 2013 was a pretty kick ass year, so if my life is the same for 2014, yay for me!

 I hope you all have some fun and happiness planned for 2014, and take it easy on yourself if you don't make it to January 3 with your resolutions.  You're still awesome and the world is better because you're in it!

Monday, December 16, 2013

On The Holiday Spirit

So I'm usually very much into the holiday season and spirit and all that stuff, but this year...I'm just not feeling it. This is not to say that I feel all "humbug" about it, but i'm not really overtaken by it this year.  The very quick season certainly doesn't help things.  I mean, I was just visiting friends and family in Alabama, and it's already a week until Christmas? Geez!

Another big thing is that my house has been such a disaster area lately that I haven't been able to get it clean enough to actually make space for a tree, or dust a surface for a fun candle. That I occasionally have a clean plate to eat off of and clean underwear every day is pretty much as much as I can get accomplished.  I really do like my place, and when it's all nice and clean it's a very comfortable place.  The problem is that I am lazy, so its rarely clean.

But I think the biggest thing about it all is that I'm just not that interested this year.  This is the second time in my life I haven't been in the mood to celebrate, but the first time was right after my long term relationship ended.  I was in a mood for a bit, as you might guess.  This year, though, there's nothing wrong; I'm in no mood.  I have listened to all the seasonal music I love like every year, and enjoyed it.  Chills from The Cambridge Singers' version of Silent Night, getting funky with Cee-Lo, tapping my toes to The Puppini Sisters, I've heard it and had a good time. No worries, just not all swept away as I have been in other years.

And I think 'm kind of enjoying it. As an adult, I get to choose what is worth my time and energies.  I've done SO MUCH throughout my life because of other people's expectations, and it's nice to make the choice for myself.  I've seen friends post so much about how stressed they are by it all, and how there's not enough time, and how spending so much time with their families sucks, and how they hate how expensive it is, and on and on.  It feels nice to not be stressed. The demands on my time are the same now as they usually are. Plenty of friends have had parties, which I fully support, so I get to see everyone, and some lovely decorations. I got to spend a great long weekend with my family at Thanksgiving, so I'm not missing them too much yet. I'm also extraordinarily fortunate to have the kind of family one enjoys spending time with. I'm opting out of gifts for financial reasons this year, so once again, no pressure.

This is not to say that I'm all heartless here.  I just saw the Apple commercial with the family Christmas video and teared up a little.  This week I'll go see the all the German finery downtown and drink some mulled wine from a festive collector's mug. Later, I'll go see the lights at the zoo, maybe check out the big tree at Macy's State Street.  There will be a viewing of It's A Wonderful Life, and there will be sausage balls.

I can say with no hesitation that checking out for Christmas this year has been a delight.  Maybe next year I'll get excited about it all again, and actually put up my ornaments from Holiday World and Alaska.  Or maybe I won't.  And that's okay too.