Where do I even begin? Well, maybe with today, January 1, 2015! A new year, a new start. Yeah, yeah right. Resolutions? Uh-huh. I resolve to wonder what my resolutions are going to be!
Perhaps Jane Francisco, Editor in Chief of “Good Housekeeping” magazine, put it best when it comes to picking a personal mantra for this new year when she wrote, “Taking care of ourselves is a privilege.” Yes it is Jane, and I’m going to do a whole lot more of that starting TODAY!
“We all have to start with ourselves. It’s time to walk the walk. Take the journey of making very difficult decisions. Start removing things from your life that are not filling your cup and adding things that bring joy to your life. “
Well, said Lisa and words I desperately need to take to heart, but I’ve never been one to put myself first. Maybe it’s time I do. It’s time to think, feel and believe that this year is going to be different.
Nearly half of all Americans will make a New Year’s resolution, but according to “The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin (whose writings and wisdom I’m obsessed with) that’s all well and good but we often make the wrong resolutions. We are waaaay too ambitious when it comes to naming those resolutions, resulting in utter defeat by month’s end. Rubin suggests to start by asking yourself “what would make me happier?” and go from there. She also suggests making small, manageable resolutions rather than abstract, ginormous ones and to avoid over-estimating what you can do over a short amount of time as well as not under-estimating what you can do over a long period of time if you take consistent, small steps. “Be happier” is much harder to obtain and measure than “do one thing every month that makes me happy.” We all seem to want to lose weight every January, but maybe we should resolve to “lose 5 pounds by Valentine’s Day” rather than “lose 30 pounds.” Rubin says to be specific when it comes to making your New Year’s resolutions and she also highly recommends making positive ones. Instead of focusing on what not to do, concentrate on things you like to do.
Although I wouldn’t put myself right in the “perpetual optimist” group (I always say I’m more a realist,) I do make a New Year’s resolution every year that is positive and enhances my life. Every January first I vow to learn something new within the upcoming 12 months. I’ve taking Italian lessons, ice skating lessons, learned to cross-stitch, learned to shoot a gun at a shooting range, and got a personal trainer to name just a few. This year I’m leaning toward guitar lessons. Yes, I of course want to eat healthier and continue working out, but I also want to do fun things that make me happy! There is no time like the present , right?
I’m not a risk taker but I’ve learned that to find joy you often have to leave behind what you know or what you fear and take some risks. Joy is a decision and I’m resolving to find it this year. I’m going to be Phoebe on “Friends” and run like a child and not care who’s watching or what they say. I’m going to stop doing things I really don’t like to do and eliminate whatever and whoever is bringing me down. I will constantly ask myself, “what will you to today that will make you proud in a year?” Whatever it takes. I’m in.
What I’m not going to do is continue trying to achieve or hope for what just ain’t going to happen. Again, I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist. I will accept what I can’t change and I will move on.
I’m going to be happy with a calm life and I’m going to wake up and think one happy thought each morning. One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day, and I want more good days and less bad days.
I want less stress and less worry.
I want normalcy and honesty.
I want to feel needed and loved.
I want to eat healthier and volunteer once a month.
I want to expect less and at the same time expect the most.
I want my mind to stop racing and I really, really want to stop wondering and questioning.
I need to stop doubting and start doing.
Sometimes you have to choose between a preference and a priority and I’m going to do some hard thinking about what’s really important to me and make that my priority. No more “give it more time.” No more waiting.
My key word this year: detach. Detach from what stresses me and what hurts me. Detach from what scares me and from what holds me back.
I also want to stop living with regret and get out there and just live. I’m young, healthy, and like to have fun and it’s time to have more of it. I resolve to live my life, not a life someone or something else dictates for me.
“I can’t stand to think my life is going by so fast and I’m not really living it.”
All of this will mean letting go of who or what I can’t change. Not an easy task for someone who likes to help others and control situations, but it’s time. It’s time to live a life full of “oh wells” rather than “what ifs.” A young gun I’m not, but I’m young enough to know what I want and I’m healthy enough to take the required steps to achieve it. I’ve given and given, waited and waited. Now I can’t wait to give to me!
Who am I kidding though? I’m a Nervous Nelly who hates change. But, I also hate futility and its resulting regret and despair.
Today starts a new chapter in the book of Carla. I hope to fill its pages with all things good and have fun doing it. As Ernest Hemingway also once said, “When you stop doing things for fun, you might as well be dead.”
I’m not dead yet and I officially resolve to live in 2015. Really and truly live.