The super sweet Gracie, who I met through an ornament exchange, sent me not only the most dazzling chandelier ornament imaginable...but also the Frankie Daily Journal I'd been craving for months. All the way from Australia! Flipping through each charmingly illustrated week and month, my brain grasped the fullness of the sweet, sweet year which lies ahead. Time in which I'll be focused on what I love: Education. Art. Passion. Life is new and exciting. Open for the changing. I began to ask myself that December 31st question:
What do I want to achieve in the next 365 days?
The resolution scheming began. Just as I do in a lover's quarrel, I knew I had to omit loaded words like "never" and "always" from my resolutions. Life is too unpredictable to "always" and "never"...using those words is unfair. Rather than setting numbers and boundaries, then feeling deflated when I fail to reach a quota, I chose three broad arenas in which I will make efforts. Some minuscule, some an undertaking, but efforts nonetheless. Here they are:
I will be a blessing to others. For the last year, while trying to balance work and school, life became a little self-centric. It was impossible to predict what each day would bring...housekeeping, 3am homework, work reports, events, family obligations. During that busy time, I found that it was not what someone did for me...but simply that someone thought of me which mattered and made life sunnier. Now that I'll be only a student, it's time to refocus outward. Each week, I will plan a small way to bless another. Making a meal for a busy family, volunteering at a local charity, buying lunch for a homeless guy, writing a heartfelt letter to someone dear, sending a care package to a friend in need of cheer...simple things that require a little time and a pinch of heart.
I will be more conscious of my health. After losing 50 pounds over the last two years, my body has found a little comfort zone, and my mind has joined it. My weight is now in a healthy place, but it's time to move beyond numbers and sizes. Health is more than that-it's mental and emotional, too. I'm guilty of rarely getting enough sleep, watching too much TV and not finding time to move my bod....all transgressions which directly, and significantly, effect depression. And I feel that frequently. Yuck. But thankfully: such easy solutions! Along with catching more sleep, turning off the TV and moving more frequently, committing a few core nutritious recipes to memory is also on my to-do list.
I will challenge myself creatively. The most difficult part of being an art student is this: You invest countless hours every week in teacher-directed projects. So much time is spent meeting assigned guidelines, that you burn out your creativity, and forget to pursue your own interests. Then, when you do feel the slightest bit of personal inspiration, you go crazy chasing that gleaming unicorn of inspiration...only to lose steam an hour later. Each month I'll select a few creative projects to tackle: discovering my sewing machine via some simple sewing patterns, learning a Photoshop trick or two, committing a little French to memory and writing more frequently.
Now that it's out there, someone is thinking it: Isn't making resolutions a little old-school, given the amount found by the wayside on January 15th? Yes, yes it is. But heck. I'm an old school romantic, and something about dreamily pledging to spend 2011, or even a few weeks, becoming more like the woman I want to be doesn't seem like a waste of my time.
Not at all.