Thursday, January 12, 2012

355.5 days left in 2012

I’m going to set my resolutions for this year a little differently from the way that I’ve done them in the past because I love ambitious, lofty, specific lists but I think that I need to approach 2012 with a few grand ideas. And a few specific goals to keep me honest.

#1 Be brave. This is it. This is my 2012.
There is so much that I want to do and want to see and want to experience and want to accomplish. I could spend the entire year making resolutions, pinpointing how I want to get better and establishing a plan and identifying benchmarks. I am good at that – the slow and deliberate plodding towards the finish line. And it works. Eventually, usually, generally it works.

I want to do it differently in 2012. I want to look my big goals right in the eye. I want to stop being afraid of everything. I want to dream my enormous, intimidating dreams and I want to grab them by the shirt collar and wrestle them to the ground because I have spent 29 years carefully tiptoeing around my life. Why am I afraid of my own life? Why am I scared to live the life of my dreams?

It’s 2012. I turn 30 in October. It’s time. Time to say something risky. Put myself out there. Make a decision without factoring in what others will think. Ask for help if help is needed. Be courageous. Be bold. Be brave.

#2 Stay in the kitchen. Why not? I like it there.
I’m carrying this resolution over from 2011. I’ll continue making something significant – a big meal or a tasty dessert or something for breakfast that isn’t Cheerios – in the kitchen once per week.

#3 Jump back on the water train. If you need me, I’ll be peeing.
This is also a carryover resolution from 2011. A resolution that I did a fine job at keeping up with through the first half of the year. Then I tanked. So I will try again. I’ll fill up my water bottles and keep a tally on my phone and hopefully this time my water consumption can be a habit rather than a hassle.

#4 Be pretty and be okay with it. Pointless guilt need not apply.
If I want to do my hair, I’m going to do my hair. If I feel like wearing makeup, I’m going to wear makeup. If I want to paint my nails, I’m going to paint my nails. I’m going to stop thinking about what everybody else thinks about my appearance, the time/effort/energy that I put (or don’t put) into my appearance. Because it doesn’t matter.

My family – my mother, more specifically – isn’t a group that particularly values appearance. My mom hardly wears makeup. Barely does a thing with her hair. And she doesn’t need to. She is beautiful and comfortable just as she is and I think that is awesome.

I, on the other hand, feel a little better about myself if I put time into my appearance. That means a smudge of blush on my cheeks if I’m running out to Target. That means sacrificing 20 minutes of sleep so that I can go to work with the perfect braid in my hair.

And I always feel guilty about it. That’s what needs to change in 2012.

The guilt comes from my mother, no doubt. (Doesn't it always? I hate to blame her.) She is always touching my hair when I’ve straightened it and asking “how long did this take you?” And I pull back and I am instantly annoyed and I feel vain and I want to swat her hand away because it’s my time, damnit, and if I want to spend my time making my hair cute so that I can feel cute what the hell does it matter?

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter to anyone but me.

It is 2012 and it’s time to take that to heart. I’m going to be adorable when I feel like being adorable. I’m going to wear skirts and heels to work because I want to and because I can even though the other ladies wear nothing but slacks and sensible shoes. I’ll wear makeup when I feel like wearing makeup. I’ll straighten my hair when I want to straighten my hair and I won’t care who prefers it curly or who thinks that I would be better off sleeping in.

It’s just a place in my life where I can learn to be brave, I suppose. Brave to be the person I want to be and look how I want to look. But this has been bothering me for a while, this tug of how I should look and how much I should care. So the issue gets its own resolution. And a new eye shadow palette.

The following isn’t a list of resolutions. Just ideas.
More live music.
More outdoor runs.
More laughter.
Bigger ambitions.
More hugs.
Less coffee.
More road trips.
Fewer tears.
Get smarter.
Show love.
More green tea.
Eat better.
More fun.
Sleep longer.
Procrastinate less.
Blog better.
More making.
Less buying.
Try harder.
Aim higher.
Love more.
Live happier.
Ideas to make 2012 my 2012.


Kari said...

Love this!
Have you thought of getting a camelbak waterbottle (not the backpack but the actual bottle). I find I drink lots more water when I use it.

k said...

Love it! I love the list of ideas!

And I have much faith that you can accomplish this all and more!

MK said...

I love your list! I hope that you are able to make them all come true. I look forward to reading about you trying. :)

Heather said...

i spent most of last year feeling inert. the year started with continuing to help my mother clean out my grandmother's house, and when we reached the end of that, i stopped moving. or so it felt. then my roommate moved out and i was paralyzed with fear about whether or not i'd be able to make it. this froze me, just like unemployment did years ago. it's not pleasant.

now that i've realized i can make it, now that i've spent some time sitting around the apartment, figuring out how to make it a home for me, i'm ready for some action. i've decided to make my word for 2012 just that - action.

the short list of things to make this happen:
skydive. learn to fly a helicopter. look into a dance class. learn to snowboard. try rockclimbing. finally stop talking about that tattoo i WANT to get and actually get one. learn to kayak.

MIT is going to offer free online classes that, if you complete, come with a certification. it doesn't hold the whole weight of a degree from MIT, but i like certificates. i like learning. but because this is dependent on MIT getting their shiz together and is a years-long program, it's not really on the 2012 list. it's there for starting, but it's going to carry over.

my other resolutions are standard - continue to lose weight, eat well, sleep more, save more, visit loved ones more, see more of this earth, learn more, hold less grudges, learn to enjoy sugar responsibly, read more, swear less, drink more water.

i like your list. i like that your word for 2012 is to be brave. it's an amazing feeling when you live life out loud, and i want that for you. (i want to get better at it for me, too)

Kim said...

I love these...especially the list at the end. I, too, am trying to get back on the water train. I even have a four-pack of reusable water bottles sitting in a tote near my feet right now to use at work. And what am I drinking? Diet coke.


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