Monday, January 3, 2011

Thoughts on the New Year

Thank you so much for your support on my photo-junk meltdown last week.  I love you guys--I wished you lived here and could be my PTA-backup.  Also, I want you to know that all the typos in the first letter are due to my retyping it at 1 a.m. (I hadn't saved the original file).  I did not send in that mess.

As I started thinking about New Year's Resolutions this weekend, the first thing that came to mind was, "don't do anything I don't want to do."  I was at first a little shocked by my own selfishness when contemplating that for a resolution.  Then I thought, well, why not?  Why not examine my motives when doing something, to see if I am doing it because it brings me joy or pleasure or some other type of personal satisfaction, or if I'm just doing it out of a sense of obligation or guilt?  And then determine if there is a way to approach things with a different attitude, or just not do them if I really don't want to?  I've already failed on this one, by going along to my mother-in-law's house on New Year's Day.  We went sledding on the big hill, which was a lot of fun (though the climb back up is exhausting!) and I'm glad I did it, but then I had to sit around dying of boredom while she and C practiced their music.

Other things I want to do in the next year are to continue with my efforts of simplification and organization.  I think both of these go along with my first resolution--eliminate unwanted things from my life, from clutter to excess activities to guilt.

Last year, for the first time, I had work that I found enjoyable, satisfying and meaningful.  With the changed political climate in this state, I anticipate that this will change for the worse (and possibly undo all the work I did last year).  It kind of depresses me that in all my adult life I will have had only one year of meaningful work (and that that may prove to have been a joke).  I kind of blame college; in their quest to fatten their coffers with starving students' loan dollars, they trick you into thinking that with their degree, you will go forth and make a difference in the world.  If only they had been honest, I could be a plumber or something today.

Anyway, with the prospects of my professional life being less than satisfying for the foreseeable future, I feel like I should focus on increasing the satisfaction level in my personal life--that means more, you guessed it, writing!  Also I'd like to take an art class--drawing or painting, and improve my skills with my point-and-shoot camera.  (Why is it that all of my interests and hobbies are those of a retired person?  This is not new--when C and I first moved to Maine, before kids, I used to take adult ed classes and inevitably I was easily 30 years younger than anyone else in the class).

So those are my somewhat vague and abstract goals for the new year:
*approach life with joy and desire (rather than duty and guilt);
*get organized;
*eliminate unwanted things from my life;
*write, write, write;
*learn to draw and/or paint and take pictures.

What are your plans and goals for 2011?


  1. I also plan to declutter and get rid of a ton of stuff this year. I've had the pleasure of spending time in some very minimalist friends' homes this past year, and it's so peaceful and nice not to have so much stuff. I've basically been trying to find something to get rid of every time I walk into a room. And what is really scary is that I've gotten rid of a ton of stuff, but it looks like I've done nothing!

  2. Oh, I wish we lived closer. I think we'd be friends.

    I find the older I get, the less willing I am to do things I don't want to do. Of course, there are family obligations, but I've noticed that I feel more comfortable saying no to things I would have gone along with in the past. Feels pretty good.

    Here's to eliminating the junk from our lives :)

    Happy New Year!

  3. I like your goals for the year, even the "selfish" one. Hopefully, older people in all those art classes figured that out a long time ago.

    I haven't yet allowed myself to be reflective about goals for the coming year. I'll get back to you.



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