Yes, dear readers, it’s that time of year where people think about, create, avoid, debate about, embrace, get pissed off about, and otherwise engage in …..
New Year’s Resolutions.
I usually say, “I refuse to do New Year’s Resolutions!” That’s my usual stance.
It’s time to take a break in this post, already, for a confession. I don’t know the correct way to punctuate that phrase. I usually write it the way I did, above, but — in my mind — it might also be:
- New Years Resolutions
- New Years’ Resolutions
- New Years’s Resolutions
Let me check Google, now, to see if anybody else gets confused, like that.
Has anybody, besides me, noticed that I’m stalling, at this point?
I guess that speaks to my point: I really don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Maybe it’s the friggin’ title. I can really get stuck on titles, that’s for sure.
So why don’t I like the title “New Year’s Resolutions”? (I DO like the fact that I can spell that with confidence, now.)
Actually, I don’t like New Year’s, period. (Eeeeek! I’m not sure how to punctuate “New Year’s” either. Hold on, while I check Google ….. Aha! Apparently there IS some confusion about THAT.)
I’m still stalling, aren’t I?
So, yes, in the past, I have been known to say, “I hate New Years Eve.” I don’t like new year’s day.” “New Year’s Eve and Day are my least favorite time of the year.” And, “I love my birthday. I save my fears and dread about the passage of time and my own mortality for the new year.”
Yes, I have been known to say all those things. And, I’m pretty sure I wrote something similar, at some point, in my blog this year.*
But I want to tell you this, right now: This year, I have NOT been dreading the approach of New Years. I’m not knowing exactly why that’s true, but — as always — I can guess. This year:
- I’m letting go of assumptions about what New Year’s should be (including how to punctuate it).
- I’m expressing my thoughts and feelings, every day, to people I feel connected to.
And those two things help, a lot.
In the past, I have resisted New Year’s Resolutions, because they have spoken to me of this: The Potential for Failure.
It’s difficult for me to let go of that connection with New Year’s Resolutions — The Potential for Failure — especially since I first heard about them when I was a little kid. If we attach meaning — or decide about something — when we’re children, that belief can feel quite stuck, even if it’s not helping us now. Letting go of it, changing that belief, is really hard to do.
Therefore, I ‘d like to create a new name, in place of New Year’s Resolutions. I believe that would help.
Here would be my wishes for that new name:
- It would focus on making my life better, while also letting go of judgment about how I’ve done, so far.
- It would be a phrase that’s new(er); that is, something I did not hear as a child.
- It would not evoke the Possibility of Failure, but would rather promote hope.
- It would be easy to punctuate (and spell, too).
Hence, the title of this blog post: “Areas to work on.”
That phrase is definitely better, but I can’t say that I love it, yet. It reminds me, a little too much, of reviews I’ve gotten at work. And, like many people, I have had performance-review-related anxieties.
However, my work-related reviews, for the most part, have turned out well, even if the few negative parts of any review have stuck — felt “bigger” than the positive ones.
Hmmmm. You know what I’m realizing now? Those “negative parts” of which I speak? They usually are in THAT place in the review: “Areas to work on.”
And — of course — that IS where they’d be, right? Because “Areas to work on” is the place, in every review of past performance, where the focus is on What I Could Do Better (which, to a person with perfectionist tendencies, might sound like “You’re not doing enough.”)
Well, although I could have done better with this post (I suppose), at least I’ve made my way back to the title. And you know what? That title IS good enough, for my requirements.**
Okay, here we go!
Areas to Work On
in 2014 (and beyond)
- My mind’s a blank.
- Remember that my mind will blank out and wander, but it will come back.
- Remember to eat and drink what I need, in the moment.
- Sleep when I am able to, letting go of fears about whether I’m doing that right.
- Forgive myself, as best I can, for actions (or non-actions) from my past.
- Remember that warnings and alerts — both external and internal — are usually not a matter of life and death.
- Allow for the possibility that you don’t have to keep proving your credibility to people, over and over again.
- Geesh! Isn’t that enough?
Well, it’s my blog post, so I say it IS enough. Except, as usual, I’d like to include some imagery here, too.
Here are some Google Images for “New Year’s Resolutions” (which, at least, speak to my previous points about punctuation possibilities):
And one final Google Image, for “Areas to work on,” that I really like:
Thanks to everybody who helped make this post possible, to New Year’s Resolutioneers everywhere, and to you — of course! — for reading today.
* I assume so, but I can’t seem to find anything right now. You’re just going to have to take my word for it.
** Although it DOES have a dangling participle, if you care about such things.
*** I couldn’t find the home, for that image.
**** I found that image here, but if you click on that link, you might have some trouble getting back to this post.
***** I found that image here.
****** I found that image here.
******* I found that image here.