Sunday, January 01, 2012

nothing but good times ahead

The past three weeks have been such a blur that I hadn't really thought about a year-end wrap-up post or a new year's resolutions post until I started reading everybody else's.  And can I just say here that I have some damn fine blog friends?  (some of whom did not do new year's posts, you know, because it's not everybody's thing.)  So as I've been packing up all the detritus of my office/library, I've been thinking about new year's stuff.

2011 wasn't necessarily a good or bad year for me.  There was lots of both.  Good:  I've climbed out of the depression that plagued me in the 2006-2009 era-- it was never full-blown depression, just a sort of generalized numbing gray-ness, but still I am so glad it's gone.  Bad:  I hurt some people I love, and learned some things about myself that I'm tempted to say I'd rather not know.  But if I didn't know, I'd keep doing stuff that hurts and/or alienates people that I don't want to hurt or alienate, so I'm glad I know now.  I'm learning, and changing, too, I hope.

So 2011 wasn't good or bad, it was just hard.  My father's death, the pressures of my master's program, and now remodeling a house while we pack up the house where we've lived 12 years.  And hard can be good, so I'm not necessarily hoping that 2012 will be any easier. I'm hoping for a continued softening of heart, and continued lessons that teach me to be more thoughtful and compassionate.

As I've said every year I've kept this blog (I think, I didn't really go back and check to make sure it has been Every Year), I don't do New Year's resolutions.  Too much chance to feel bad over something that's not worth feeling bad about.  But the last couple of years, I've had a sort of general idea of something I wanted to work on.  Two years ago, it was lightening up.  This past year it was being willing to start over.  and over.  and over.  I've used the hell out of that one.  Every time I screw up, instead of feeling bad and guilty and ashamed, I've tried to just start over. Try again. Pick myself up and keep going. I didn't always manage it--there has still been a fair amount of self-recrimination; but I've given it a pretty good effort.

For 2012, my idea is similar to last year's.  Buddhists have a concept called Beginner's Mind.  It's been too long since I've read any Buddhist stuff to be able to explain what a Buddhist means by that, but what I mean is that I want to be able to see my same old same old situation through new eyes.  Rather than being jaded and cynical, I want to be open to joy and life and fresh ways of thinking.  The energy of new beginnings, without actually beginning anything new.  That's it.  Remind me.

I do have a couple of January goals, though.  They're things that I don't want to commit to for a full year, but I want to try.  And those are:  1) no Diet Dr. Pepper, not even the caffeine free kind (which has been my usual).  Just for a month, just to see how I do.  I've already cut way back-- I used to drink one every single day, now I probably have 3-4 a week.  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  For a month, I'm going to do without, and then see what I think.  I didn't want to cut them out for a full year, because honestly I don't think they're that bad.  The occasional soft drink isn't going to kill anybody.

2)  For the month of January, on Sunday or Monday, I'm going to try planning out our food for the week.  Doesn't that sound like Little Suzy Homemaker?  I don't think it will be, because y'all know me well enough to know I'm not particularly domestic, but there's a bit of reasoning behind it.  There is a post coming on this, so that's all I'll say about it for now.

That's it for me.  We are still packing and packing, and will be for the foreseeable future.  It's going OK, I guess. We did decide to have a yard sale, because there are just mountains of things to get rid of.  Probably in a couple of weeks.


  1. Bastard! I got kicked out! And it was an awesomely witty comment too.
    Never mind. Good round up.

  2. really? does that happen very often? sorry about that!

  3. I do try to plan the meals a week in advance, mostly because I really hate having to go to the grocery store more than once a week. I also hate the deciding what to make and so once that is over, I like having the plan. Also, our schedule is so complicated (Tuesday: girl has fencing from 5 - 7, boy has boy scouts 7:30 - 9, man is home late, I have a meeting from 7 - 9) that advance planning means everyone will get dinner even if it's not at the same time.

    I like the looking with beginner eyes and the picking up and trying again instead of beating myself up over something.

  4. I'd love to be able to plan the meals in advance like that. It would make a huge dent in the hemming and hawing I do every day. It's wonderful to hear your depression has lifted. Even mild depression can be such a debilitating thing. It's good to see you've battled through it.

  5. Happiness re the depression! It's very energy sapping.

    I like your new years *intentions*.

  6. I think the Dr.Pepper love runs in our blood! I like your idea of going cold turkey for a month and then re-assesing. I have also tried weekly meal planning and it works for about three suppers a week at our house - spontaneity asserts itself the rest of the time!