Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year to Old You!

When I was younger I played with Barbies. Not really shocking most girls who grew up when I did had Barbies. We were just starting to decide she was an evil influence on the psyches of young impressionable girls at that time so most of us played with them. Only the ones with hippy moms didn't. And even they did if they were visiting your house. But I kept my Barbies and played with them for much longer than most of my peers. And though it was a social activity when I was younger it became mostly just me as I aged. I knew most girls had abandoned the dolls for boys and diaries and stuff... I just wasn't ready yet.

My Barbies were my story telling outlet. They had long involved plot lines. Stories that would rival any soap opera. Midge was the "bad girl", Barbie the long suffering do gooder...what does that say about me? I made the brunette the bad guy and the blonde the hero? Hmmm... anyway...I had Ken and GI Joe who battled for their affections. I had cars and clothes and even the Barbie Townhouse...which was not as cool in real life as it looked on the commercial. Advertisers, am I right?

But the very best thing about my Barbies and my stories with them is that they did exactly what I wanted them to do, every single time. I wanted them to put on their cute work out clothes and go to the gym, they went. I wanted them to try out the new Barbie kitchen? They cooked. I wanted them to have a deep meaningful conversation where everyone came out of it enlightened and understanding each other's point of view? They did that.

Barbies followed the script.

I loved my Barbie world.

Because in real life other people don't follow the script. Hell, they are probably unaware there is a script they should be sticking to. Or that they have written one of their own that they are expecting you to stick to. Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a fight with someone and you just got there? You know, you said one thing and all of a sudden you are in a full blown argument and you are trying to play catch up and figured out how that happened. It's because they started before you. They had a script and you just weren't aware that you had already been in this argument. They were already mad at you before you ever got there. Or you were supposed to say something very specific and you didn't so you ruined the entire scene they had crafted. You didn't follow the script. And you do it to other people too. You planned the perfect evening and how it would go and then your S.O. decides that instead of looking at you dreamily across the table and telling you how lovely your hair that you spent two hours getting exactly right looks says, "Pass the salt." They are not following the script.

And we do it to ourselves. We have big plans for our year. We sit down on the 31st and say "This year I will...." and we list all of the things we always list. And we are sure, just positive that we will do it. We visualize ourselves succeeding, that's important, right? Visualization. We see it! We are doing everything exactly the way we want. We are incredible! And then we don't follow our own script. Instead of reaching for the tennis shoes on the 1st we say that everyone knows that you don't start working on your goals until the 2nd, or the first Monday of the new year, or until all of the Christmas candy is gone or.... We don't follow our own script. Because we forget something really important. Who is starring in our play.

As I watch all of the New Year's resolutions fill my news feed on Facebook and I contemplate my own goals for the next year I think, that's great, but you are still you. Even with all of these grand plans and great goals you are still you. New resolutions, same you. Which is the point of resolutions, I get it, but it is something we often forget. That no matter how much we might think we want to be a marathon running, whole food eating, peaceful center in a stormy world we are still starting with a couch sitting, junk food fanatic who can't go to sleep at night if they haven't won their latest online argument.

And sometimes we can't even get that far. This year I went back and forth between it being a year with ALL OF THE GOALS! or a year with none, not one, no goals. Now Charles, brilliant man that he is, convinced me that no goals was a really bad idea. He tried it and it led to sloth, and he is a hiking, cooking, working, kid raising, dog walking non-slothlike as it gets type, so if my cookie eating, couch sitting, done with the kids, unemployed self tried it I thought I might just melt in to a pile of goo before spring. So the no goals at all idea was tossed. As appealing as it was, I sort of knew I wouldn't be able to stick to it anyway. I am fairly aware of who I am writing my script for, and she loves gold stars. So no goals, no gold stars, not going to work.

But now that leaves me with a wide open year and trying to decide what goals to have. What changes to make. And I've gone back and forth on those as well.

Internet stuff. Should I cut back? I think about it all the time. But I use it for so much. It's my research tool. My writing forum. My social interaction with my multinational friend base. It's also where I face the most frustration. People posting the most ridiculous shit. No research. Just post. People loving to get angry about things and finding obscure stories that fit their agenda. People who flat out pass along misinformation to suit their needs. Ugh. Part of me wants to become the guy in the xkcd comic up there and just post link after link after link to factual articles to stop it. But you know it won't. You can't change someone's mind who doesn't want it changed. So being the light of truth in a dark online world is off the table. Besides, I tried that back when I first got online and thought, "Oh you just don't know the truth, here I will share it with you and you will see." and then discovered, "Oh you just don't give a rat's ass about the truth you just want to be angry. I see."

Weight. Okay, so yeah, this is always there. Last year with the rehab from the 2013 injury, the PT for the arthritis, and the overall disgust with constantly fighting with myself over it, I just took the year lightly. Or at least half of the year lightly. Honestly as soon as I found out I had arthritis in my knees I sort of got pissed off and threw a temper fit. Why bother with it all when I can't control any of it? Pout and stomp, and stomp and pout. But as my weight crept ever higher and I realized that all I was doing was making the knees that are damaged have to carry more weight I snapped out of it. So I will lose the weight I've gained over the past two years and then re-evaluate where I want to go from there. The first three months of the year are devoted to shedding 10 pounds, then possibly another 5 after that. But 10 to start. Slowly. Not crazy but steady. I need to find a balance where I am being kind to my body and still keeping fit.

Cooking. I've finally signed up for the Blue Apron service where they deliver the ingredients right to you with the recipes. I've let myself get talked out of this one for over a year. But I hate meal planning and shopping and like to cook. This really does make sense. Now it's only 3 meals a week so I will need to fill in the rest, but I am ever hopeful that I can swing that. Before the holiday I made it 6 nights in a row cooking at home, and that was without an official goal number, so I think I can swing more meals in than out this year. I just have to see how that lines up and if I do make it gold star goal.

Writing. Always writing. What do I want to do? Brent still wants me to publish. He believes in me. I am still licking my wounds from not hearing anything from publishers before. And, honestly, the instant gratification I get writing here is good for me. I've never been motivated by money, it's not my thing, but I do like my pats on the back and you all give those to me. But there is still a part of me that would love to hold an actual book with my name on the cover. And have an Amazon review by someone I never met who calls it a great book. That would be a big fucking gold star for sure.

The Goodreads book goal thing is always a fun one. It's sort of like a freebie gold star. Here, you were going to read a ton anyway, set a goal and get a star! So yeah, I will cheat that one on the list as well. Trying to decide on a good number.

New things, adventures, travel, those will fill in here and there.

And being okay with my eccentricities. I'm odd in a few ways. Some of them make me a lot of fun to be around, if I do say so myself. I see the world a little differently than a lot of people and I really do enjoy things on a very deep childlike level. Some of them make me hard to deal with and I understand that as well. Finding that balance where I am living a life that is good, and challenging in all the best ways without it becoming overwhelming and challenging in all the worst ways is important. And the people who matter will understand.

So Happy New Year to all of us! The old us, the new us, the improved versions of us that only live in our minds and the perfectly imperfect non-script following us that live in the real world! I hope you have a year filled with gold stars!

(Oh and speaking of goals...this makes blog 177 so I passed my goal of 165 but didn't quite reach that stretch of 200, hmmm.....should I set that for next year?)

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