I came to an important personal decision the other day. I decided, without the influence of an outside committee, that my official New Year would begin in February 2019. Not for any reason in particular, mainly a bunch of small ones, but what it mainly boiled down to was that the month of January felt way too Groundhog Day-ish to me. Every day felt, well, very much like the one before. I did a lot of contemplating and inward reflection about what I was hoping to accomplish or see happen in my life during 2019, but I wasn’t quite ready to jump in and put a bunch of stuff into action. So I spent the month thinking, researching, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to change or stay the same. Both in my personal life and in my professional one. Because let me tell ya, there’s room for improvement in both areas, and I’ve learned that no matter how successful I am at keeping the two separated, there’s always some kind of weird overlap. Happiness in one area definitely can affect the other, so it makes sense to try and improve both. For me. Because if there’s one thing I feel pretty darn sure about in 2019, it’s that I know myself well enough to know what I need to be happy, and I’m through making concessions and short-changing myself.
So. That brings us to the here and now. I touched on the notion that January was filled with self-reflection and a bit of promise making to myself. I have strayed away from the notion of making New Year’s resolutions, but I recently stumbled upon an idea to take the place of a resolution, and that is picking a word to define your year. This word can be part of some overall goals you have for yourself, or a certain concept you want to integrate into your daily life, you can pretty much make up your own mantra as to what this word symbolizes for you in the given year. I love this idea. It’s still connected to the notion of setting goals and striving to make positive change, but doesn’t feel as heavy and overbearing as an actual resolution. Other people might not experience this, but resolutions often are guilt inducing for me, since I more often than not lost interest in them after a while. My hope is that my Word of 2019 will serve as more of a motivator, rather than a breeder of guilt. That word will be revealed on this blog soon. And speaking of this blog……
I haven’t been blogging. I’ve been thinking about it on the regular with all the best intentions in the world to jump back in and get back to business. But I’m such a pro at thinking up excuses and explaining to myself why I don’t have time to do sometime, or why it just isn’t that important, or how there are a bazillion more important things that need to come first before I indulge my own creative projects. Guess what? I call bullshit. And I’m not going to let myself get away with that nonsense anymore. Because as much as I think about blogging and make notes to myself about topics to write about, I could easily find the time to crunch out a post or two. I haven’t made it a priority, and while at certain times of the year I truly don’t have the time or the energy, there are so many other times that I do. So I’m toying with the idea of upgrading my blog plan – put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I’m toying with the idea of trying out some new themes and routines with posting, of putting myself out there a bit more (be still, my ever-increasing anxiety), and seeing what kind of joy this sparks for me. Oh I’m sorry? Are you not familiar with the term “spark joy?” Because those words caused a big stir for me in the early days of January 2019…..
MARIE KONDO. If you’ve been living under a rock or living under piles and piles of “stuff” in your house, maybe you aren’t familiar with the Queen of Organization, the master of teaching others how to tidy up their homes, the greatest inspiration to change the way you fold every article of clothing you own. I was aware of Kondo’s book but like so many things these days had just not gotten around to reading it, and then her Netflix show premiered and I felt like I had found my nirvana. Her philosophy to organization and tidying up was eye-opening. And the irony was that it was so darn simple. The idea of getting rid of items that no longer spark joy for you felt like it had been there all along for me to realize, but I just needed someone to point it out. Even sentimental items that I’d been keeping for years and years, and never saw the light of day because they were buried in a closet, it felt like she was giving me permission to unburden myself of all this extra “stuff” that just didn’t belong in my life anymore. And it felt SO. GOOD. I’ve almost worked my way through all my clothes (workout t-shirts, I’m comin’ for ya….) and I’ve dropped off a couple good hauls to the thrift store. But while this whole process starts with clothes, it doesn’t end there. It’s going to take time to go through every drawer, every closet, every shelf in the garage. But I’m committed. And while I normally abandon my drive for big undertakings like this if they drag on too long, I’m not giving up on this one. There was such a lightness and unburdening that came when I sacked up that huge pile of clothes that would no longer live in my closet. I felt refreshed in a way I hadn’t in a long time and the same feeling carried over to when I sorted through my bookshelves, my shoe racks, you get the picture. I feel like I’ve broken some invisible barrier and am no longer afraid to part with “stuff” that I’m worried I will miss once it’s gone. I think it’s amazing the psychological hold that “stuff” has on us. The natural inclination most of my life has been to try and organize what I have, to tuck things away using some new-and-improved method or system. But to actually get rid of items because you literally have no room to store them, in your closet and in your life…..that is definitely more psychological.
And there you have it. The rambling preview to, well, something. It feels good to be back in this space making a commitment to writing words once again. The words may not be perfect, but they are mine. And that’s enough for now.