Somewhere in the middle of the crazy-busy month of December, my family and I spent a day thinking about our favourite memories from 2013 and our goals for 2014. At the end of the day, we all sat down and shared two of each.
In case you’re wondering, my two favourite memories from 2013 were of the time spent with my family at the seaside in Maine and hearing from my son’s overnight camp about how he was fitting in perfectly and “not given to feelings of homesickness.”
And my two goals were to have something of mine published – proper published – and to return to work while still ensuring I protect my writing time and my family time.
I like the idea of goals rather than resolutions, something that Robin over on afitandfocusedfutre.com just wrote about in her very inspiring piece, Don’t Call them Resolutions.
But I find that thinking about either one, goals or resolutions, encourages me to come up with more and more, lists upon lists of things I should do. After all, there are 365 days to do them in. That’s loads of time.
I could learn a new language (Italian, German), or brush up on one I’ve already sort of learned (Spanish, Irish).
I would love to do something artistic, maybe take a painting or a pottery class. I haven’t really done that since I was a kid.
I should really get back to running and doing yoga. I feel like I’ve been sitting still for months. Because I have.
I’d like to go skiing more this winter and canoeing more this summer. And hiking.
And of course, I want to keep writing.
There are so, so many things I could, should and would like to do.
But really, what I need to learn to do more than all the “to do” things I could come up with, is to stop.
To stop trying to fill my days.
To stop trying to come up with something fun to do. Or with something to do, period.
To stop worrying about all the things I have to do.
To stop over-programming and overcommitting.
And maybe to stop unconsciously and compulsively picking up a screen every two seconds.
Because, when I stop, the writing happens. And the quality family time happens.
And there is silence and calm.
I still need some active goals, too, but not too many.
So, this is what I’ve come up with:
1. Sit quietly alone, doing nothing, for at least 5 minutes each day.
2. Publish something in 2014.
3. Set aside time to write something once a day. Either first thing in the morning, or at lunch, or before bed.
4. Give myself permission to not write on any given day, so that writing, when it does happen, remains enjoyable.
5. Return to work slowly, ensuring I maintain a balance in my day between work, family and myself.
6. Before I return to work, do something new and fun. Something to remember when I do return to work. Maybe it will be taking an art course. Or meditation.
7. Start running again. Even just once a week.
8. Try to be patient with my son, to listen to him even though he never stops talking and, if I need some quiet brain time, explain why patiently.
So that’s my list.
An odd number of items, but well thought-out; I’ve been mulling them over for two days.
There are other things I’m working on, things which are part of my stress leave and which I could have added here but have decided not to. They are part of a different list.
And, though it’s not really a goal, I am also planning to write down a positive thing that happens each day. I’m going to gather all these positives in a box and at the end of the year, I’m going to go through them and reminisce and consider what a positive year I’ve had. Thank you, Alienora, for the wonderful idea!
There will always be ups and downs, but it’s so much healthier to focus on the ups.
And with that happy thought, I leave you for 2013.
Thank you to all my readers; each like, each follow, each comment brings a smile to my face.
I wish you all a fun, safe, happy evening and all the best for 2014. Happy New Year!