Resolutions

It’s funny to me when I hear people get all jaded about New Years Resolutions.  If I say, “What are your resolutions this year?”, they’ll get sullen and say, “I don’t make resolutions.”  Or, my personal favorite, “The only resolution I’ve kept is the one to not make resolutions.”  Lame.

Now, let me disclaim that not *all* people are that way, but many are.  Making a resolution has become almost like saying “Bless you” when someone sneezes – obligatory and obviously not meant in any capacity of sincerity.  People make them, and then they break them.  Or they simply don’t make them.

I admire the effort, at least, for those people who choose to even set the goals – regardless of their commitment level.  It’s the people who do nothing that surprise me.  Why wouldn’t you set a goal?  Even a small one?

I’ve run the gammit with setting my own resolutions.  I went from not setting any (and thinking I was “cool” for being unmotivated), to setting very lofty goals (because anything worth doing is worth overdoing), to setting realistic, achievable goals (what is the point if you can’t actually reach the goal?). 

I’m still working on my resolutions.  I will post them here, more as a record for me, when I figure them all out.  Of course, there will be some of the cliché “spend-more-time-with-family-lose-weight-blah-blah-blah” goals, but I am also working on very specific things as well.  Things I know I’ll can do if I make the commitment.  It’s important to me to always challenge myself.  To always set the bar just out of reach – it’s the only way I can grow and evolve into a better human being.

So, where do you sit?  Do you make them to break them?  Do you make them to achieve them?  Do you not make them at all?  And regardless of what choice you make – why do you make that choice?  If you don’t know, you should spend some time thinking about it.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.  So if you aren’t happy with where you are, begin it today.   Make a change.

The countdown to the new year

Here we are: 7 days until the new year begins.  I really enjoy the new year celebration. The idea that there is a milestone moment to wipe the slate clean and start anew is one that seems natural for most human beings.  People say all the time, “I’ll start my diet on Monday,” or “Tomorrow will be better.”  Silly, when you think about it.  Any number of moments could be a moment that you turn something around.

Truthfully, I don’t really have anything I am “turning around.”  Things are going well for me.  I like my job. I am enjoying my life. I’m pretty happy with my body.  Okay, yeah… a goal of mine is to drop some unwanted pounds.  But I don’t have any desire to “diet” like I did when I was crazy (which is a whole other post that, maybe, someday I’ll get to).  Instead, I plan on using the new year to set some goals for things I’d like to achieve, rather than focusing on what I don’t want.  I feel like the other stuff will happen naturally if I stay focused on those goals.

I’d like to focus on thankfulness.  Gratefulness.  I’d like to make that more of a natural occurence than something I so diligently focus on. I’ll get there.  But it will take some effort. I have flirted with using January to make a 30 days of gratefulness challenge for myself.  Still on the fence.  I’ll keep you updated on what I decide.

I’d like to do a marathon.  A full marathon.  I have absolutely NO question in my mind that I can.  I know I can. I just need to buckle down and commit to the event.  Maybe the Denver Marathon.  We’ll see.

I’d like to really have a break-out performance at work this year.  Just really hit it out of the ballpark.  I have a lot of reasons why that is difficult, but I need to focus on how I can make it happen, instead of why it won’t.

Several years back, I was told that my 33rd year would be a peak year for me by a psychic.  Some of the other things she told me have empowered me to make positive changes in my life.  All of the ingredients are present to make that happen this year – my 33rd year.  So, I suppose, what I need to do focus on making this little stew of success.  I’ve been blessed in abundance, and I feel like ignoring those blessings is wasteful.

So, within the next few days I’ll have some great goals set.  Stay tuned.

Oh… and Merry Christmas. 🙂

10 things most people don’t know about me

I decided to share random bits of useless knowledge that wouldn’t mean anything to anybody – but they are oddities about me.

  1. I was 28 years old before I learned how to tie my shoes correctly.  You know, the loop-swoop-and-pull thing.  Up until then, I literally did the rabbit ears thing.  It took me two weeks to learn it.
  2. I think The Cosby Show was the best TV show ever.  Ever in the history of ever.  And I am sure there is some wack-a-doo Trekkies out there that will disagree with me.  But they can shove it.  I’m right.
  3. They don’t make movies like they used to.  But that being said, Forrest Gump is still my most favorite movie.  But Harvey ranks.
  4. Authority figures make me want to hurt small bunnies.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who have served in the armed forces, but seriously?  If national security was in my hands, it’d be anarchy.
  5. I snap wrong.  I can’t describe it, but ask me sometime.  You’ll laugh.  OH WAIT!  You don’t know me.  Well, you’re missing out.  It’s hysterical.
  6. When I get laryngitis, I literally go crazy in about 3 hours.  Not being able to communicate in that way makes me absolutely insane.  Like sitting on my hands, only worse.
  7. I cry when I watch Bambi…. and Dumbo.
  8. I never wanted to change my last name when I got married.  In hindsight, I’m glad I did.  But my last name was my identity and I didn’t want to lose it.  I would ghost write under my maiden name if I could.
  9. There are so many things that I could be when I grow up; I still haven’t decided.
  10. I really love who I am.  Love it.  Because I haven’t stopped learning, yet.

‘Tis the season

It’s Christmas.  Or, at least, almost.  I’m not such a big fan of the holiday; but before you get your panties in a bunch, let me explain why.

It isn’t even close to being about what it is supposed to be about.  All of those people who spout off “Jesus is the reason for the season” and get all pissed off because someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” are the same people cutting people off in parking lots, running into people in stores with shopping carts and bitching at the customer service desk – all as they pay homage to the almighty.  Yep.  The almighty dollar.

On the surface, Christmas should be about celebrating the birth of Christ.  But moreover, it should be about sharing and giving and tolerance and forgiveness and love.  Not about obligation, arrogance and money.

In years past, at this point, I was ready to move away to some country that had never even heard of Christmas.  But this year, I have worked pretty hard to stay neutral.  So I don’t hate it, yet.  But the moment is quickly coming.

Instead of devoting this entire post to what Christmas is about now, I decided to list what Christmas should be.  At least, what it should be to me:

  • Sharing
  • Giving to those less fortunate
  • Children
  • The magic of Santa
  • The lessons that Santa teaches us
  • Christ (which isn’t second to Santa.  Actually, I rather consider Santa an extension of Jesus, just dressed up in a jolly suit)
  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Forgiveness – for each other and mostly, for ourselves
  • Joy

Mostly, I want to focus on love.  Christmases really sucked for me when I was young.  It is probably why I am so bah-humbug about it.  Last year was probably the first Christmas in my adult life that was exactly what I wanted it to be.  We opened presents, spent the day lounging around at home enjoying each other, went to Chinese dinner with friends (a quite established Christmas tradition in my home), and then spent the rest of the night with those same friends just being together.  It had little to nothing to do with stuff.  It was about being together and celebrating love and friendship.

And isn’t THAT was Christ was about, anyway?

Faith

Again… great song. 🙂

Not the point of this post.

I had a conversation with a friend who really changed a lot in my mind.  Shook up the ideas I held to be true.  Generally speaking, about life.  Specifically?  God.

Touchy touchy touchy…  I know.  Who really likes opening your mind and heart to other people when doing so will most certainly cause you to rethink things?  And when it comes to God, it is sort of one of those defining things.  Like, the direction my compass points. And if it doesn’t point to Him, in the direction He has always been in for me… then what does that mean?

I’ve thought long and hard about the things we talked about.  I won’t really go into them here, because they are incredibly personal and explaining what I believe and why I believe it doesn’t really prove anything to anybody.  I know the truth.  And I’m not really ready to share the epiphanies I have experienced.  They are too close to my heart and, no offense, dear reader, but I just don’t trust you.

It was a very meaningful conversation.  Short.  But incredibly poignant.  Directed straight at my heart and my mind simultaneously.  I don’t think I ever really told my friend why or what changed.  But something big happened.

And now, what I have been thinking is, “Don’t put God in a box.”  He isn’t in a box for me anymore.  My eyes have been opened to the vast possibilities that He can do.  I am amazed.  And I love it.  I love the sheer feeling of amazement I have.

I am thankful, today, for that conversation.  I wish my friend knew that.

2011 – The year of not being the whipping girl

I have long said, “We teach people how we want to be treated.”  I believe this.  And I have done some work to change certain parts of my life because of it.  What I find, though, is that I whine, “Why do I always have to deal with blah blah blah.”  Um.  Yeah.  You know why?  Because I allow it.

Today’s particular annoyance is at work.  I enjoy my job, and truth be told, I am happy here.  But, as I always have done, I take too much responsibility.  I am constantly adding more to my own plate.  And I can manage it for a while, but as soon as something goes awry, I spiral out of control into a sad state of disaster.  Additionally, I am way underpaid for what I do.

Money isn’t the driving force for me.  It never has been and it never will be.  But at times like this (at the end of a Thursday when I have already worked 46 hours and will go home to spend another 2-3 hours working), I find myself a little weary.  Not the girl who needs to have her hand held or pats on the back every 10 minutes just for showing up, right now, I need a shitload of appreciation for the amount of work I do.

(Side note: I’m wallowing.  I know – but just stay with me a little while longer; I have a point.)

2011 is the year I will change this.  I expect to be appreciated.  I expect to be compensated for my efforts.  I expect to be supported.  I expect to work hard and be recognized for it.  Mostly, I expect to not be everyone’s whipping girl.  And only I can change this.  Only I have the power to start re-teaching people how I want to be treated.

That will start today.  Because I am worth more than constant exhaustion and never ending stress.  I deserve to walk away, after 50 hours of work a week, and know that I am truly appreciated.  But it will take the dedication and effort to not only say that I deserve it, but to demand it.

And I will.  Starting right now.

The type of girl I am

I went to a networking function yesterday for a client of mine.  It’s primarily an industry of men, although there are some women involved.  It was fun and engaging and I learned a lot about certain businesses in that trade.  I also learned that I have a lot more to learn if I want to be a dynamic solution provider for them.

But I digress.  This isn’t about business.  This is about the type of girl I am.

I had a friend once describe me as a “guy’s girl.”  As in: I just fit in better with men than women.  Now, don’t misunderstand me.  I have very strong and deep connections with my female friends.  Like sisters.  Those relationships are very important to me.  So it isn’t like I forego friendships with women over men, at all.

I thought about this last night as I talked with several people.  It starts off with an introduction, and the general stuff: what you do, what they do, little tidbits of information to let each other know how interested we are in continuing the conversation.  Kind of like a first date, only better because there’s no pressure.

The defining difference was that women tend to size me up.  Half-looking, half-listening, half-judging.  Let me be clear: I do the EXACT same thing.  So it isn’t like I hold these ladies accountable for that.  It’s just what we do.  Constantly scanning the room for who we think is better or worse than we are.

Men, on the other hand, are different.  It’s not that they don’t size me up, too.  (Side note for men: you aren’t as subtle as you think when you’re checking me out.)  But once they get past that, we have genuine conversations.  About business, about football, about the economy, about our families.  It’s so much more comfortable for me. 

Last night, after talking business for a while with one gentleman, we settled onto the subject of families.  He has daughter who has some pretty serious issues revolving around addiction.  It so happens to be a subject I know way too much about.  We settled into a very serious conversation about responsibility and enabling and choices and bottom lines.  And it was cathartic for me.  Knowing that just some of what I said gave this man some tools or ideas to go back to his family and try again for the sake of his daughter.

And that’s me.  That’s the kind of girl I am.  I am a guy’s girl who wants to have real conversations about real things in a all-too-real-world.  I was put on this earth to be helpful.  And last night, I found a nice man who needed to hear what I had to say.

Today, I am thankful for the type of girl I am.