Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: The Year of Joy and Follow-Through

I'm not going to make any resolutions this year. Resolutions typically involve major life changes, and who in the hell can just snap fingers and resolve to dramatically change her life? "Done! New and improved life!" This is not "I Dream of Jeannie," people. Change takes WORK. 

So this year, I'm focusing on skills. I'll be honest: a few of these began as typical resolutions. I'm still struggling with the wording, though, because just like developing learning objectives for my lesson plans, I've got to have goals or skills that I can actually measure.

Here's what I've got so far:
1. Write at least one chapter of my dissertation and convert it into an article of publishable quality
2. Run ten-minute miles during my half-marathon this spring
3. Learn to play the guitar well enough to have another person recognize the song
4. Cook at least five different Paleo meals for myself per week
5. Plant three new vegetables in my garden, care for them through harvest, and incorporate them into meals
6. Finish every quilt I've already started, and try three new patterns
7. Add at least 365 common words and phrases to my American Sign Language vocabulary

This actually feels like a pretty manageable set of goals; yes, there are seven(!), but they all focus on following through on things I've already attempted (or demonstrated interest in) to completion/improvement.

But then there's the one that's less manageable or measurable, and more difficult to wrap my fingers around. I've spent my whole life doing the things I've been told I should be doing: staying in school and in a variety of relationships that make me uncomfortable (hello, friends who make me feel like crap), keeping my mouth shut or letting things slide, making a certain amount of money, keeping my natural hair color, you name it. This year, I want to start doing the things I want to be doing, things that make me happy, other people and propriety be damned. If that means red hair, or neck tattoos, or five friends instead of twenty, or selling my house and moving to Lichtenstein (I don't want to do that, I'm just saying), I want to start working up the courage to do whatever it is and experience the joy it brings me, which I'm finally beginning to believe I deserve.

And isn't that what life is really all about? 2014 is going to be the year I re-discovered my joy.

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