Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome, 2018!

In the new year I'd love to blog more, if not for keeping my family near and far up to date on our lives, I'd love to write more often so I can look back on this next year and remember all the little things that filled our days.  In 2017 my words for the year were Honesty and Transparency, because I wanted to not only be more honest in communicating my needs (and when I needed help), but I also wanted to stop contributing to the deceptive image of perfection we see on social media, and hopefully help others by being authentic and vulnerable.  I'd like to think I really made a lot of progress there, but I can tell it's still a work in progress.

Currently, James and I are enjoying a lazy Monday morning in Scottsdale, AZ where we rang in the new year with James' mom Jill, grandma Doris, sister Laura, and her husband (our new brother-in-law) John.  Conflicting schedules made it hard to visit Arizona together earlier this year, but this was a convenient week for all of us.  So far we've attended a cool music and art walk (Luminarias) at the botanical gardens, made a day trip to see the sights and red rocks of Sedona, tooled around Old Town Scottsdale, and now we are relaxing for a few more days before we head home and back to real life.

James and I watched the new years countdown in bed from his phone after a long introspective conversation about the highs and lows of our year.  Without sounding too cliche, here are my resolutions for 2018:

  1. Stop using curse words; find better descriptor words/improve my vocabulary.
  2. Set hard-line boundaries for my work hours so that I can...
       a. Spend more time with James/invest in our marriage
       b. Take time to do things that simply make me happy and/or inspire me (hobbies, relaxing activities that are not related to my job or chores around the house).
  3. Spend less time on my phone, be an active participant in whatever I'm doing
  4. Get outside more (this one comes straight from my doctor, who says I'm vitamin D deficient)
  5. Make a lot of money.  Without sounding greedy or materialistic, I'd just really like to remove the huge stress of not having enough money to pay our bills some months.  

James would like to finish his time at Long Beach city college, start looking at new career opportunities, and lose a few pounds.

Above all of these resolutions I have one clear goal that I've been meditating on for the past several weeks.  In 2017 I was hurt by peoples' words and actions more than any physical pain or injury.  So many times I silenced my own opinions and preference, took on more work than I could handle, or personally overextended myself in efforts to make insignificant people's lives easier, and prevent their feelings from getting hurt.  But if I've realized anything from all this thankless work and fear of confrontation it's that no matter how much I do all these things, I'm not being my authentic self and I'm nowhere close to living a life that I'm intrinsically happy with.  I'm also really freaking tired of being taken advantage of (especially professionally) and repeatedly having my own feelings invalidated, and I'm done making myself smaller for the sake of saving face with people who wouldn't do the same for me.  I realize how negative that sounds.  I'm not saying this from a place of bitterness, but instead with the last exasperated breath of an incredibly (and unnecessarily) stressful, upsetting year for me...
In 2018 I want to continue my theme of Honesty, and take it one step further: Advocate.  I want to advocate for myself and protect the people I love most (including me!) from the consequences of poor decisions.  I want to take back my life (via boundaries) and actively work toward creating the future we have been dreaming of, rather than just "making it through the day" 365 times in a row.  Sometimes this will mean saying No and disappointing people that I previously catered to, and therein lies my biggest challenge for the year.  Wish me luck!

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