I don't know about you, but I no longer make New Year's resolutions.
As a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, for me New Year's resolutions have become nothing more than a laundry list of unrealistic expectations. Whether they be standards that are impossible to live up to, too many bad habits that are ridiculously hard to change, or idealized goals that might exist in a perfect world (which is not the world I currently live in, by the way--do you?), I tend to set myself up for failure every year.
But that's just me. It's probably more of a reflection of where I am in my life (this is, after all, the year I will turn 50), and the cause-and-effect result of my increasingly vast wealth of experience with such things. As I'm sure you've noticed, however, there have been all kinds of resolutions floating around the Blogosphere this first week of 2013. Here are a few from one of my favorite blogs, Design Sponge, that really resonate with me. Check it:
In my case I might say, "Take more breaks from inspiring others." ;) While I adore my job as host of the Moxie Fab World and trends editor of Paper Crafts magazine, I don't spend nearly as much time creating for myself as I'd like. Now that my shoulder is nearly recovered, I'm hoping to be able to roll up my sleeves and dig into a personal project or three--or a dozen. And not just for this year, but for all the years that lie ahead.
Diana Yen from Jewels of New York
I don't know if you know this about me or not, but I really am a granola girl tree-hugger type at my heart's core. One of the reasons my husband and I moved to New Hampshire two years ago was to have even more convenient access to the outdoors than we had in Utah, which was quite a lot. I am pretty much always looking for a way to be outside. I've even noticed that when I go into a room and choose a seat, I always sit someplace where I can look out a window. And while I do tend to eat outdoors as much as I can, it will be even more often this year when we finish screening off our new hot tub porch. No more black flies or 'squitoes to ruin our dinners!
Since working is both fun AND relaxing to me, this one really struck a chord. I spend so much time in this little world of ours that, even though it's super fun, I do tend to let it take over my life (especially considering that I am only contracted to work part-time!) You might say that I am really lucky (?) in that I constantly struggle with maintaining a healthy work/life balance simply because I love what I do so very, very much.
One of the things I've been working on the most in the last few months is to live in the moment. I have been amazed to discover how many little worries fall away when I bring my full attention to the here and now. Food tastes better. I enjoy myself more. I am more engaged with the people around me. I feel less stress. And while you might think that always thinking ahead and multi-tasking is the key to efficiency, productivity, and ultimately happiness, I find it's quite the opposite. I have noticed that the more immersed I am in the here and now, the more satsifying--and productive--my life has become.
But if I were to make one resolution, or choose one "phrase" or "mantra" for myself for 2013, it would be this: Be kind to yourself, Cath. As I mentioned, I am a recovering perfectionist who is learning how not to be so hard on herself. How not to beat herself up so much. How not to include a judgment about herself at the end of nearly every thought that enters her mind. It isn't easy, as I've had plenty of years of practice, but if there were one thing I could do this year that would improve my life and those who are closest to me, it would be to treat myself kindly.
How about you? Do you make New Year's resolutions? Have you decided on a word, phrase, or mantra that defines your life best for 2013? I'd love to hear how the new year and its tendency towards reflection is inspiring you!
Thanks for indulging me in this very personal Five for Friday,
PS And two more for the road: