I'm a bit late with my New Year's Revolutions for 2010. Usually, I write them the day before the year actually starts so I can step directly onto the right foot before the countdown begins.
To review: New Year's Revolutions 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009
Where I feel I ended up depends on how we look at the year that just passed. There's a line in a Raconteurs song that I adore that goes, "It's been a wasted, worried year." And that's kind of how I feel about 2009 in general. I spent a lot of it upset, irritated, frustrated, ill and almost dead. But despite the negatives, I managed to tackle quite a few of the things on my list for last year: I kept the weight off (saved in the regard by the almost-dead episode this summer); have been exercising regularly (swimming, among other things); have lived a less cluttered life; brought my lunch A LOT; kept the budget in check (and this with massive renovations going on); bought less (with some huge exceptions); and have desperately tried to use what I have (again, with some exceptions).
Not bad, I'd say, for a wasted, worried year.
But my big question is where to go next. What to put on the list for this year? What have I learned and where did these revolutions get me?
1. I am hopelessly addicted to television and movies
Every year I put 'watch less television' on the list. Every year I manage NOT to accomplish this goal. It needs drastic measures, like cutting off the cable or throwing out the television. Neither are rational responses. Limiting myself to certain shows has helped. Giving up time wasters has helped too, but the structure of my modern life, and the state of my health, makes it far too easy to spend far too many hours baked out watching bad television. And I try to dress it up all the time by saying that time spent watching a movie isn't wasted time. It's artful. It's cultural. It's important. The 10 Revolution: Try to watch less. But don't beat yourself up if it doesn't happen. Give up the crap. And go to bed earlier to read.
2. I am hopelessly addicted to being miserable at the big "W"
One night, after a particularly rotten, awful week, my RRHB and I were talking about how we aren't the kind of people who find it easy to just go out and "do a job" and come home. You know those "people": happy to not be defined by the job, content to get your paycheque and carry on, excited by the prospect of stability and nonplussed about the politics, etc. Wouldn't life just be easier if we were one of those magical, happy people. Being "Zen" didn't cut it. In fact, I'd say that I'm far less content now than I was even a year ago. The 10 Revolution: Make small changes to my outlook so I can make good decisions about where I want to go next and what it is I'd like to be doing. Be more positive. Take things less personally. Plan for better options. Take more deep breaths. The answer isn't for me to become a better person; it's for me to accept the kind of person I already am, right?
3. Cleanse. Be Strong. Cleanse Again. Breath. And Stretch.
Despite the really shitty health year I've had (starting it off on prednisone; ending up down one organ), I'm actually healthier than I've been in ages. Restorative yoga, a good, healthy diet, regular exercise, calmer disease -- these are all goals I've had for the last five years. I finally feel like I've gotten somewhere. It's an interesting feeling, that's for sure. The 10 Revolution: Keep at it. Cleanse more often. Cleanse properly. Keep swimming. Keep sweating. Keep up with the yoga. It's all going in the right direction.
4. Take a really, really long, relaxing vacation or two.
With no blackberry, Twitter, Facebook, email, computer, television or anything other than good company and a few good books. The 10 Revolution: Turn off the digital life more often so I can enjoy the real life, but perhaps blog a bit more consistently.
5. Be kinder to the people I love.
This one is self-explanatory. The 10 Revolution: Remember that the choices I've made are always the right ones and act like I believe this. Maybe a little of this includes being kinder to myself -- but that sounds cheesy.
There you have it. These are my lofty aspirations for 2010. Trust me when I say I have concrete goals too -- but these are tucked safely away in another list, written in pencil in a place where I'll be able to consult them frequently.