Friday, December 31, 2010

I declare 2011 to be the "Year of Change"!

This past year has had its ups and downs, sideways, verticals, horizontals, inwards, outwards, crosswise, and every other direction imaginable -- but I made it through and I'm ready for the new year!

I'm not one to make New Years Resolutions because, well, I'm not too good at keeping them. I mean, honestly, who is? Rather I try to make Birthday Resolutions that are gifts to myself. Things I think I deserve to have change in my life, and I've found I tend to have a higher success rate than New Years Resolutions...but even that success rate isn't the highest.

Oftentimes I think we get caught up in changing ourselves for others, but fail to consider what would make us more happy. That's not to say that losing 5, 10, 20, 100+ pounds wouldn't increase a person's self esteem, but why don't we make it a resolution to find one thing we like about ourselves, or are grateful for every day? Why do we focus so much on the outer person rather than the inner?

This coming year will be the year I finish college, graduating in May with a Masters of English. What am I going to do with that? Wouldn't you (and I) like to know? I'm hoping to stay on at the University of Idaho and teach as an adjunct teacher for at least a year before moving on. My feeble attempt at clinging to the security blanket that has been my higher education for just a little bit longer. But beyond that change, what else will change? I'd like to work to live rather than live to work. Doing something I love, like teaching, enables me to do both, but I've found my scales tipping more to the work, work, work, area rather than the go out and have fun side. I need to find balance in my life and a large part of that will come with commencement ceremonies in May.

I'd like to cross one thing off of my "bucket list" and work on getting published this coming year. Maybe it will just be an article in a scholarly journal (which is most likely), but there have also been some ideas that have been fermenting in my brain for awhile that I'd like to finally get down on paper -- stories that will most likely be in conjunction with my older sister and discussions we've been having for awhile.

My list could go on and on, but of course I'd like to be debt-free (the dream of every graduating college student), have a steady job and income, house I can call my own (and all the expenses that brings), be at my goal weight, as well as any number of other "dreams" people resolve to achieve every New Years Eve, but these things are not my goals for the year, rather wishes.

The greatest gift I think I can give myself this year is to live with "reckless abandon". Maybe that will be my new motto. To me, reckless abandon isn't to live irresponsibly, but to live adventurously. Do things that make me uncomfortable and make me reach outside of my comfort zone. Give myself permission to allow an emotion or experience to envelope me with soak it all up instead of worrying about being in control all the time. Dare to live in the moment instead of planning things out. That is my ultimate goal. To be free to do, see, experience, feel, and be -- but not without thinking of how others may be negatively affected by my actions. I don't want my id to rule, but I also don't want my superego to's all about balance.

I just hope I get adept at walking the balance beam, because it can be a perilous drop!

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