Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolutions (What I'm NOT going to do.)




I'm not a big fan of resolutions. Maybe it's because I'm already really good at stressing myself out, but giving myself one more list of things to do (and they are usually really BIG things) just seems like a prescription for nuttiness--and we all know I have plenty of that already!

Also, I may be a lot like Calvin. I think most of us are. After all, it's always easier to talk about how other people need to change than to change ourselves.

But change is actually something I'm a big fan of. Well, let me restate that: self-induced and self-aware change is very thrilling to me. Change that comes from the outside is usually pretty frightening and makes me at the very least catty and at the very worst non-functioning. So, in the spirit of embracing self-aware change in my life (because maybe if I embrace self-aware change I can keep the bad change away??), I am making a single resolution: stop volunteering for stuff.

If you know me in my personal life, you know that I spend a lot of time starting projects and not always finishing them because I end up volunteering to do some other project for someone else. For instance, I have the beginnings of 5 novels written (and some of those novels are almost completely outlined) but I have no finished manuscript. This blog is another good example. I still have it up as a resource and because I intend to post on a number of topics but, well, I don't because I'm spending time planning my Primary lessons, or getting ready for the book club at my kids' elementary school (that I'm helping with), or putting together stuff for the Odyssey of the Mind program I'm running, or running my kids between soccer practices and piano lessons and doctor/orthodontist appointments, and who knows what else!

Now, I firmly believe this is a phase of life thing and that spending time with my kids doing enriching and challenging activities is a great thing but that doesn't stop me from being jealous when someone else finishes a project that doesn't involve their children. Hence my resolution: stop volunteering for stuff!! All those things that keep me crazy-busy and up till all hours of the night are things I volunteered to do. I can make better choices.

My resolution last year was to finish up some unfinished projects. I almost completed one (catching up my kids journals). I made some headway on another (family scrapbook). I started shopping a manuscript for a children's book (it's gotten one rejection, one "ask again later", and one I haven't heard back on yet). And I started exercising again and got rid of my back pain. Also, none of my children died or went hungry or naked and my marriage is intact. See? It was a GREAT year!

I'm hoping my resolution this year to STOP VOLUNTEERING FOR STUFF, LAURA!! (I'm putting it in caps as a way of yelling at myself, not as you, my lovely readers!) will aid me in accomplishing last year's goal of actually finishing what I start.

Wish me luck! How about you? Got any good what-not-to-do resolutions??

4 comments:

Dianna said...

I'm with you on this one. You write some of my most complex thoughts and get them down so perfectly. Sometimes I wonder how you get inside my head, especially since we have never met! I hope you keep writing this year.

Bonnie Parks said...

Laura,
I just found your blog and appreciate the little I've seen of it so far. Amen on resolutions. Mine for the year is to not feel guilt (except in the relatively few occasions when it is appropriate to do so.)
A priceless resource for mental health that has blessed my family and me SO MUCH is Recovery International. I don't know if you have heard of it. I don't want to give unwanted advice, but I have a hard time NOT sharing this with people. If you are interested check out lowselfhelpsystems.org

Laura said...

Dianna!

I hope your new year is going well and I will for sure keep writing :)

Bonnie,

Thanks for the tip. I will definitely check out that website. And thanks for taking the time to check out my blog :)

Julia K. Burzon said...

I just got a pad of post-its for my friend that says some version of "I've gotta stop volunteering for everything!"

If I find it online I'll send you a link. Thanks for taking the time to check t my blog. I just read your first published article link about coming to taking advantage of the little white pill. You are EXACTLY right about comparing it to insulin. That's what I tell people too. Sometimes I wish there was some visible symptom of the illness, like the way there is with burn victims or amputations. If we could just SEE the effects of depression, the streets would be full of the walking wounded.

Keep writing! :) jb