Friday, March 11, 2011

New Year's Resolutions and Changes to the Blog

So I am aware that it is now the second week of March. It is officially too late to blog about New Year's Resolutions, but I'm going for it anyway.

(As a side note, it would be very interesting to me to go back and see how many posts I start with the word "so". It's probably nearly every one. So . . .)

Resolutions have a pretty mixed implications for those of us in the mood disordered world. On the one hand we usually know there are ways we could stand to improve our lives and (unless we're really feeling low) we'd like to change for the better. Of course, on the other hand, we are prone to guilt complexes and anxiety that can make it almost impossible to stick with goals long term. Not to mention the fact that the stuff we have to do (therapy appointment, psych evaluations, extra sleep, etc.) to stay mentally healthy take up a fair amount of extra time and energy. It seems like good mental health is my perennial goal.

Even understanding all that every year around January 1st, I spend days pondering on what I can do to make my life better without stressing myself out. This year I almost resolved not to do anything. I'm feeling pretty good these days; why mess with what works? But then I realized that my writing brain was reasserting itself and I started getting grand ideas about NaNoWriMo. For about two weeks I resolved to participate in that this year. I started trying to figure out how I was going to write 50,000 words in a single month and how many things were going to have to go and what kind of planning was needed. Somewhere along in there is when I realized that more than I needed to have another draft of some unfinished piece of writing I needed to have a finished piece of work I was proud of.

One of my biggest weaknesses as a writer is that I am horrible at seeing projects through the revision process. I love brainstorming ideas. I enjoy the rough drafting. I especially love telling people that I am working on something fabulous. But fairly often I don't seem things through. I seldom finish and polish a piece--especially long things.

I like to blame this on the cyclic nature of my mood disorder. I go through those up periods where I'm feeling great and agree to do everything under the sun and then I inevitably hit a slump and find myself begging off projects or just ignoring them altogether. To any of you readers who have been with me through this process, I sincerely apologize. Really.

My mood disorder is probably only part of the problem, though. I'd love to use it as an excuse, but you (Dear Reader) and I both know that mood disorders are not an excuse for bad behavior. Rather they are just one more thing to work with. Everybody and anybody can come up with excuses for why they can't do things. Strong people come up with reasons why they can do it anyway.

All of that finally brings me to my actual resolution: to finish the unfinished projects. That means I'm going to finally get the rest of my food storage out of my friend's basement (Sorry, Kelly!). I'm going to finish getting the garden put in. I'm going to finish that paper on Stephanie Meyer that I've started about a gagillion times. I'm going to get those half written blog posts dusted off and polished and posted. I'm going to catch up the scrapbook and my kids' journals.

Okay, well, I might not actually finish all those things, real life (and the crazies) might get in the way, but I'm certainly going to try. And I'm not going to sign on to anything else until I get those big things done.

Another part of getting the big things done is transitioning this blog a little big. I've wanted to write about a number of things here but feel like I can't. I guess in my brain I've defined this as a place where I am going to write about mental health issues and mental health issues only. I don't think that's really working for me anymore. So I'm going to widen the scope of this blog and lean a little bit more in the Mommy Blog direction. Don't worry. I'm not going to start posting things like "How to Use a Bulb Syringe" or "I made the most awesomest cupcakes ever!" or even "My kids are better than your kids because ______". It's more like I want to start blogging about my mental health in the context of my roles as a wife and mother and in the context of my church callings. Also, I need a place to organize my thoughts and post all the info I've been gathering about different things (like my son's experiences with eczema, gluten free diets, and sleep disorders and my oldest daughter's experience with hemolytic uremic syndrome). My blog seems like the most logical place to do it.

I hope the changes don't drive you away. If you skip some posts simply because they aren't interesting to you I totally understand. But it just seems like it's time for this place to evolve a little.

I'm interested, what are your New Year's Resolutions? Now that it's March how are you doing with them?


Tyler said...

I felt like it was time to evolve my blog, too, to incorporate the directions my life and thought have recently taken and the projects I'm working on. Glad to know I'm in good company, making changes.

Kelly said...

Sounds like a good plan! I should finish some of my unfinished projects. That or give them up entirely. I still have one craft I started in 8th grade and haven't finished yet.!
And changing the format won't drive some of us (your loyal stalkers) away. No rush on that food storage (and no guilt either, ok?) -- I actually cleaned the toy area of the basement today. It will look beautiful until bedtime on Monday, I bet. =)

Sus said...

My New Years' Resolution was to be kinder. Hard to quantify, I guess, but I think I'm doing okay with it. I'm cognizant of it more . . . and that's half the battle, isn't it?

BTW, I'm just like you . . . a little depressed, but mostly happy. Some days get me down, but I'm keeping it together pretty good most of the time.

I work on things as I can and give myself a break when I can't. So my vote is for being kinder to ourselves, just like we'd be kind to anyone else who struggles.

Guess that fits my resolution, too, huh! LOL

Lura said...

My one and only new year's resolution was to be more organized. Your post made me realize that a huge part of that is finishing all my unfinished projects. Thanks! And good luck.