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Thursday, January 3, 2019

What will you write?

It's 2019 and that means a blank book ready to be filled with the next chapter of your life.  As life teaches us, there are things that will be written in our book by forces other than our own.  Someone we love may leave us whether by death or by choice.  Challenges faced by curve balls we had no idea were coming.  We can start out a new year with the best of intentions and plans but life proves it may have other plans when we're making ours.  They always say that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.  It's true but depending on the day, you also want to throat punch someone who reminds you of that.

*Covering throat*

I have spent my whole life being not just reactionary but anticipating and catastrophizing things that may or may not happen.  This is the year I try to break that once and for all.  I will never be a Pollyanna type and I don't want to be.  I think rose-colored glasses tend to subtly hide the speed bumps you're right in front of but living always expecting the worst is no picnic.  The times we're going through the challenges are when we need to try to not get caught up in the muck of it all even if it's for half an hour.  It's so easy to ruminate over things we have no control over and then you pack on the mundane schedule of daily life that we've come to expect and it can break you down if you let it.

Even if you're going through life on an even keel, the day to day things can make you get so antsy especially in midlife because you think "seriously?  This is it until I die?" but we miss the opportunity for adventure or something different all of the time or saving it only for weekends.  Weekends are nice but that's 104 days out of 365...what about the other 261?  I'm not saying every day needs to be an adventure...we obviously need our downtime too and binge watching a full season in 2 days while in your pajamas all day can be fun.

By shaking things up now and then, it can do wonders for your outlook on everyday things.  Make an indoor picnic just by spreading out a blanket on the floor.  A movie night complete with popcorn with the lights off and no cell phones allowed.   Blow the dust off of board games on a Tuesday for a rousing post-dinner game of Uno, Clue or Exploding Kittens.  Close your eyes and point to a place on a map then research it to see what there is to do there.  Try that new class at the Y even though you're scared.  Reach out to check on someone you haven't heard from in a while.  Try a new recipe to get out of a food rut.

It's also a time we obviously think about health goals but think about life goals as well.  Not just the big ones but the little ones too.  It's the little things that make life more interesting, fun and bearable depending on how it's going and not just for yourself but for those you share your life with.

It's a new book...what will you write?

What would you like to write in your book this year?  List one big and a few small things you could do to improve your current quality of life.

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  1. I don't do "resolutions" because that feels like an ultimatum and I don't like ultimatums. I do like the idea of a monthly mini resolution though, so I may work on that. It feels... better somehow that I can't really explain.

    Things I need to work on this year:
    -I've gotten out of some good habits that I need to build back in. Drinking enough water and exercising regularly are at the top of the list. I need to make the time, especially when I really don't want to.
    -I don't enjoy cooking, but I need to do it more. There have been far too many fast food and restaurant meals lately. I got a instant pot for Christmas and my goal is to use that at least twice a week, and to batch cook something every Sunday for work lunches instead of eating at the cafeteria.
    -I also need to continue working on balance in my life. I get so wrapped up in one aspect that everything else suffers, and I need to spread out my energy better.
    -I want to do the 365 days of gratitude too, and keep a list of all the books I read in 2019. I think those are great things to look back on at the end of the year, but I always end up saying "I'll catch up my list tomorrow" and then it's mid-April and I have nothing. This is something I need to make a priority. Maybe I'll put a divided notebook by my bed and make it part of my bedtime routine. One section for gratitudes, one section for books completed, and one section for "to-dos" that I think of in the middle of the night and books/movies that I want to read/watch.

  2. I am doing a "19 in 19" list of things I want to do this year. Most are just small things - things I've been "meaning to do" and I want to stop procrastinating and start doing!

  3. I think my main thing to focus on this year is to keep my side of the street clean and not get involved in the responsibilities of other people. I need to work better at staying in my own lane and learning to relax there and not stress about the outcomes as much. I'm much better at boundaries, but now I need to learn the new habit of feeling comfortable when I set them.

    Smaller things are continuing to purge things in my house that I don't need. Clothes, jewelry, decorations, books, furniture, gobs of baskets in my basement. I look at some of these things and realize I haven't opened a drawer in years and I certainly haven't used things that are in bins in my basement so it's time to go. I'd also like to do a few more things around town that I haven't tried, so I'll be looking into that this year as well.

    I've done great for a few years now with having my quiet meditation readings/ Bible study time every morning and I'll continue to do that because that's the foundation for settling into my day. That's one priority that I haven't let slip and I'm grateful for that.


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