I could claim that I don't really make New Year's resolutions, sort of as a disappointment-management approach, considering I almost always break them all anyway. (I don't even remember if I resolved anything for last year, which demonstrates just how dedicated I am to such things.) Plus, I actually make resolutions all the time. Like, every day. When I get out of bed and say, "Today I will work out" or "Today will be a sugar free day." And, more often or not, I fail.
Still. I think the new year provides a good opportunity to at least reflect on the goals one has for the year ahead. Some of mine border on fantasty in terms of their likelihood to come to fruition, but it gives me a chance to think. And Lord knows I don't do enough of that. Here's what I'm considering for 2009:
1. Exercise. I know, it's so cliche it's embarrassing. But I can never seem to get to a place where I exercise consistently. I hit the Y regularly for a few months in a row, then I see something shiny and I'm off plan. I think one of the main problems for me is that I have a bag full of built in excuses (fibromyalgia, bad right knee, general laziness) and I have trouble finding a form of movement that feels good for me (fibromyaglia, bad right knee, etc.) I miss my old yoga teacher from St. Louis.
If I can just work on divorcing working out from obsession with weight, then I'd probably be less defeatist and more enthusiastic. If I can just keep the focus on good health and not waist line results, I'd probably be less committed. And I know for a fact that when I work out, I feel better in just about every way -- mentally, physically, spiritually. I have more energy. My mood is elevated. I sleep better. So what's my problem again?
2. Metabolism. So even though the docs threw the Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome diagnosis at me a couple of months ago, I'm still not sure the treatment has my metabolism working again. I'm not sleeping 14 hours a night and requiring a nap like I was late summer and my face is no longer angry all the time. But I still feel...off. I'm still gaining weight like crazy, despite efforts not to, and that's bruising my ego and dampening my spirits quite a bit. I'd just like to figure this thing out once and for all.
3. Food. Sigh. It's always food with me. Namely, sugar and other junk. The bottom line is: the more crap I eat, the more crap I crave. The more crap I eat, the worse I feel. The less crap I eat, the better I feel. Why does this simple logic elude me when faced with a bag of potato chips or a handful of cookies? The goal for this year is more whole foods, especially whole grains. More veggies, more lean protein. Me and everyone else.
4. The book. Or whatever it is. I've been so sidetracked by the holidays that I'm now 3,000 words behind schedule for finishing the first draft by end of January. Still, I'm hoping to stay the course, even if I have to lock myself in my office next week and do nothing but hammer away. This process is just so draining and so daunting. Although, it could be a good excuse to avoid the gym. Heh.
5. Reading. I have a pile of books stacked high waiting for me to wade my way through them, but I keep grabbing Us Weekly when I climb into the bath. Active reading helps me with active writing. I just need to do it. I'm currently reading Miranda July's remarkable collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. On the waiting list are Jennifer Haigh's The Condition, Tom Perrotta's The Abstinence Teacher and re-reading some favorites by Anne Beatty, Richard Russo and others.
6. Being of service. In St. Louis, I was pretty active with Women's Support & Community Services, working their crisis line on a regular basis. Here, I focused my attention on 826 Michigan, where I taught writing workshops, both in-schools and out. That kind of fell away in the second half of the year when my energy disappeared. I think getting back in the mix would help me feel I had a little more purpose, which can be hard to achieve when you're holed up by yourself in your office all day writing a project, for yourself, which you're not sure anyone will ever read.
There. That seems like plenty, doesn't it?