Goals, Not Resolutions

It’s that time of year, isn’t it?  The time where you make this long overdone drawn out list of all those little items you want to check off accomplishing during the next 365 days.  Yeah, I’ve had my crazy bouts with resolutions.  A jab here, a jab there, but in the end, the resolutions knock me out by the second bell.  I fall flat on my face cold.  Why do we set these unattainable heights?  Do we like failure?  Do we purposely sabotage ourselves?  Oh sure, some of these we can reach — the easy stuff like cleaning out the refrigerator but even that takes time and a little bit of elbow grease.  Do we really have that kind of stamina?  I mean, when’s the last time you cleaned your refrigerator?  I’ll bet that chicken parm is still stuffed in the back of your fridge growing arms and legs by now.  And scrub those shelves?  Actually, I did good.  Sweet and sour sauce had spilled in the shelf on the door of my fridge and I scrubbed it clean.  Thing is, it stayed there for probably about a year before I actually scrubbed it, so not so good.

And the big stuff?  How many of you have huge items on your list?  Humongous, taller than the trees, more like outer space kind of stuff.  Like writing a book.  Or finishing a book.  Or losing 50 pounds.  Or learning a new skill or hobby.  Reading one book a week.  Meeting the man of your dreams and getting married.  Okay, some of this is absolutely attainable but how many of us actually do it?  We intend to do it.  We set it up, we dream, we even sometimes write it on our calendar in steps called an action plan but does it actually get done?

I cannot tell you how many years have passed by right along with all my hopes and dreams of all those resolutions I had set up at the beginning of the year only to find myself the same weight, books still sleeping in my computer unfinished, still working too many hours with too little money, not getting out and dating (and no, I’m not really looking for Mr. Right — not just now, anyway) and too tired to stay up till midnight toasting with my glass of champagne $7 bottle of my favorite Sweet Red.  So I close out another year of dashed hopes and dreams with my wine/whine and cheese (but at 8pm since I can’t hang with the big dogs), yet feeling hopeful that the new year will bring something different.  As if.

What is it about the end of an aging year, filled with incompletes, that gives us such hope and downright giddiness that this beckoning year full of wonder and newness will bring us joy and fulfillment and success and accomplishment?  Why is it we feel we have to wait till January 1 to begin our lives?  To begin something new?  To finally give us the surge of energy to actually clean out our refrigerator?  Why can we not feel this surge the night before any new day?  How about Tuesday, June 17?  The night before, you make a date to actually work on your book the next day and set a deadline to finish within 60 days.  You work on it daily.  Not because you planned to or you need to or you want to or it would feel really good to actually finish that book.  You do it because you HAVE to.  Because you can feel it in every fiber of your being that if you don’t finish this book, you will surely die.  You will die old and unfinished and in your last gasping breath, you ask yourself, why the heck didn’t I finish that book?  It was good.  It was meaningful.  Now, I’ll never know how great it could have been, because I didn’t finish it.  People could have benefited from that work of love.  But it’s too late now, ’cause *sigh* (your dead).

Well I’m not setting resolutions for 2015.  I’m setting 12 goals that are somewhat realistic.  One goal per month.  If When (yes, WHEN) each one is reached in that given month, I can either scooch up the one from the following month to finish a little sooner or set more goals that can be somewhat easily accomplished during the same month.  I WILL NOT set so many goals that I become overwhelmed that my eyeballs roll back in my head and throw in the towel before I even begin.

And, rather than just setting goals of stuff I HAVE to do, I’m also setting spiritual goals that are totally doable and good for me as well as good for the universal collective, such as experience and share joy and love, happiness and friendship, silliness and laughter.  To forgive someone.  To smile more at strangers and hug my loved ones more.  Actually sit down with my bestie more often and talk and laugh over coffee or tea of wine or cherry limeade (I have the BEST recipe eva!)

So…

Onward!  I’m working on my January goal today!!  Actually, I started it a few days ago.  I’ll keep you posted.

How ’bout you?  Are you setting resolutions?  Or goals?  How many have you set for the year?  And are you waiting till Jan. 1 to start?  And if you would like to share your plans for 2015, please let us know so we can cheer you on.

Some Realness for you

Okay, if you are in a good mood and feeling very up and don’t want to listen to a Debbie Downer, then please do not read this post.

I am not going to just be all selfish and have my own little pity party here per se, but I am going to spill a little angst and frustration and wonder how many of you out there are feeling what I’m feeling or are you trying to be strong and be a trooper and hold it in, silencing it.

I had a really good cry just now and am actually feeling two percent better but I have to tell you, sometimes I feel God is up there with his hands on his hips, laughing at me as I fall on my face, mocking me almost. Yes, I know he’s not, but I suppose it’s what I see in myself that makes me see God that way. It’s me, being inside my own dark stinky head. Do you ever feel this way?

I am sure it’s due to a lack of sleep, working too many hours, working 7 days a week. I’m totally punishing myself. I asked for this. I asked to work from home and I love being here for Hallie and being present for her and this is a real gift, but at the same time, not getting sleep, working so many hours daily, 7 days per week is for the birds. Or no, it’s not even for them. They need rest and time to play, too. It’s like God is saying, “So how much do you want this?” I had some great contracts where I only worked 20-30 hours a week with weekends off and all my bills were paid. Those have finished and now lately all I’ve been doing is transcription where the pay is laughable and piddly writing jobs but yes, it’s better than nothing.

I guess it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m actually grateful I have the work. I know some people have nothing, no job, no home, not even family, nor good health, so I have so much. I know I’m blessed. However, being tired and overworked can make a girl crazy and depressed, which is my reason for this airing of my frustration. I guess I needed someone to talk to. I guess I wanted to talk to you, talk it out, see if you can relate and it also gives me an opportunity to express myself with written/typed words. I have missed my writing more than anything I can think of. I’ve halfway even thought of starting a Kickstarter or Indigogo campaign just for looking of ways of funding me finishing one of my books or the video project I told you about on an earlier day. Crazy, right? I’m not quite that desperate yet but I still think about it.

Do you ever feel like you are so tired, all that crazy and depression floods your whole body and you just feel worthless? Unworthy of anything good? There’s no time to do anything you want or need to do, so you wonder what the meaning to your life is. I’m questioning myself today. I wish for things. I wish for love. No, not wishing for the man of my dreams to come charging up on his steed bearing flowers and a blinding twinkling white teeth smile and the bluest of blue eyes. I’m wishing to feel God’s love for me.

Normally, this would be so simple for me. I feel his love when I think of how he sent Jesus for me, how he sent my beautiful mom, how he sent my wonderful daughter. I know he loves me because of these blessings but I guess I need more.  Needy, right?  My wish is also to feel love for myself. How does one love one’s self? How do you like yourself? I know, when I was in the midst of writing a story, I’d lose myself. It’s like I finally got out of my own head and spilled, ya know? I spilled the lives of my characters. It’s like I lived all these other people’s lives and they were interesting and tragic, funny and magical, quirky and insatiable. And now, I feel trapped in the walls of my own mind and I’m boring with only work for what seems like 24/7. So I’m trapped with just me. My imaginary friends aren’t even talking to me these days because they know I have no time to hear them, no time to listen.

Do you ever feel like this? Worthless? Unworthy of good things? Unworthy of love? Wondering if your life will ever feel somewhat normal again?

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep talking.  Maybe it’s this drippy weather for days.  Maybe it’s because Hallie’s gone on a trip with her youth group and I’m missing her.  Maybe I’m crashing from my sugar high from all this Christmas candy.  I’ll be okay.

Perhaps my next post will be a little more uplifting.  Lord, please send some sunshine and a better contract?  And a reason to love me.

I Got The Christmas Blues

I’m not a singer, though I call myself a poet at times, and a writer sometimes, too.  Not really into bluesy music either but this year, I got the Christmas blues.  Lemme explain…

Even while I write this, feelin’ such hurt

Since I know I should be doin’ my work

No time for creativity these days

I got the Christmas Blues

 

tree
Four hours sleep I work dark till late at night

No time to trim the tree except for lights

No ornaments, tree topper or tinsel

I got the Christmas Blues

 

Had such plans for Christmas crafts and fare

Not wrapped the first gift, tree bottom is bare

Was gonna drive around and see the lights

I got the Christmas Blues

 

No time to work on my stories or blog

No time to read or start my YouTube vlog

Gotta get some sleep and find a new job

I got the Christmas Blues

 

No wonder it’s the most down time of year

Though I paint a smile to shut out my tears

Maybe that will help them have a good time

Ain’t got no time with my friends to hang

Trapped in a tunnel, the light is a train

I got the Christmas Blues

Love Thyself

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

__________

Wow, how much I sound like Mr. Nouwen when it comes to believing in the negative voices!  However, I don’t even need those other voices.  I have my own and it can be plenty negative enough.  Some days, I feel I love myself, even like myself.  Other days, when things aren’t going so well for me, I tend to fall into that dark trap of my own inner voice – me, telling myself I’m worthless.  I’m so thankful that I do have many positive people, things and places in my life that bring me much happiness, joy, encouragement and comfort.

Now, if I could just get to that place of a true self-love the majority of the time, that would be amazing.  It’s great to have others that lift you up and love you and like you but it’s even more valuable to lift yourself up and believe – really BELIEVE you are awesome.  Even amazing, talented, worthy of great things, you’re fun, intelligent and you add so much to the world.

How is it easier to feel the bad stuff about yourself?  You can lift others up but not yourself.  Why is it easier to believe the bad stuff and not more of the good, the positives?

Do you feel like you love yourself most days?  Do you like yourself?  What are 3 things that you like about yourself, about what you do or what you’re good at?  This is not an exercise in narcissism but rather an exercise in self-love and self-nurturing.  We need to believe in ourselves more.

Mine?  Hmm.  (1) I’m a good mom for the most part but there is always room for improvement; (2) I’m a good cook but there’s always room for improvement; and (3) I’m a good daughter for the most part but (I’ll say it again) there is always room for improvement.

What are your 3 things?  Can you come up with more?  If you come up with more than 3, you get a giant gold star!!!  🙂

Love you guys!  Make this an AMAZING day, because YOU are already awesome!  *smooch*

-Carol