I hadn’t planned to write a New Year’s post. (And, considering that it’s January 5th, I guess it really isn’t a New Year’s post anyway; go me!) I’ve got a couple of other posts already in the works and several more bouncing around in my head, so I’d planned to publish those before tackling anything new.
But, as anyone with ADHD – or anyone familiar with anyone with ADHD – knows, I’m nothing if not easily distracted (look, something shiny!), so after reading this lovely post that my friend Liza put up on her blog over the weekend and considering my own intentions for 2015 (the year in which I, like Liza and Nick and, oh, hundreds of our high school and college friends and acquaintances, will be turning 40 [I am so ready; bring it, four-oh!]), I realized that I might as well put them down on paper. Or screen. Close enough.
I really enjoy thinking up things that I’d like to change or do or wish for the coming year, but I always have a hard time actually completing my list. The problem lies with January, in that it immediately follows December. Y’all know what I mean – December is like summer. It doesn’t follow the rules of the rest of the year; schedules go out the window, everyone’s wearing funky clothes, you eat food that you’d never touch in April or October, and it smells really good. It’s a wonderland, to be sure, but also – like summer – disorienting. As such, I find myself imagining the changes I’d like to make for the following year but finding it difficult to consider how to go about accomplishing anything because – well, December.
If January and February could just switch places so we had a little more time between the hullabaloo of the holidays and beginning a new year, that would really be swell.
Anyway, as I considered Liza’s question – what are my intentions for this year? – I realized that these intentions (or resolutions or goals or aspirations or dreams or whatever you’d like to call them) are a little different than in the past. Many years, I’ve been all about cutting back — consuming fewer calories, wasting less time, not worrying as much. Those were noble and worthy goals, but this year, I’m going in a different direction.
To quote Ariel in The Little Mermaid, “But who cares? No big deal. I want more.”
I want 2015 to be about more.
More sleep. I’m really bad at this and it’s catching up with me. I deserve better.
More piano. After only a few good, quality scales, my hands are tired. Not cool. (I’d really, really like to learn Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, too, by the time I turn 40 in November, but don’t hold me to that…)
More forgiveness. For people I don’t agree with. For things I don’t understand. For myself, especially. I hold grudges against me like nobody’s business.
More tea. It’s good for me. I like it. Why not?
More letters and cards. Everyone loves snail mail. I just need to do it.
More gratitude. I am so tremendously fortunate; sometimes, I need to remind myself of that. Happiness and gratitude are so inextricably linked. I’m psyched for this one.
More communication. Whether it’s letting someone know that the package they sent arrived safely, responding promptly to an email or text – even if it’s just to say, “I’m not sure, let me get back to you!”, or finding the time to voice a concern or frustration with Nick instead of letting it stew, I tend to not be the greatest communicator. I want to get better. Friends, family, and marriage are worth it.
More books. For over a year, I lost my interest in books; they simply didn’t hold my attention anymore (some people say this happens when your’e grieving? Maybe?). But I miss books desperately, so I requested – and received! – more than a dozen for my birthday and Christmas. I want to read them all this year.
More courage. Making difficult decisions is hard for me. Standing up for myself is also tricky. But I’ve got this. I can do it.
More television. This may sound like the gluttonous opposite of a resolution, but stick with me here. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off from the moment I get up until the (very late – but soon to change!) moment I finally crawl into bed (see above: ADHD). Most of my evenings are a blur of house-straightening, email-writing, school-lunch-making, laundry-folding, to-do-list DOING. I watch very little television because I feel like I’m too busy to sit down and look at the TV. But that busyness is largely a choice. Yeah, there are things that can’t wait until tomorrow, but there are also those that can. If I allow myself to watch more TV – shows (hell, entire series) that I’ve been itching to get into but haven’t because of all of the DOING – that will mean that I’m cutting myself a break. And that, my friends, would be a really good thing. Plus also: maybe I’ll finally understand Downton Abbey and Orange is the New Black references. Bonus!
More cooking. I love it. It’s delicious. Enough said.
More Jesus. That sounds weird. I know. But I’ve been missing a spiritual, religious guiding force in my life – maybe for my whole life. I believe, but I don’t know exactly in what; not what I’ve seen at any church so far, save for the wonderful little one we attended when we lived in Westchester. I’m definitely a progressive, liberal, non-literal believer, someone who’s never read the entire Bible, who chose Jewish godparents for her firstborn (true story, and they’re awesome), who tends to find a lot of supposed “Christian” behavior to be as un-Christian as possible… but I think Jesus really had a lot going for him. I think, if I knew more about him – if I could relate instead of feeling judged or scolded from afar – I might really like what I learn and he might have a lot to teach me.
At the very least, I’ll get better at biblical trivia on Trivia Crack.
More listening. Especially to my kids. When they look back, I want them to say that their mom listened to them, that I heard them. Except when they’re whining. La la laaaaa.
More water. I’m basically dehydrated all the time. Which is dumb.
More giving. One of the best things we did this Christmas season was do small acts of kindness for others (post coming; I know you’re psyched). Seeing everyone’s faces light up felt unbelievably good – the mere anticipation of someone lighting up felt unbelievably good. I really want to give more this year.
So, I know. That’s a lot of things. But they’re really a collection of ideas – ideals – that I’ve been working toward for quite a while now; I just needed the kick-in-the-pants start of the year to formulate a real plan and figure out how to put it into action.
I know it’s typically gauche to ask for extra (after all, look what happened to Oliver), but in 2015 I want more – and, for once, I’m not afraid to say it.