December 29, 2010

I’m the Sun

So it’s almost New Year’s Day, and this is a blog about the journey of self-improvement...I guess I should just do the resolution entry and get it over with.

If you can’t tell, New Year’s resolutions aren’t really my thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love clear delineations: start points, dead lines, designated boxes, clearly marked folders, closed closet doors...they’re great! We should have cut-off points in our calendar where we call it quits for this year and move along to the next. It keeps things so nicely organized. I know exactly how to file my paperwork thanks to the time system. I take satisfaction in knowing that, if nothing else, my calendars are up to date.

I even don’t feel it’s silly to load certain emotional markers on particular days of the year. If we tried to live one emotional set of parameters all year long we’d...well, we’d fail miserably. Any old day I can be grouchy, make rude jokes about the government, and be morose. However, once a year it’s good to be reminded to tell everybody we love them, to be proud that we’re Americans, to laugh at death and wear ridiculous clothing, and yes, once a year to take a serious inventory of what we could improve about ourselves.

No, the concept of New Year’s resolutions really isn’t offensive to me. It’s just...I’m a naturally independent and stubborn person. Naturally independent and stubborn people generally don’t like the implication that we need to change. We prefer to offer advice rather than take it gracefully. Seeing a lot of news articles about how I should manage my money, manage my weight, manage my time, manage my stress, and manage whatever it is they assume I’m handling poorly as of 2010, makes me want to dig in my heels and say something like, “Manage yourself, buddy,” and metaphorically shake my fist.

I truly believe that, when it comes to change, the only impetus that one can actually rely on is oneself. The best advice in the world doesn’t mean anything until you are ready to listen. And listening to advice is useless until you actually act. I know how to manage my money, weight, time, and all that other stuff. Knowing how to do it isn’t the problem. The doing is crux of the matter. So, it is difficult to jump into the resolution spirit when I’m convinced that it’s me or nothing.

I concede, however, that being naturally independent and stubborn doesn’t mean I couldn’t use a little help. So, this year, perhaps I should to try and be open-minded to the advice givers of the world. Yes, in the end it does come down to me and my decision to act, but a little outside motivation, a few helpful hints, an article or two about keeping resolutions can’t hurt me. No reason to be stubborn for stubborn’s sake. No reason to take common sense advice as a personal attack on my skills at running my life.

This year, I resolve to be a little less resolute on my prior stand on resolutions.

December 10, 2010


December 10 – Wisdom

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?

I don’t know if it was my wisest, but it sure was a good one: I moved. I never got 100% comfortable in my last apartment. I had to move out of an apartment I loved into one that was “perfectly fine” due to monetary concerns, and I’m sure that colored my judgment somewhat. My last apartment wasn’t awful, but it was smaller. And darker. And the upstairs neighbors noisier. And the front office lost my packages. And...well, let’s face it, my last place just wasn’t “home, sweet home.”

I moved into a duplex this year. I’m not going to say it’s perfect (because I can think of two problems right off hand), but it is definitely an improvement. It’s big, it’s airy, and it’s just all around homey. It feels like my house and not just the place I’m temporary living to save money. It’s important for a home to be a home and not just a container of your stuff. My place is my little oasis from the rest of the world, and I’m glad to have it.

December 7, 2010

I love your friends, they’re all so arty.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

Erg...this is a stupid prompt...I discovered the TV show “Community” is pretty funny. Their Halloween episodes are high-lair-ree-us. The last one was a take-off on zombie movies...but I don’t think that’s what this prompt is about...

Oh I’ve got one! I discovered this past year. If you don’t know of Etsy, imagine if eBay had been created by artists. It’s an online community where makers-of-stuff can sell said stuff to the buyers-of-stuff. The stuff ranges from simple crafts to fancy art, and it’s all on a user-friendly forum. Two Christmas gifts have already been purchased. Etsy also features blogs and what-not for those who sell. I find it all so fascinating that I daydream of crossing over from a buyer to a seller. If I could just come up with that brilliant idea...

December 6, 2010

The Sweetest Thing

December 6 – Make.

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

I made a Christmas gift this weekend. I won’t go into details about what it is so no surprises will be ruined, but it was a good experience. I thought of this idea a while ago and debated whether the effort would be appreciated by the receiver of the gift. In the end I decided it would be, partly because I think it’s a good idea, but also because I realized that I really wanted to make it. The project is something that I’m good at and enjoy doing for myself, it seemed special to share it with someone else. It took more effort than I thought it would, but I finished it with a great sense of satisfaction. I think the gift receiver, even if they don’t particularly want the gift itself, will appreciate the thought. Making versus straight buying adds something to the experience for both the giver and the getter.

If You Start Me Up

So, I'm trying this out: reverb10

I've been crazy busy recently and have missed writing. I'm hoping this will be a good way to initiate an entry or few. Plus, I love me some self-reflection.