Have said this before: I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. For me, they are simply opportunities and invitations to failure. We make them year after year, and within short order, they most often go the way of the lemmings: following a straight path to the edge of a bottomless abyss and then right over that edge. They don’t work for me and take a hell of a bite out of my meager supply of gathered self-esteem.
But, due to circumstances and timing, I do have a plan for these coming months. It all sort of fell in place and I much prefer that course to others. When I started blogging, I was as usual, a bit on the gung-ho level. I liked the whole environment and plunged in without a great deal of thought or concern. But, as will happen, circumstances changed abruptly and I found myself playing catch up more often than not, and eventually sliding toward feelings of hopelessness and failure ( a lot like a New Year’s resolution, yes?).
Over the past few months, it has become quite clear that some changes needed to be made, and because I was the one who was aware of it, that left me being the one who needed to act on that awareness. After some amount of thought about choices and time and energy levels, as well as lots of notes to myself in my daily journal, I figured out what I really wanted to do. I made a phone call and a suggestion which was very quickly accepted. That one step cleared my mornings and will allow me to put my personal plan into action.
As I said, at the beginning I had a very gung-ho spirit about blogging. This was my first step into that world and I loved it. But, then I also wanted to do a blog devoted to poetry and music that touches the soul and alters ones perspective. And then another about intuition and synchronicity, mythology, and symbolism. Can you see where this is going?
All of that was fine and actually working rather well, but at the same time, I had also opened the door to new creative endeavors and activities. I was now juggling, but much more satisfied than I had been in a long time. Then my mother got ill and we moved her into the apartment complex where I live. That sort of put me on call because I could just walk over and take care of whatever the problem of the moment entailed. I do have siblings and they have all pitched in and we have reaped many rewards from our care-giving activities, but my blogs were getting short shrift in all of it.
That was a problem for me. One I couldn’t seem to figure out or resolve. I felt a deep commitment to them, but obviously the commitment to my Mother’s care took priority. I did have a regular schedule when I started the blogs, but that sort of got blown out of the window by everything else that was happening. I felt pulled, pushed, and a bit worn and torn. Not good for anything or anyone.
Yet, with one phone call and one suggestion, all of the stress (or at least, a great deal of it) was relieved. I now have a plan and a tentative schedule that will allow me to continue my blogs, still work on my other creative endeavors, and care for my Mom, and not feel so exhausted half way through the day. It’s a plan, not a resolution or a new set of rules and commitments. Plans can and often do get changed.
One of the things that I do in my daily journal is to finish it with a very brief emotional weather report. Those were getting to be rather difficult over the past months. Lots of predictions about storm fronts moving in and nasty little squalls erupting willy-nilly on my inner landscape. Since forming my tentative plan, they now often mention Southerly breezes that have little to do with the freezing temps of my outer environment. At least, on that level, my plan is working.
I can relax a bit and that is important. My counselor keeps reminding me that there is far more danger to the care-giver than to the care-given in that particular situation. Lots of what I do is aimed at taking the time to take care of my own person. For the record, that isn’t selfishness, it’s self-preservation. If I’m always a bit tired, exhausted, and feeling like I’m moving under a cloud of pending depression, that affects everyone I come into contact with. Everyone.
My plan, and my softly spoken suggestion does the same thing. At least, I hope it will. If it works, it will ease not only my own situation but that of others around me. That is the difference between a plan and a New Year’s resolution. Those yearly resolutions are meant to change or alter only the individual who creates them. Have to wonder if that isn’t some of the reason they so often fail. My small plan was meant, and is intended, to move outward from my own space and into the lives of others that I care about and worry over as well. I have hope and crossed fingers.
Where are you on the New Year’s Resolution issue? Do you make rules then feel absolutely astounded that your first response is to break them, or at least fudge on that committed position? Do you make plans and hope for the best outcome, ready to accept the changes those plans might entail?