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Oh! The Resolutions…

I confess. I don’t have resolutions.

I never do. Many years ago, I made the New Year’s Resolution to never make another one. It is the only resolution that I have ever kept. Now, before anyone flips out and lectures me about the importance of making goals, please give me at least a blog post to explain why I do not make resolutions.

I was in my early twenties when I bid a final farewell to many of the New Year Eve’s traditions. I do not rub my hands in bowl full of coins for more money. I do not eat black-eyed peas or herring on a cracker for good luck in the coming year. I do not frantically change my calendar to welcome in the new year. I do not do any of that stuff and I do not make resolutions to fix my weight, my job or my soul.

I do acknowledge that these traditions are social activities that bind us together and therefore they hold importance in society and communities. Eating black-eyed peas or making wishes together are common activities that we can focus on instead of our differences. In short, they bind us together in a common act or desire. We all want to hope that our lives will be better in the new year. In reality, they are superstitions that do not actually have any credible influence on how much luck manifests in the next year of our life.

Why did I quit good luck superstitions or new year resolutions?
There were two reasons.

Reason number one. I never managed to keep or fulfill any of my resolutions. In truth, by mid February I had all but forgotten my carefree resolutions. I came to understand, that my resolutions were no different than any of the other good luck activities. I did not really give any serious thought to what I set out to change. I hastily, and in my early years, drunkenly, prattled off a list of my faults that the New Year was going “correct” for me.

Reason number two. When good luck or the magical “new” year did not produce a whole new me, I became discouraged. I concluded that I was a bad person responsible for the entire universe gone awry. I was the ultimate failure because even good luck could not come my way. This was a dangerous internal dialogue that no amount of black-eyed peas was going to fix. Wishing wasn’t going to make see myself in a more positive light.

Good luck was not the answer. It never worked. On a hap-hazard, laughter filled, wine induced New Year’s Eve, I announced that I was never going to make another resolution and trust luck to fix all my problems. Instead, I started making goals. I focused on three goals a year that I was responsible for manifesting in my life. That’s is when things began to change. I no longer sat back and relied on fate to solve my problems. I took time to consider the direction that I wanted my life to go, made goals according to my plans and then worked on meeting those goals. Sometimes I do not actually make my goals.That is okay. I work toward them. I have discovered that working toward my goals shows me what I need to do make to them a reality. I practice reality every year not good luck.

Hard work will be the primary tool in shaping the life you desire. 2017 did not hate you. 2018 is not going to magically make your life better. The New Year is not a fix all moment. It is a day on the calendar. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a good time to reflect on your life and your goals. It is a good season to come up with a plan. It is a great idea to celebrate with family and friends. These things are absolutely true. Superstitions and good luck are not the Universes handymen to problem solve your life.

I don’t intend to sound harsh but that was the difference for me. Resolutions, black-eyed peas and bowls full of pennies relied on some good luck fairy to swoop down, waiving a magic wand that was going to make all my problems disappear. When that didn’t happen, I could easily blame luck because I did not have the life I wanted or wasn’t the person that I wanted to be. I held no responsibility in the outcome of a year, an entire year of my life. Making goals meant that I was responsible and accountable for my how my life turned out. I made the choice to do away with superstitions and empty wishes. I embraced the reality that I was in charge of my goals coming true.

Maybe, reality is cold and harsh. At the end of today, the New Year is not going to bring you a better life or make you a better person. January 1 is just a day on a calendar. Sure, it is the beginning of a new calendar year and that is good for marking time but not so good for life changes and life plans. The next 364 days are in your hands.

My goals for this year are really a continuation of the direction I was headed in when 2017 ended.

Goal 1- Establish an online blog and business. This has been developing for many years. I am getting close. Closer than I have ever been.
Goal 2- Move out of the Valley of the Sun. I need to get out of this valley for a variety of reasons. Health and happiness being the top two.
Goal 3- See my mom, Jeri. I’ve seen her once since April 1993. It sucks.

These next three goals are kind of a given in my life. They apply no matter what year.
Goal 1-Be kind. Learn to practice kindness every day.
Goal 2. Be thankful. Learn to spend more time expressing gratitude and less time complaining.
Goal 3. Photography. Learn more. Do more. Grow more.

Make goals in reality not resolutions hoping for good luck to fix your world. You’ll get a whole lot more accomplished and next New Year’s Eve, you can be proud of what you have done and not spend the evening blaming the calendar for not making all your dreams come true.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

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Winds of Change

October 5, 2017 – Day 5

Cliche title. I know, but if the cliche fits…

I am really late making it to the keyboard today. There is a reason.

Yesterday, I alluded to the fact that I did not want to show up and do nothing but complain about my life and my anxiety. That is not me. That is not who I want to be in this life. I understand that life can be, at times, formidable which makes it extremely easy to take a ride on the Complain Train. There are times when life moves in and all around us with such pressure that before we know it, we are coasting in a first class seat on our way to an all out b!t#h fest. After yesterday’s post, I could feel myself settling down in that first class seat. I decided that today, I was getting off the Complain Train and canceling my reservations at the festival.

When I woke up, I was still pacing and agitated. I’m having an issue with my car right now, however, I had a few errands today which meant I had to drive the car. I woke up worried and panicking about it. I could not change what I had to do. I could not put it off for another day. I took deep breaths, broke my day up into small sections and only focused one section at a time. Completed my first errand. Had lunch. More deep breaths then headed out for my second errand.

My second errand was that I had to drive my son to a job interview. On the way out the door, I grabbed my crochet bag to give me something to do while I waited for him. We arrived safely. My son went into the building for his interview. I parked in a shady spot, it is the Valley of the Sun after all and settled down with my crochet.

I am not a super crocheter but I can make a few things and my skills are improving all the time. I rolled the windows down and continued working on my chevron scarf. Yes, I sat in my car, in 90 degree weather, crocheting a scarf, in the Valley of the Sun.

It was so nice. I probably should come up with a better descriptive word here but nice suited my situation perfectly. It was calm, quite and blowing through the front windows of my Kia Soul was the gentlest of winds.  Winds of change indeed because they blew right through me. I even said out loud, to myself, maybe I just needed to be outside. To clear my head so I could think straight. To breathe deeply of the calm that being outside brings. It was peaceful as I let the wind just blow all that junk out of my mind and spirit. While I sat there, crocheting, I thought about the past few months, the job searching, the stress and the worry. Focusing on one step at a time, breathing and being outside renewed a peace in me. By the time my son was done, I had completely a huge section on my scarf and I could think clearly again. I just let the wind blow it all away.

When I arrived at home there was a surprise waiting for me in e-mail box but that is for tomorrow.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine