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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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Distracted Day

Well, It is 4:47 in the morning.

I have yet to write a post for Thursday. It is not because I do not have anything rattling around the old cranium but rather because my mind swirling with so many things that I am having trouble narrowing down what I want to write about.

There is something that happened to me on Wednesday that I felt was really cool. I was at the grocery store at 3:30 in the afternoon grabbing some grub for dinner. I ended up with almost half a cart full of “things we needed” as I meandered through the store but I do take responsibility for the extra yummy stuff. I broke two of the major food shopping rules. One, I was hungry when I went to the grocery store. Two, I wandered around without a list falling for all those sales and coupons. Oh well.

I headed up toward the registers ready to check out only to find there was not a single cash register open. The only available registers were the self check out units guarded by one single cashier and a lanky  manager. It is stupid but it upset me. Not angry upset but irritated upset. There is a whole row of empty registers and not a cashier in sight. I do not know where they were but it was clearly not aisles 1-10.

The second reason I was perturbed was that I has so much stuff in my cart. I do not mind using the self check out if I have a few items but when I have half a cart of heavy stuff, I would prefer to load it on the conveyor and let the cashier ring it up. The checking out process goes much faster with a cashier than with me fumbling around at self check out and talking  back to the lady who is forever reminding me to “place item back in the bagging area”. I want to go, go, go and she wants to put it back, put it back, put it back.

By the time I rang up all of my groceries and headed out to my car, my frustration level had risen a few more notches. I was slowly, creeping over into the red zone because, not just because of the self check out machine but also due to the fact that as I stepped outside it was a balmy 97 degrees in the valley of the sun. Where is the cool fall weather?! Right. We don’t have a fall season.

I am mumbling to myself as I get to my car. I open the back door and some guy pulls into the space next me and attempts to squeeze past me, the car door and my groceries. I stood up, closed the car door a little and waited for him to pass. It was at this moment that every thing shifted. The gentleman turned, looked at me and said, “Here, let me help you load your groceries.”

I was stunned. At first I said it was no bother and I could get it myself but he insisted that he help and then proceeded to help me load all of my groceries into my car. When he was done, he offered to take my cart back inside with him. I said thank you at least a dozen times and he replied, “It is my pleasure in the best of British accents. Then he walked into the grocery store. I got in my car and left.

I laughed a little as I pulled out of the parking lot because one kind gesture totally changed the direction  my afternoon was headed.

Kindness. It is pretty cool.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine