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[personal profile] damselfish

I am not into New Years Resolutions--I frequently resolve or challenge myself to do something all throughout the year, with limited success, and New Years is the time when resolutions fail. But I've got a big one I wanted to share:

I'm on Goodreads again! Are you on Goodreads? Come on down and friend me! Also recommend some books to me, because I decided to try the "read X many books" challenge. I picked 36, so three books a month, which seems do-able. I have no clue how many books I read in a year. Sometimes I'll read a book in two days, other times I'm slogging through them for weeks. I used to be voracious and stopped reading in law school, and I've been trying to rebuild the habit ever since.

I'm also trying to read in more genres for that whole... be a better well-rounded human being. Thing.

Other Resolutions. Sort of

Keep An Achievement Jar: I saw this recommendation on tumblr and thought it was perfect. Every time you accomplish something, you write it down and put it in a jar for the year. At the end of the year, you can look back and see what you've done. I've always had a hard time holding onto my accomplishments and everyone who's ever rolled their eyes when I've said "I've done nothing!" is probably applauding this one.

Blog More: Blogging is still my favorite form of social media. I used to do a lot of it with witty, insightful posts full of charming weirdness and I want to get back to being the person who used to post about gay sex between giant squids because, as the biologist put it "it's dark and lonely down there."

Get Out Once a Week: This is an old challenge and something that fell by the wayside, but it's one I really want to stick to. I'm still in a place where I don't know what I really want to be doing, but doing things leads to finding out about more things and it'll help me find my things. That's the plan, anyway.

Finish More Fiction: A few days ago I told my mom I planned to write for the day, and she said "oh, when the muse strikes..." and I laughed: "Strikes? I've been whipping my muse mercilessly for months." Part of handling my anxiety has been forgiving myself for not writing every day. "Write every day" worked well in 2013, but in 2014 it was just another way to punish myself--particularly toward the end of the year when I had nothing. Throughout the year, I started a lot of projects and never finished them while I tried to scrounge up what little give-a-damn I could muster, which left me feeling like I did a lot of work with nothing to show for it. I'm not sure how "finish more fiction" is going to work. Finish one thing a month? A week? Maybe I need an accountability buddy. Either way I want to come out of 2015 with more to show for my time than 2014.

Photography: Low-stress and no pressure and I can join the hordes of other photographers in the Everglades all taking pictures of the exact same vistas because that's what sells at art shows. I will be the one who saw a really neat bug. Last night I went to the Chihuly exhibit at Fairchild where the art was illuminated at night and spent more time looking at the spiders. A woman said "oh look at those webs!" To which I said: "There's some gorgeous spiders spinning, too! ...If you like spiders." She was more than happy to look, but her friend chuckled uneasily. "If you like spiders."

Maintain a List of Things to Do When I Don't Know What to Do: A good 70% of my waking time seems to be spent going "what do I do?" Despite telling myself "when you feel that, you'll spend 5 minutes cleaning" I still sit there wondering what to do.

There's the other usual things I'm always working on--eat better, exercise more, tidy the house more, etc.--that I don't think of as resolutions for the New Year, and are famously the sort of resolutions that fail.

I'm not going to do a yearly recap because, honestly, 2014 was not a good year for me. It wasn't a good year for a lot of people, but all the posts I've been seeing lately that say "oh I didn't get much done, I just published five novels, became a doctor, flew my first mission to space, got in shape, lol" are bound to get anybody down, particularly when you're feeling unhappy with just surviving the year.

My big success was in turning things around in the past few months and dealing with anxiety. I learned that I've probably had anxiety since high school and a lot of my thoughts are simply not normal or healthy and it rocked my world to realize it can be fixed. Not just the bad tailspin I was in during the middle of the year, but a lot of the issues I've been wrestling with since I was a kid. "You mean... I'm not just lazy? Incapable of getting things done that other people handle no problem? There's a reason my brain short circuits when I try to look into basic solutions to problems and why everything feels so nebulous and overwhelming? Gadzooks!"

So that was my year. 2015 is looking up already.

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damselfish

September 2015

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