Resolution Do Over & 16 for ’16

I have had on my to-do list for several months “write blog post.” As fantastic as it is to have graduated on a Friday and started a full time job the following Monday, I have yet to re-acclimate myself to that whole work/life balance thing. Heck, Throatpuncher even gave me the book Thrive by Arianna Huffington that spells out the importance of that balance, but I have yet to get to the end of the book.

That isn’t to say I spend all my time at work and sleeping, I know I waste time staring at my cell phone when I could be reading books, magazines, calling friends to catch up, practicing my banjo, etc. Which, as I reviewed my 15 for ’15 list I realized most of my resolutions would be the same for 2016. I may have also realized that I did not do so well on the resolutions in 2015.

Here’s the old List and how I did:

  1. Win the Daily Step Challenge (Most Days): Check! Well, at least I was 1 for 1 going into the resolutions.
  2. Blog more, at least once a week: Well, considering my last post was something like 5 months ago, I’m going to call this a fail.
  3. Share the blog: That one I accomplished immediately…so, current score is 2 to 1. Still not bad.
  4. Limit Facebook time to none-ish. Nope. All tied up again.
  5.  Look at the bucket list I made when I was 21 and do some of the things: I think I found the list…Pretty sure I did none of the things.
  6. Work on my non-confrontational nature: Uhhh, well, nope.
  7. Put myself/my goals first: This is another constant struggle. I am learning from my superiors at work that I need to do this more. Somehow with all of my work hours I have let working out go to the wayside. The executives I support manage to workout almost daily. They make it a priority, and I’ve been making completing their expense reports my priority. Not cool man.
  8. Phone Curfew: I don’t do this, I forgot about this one even. This is going back on the list.
  9. Write down a couple lines about what happened with my day: I do this most days, but often I fill in several days all at once. I’m calling this a win, but also a work in progress.
  10. Complete what I can in the “Story of My Life” book: Yeah, haven’t put one thing in there. Still want to do that.
  11. Practice my banjo, learn 2 new songs that people know: Haven’t picked up the banjo in months, definitely haven’t learned any new songs.
  12. Refine and build my friendships: If anything I have done the opposite here. Throatpuncher went through some stuff and I was too busy doing God knows what to be the helpful, supportive friend I have been for her in the past. I haven’t seen DangerMom in months. I certainly didn’t reconnect with the old friends as I had intended in the original resolution. Except for one who reached out to me, so I don’t know if that counts. I am glad she’s back, and will have to think up a nickname for her.
  13. Read more books/magazines…less internet: Well, judging by the stack of unfinished books and unread magazines I’m looking at across the room from where I currently sit, this one is also a fail.
  14. Get my assignments done at least a week early: This one I actually did for the most part. Made for a less stressful final semester in college. I highly recommend getting stuff done early.
  15. Live more fearlessly: I think I did this a little bit. There were some things I did that would definitely not be considered within my comfort zone. Still something I would consider a work in progress. But, probably something that should always be a work in progress.

My list for 2016 will look a lot like this one. I have two conflicting quotes running through my head:

If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. – William Edward Hickson (according to Wikipedia)

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

I think this is one of those rare times where I disagree with Yoda. Gotta keep trying until I get it right. Sorry Yoda, otherwise you the man. Little, green, man-like creature with cool ears.

Once I decide on exactly what my 16 for ’16 will be I’ll write about it here. Might have to make a call to Cakethrower to see what she’s come up with. Her lists always make me think of a couple of my own.

My Own Inner Teenager

I have been taking Blogging 101 recently. Actually, I have been slightly ignoring Blogging 101 recently, but I am now doing my best to catch up. In this course, and in particular the assignment I am currently working on, we are encouraged to read and respond to each other’s work. This has been a great exercise. Since the beginning of the course I have been finding new and interesting blogs to read, but this time the assignment was to comment on several blogs and then write a post about one that I commented on.

The blog I chose to write about is Murgatron’s Musings. I commented on her post A Brave New Year For Both of Me. I felt a lot of kinship to this post. I think we all fight with that little voice inside out head telling us we can’t do something, or that we look dumb, or that people are judging us. Painting that voice into a picture of an eye-rolling, door slamming teenager was something I found beautiful about the post. The inner child is a concept most people are familiar with, but Murgatron showed me that the inner teenager can be a bitch.

As I read the description of the mean girl inside I thought of all the advice you hear about dealing with a bully. Some people will tell you to ignore the bully and they will get bored, eventually leaving you alone. Others will tell you that they are bullies because of their own insecurities, so if you fight back even in the smallest way they will run away scared. Still others will suggest one quick punch in the face. It might be violent, but allegedly the bully will then respect you for standing up for yourself and you will become best friends (according to movies, TV, and after school specials).

None of that advice is great when the bully is inside your own head. It is not impossible to ignore the bully, but she never gets bored and leaves. This bully is 100% made of insecurities, but accomplishing something that the head-bully said you can’t does not shut her up when you try for the next thing. At least not in my experience. On the other hand, when I have said to head-bully “F you, I’m doing it.” She might still be talking, but her voice is a lot softer. Lastly, I don’t think I want to punch head-bully in the face. I don’t want to start my own Fight Club. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I don’t want to be Tyler Durden punching myself in the face. Maybe next time I hear her voice telling me something horrible I will try to have a mental ninja battle and see how that goes. If nothing else the thought makes me chuckle.

Assignments and introspection

Apparently this whole “maintain a blog” thing is a popular new year’s resolution. Lucky for me I stumbled upon a post from WordPress offering a Blogging 101 course. This seemed like a good opportunity to kick-start my blogging, and will give me tips on using WordPress, which I’m not so familiar with. I get a neat badge to put on my blog which will help me to look like I know what I’m doing, which is always a plus.

The first assignment is this post, an introduction to my blog. Sample questions were given for me to consider such as “Why are you blogging publicly rather than keeping a personal journal?” This was not as easy a question to answer as I thought it would be. I have always had a love for writing, but sharing my writing with others is a bit nerve-wracking. As I considered the question I realized that personal journals are a lot different from blogs, and I find not as fun.

Recently I stumbled upon an old journal and I noticed a pattern. Had I gone back to an even earlier journal I would have seen the same types of entries, and it took me a little while to figure out why. My personal journal is for problems or thoughts that I am working out that I do not want to share with others. There are many reasons for this, but the top two would have to be embarrassment and whiny-ness. The first is because some of these things are down right ridiculous and the second is the same crap over and over again. I don’t even like reading old journal entries, I doubt anyone else would either.

Blogging, on the other hand, reminds me of the letters I used to write to my friends after I moved from NY to CA as a teen. This was back in the olden days when there were no social networking sites. Even email was not something that was very common at that time. Ahh, the early 90’s, a magical time when I put pen to paper and wrote down the things that were happening in my life. While pretending to take copious notes in class I would actually be writing incredibly long letters about nothing to Zibby the Derby Girl. I wrote letters to several other friends, but Zibby was blessed with the longest ones. She wrote back equally long letters, I’m sure about equally silly topics. In a box somewhere I still have every letter I received from that time. One of these days I’m going to have to share them with the people who sent them. I’m thinking this might make an excellent gift. A digital copy of the letters sent with some wine. Because who wouldn’t need wine to read something they wrote at 16?

To answer the question for the assignment, I started blogging because the idea of publicly sharing my writing terrified me a little bit. When I first started blogging it took me a long time to share with people I knew. Strangers are much less scary. My blog is of the day-to-day happenings type because it is a way to get back to the fun that was writing those letters to my friends. Technology means I can share these letters with many friends, instead of just one. Plus make new friends in the blogging community.

I do hope to eventually write about the trips that I’ve taken, or other adventures I’ve had with friends. These would still be of the non-fiction variety, just not current events. Maybe one day I’ll post some of the embarrassing journal entries, just to keep things interesting.