I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I have a loose life rule about not making grand statements of plan. (I’m going to lose 50 lbs in 6 months or I’m going to have X job in five years, etc). The goal setters of the world are shaking their heads right now, how can I possibly achieve anything?
The thing is, lately especially, not making resolutions has allowed me to achieve one of the main goals in my life, which is to spend less time immersed in self-loathing and self-recrimination.
I realize I may err too far on the side of goalessness since one of my faults is being timid about trying things I’m not sure I’ll be good at. So, I’ve decided to make a wish list of things I’d like to do or try in 2016. Not resolutions! Just, things I’d like to try.
Movement. As I mentioned in this post, I want to be healthier. Not necessarily thinner or faster, but stronger, more flexible. I want to have more stamina. (Yes, for fucking, but also for general well-being). I want to live as long as possible (while still enjoying cheese and gin) and be as active as possible. To that end, I’d like to revisit or some things I’ve tried in the past that I enjoyed like ballroom dancing, hiking, yoga, and would also like to try something like karate.
Want vs. Should. While I’ve made strides the last couple of years in living for myself and figuring out what I want and like, I still tend to filter my feelings through a mesh of what I think I should want and what I think other people want or expect. Getting this balance right requires the unpicking of fairly delicate embroidery for me. I’m a people-pleaser by nature and I’m learning that this is a big part of my kink. Nothing makes me wetter than being asked/forced to perform a task, then hearing that I did a good job. Obviously, that urge/desire gets me into trouble in the rest of my life. I’m shit at saying no to family and friends when I’m overtaxed, or to my boss when she piles work onto my already full plate. This leads me to the next item on my list.
Boundaries. I’m learning to set boundaries where I haven’t used them before. With people I care about, with myself. I’m trying to learn to not drop everything when that friend that is constantly in need, needs me again. Not to spite them, but to protect myself.
While my personal sexual revolution of the last couple of years has been grand, I don’t need to blow or sleep with people just because I’m so thrilled to finally be doing it. That ties into learning what I want and what I like. Just me. If I can figure that out, then I think boundaries will be easier to set naturally. The trick is, sometimes (often) I like things because it makes someone else happy. (Not just “someone” but particular people, usually.) Or because I think it does. So, having opinions about what I like and don’t like, in all sorts of areas, is something I’d like to work on.
Money. All of the above (except maybe ballroom dancing) tie into this one. I am pretty terrible at money. In the same way that I can’t resist a second (fourth) cube of fancy cheese, I don’t budget well. “Oh, let me buy you a drink” “Oh, the lunch I packed today is terrible, I’m going out” “I’ll just put this on my card” etc. I’m not the kind of person who buys $500 handbags, but I am the kind of person who will happily spend that much to splash out for a friend’s milestone birthday. And then wonder why I’m putting new tires on my credit card. But if I want to continue doing the things I love (travelling, living alone in my own home, buying pretty lingerie, spending nights out with friends) then I need to crack this one. Frankly, it’s the one that depresses me the most. The one I feel I really ought to be able to master as a functioning adult.
Photography. I love Sinful Sunday and taking photos, but I’m starting to get frustrated with the quality of the images I take with my phone. I can probably boost the quality just with that tool by learning more about it, but a friend has offered to lend me his old Nikon D50 DSLR. I’d like to take him up on it, learn about lighting and exposure and all the other camera-ey things, and see what I could accomplish.
Reading. There are so many fantastic authors and bloggers in this community that it’s sometimes hard to keep up with all the posts and books. But you are all SO GOOD, I need to make more time. Also, reading is inspiring and educational and improves my writing (it’s not just wank fodder or how-to guides). I’d like to try to get to more of your work in 2016, because by missing any of the delicious words out there, I’m only hurting myself.
Writing. Last but not least, I do want to write more this year. (Thanks Exhibit A for the multiple shoves in this direction). I enjoy it, but I’m not as confident with words as I am with images so I tend to sit on drafts of things for months and months, often just leaving them to languish, because I don’t think they are good enough to post. But I know you don’t get better unless you practice. (I’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, OK?)
Posting stories to my blog, even if I’m not 100% confident in them, is the key to getting better. (See above, re: not trying things when I’m worried I won’t succeed). So, I want to write more. I’m not going to commit to a post a week or anything like that. (No resolutions). But I’m going to make more of an effort posting a story when I have an idea (just write it and put it out there, Maria!) And I’m going to participate in more memes with prompts (Wicked Wednesday, Kink of the Week, Masturbation Monday, etc.) I’d also like to attempt more flash. It’s obvious by the number of words in this post that I have trouble with brevity.
So, there you have it. Some ideas. Wish me luck.
Happy New Year!
P.S. This blog and the personal strides I’ve made over the last year would absolutely not have been possible without this community. Just wanted to thank everyone for that. I’ve said it before, but starting this blog is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for all of us.