2014 not the best year. Not by a long shot. And 2013 and 2012 were not very great either. Not to get all life-style guru on you here but I realized at some point that I keep waiting for things to get better, waiting for my life to get better and maybe that is just not the right approach.  I can’t really change my life but I can change the way I feel about it and the way I react to it. Of course as I work on seeing these resolutions through, easier said then done  but I can’t keep waiting for something to change. I live right here, right now. I need to find ways for it to be better right here, right now not in some idealized better future. So here are 4 ways I want to make me and my life better in 2015.

 

1) Spontaneity. 

This is a joint resolution with Sarah. We realized during one of our marathon phone conversations that the older we got the less spontaneous we had become. And that this is a huge lose. Life is so much less fun.  But I am going to push this further, part of being spontaneous is not over-thinking things too much, just following an impulse and for me I think I need to listen just as much to my instincts and say ” Nope, I wouldn’t be doing that.” There are so many joy-sucking, mind numbing obligations that clog my life and in 2015  I want to be as spontaneous about saying “no” to them and as I am about saying ” yes!” to fun and new things. I start back at work ( a veritable and highly effective factory of joy-sucking, mind numbing obligations) on Monday- lets see how this goes!

 

2) Being kinder, more forgiving and less judgmental about other people.

2014 ended with me getting some hardcore anonymous hate on my teaching evaluations. And after an understandable period of hurt, self-pity and then anger, it actually made me think of how often I have made similarly off-hand and unkind judgments about other people. I had potentially made people feel just as bad as I was feeling because lets face it, I am not very subtle. This thought actually made me feel worse than the evaluations. Shortly after coming to the realization that my mean-ness had the potential to hurt people,  as if the universe just felt it needed to hammer home this point a little harder,  my sister told me about how an acquaintance of ours mentioned to her that she was really surprised that I was so much more friendly and welcoming on-line then I was off-line. Wow.  Just wow.  In the meantime, this has been a really hard resolution and I slip a lot but I find that making myself conscious of how I talk about other or how quick I am to jump to judgment has been instructive.  I think I am getting better. I hope I am getting better

 

3) Taking better care of me, looking after myself.

In my to-do lists looking after myself is really never a priority. So things like getting exercise, going to the dentist and getting my upper lip threaded or making time to meditate are just not important. I am hoping that  shifting the emphasis from my usual resolutions like :lose weight or exercise more and thinking instead of giving more time and effort to self-care will make me take better care of myself. I think I have been trying to do some of this already in 2014 but I need to keep reminding myself.

4) Making more everyday beauty.

This was a last minute and random entry but also the one I find the most hopeful. My parents, who have moved back to my mother’s childhood home are in town for the last two week and I noticed again that my mother has this  habit of compulsively tidying up and making things look nicer where-ever she goes. I found it annoying as a child but as I watched her turn the crocked woven scarfs our cook insists on selling us into a table runner, re-purpose broken pottery into a dry flower vase and generally re-arrange everything in our house I realized she is always attempting to make the spaces we live in more beautiful. And she does it little tiny, very every day ways. Isn’t that just the most  hopeful and optimistic thing to keep doing? I have this tendency to live in mess and see everything as temporary and not worth improving or making nice. I want to teach myself to not do that. I want to teach myself to turn up the beauty. I want to live with beauty and I just have to figure out how I can do a better job of making beauty a more every day thing.