It’s that time of year when everyone is optimistic for a few days. It’s the new year. Time to start things I’ve been meaning to start. Time to get organized, get my shiz together, get on the right track, etc and so on. I’ve done this a few times, as has just about everyone I know. And I hate to give into clichés.
However, I actually have good reason to begin the resolution cycle again. This time last year, I had just graduated with a BA in English and my husband was in SKorea. It was an awful time for transition. I was “looking for jobs,” by which I mean I was signed up on a few job search sites that I passively checked. Part of the lackadaisical hunting was due to my planned 45 day trip to visit said hubby. That sort of trip puts a crimp in long term plans. But after the trip was over, I tried to be more aggressive in my hunting, for about a day.
I must say that living alone after becoming co-dependent on another person is a challenge. It was harder to care for myself. I define myself as a Narcissist, but that doesn’t mean I spend all day in front of a mirror preening myself. It means that I always come first. If I’m tired, I sleep. If I don’t need to leave the house, I see no reason to shower, change out of pj’s, or indeed do anything more than brush my teeth as none of these contribute to my own comfort. If I don’t feel like cooking, there is no one to make me feel ashamed for eating cereal for every meal. This isn’t to say that when Buddy is home, he shames me into being a human. He’s just a passive element in my life that activates the drive to be slightly more civilized. Without him, who was I getting dressed for? The cats? Why was I waking up before noon? Why even get out of bed except to feed the cats and grab a cup of coffee?
Of course, this kind of narcissism leads to dark places. I slept way too much and the later in the day I slept, the less sunlight I got. Without sunlight and human contact and some kind of purpose, I’d get depressed. Way back in January, I chose to combat this trend by taking up crochet again. I hadn’t done it since my tween years, but it came back easily and I had soon crocheted myself into a nice warm nest (it was a very cold winter, so most of what I made was to keep me warm). As long as I had a project to do, I had a way to stay awake during the day, getting my vitamin sunlight and not feeling like such a schlub. Crocheting got me through the spring and into the summer, but I was definitely getting stir crazy by June.
I thought seeing Buddy in April and May would be like a booster shot and the prospect of the next six months without him would be easier. I was very wrong. Getting home, I felt so much worse than when he left in November. And turning to job hunting didn’t help at all. It made me feel exponentially worse. The job sites gave me scores of jobs that had nothing whatever to do with the field I was interested in. There were lots of jobs for people with 5+ years of experience and degrees I didn’t have with job descriptions I didn’t really understand. I began to wonder if I had any idea what kind of job I wanted. I have a degree, so why don’t I feel like I have any of the job skills I need?
Anyway, I applied for a few internships without much hope. After about a month of absolutely nothing, I did what part of me knew was giving up. I applied to JoAnn Fabrics. That’s not to say that I am superior in any way to minwage retail work. I needed a job to keep me sane and work is work. But having a job, even a part-time gig would ease the pressure to find a “real job,” and Narcissist Me says, “Meh, good enough.” I’ve had truly wonderful friends and family assure me that P/T work frees me to really pursue what I want, and when I’m in an upswing, it does. But in downswings, it’s a great excuse to not do anything. Had a long day at work, too tired to write/work-out/clean house/do anything besides lay flat on my back in front of the TV.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point I decided that 2015 didn’t count for me. I couldn’t be expected to function at 100% when half of me was on the other side of the planet. I’d get through the year, enjoy his 55 days off of work when he got back and then January 2016 would be my cue to start life again.
I’ve decided to forgo the normal resolutions. “I will get in shape.” “I will eat right.” “I will get my dream job.” These are all cute ideas, but they are far too vague. The key to success is specificity and teamwork. Buddy and I made resolutions together and we made a pact to keep each other in check.
1. Cardio Monday-Friday (at least 20 min). Special Cardio Saturdays. Muscular Strength workouts Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
2. Eating out for dinner no more than twice a month.
3. No buying donuts or coffee (except on payday).
4. Less than 1 oz dark chocolate/day.
5. More than 500 wds/day; 1 hr practice/day.
6. Etsy store set up by 15Jan16.
7. Upwork set up by 15Jan16.
I’ve built in rewards, like getting donuts on payday, and been as specific as possible. Hopefully, that will help me stay on track. And having someone nagging me, whom I get to nag in return, is a nice motivator, too.
This is my 500+ words for today. It won’t always be blogging. I have a story I need to work on (the Regency Heroes series). Still, I’ll try to do blogging on top of everything else so you people can keep track of me. Stalkers.