Saturday, December 31, 2005

Maybe this year

I was looking back over some previous years' resolutions, and what stands out to me is that I tend to make this whole list of things and then just basically completely ignore them. I write them, and that's (mostly) the end of it. I suppose a good resolution this year would be to not only keep my resolutions, but to actually even read them.

I did (sort of) stick to one of my resolutions from last year. I resolved to make more of my Christmas presents. I did make a lot of my Christmas presents--I knitted a few scarves and I made handmade soap--but what I ended up doing was buying Christmas presents anyway, and giving the handmade things as additional presents. I always tend to feel that my handmade things aren't nice enough, aren't good enough. I never really feel like the gifts I give people are good enough, basically. It's partly a matter of money, but more a matter of time. I end up running around constantly over a couple of weekends and a few nights after work and buying things that I think people would like, but really, how do you know?

I sometimes feel like I don't know anyone well enough to know what they would really like, so I settle for something safe, like candles or bath products -- and really, of course, I love to get candles and bath products, so maybe that's a good tactic . . .

Anyway, this morning I woke up with ideas for knitted things in my head, and maybe this year I'll really do it. Maybe this year I'll look for a source of affordable fragrance oils and make some nicer soap, not using the soap fragrance from the hobby store like I did this year, because my soap making frenzy occurred about a week before Christmas. Maybe I'll actually keep my momentum going and not knit four scarves in January and no more until the second week of December.

I was reading this list the other day, and liked the end, where she says, " I do hope you'll make a list, not so much Resolutions as goals and hopes and your own To-Do and To-Don't pile for the coming year."

So instead of resolutions, maybe I should make a list of goals and hopes. I like that. And I also read someone who wrote a list of things that she'd accomplished the previous year--I can't remember now where it was--and I like that, too. Sometimes it's good to be reminded that I did good things this year, too. It isn't always about "forget everything that happened before, this is a complete new beginning." It is a new beginning, but there were good things about this year, too.

Stuff I accomplished this year

  • I did a lot of work this year. I don't have a list of the projects that I completed or the websites that I built, but man, I did a lot of them. I built good relationships with clients, and I did a lot of good work.
  • I learned how to work in PHP. I didn't learn how to write PHP, but I figured out enough to do what I needed to do. My boss told me that sometimes I cry wolf too often, and I admit that I do--that's a defense mechanism, obviously. I'll try not to do that so much. That goes in the next list.
  • I took my lunch to work almost every day. I bet there were less than a half dozen times when I didn't. I'm not completely sure that's a good thing as far as socializing or whatever, but it's good for my pocketbook and it's better for me in a lot of ways. It's better not to have to try to think of a healthy (or even acceptable) place every day, it's better not to have to get in the car and drive somewhere, it's better not to spend $5-10 a day on lunch.
  • I let go of some things that have historically been very difficult for me. I tend to want to always be in control, to do everything myself. I still find it hard to let go of that control at work, but I've finally been able to do it (mostly) at home. Bob cooks me dinner almost every night, and I have finally been able to relax and let him, and not feel guilty about it. He also does a lot of the laundry--almost all of his almost all the time, and sometimes mine, and I've been able to accept that, too, and not feel guilty about it. There's only so much I can do, and I deserve some free time, too.

Stuff I want to accomplish next year

  • I'm always willing to try new things at work, and I never refuse to learn something new, but I should probably go into it with a more positive attitude personally. I tend to say, yeah, sure, that's fine, but inside I'm thinking, oh man, I hope I can do that, I don't know whether I can or not. My history shows that I can. Maybe this year I can finally convince myself of that.
  • Not only make most of my Christmas gifts, but accept that they're good enough. I can't control whether people like what I give them or not. All I can do is give things from my heart, and hope that they're acceptable, so it follows that if I make things with my hands, they're even more from my heart. (From the heart doesn't mean cheap, though--yarn is expensive, and the soap-making supplies are expensive--it just means that I'm trying to make something meaningful rather than grabbing something off a shelf at a store.) I also kind of like the idea of giving things that can be used up, like soap, so I think that will be my biggest concentration.
  • Continue to take my lunches to work, but try to put a little more planning into it, so I'm not scrambling around in the morning making tuna salad or something. Maybe make a list of things that I like, and that are also healthy, and keep that list with me so I have a roadmap when I go to the grocery store.
  • Try to worry less. This year was a hellacious year as far as loved ones having major health issues, but obviously worrying isn't going to change that one bit. Worrying isn't going to make anyone healthier. Praying might, and I did a lot of that, too. So--worry less, pray more?
  • Read more. I've kind of gotten out of the habit. I spend most of my free time on the computer; I should try to spend more of that time reading. Not that I ever read anything even remotely educational, but that's okay. It's my recreation, I don't make any excuses for it.
  • Take more pictures. I got a wonderful new digital camera, and I've been carrying it with me every day, but haven't taken many pictures. Get into that habit. It's not like film--if they're bad, or boring, they can be easily deleted with no cost or worry.
  • Write more. I'm not going to try to make a resolution to write fiction, or to write for publication -- maybe I will, maybe I won't, I don't want to put that pressure on myself right now -- but write more online. When I'm bored, I'll go online and read blogs and journals, and two things happen, well, really, just one result. One, I read good writing, and it makes me feel inadequate, and I don't write. Two, I read bad writing, and it makes me feel self-conscious, like what I do here is stupid (projecting someone else's stupidity onto myself, I guess), and I don't write. So really, the "resolution" is--pay less attention to what other people are writing, and write for myself.
  • Work on the tarot deck, or at least work on other graphic/artistic ideas. In fact: Make more art. And an adjunct:
  • Think about redesigning this website. Yes, I know it's perfect for me. I like it, too. But I haven't changed it for over three years. Isn't it probably time for a change? No promises on this, but: Play around with new designs, see if I can find something I like better, that excites me.

More later, maybe.

previous | next

5 comments:

Sabrina said...

I read quite a bit, and I've read loads of classics, and for ten years now, I've read your journal, and please rest assured that it's been some of my favorite reading material, ever. What you do here is not stupid - it's inspiring, funny, poignant, addictive, heartfelt, cozy, sometimes sad, and always, for all these years I've been reading, just wonderfully inviting. And that's why I'm here and keep coming back. You allow me into your life and that makes me happy, Willa. Thank you!

PeaceJen said...

I would like to echo Sabrina's eloquent post. I, too, have been following your journal for 10 years now. You've added to the quality of my lifestyle. You've inspired me to try different techie things. When I talk about you to folks offline, I refer to you as "my friend" even though I don't really know you. Your writing always adds to my general sense of well-being about the world. Don't ever doubt it. Thanks for all that you do here. We love it!
Happy new year!
-Jenny

Willa said...

You guys are so sweet. :) I guess maybe in addition to not crying wolf at work, I need to not do it here, either, huh?

Thank you!

Sabrina said...

How funny, just like PeaceJen, when I speak about you to people offline, I refer to you as "my friend Willa", too! :)

And you're welcome! :)

Sharon said...

Willa, I love your blog. I read it daily along with a few others, but yours is the best. It is really inspiring to me to read about what you and other people are doing. I think you are not only writing for yourself, but inspiring the rest of us without realizing it. So, please don't ever feel that your writing is not good enough. Just keep writing the way that you have been.

In fact, your blog is the one that inspired me to create my own blog, and I'm so glad that I did.