Thursday, January 02, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hello hello!  I hope you're having a lovely start to 2014!  I spent the last 2 weeks with family in California, and can I just say - why is the sun so bright in California?  Haha, if ever I needed a sign that I've acclimated to the Pacific Northwest, I guess that was it!  Today I came back and popped out for a mid-afternoon run and found myself strangely pleased by the many shades of gray, the tall, dark trees, and the quietness on the streets.  Yes, the place for me.

Have you any resolutions this year?  In years past, I'd pile up a huge list for myself.  Usually more than I could count on one hand, and even if some small part of me doubted that I could even remember all those resolutions, never mind make progress towards them, I just couldn't pick one or two to focus on.

But 2013 was really an exercise in prioritization for me, and I'm planning to flex that muscle in my resolutions.  So this year, I've really only got one, although it's got several subcomponents, of the "it'd be nice if this happened' variety.

So in 2014, I resolve to ... take it easy.

Yep.  Taking it easy is not something that I do well.  Or rather, I did for the first two decades of my life, and then in my 20s I started making my own clothing, and when I began living on my own, I often opted not to outsource my daily errands/chores (like cooking meals vs. eating out), which took up a lot of time as well.  Add in work, seeing friends, exercising, writing, commute times, massive guilt over building fabric/yarn stash = rush to keeping making and making and making ... yeah.

I distinctly remember this one Sunday evening, I'd waded through my 13-item to do list all weekend, and I thought, "Well, it's 7PM and I've got 4 items to go.  Great!  If I allot 45 minutes to each, I can still get in bed at 10!"

And then I thought: "Am I crazy???  That sounds like a terrible way to spend Sunday evening!"  So I bargained with myself.  "How about you only do 3 of those items?  Give yourself a little break?"

LOL.  How about you do NONE of those items and kick back for a couple hours, woman? 

And I wonder why I had a breakdown earlier this year.  So anyhow, prioritization in the name of Taking It Easy is the name of the game.  Some ways I'd love for this to play out:

Internet-free Sundays.  This sounds crazy, but the Internet makes me kindof jittery.  I don't feel like I actually unwind until I've unplugged from it for a good stretch of time.  Here's hoping I can regularly stay off the Internet once/week!

Only check email 3x's/day at work.  Seriously.  Are you one of those people who obsessively clicks on the little "message" button every time a new email comes in?  I know I'm guilty of this.  It leaves me feeling frenetic and harried and exhausted as I try to switch back and forth in mental concentration.  Enough!  Batch process the emails, Jessica, and get on with it.

Get out for a walk once/day during the week.  I used to be really good about this, but stopped in my last job (probably because I was doing 2.5 people's work).  Even 10 minutes makes a huge difference!  I relax, the air and exercise feels good, and work woes get put into perspective.

Gratitude mantras.  This is a bit New Age-y, but when I start my day by longhanding out a series of mantras, I really do approach the workday with more perspective and less OMGthisislifeanddeath.  Simple things like, "I am lucky to have a job that makes use of my skills and training, with people I like ..."

Make fewer things.  I've really enjoyed my sewing break this fall!  And I think I've finally come around to viewing the stash NOT as a guilt trip, but as the opportunity to work with beautiful colors, nice textures, and fun materials ... whenever I get around to them.  I also find that when I'm making a lot, I tend to want a lot.  Sometimes, when we only add a couple new items into the rotation each season, it helps us cherish them more and cultivate a less-is-more mentality.  I think.  2014 will be the test of that theory!

Anyhow, wishing you all the best this January!


Anonymous said...

I love your New Year's Reflection.

Anonymous said...

I love your New Year's Reflection. It's authentic and pragmatic and just lovely.

Roobeedoo said...

Wonderfully wise my dear! :)
Doing nothing is the hardest thing for me but I know that sometimes it's the ONLY thing to do! :)
Happy New Year!

Alessa said...

Hi Jessica! I still owe you an email! :) But for now I just want to say, as always, you put your reflections and resolutions very well. :) Take a step back and breathe, right? So, happy 2014!

Minnado said...

I love these thoughts and goals. Your writing always makes me smile.
Happy New Year! xx