2020 Vision (I know, I know, but I had to)

Happy New Year! As I write this, I’m still in my pajamas with a big cup of coffee; I’ve been spending the last (almost) two weeks sleeping late, reading, and watching movies. It’s been a very chill kind of holiday break and while I’m not EXACTLY feeling ready to get back to work and routine, well. There’s no stopping time.

Speaking of which, I came across this article, which I suggest you go and read in its entirety if you really want your mind blown, but here is a screenshot of the part that made me set down my coffee cup and stare off into the distance:

THE WONDER YEARS, YOU GUYS. I remember watching that with my friend Elise (HI ELISE) and we would talk about those long-ago hippie days. Long ago like, for example, when Bey burst on the scene or when we all got a Facebook account and poked each other.

Well! Let’s look forward to the new year. I did finally take down the decorations on the 31st, and most of all the outdoor ones are down as well (it’s a long process). The house is clean but seems awfully bare. A bit depressing but it cannot be Christmas all year, can it? January is the time for reflections, renewal, and resolutions. I know many of you balk at the ideas, but don’t get me wrong: I think we are all wonderful just the way we are. However, given the chance for self-improvement, I am going to take it.

I was talking to my younger son about resolutions, and he said “But my resolutions are never done! Because I just always want to keep on improving.” Which, yes. Exactly.

Being Mindful, Being Present

This has been an ongoing resolution for years, and I think it probably will be forever. I mean, none of us suddenly achieve samadhi. Life is a journey and mindfulness is also a journey. I want to really work on being present for everyone in my life, and taking the time to just mindfully enjoy the moment. Here I am, walking the dog, enjoying the blue sky and my fuzzy baby. Here I am, in the Costco lineup, looking at what other people have in their carts. Here I am, folding laundry…okay, it will be easier in some circumstances than others. But I will channel my inner Mary Oliver: “Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

I read somewhere – where was it? – that in conversation, people don’t really LISTEN, they are too busy thinking about what they themselves are going to say next. I want to really focus on listening.

Mindful Shopping

Ever since Kondo-ing my house long ago, and my one-year shopping challenge, I have been pretty good about really thinking about things I bring into the house, whether they be clothes, food, or toiletries. This is an ongoing thing, because it can be easy to overbuy things that are really not needed. In thirty days leading up to Boxing Day, I recorded my outfits and I only re-wore one sweater. ONE. And then I received a few sweaters for Christmas…what I’m saying is I maybe don’t need to buy any new sweaters for a while. I keep several lists of things needed to run a household – food, mostly, but also important things like soap, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, etc. – because otherwise I tend to stock up way too much. I think that mindfully buying things that are needed/ badly wanted, rather than randomly shopping, is a good way to live, both from an ecological point of view, and an economic one. However…

Buy A Damn Bra Already

When did I do my shopping challenge? Hold please. Yes, 2017-18, that was when I made the decision to not buy clothes for a year, and I had said the exception was a new bra. Spoiler alert: I did not buy a bra. So back in 2017, my bras were already ill-fitting due to my much-deflated decolletage, so who knows how old my bras actually are? I have been wearing the wrong size bra for many years now. JUST BUY A BRA, NICOLE.

In my semi-defense, most of the time I wear yoga tanks under my clothes, for teaching, and so I don’t wear an actual bra that often but MY GOD HOW HARD IS IT TO GO TO VICTORIA’S SECRET AND JUST BUY A BRA. I don’t have a hard-to-fit size, I have a Victoria’s Secret in the mall that is a five minute drive away, I COULD DO THIS.

THIS. This is my main, non-vague resolution for 2020. Go to the mall. Get fitted for a bra. Buy a bra that fits in a few different colours. GO ME.

Read More, Phone Less

This has been a goal for a few years now, and I’m happy to say that in 2019 I read 133 books. This might be a bit on the high side given that I was alone for ten days while the guys were in Alaska, and mostly I read during that time. However, I’d like to read over 100 in 2020. I instituted a rule for myself that on days that I was very busy with classes – 2 or 3 days a week – I would not look at social media, not once. It turned out to be great for my mental health, particularly with two elections in 2019. I am going to institute that rule again. Let me tell you, the longer I was off twitter the less I wanted to look at it.

Sing Us A Song You’re The Piano (Wo)Man

I have been playing the piano for over 34 years, and I love it – but I don’t play often enough. I usually force myself to sit down once a week to play for fifteen minutes, and that is just not enough. I’d like to extend that time, and learn how to play Evil Woman.

Favourite Things

I am going to continue to write this blog once a week, and do Favourite Things once a month.

Mindful Exercise

Oof, I learned a big lesson about myself in 2019, and that is that specific fitness goals are NOT healthy for me. I love running but I think my own goals for running my first road race caused my big injury. Therefore, I am going to keep my gentle goals in mind: one long run, one short, treadmill only, cross train with spin and elliptical. Someone told me that treadmill running is not “real” running but you know what? What other people consider to be “real” is not my concern. My concern is health and enjoyment.

Also, my yoga practice has changed immensely to include lots of modifications and variations of gentle seated poses, as well as a focus on strength with sun salutations and standing postures.

Make the Plans

Last year my friend Nicole and I (HI NICOLE) resolved to have coffee once a month for the year – and we did it! Although her son thought it wasn’t a real resolution because “we like each other and we like seeing each other” it was a bit of a challenge getting our schedules lined up. A few years ago I changed “I don’t have time for X” to “X is not a priority” to see how that would sit with me, and it turns out saying that my friends are not priorities does NOT sit well with me. My friendships are important and as such they deserve my time and effort. So, my plan is to find the time, set the date, and stop saying we should get together and just do it.

 

I think that’s everything! We shall see at this time next year what’s what. Have you made goals or resolutions this year?

Comments

  1. This is very thought provoking. ‘Wonder Years’ perspective thing plus your resolutions. I fear that I am too focused on doing stuff on my list and getting things done. Rarely do I take the time to self reflect or consider what to work on, change, or improve on. Perhaps I should. I guess I will add it to my to do list (wink, wink).

    100 books!?!? If I am lucky I could maybe read 8 in a year, but that would be lofty. Where do you find the time?

    I did make great strides this year in my efforts to write my memoir. I hope to make even more progress there.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ooooh… I really like the idea of reframing things from “I don’t have time for X” to “X is not a priority.” That is a real thinker.

    And I may borrow your piano resolution. I love playing the piano and I HAVE a piano and yet I Do Not Play It and it is a tragedy.

  3. That chart is alarming.

    No real resolutions this year, other than getting through it. It’s going to be a wild one down here in the States. I am so filled with hope, but also fear…

  4. I LOVE your non-resolution, resolutions. The no shopping one, well that would be a big stretch for me, but I applaud your stick-to-it-ness.
    YOU did blow my mind with the Wonder years bit; how did that happen?
    Let us know when you get that new bra-it’ll be a banner day. 😉

  5. I just love this list. My husband was asking me what my own resolutions were, and I couldn’t think of any, but your list is full of things that a) make life better and b) are so do-able. So I am on board. Especially with the bra thing – I gained some weight and as such my bras haven’t fit right for at least three years, but instead of just going to the mall and suffering through fitting and purchase, I continue to order a different size online about once a year, discover it doesn’t work at all, then donate it and continue wearing the old crap. This must be remedied! We can do it!

  6. bibliomama2 says:

    The chart doesn’t really blow my mind because my mind doesn’t really record when things happened well, so I just kind of look at it and go “huh.” It does blow my mind that your mindfulness thing is EXACTLY what I’ve been doing late – I mean, I’ve been working on mindfulness for a while, but the past year time has seemed especially wonky, and I’ve just started this exact thing – “I’m watching Star Wars with my family”, “I’m at dinner with my parents.” “We’re at the very beginning of Angus being home.” It helps and makes me feel a tiny bit insane at the same time. It makes a big difference at work – most kids can really tell when you’re really focused on them, and it matter so much to a lot of them.
    My one concrete resolution (other than playing piano more and exercising more and eating more vegetables, like always) is to stop scrolling on my phone in the morning before getting out of bed. It’s going well so far. I think I will adopt your no social media rule for at least one day a week too.

  7. Okay I am very behind on blog-reading, mostly due to other offline reading and then back-to-work-&-school mode.

    Hi NICOLE back at you when I think of the way I approach our visiting – “this visit is important to me and I am happy I am making it fit into my day” 💗 I must admit there were a few December events where I had to say to myself, “these people to visit are important but not as important as… [visiting Nicole next week], [making your stressed colleague/friend less anxious by rearranging your plans] [making sure your sick kid gets lots of fluids while not wanting you at home since Netflix is FINE].’

    Also, I find it hysterical that bra-shopping made your post. My brother texted me in late November and asked me “what’s up for you today?” And I had no words to describe how MONUMENTAL an achievement it was to take a few hours to finally get a healthy assortment of new bras.

    Looking forward to 2020 book recommendations and to those extra Favourite things posts! N

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