Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Resolutions, 2012

I love resolutions.  Like the rest of the country, I often do a poor job continuing my resolve through the year, but I make them nonetheless.  I enjoy the collective experience of so many people taking stock of their lives and deciding ways they can improve.

Last year I gave up television, including movies.  I lasted until mid-March.  Clearly, I did not complete my year-long challenge, but I still learned a lot.  Mostly I learned that I become easily addicted to television shows that I do not even enjoy.  When I was completing avoiding tv I read more, learned to crochet, played more games with my husband, cooked more new recipes, and generally felt like a productive human being who was making the most of my time here on earth.  When I watch tv (or become obsessed with reading blogs or checking facebook) the quality of my relationships decreases as does my satisfaction with life.  Less is more when it comes to screen time.

Even though I know I am happier when I am not regularly watching television, I do not intend to give it up completely again.  Henry and I enjoy watching the Daily Show together (always a day late on Hulu) and there are a small handful of shows that actually do bring me joy instead of just filling time that would be better spent on other projects.  Moderation is key, but finding that balance that is challenging.

I feel the same way about the internet that I do about television.  For approximately four months this summer, Henry and I were without internet in the house.  Honestly?  It was a fantastic four months.  I am not someone who receives urgent messages that need to be checked hourly.  Checking my email once a day, or even every three days, is perfectly adequate.  Yes, I missed a lot of facebook updates, but I would have to say that augmented, rather than diminished, my life.  We do have internet again, which is both a blessing a curse.  Which leads us to resolution number one:

(1) Check my email twice a day (morning and evening) or less.  Aside from those quick email checks, I will limit my general browsing (blog reading, facebooking, pinteresting) to when I am outside of the apartment, most likely at the library.  I am hoping this will find the balance between not having internet at all and not having my time be sucked into the black hole that it is the interwebs when I would be happier doing something else.

(2) Make more plans for the evenings and weekends.  I am a homebody.  I love staying in and reading, playing games, and going to sleep early.  I love it so much that I choose it over getting out and experiencing the outside world on a regular basis.  This past weekend Henry and I rode our bikes to the local lake and walked the trail.  Simple, yet not something we do enough.  I want to do more of that.  More museums, more hiking, more exploring, more just getting out.  I especially want to focus on this in the first half of the year before the new arrival arrives along with the oppressive heat of summer.  Although I would say it will be equally important, or maybe even more important, in the second half of the year so I don't feel isolated in my house.

(3) Get a nice camera and learn to take pictures.  This item has been rattling around in my head for the last six months or so.  I want to stop thinking about it and start doing it.

(4) Read and write more, preferably daily.  I want to improve my writing.  I hated writing in school.  Hated it.  The thought of writing a paper sent me into spasms, which meant I avoided it until the last possible moment (literally).  Sometime in the last year I realized it wasn't writing that I hated, it was writing for school projects.  When I was younger I used to regularly write for me.  It was both an outlet for my emotions and a healthy way to process what I was thinking and feeling.  Over the years I translated my dislike of academic writing as a dislike of all writing.  I want to get back to writing for me.

(5) Create more.  Sewing, collaging, knitting, crocheting, writing... I want to focus on finding a good outlet for my creative energy.

So here's to 2012!  May it be a year of creating time, adventures, memories, and inspiring projects.

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