It is 2013, 4:30 a.m. and the kids go back to school today. I knew that my fluctuation between too much sleep and not enough sleep over the last 2 weeks would eventually catch up with me and cause a VERY early morning eventually. Today is the day. The upside is....I really think I have finally turned a corner with this flu thing and for the most part I actually feel better. The ever-so-often coughing fits still aren't much fun and my energy is way down, but all in all I do fell better.
I have to say that even being sick....this New Years Eve into New Years Day was a much more pleasant experience than the previous year. First of all I didn't spend the last hours of 2012 with one foot hanging off the bed...trying to make the room stop spinning. I also did not wake up Jan. 1st laying on the bathroom floor chastising myself for a rather juvenile display of alcohol consumption only rivaled by my younger days playing quarters with Jack Daniels. No this year I saw the clock strike 12 while watching a DVR'd episode of a 1970's favorite Emergency. I could hear the fireworks all over town as I watched 2012 slip away and welcomed 2013. This year the optimism for the new year was pretty high...possibly because I was hoping my days long flu would slip away right along with 2012.
Amazingly...so far 2013 (although we are only in day 3) has been somewhat productive. I have almost completed a job (cleaning my utility/storage room) that has not been done thoroughly in about 10 years. Now before you cringe at such a thought....please know that I am not a completely disgusting housekeeper, it is just that there are things I have cleaned around for many years. Most were things that I still had that belonged to Tim and Mom. Silly things that both would have laughed at me for keeping. Since Mom has been gone 10 years now and Tim eleven...I decided it was time to let go. There were also things that I had kept for God knows what reasons. My purging method was to give a box a once over to make sure there was nothing of any real value in it and then I would just toss the entire box. Common sense said that if I hadn't missed it in the last decade....chances are I really didn't need it. I faced dust bunnies, spiders and lots of dust but the room is almost finished. Now it is just a matter of going through umpteen boxes of tools and organizing them....and then I should be good (with that room anyway). The people at Goodwill and I are going to become very close as I predict I will be making a number of visits to them dropping off my past to hopefully make someone elses future a little brighter.
I was thinking yesterday as I was shoulder deep in dust....about the new year. It is funny how Dec. 31st always seems so full of hope and promise and then Jan. 1st, or maybe the 3rd or maybe even the 15th....there is often times an emotional crash which leaves us feeling that the hope and promise we were awaiting.....where just a cruel lie because nothing has really changed. Why? Because it is true! Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st or 3rd or 15th are just dates on a calendar. Nothing more. The only way those dates have any real power is if we put effort and change into them. The crash comes when we don't change anything from Dec. 31st on. If we stay the same....then so will the New Year....which brings me to my next thought. Since change inside us and not the date on the calendar is what counts.....then it really doesn't matter if it is Jan. 1st, March 12th or July 26th....we can begin change at any time.
My train of thought while dumping boxes full of the past....then meandered on to resolutions. Facebook has been full of funny memes about short lived resolutions and failed hopes going into this new year. We have all been there. We resolve Dec. 31st to lose weight, break a bad habit or start something new only to watch that resolution fall by the wayside somewhere between the 1st of Jan. and the 1st of February. We feel like failures and then continue on with our lives knowing that once again we set ourselves up to fail. I threw New Years resolutions out several years ago realizing that part of the lack of commitment came from an overwhelming expectation and too much time to achieve, meaning.....committing to anything straight out of the gate for 365 days is almost always a recipe for disaster. There is a reason that one of AA's motto's is One Day at a Time. Most of us can change for a day, even if we have to break it down into hours and minutes much easier than we can a year. It gives us a feeling of immediate accomplishment and fuels the fire to achieve again the next day. Another way we set ourselves up is that we seem to have this ideology that somehow we are to be perfect when we resolve to change. If we decided to quit snacking or quit smoking (likely something that didn't become a habit overnight) then somehow we are suppose to magically just quit cold turkey and be successful. If we back slide and have a couple/bag of chips or smoke even once then suddenly we brand ourselves failures and rather than slap our own hand, acknowledge the moment of weakness and then attempt to do better....we quit in the midst of our own shame and perceived nothingness. And sadly....chances are...whatever it is we were attempting to change will now become an even worse habit. So this year....the only long term resolution I have is to cut myself a break and to realize that a moment of weakness does not equal complete failure. All other resolves I have will start out short term. If they turn into long term....then great but short term is where I am at this year. I refuse to set myself up to fail yet again.
Somewhere tied in with all of this...I have noticed a great deal of depression roaming amongst my friends and those on facebook. I was discussing this with someone the other day and their take was that the world we currently live in has caused this. There have been some world tragedies, the elections and all the negativity surrounding it, lack of money and constantly living under the threat of not only individuals being broke but our country at large being broke. Prices are going up and paychecks (if you are lucky enough to have one) are not keeping up. The world in general right now seems to be a little darker and people simply aren't coping well. Of course along with these things....people seem to have a lot of personal issues also such as illness, family issues, loss, etc. Rather than make personal change through baby steps....people are just stopping. They are doing what they have to...to get by, and then pulling into themselves avoiding the rest of the world both the good and the bad. I can feel for them. Been there, done that and have several t-shirts to prove it. That being said...I learned that you will remain in that funk if you don't make a change and no one can make that change for you. You may not be able to fix all your problems but you certainly can work on certain areas....and magically you will find that slowly but surely....some of the things that seemed insurmountable before....either simply take care of themselves....or you find a way to fix them. The old saying "Attitude is everything," I have no doubt was coined by someone who found out just how important an attitude adjustment was.
Well....as always, the blog took on a life of its own. I have yet to go back and re-read what I have written....but I am sure it is chock full of my usual unsolicited wisdom. Sorry....this is what you get at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. So here it is...my first blog of 2013. Hope it finds you happy, healthy and ready for a great new year!