Two down and ten to go.
Another month has passed, and I’m slowly making progress on my resolutions. Okay, on some of my resolutions.
To be perfectly honest, I’m finding it difficult to focus on so many things at once. I started doing better on healthy eating, and stopped remembering to record my Thankfuls. It sometimes felt like, to concentrate on one area, there had to be some give in another area.
To be even more honest, there are things on this list that don’t require that much time. So am I just making excuses for the things that I didn’t accomplish?
Well, no. I’m glad to say – and believe – that I don’t need to make any excuses.
Change is hard. It takes mental and emotional effort. It takes up room in your brain. It takes up emotional and mental faculties that used to be quite free to roam around and do whatever they wanted. In fact, they didn’t used to have to do anything at all. And now they’re suddenly getting some exercise, they’re a little overwhelmed with all this new activity, and would it kill you to slow down for a second and let them catch their collective breath? Sheesh!
You wouldn’t think picking up the phone and calling someone to hang out is very hard – and it’s not – but if you never do that, then it does take extra effort. To begin with, you have to remember to do it. And if you’re oldish like me, then you know what a battle that can be. Then you have to carve time out to make it happen. Again, not that hard. Unless you’re a hermit(ish) like me, and then it takes an extra effort to extract yourself from…well, yourself.
I am finding that the mental effort is harder than I thought it would be. Last month I said that I thought, “I was realistic with my expectations on what I could accomplish.” I still believe that, but it’s taking much more concentration, and it feels like a heavier weight this month than last month.
Here’s the thing: I don’t have to think about every one of these every moment. But they are with me nonetheless. They travel through every day with me; they go where I go. Things I need to do. Things I need to do better. Things I want to change about myself. Things I don’t want to fail at.
I feel the weight of these Things, but I know that is just part of the process. I feel that they will get heavier before they get lighter, as I am forcing myself to carve even more time (like for photography class) out of my life to make something happen that I want to happen. I even feel silly and slightly embarrassed to call attention to the fact that going to bed on time can feel like a task to me. But changing the patterns of your life is not an easy thing to do. Even the seemingly simple things take time and concentration and patience, and you must be willing to fail over and over and over again.
Anyway, here’s how I did in February: Resolutions – February 2012
I think–you know I do that–it is time for you to celebrate your victories and the progress you have made. It is the small steps and little victories that get us to the place where we are going. Looking back at what we haven’t done takes our eyes off what we have accomplished and uses energy needed for the next steps.
And for heavens sake ditch the straight-jacket! You want open arms to grab the blessings coming your way!
I can’t ditch the straight jacket – that is my “diet” and my budget. They certainly feel like a straight jacket sometimes! But I need to be tied in for a while until I am where I want to be without having to be confined. If I ditch it now, I’ll be free to do what I want, but I’ll still be stuck in that padded cell of debt and fat, unhealthy eating habits.
However, I do feel pretty good about where I am right now. I’m feeling the constraint of that confounded jacket, but I know I’m making good progress. And you’re right about the blessings – even within the jacket, I can open up my heart to receive and appreciate them. I do feel blessed to even be on this journey.
I so agree that all the little victories are important! I’m only looking back in order to see more clearly where I need to go as I move forward. I’ll talk more next month about that mental and emotional burden and what it’s really all about. I think it’s just part of the process. Once I get some more of this stuff under my belt, it will get easier and come to me more naturally (like the cooking and the budget and getting out of the house more). After that, I won’t have to try so hard and the burden will magically *poof*. It’s only a burden now because it doesn’t come naturally to me.
Thank you Patricia! You are a lovely (and loving) person.
Change is one of the hardest things, and it is not so much a destination but a journey. The fact that you’ve decided to embark on this difficult journey is already a big step. And from what I’ve read, you’re doing stuff that doesn’t come easy to you and that’s worth celebrating! 🙂
P/S: Just to add, going to bed on time isn’t easy. I’ve been trying too, and I only succeed a couple of times a week.
I’m really trying to take a little more control of my life, and yes, that is kind of hard! I’m a natural homebody, and lazy, and I mostly just do what I always do. It’s gonna take more effort to make the changes happen that I want. The budget and diet are just struggles to change my eating and spending habits, and that takes a lot of willpower, too. The visiting and getting out if the house require a different kind of effort. 🙂
Gosh, you’re reminding me why I don’t make many resolutions each new year! I think you’re being way too hard on yourself and are doing a stellar job. Remember, it’s only the beginning of March. As for change, I both love it and hate it. Some change is good and exciting, some is unsettling. I guess it all depends on who’s controlling the change, though changes we try to make on our own can be the hardest to pull off. Keep plugging away and it will all fall into place.
I, too, struggle with going to bed at a decent hour. I think sometimes we try to get everything that needs to be done first, and save reading, knitting, writing, relaxing, whatever, for last and so we stay up late to squeeze in a few minutes of doing the fun stuff. At least that’s what I do!
I didn’t mean to give the impression that I thought I was doing badly, because I’m pretty satisfied with where I am just two months in. Mostly I meant to talk about the fact that the second month was harder than the first, and how this process often feels like a weight on my shoulders. But I know it will get easier as some of these new things become habits (like how I budget my money).
I do the same thing with bedtime, wanting to read or watch a movie when it should be lights out. Also, I’m just a night person in general. What I really want is to get consistent with my sleep (which is made harder when you work early one day and late the next) to help me with the fatigue I’ve been feeling. It can’t hurt, anyway.
Yes, most of us struggle with ONE resolution! You are an overachiever!
I don’t know about overachiever, but that list feels longer this month than it did last month!
You are doing great, keep up the good work. Stepping stones turns into Mile-Stones. You are doing wonderful, and even if you didn’t make all the marks you wanted you recognized that fact and your not making excuses for them. Maybe you didn’t make them because it took a little longer to complete the others. I too am going through the same stages and struggles (i still haven’t got that business license or whatever you call it here). It is hard to combat what society has turned us into. stupid society. LOL…Follow your heart and keep to your dreams and one day you will wake up and say HEY when did that happen?
You’re funny! That is strange about the way they do the licenses there.
I’m just going to take it slow – I mean, I’ve got all year, anyway – and do what I can each day. I can’t focus on everything at the exact same time, anyway. So I’m kind of concentrating on some of the big things first, and working on the smaller things bit by bit as I go along.
You hit it right on the head – I want to practice and change my habits slowly and surely until one day I suddenly realize that I’m doing things differently. At that point, it will probably feel like magic or something, because the hard work was done over a long period and got easier and easier until it wasn’t work anymore at all.