I don’t care if the Mayans thought the world would end this year. While 2011 was a wonderful year for me professionally, I was not sorry to see it go. In my private life, 2011 was a year of freak accidents, the loss of a pet, the near-loss of two relatives, and was just generally a pain in the rear. Buh-bye and good riddance!!
My own theory about why the Mayan Long Count stopped in 2012 is that they got tired of carving all that stone. Of course, I also believe that Stonehenge was actually a prehistoric shopping mall. (Come on, am I the only one who is reminded of a food court by that open circle? If any scholar would like to discuss the possibility that the monoliths served as the entrance to Og’s Mastodon-Skin Creations and the Bluestone Boutique, please contact me.)
End of the world or not, I am going to try to make 2012 a good year. I hate to use the word ‘resolutions’, so I won’t. But ‘goals’, ‘good habits’ and ‘wishes’ are all okay. Here are a few simple habits I am implementing to improve my life this year.
1. I need more sleep. I’ve had insomnia of varying degrees since I was a kid. Stress over the last few months made it worse, and I got tired of being tired. There are a lot of things I’ve tried, short of medication. Mind you, meds work wonderfully for many people, but they’re not ‘me’. What helps my brain slow down and turn off is an hour or so of television and needlepoint. This must be why I avoid having the TV on during work hours
2. Order is our friend…or at least a frenemy. Much as I hate housecleaning, neat surroundings do lead to clearer thinking. I have a high level of clutter tolerance, but eventually it gets too much even for me. Plus I married a neat freak. Am I going to start scrubbing the house down every day? Um, no. But I can set aside 30 minutes a day for straightening/basic chores. Big jobs can wait for the weekend, when they won’t cut into work time.
3. Organization can be fun! Last year, I discovered the joys of using a desk calendar to track page counts and each day’s accomplishments, as well doctor’s appointments, deadlines and birthdays. I can’t recommend this enough — it’s amazing what we actually DO get done in a day, and reviewing the calendar each week (or more often) is a morale boost. Mine shows a week over two pages. I can look at it and know if I’m doing well or slacking off. Desk calendars with fun or pretty pictures are still on sale!
4. I want to go on field trips. Or as Julia Cameron describes them her excellent book, The Artist’s Way, ‘Artist Dates’. She suggests taking time each week to do something just for us, to keep our souls alive. Once a week is not feasible for me, but once a month should be. I already found one fun outing for January: a lecture on the history of tea at a local library over lunchtime. Yes, I know most of you read that and immediately felt the urge to snooze. But I live for arcane knowledge like this!
How would you like to make your life better this year? Healthier habits? Save more money? The trip you’ve always dreamed of? I’d love to hear from you!