I’ve been living life by the seat of my pants.
It just happens that the seat is the cushion of a sofa. It’s a passive seat in front of a TV, adjacent to a laptop and holding an iPhone watching the world as life passes by. It’s even easier today than it was a decade ago. There is an endless chain of information, entertainment, and talk that makes it possible to fill your entire day without doing anything. There’s this urge to keep up with everything while falling behind on myself. It’s to the point that I don’t watch as much TV or sports as I used to but I know about the happenings.
That said, I’m better than I used to be and if I learned anything last year it is that better is a good thing. The problem is when I consider how I’ve lived my life better isn’t what it ultimately could be. Improvement is good but without intention, it is just a step in a direction that’s different from where you were. Progress is progress, but this year I want to do something different and I want to have a plan.
Before I go further, I have an admission. I’m the guy who used to look down at people who used the New Year as an arbitrary line of demarcation to start their life anew. The same guy who looked down upon the people who made resolutions only to fall short of them. I was the cynical asshole, but to go deeper I was a coward who was afraid to make a plan because I didn’t want to fail as well. I can see now how we all ultimately fall short of something but if you give a fair attempt the “better” you end up at is in a direction you can build off of.
In 2018 the following happened:
- I got a divorce.
- I discovered there’s a strong possibility I have ADHD.
- I solidified the fact that I want to become a teacher.
- I moved to a program that works with teenagers with emotional and behavioral disorders.
- I dated in the summer and saw a version of myself I didn’t know existed.
These things (amongst others) are the reason why I feel much better about where I am going into 2019 than I was going into 2018. I just think of how much better I can be going into 2018 if I have a plan.
So while Cynical Tim will look down at current Tim, but I am writing a list of resolutions that will help guide me into the New Year. As a (newly minted) 36-year-old, I have an idea of the person I want to be. The relationships I want to have, and the way I want to move through the world. There’s a confidence that I want to feel as I move (despite admitting I don’t know what it feels like).
So here are some of the things I’m going to do this year:
- Get tested for ADHD: This is the big one. It impacts everything else and I need to stop avoiding.
- Go to therapy: I’ve been to five different therapists in my life and I’m still looking for one that I click with. Therapy has definitely helped in the past, but I haven’t had one that has provided what I’m looking for.
- Enroll in grad school: If I want to teach I have to make a move. Sure, it’ll bring me into more student loan debt but I can’t avoid this step if I want to teach.
- Budget, budget, budget!: I’ve avoided doing this for years, but I started at the end of 2018. This is another building block that will help me in other areas.
- Volunteer: Working with high school students has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. It allows me to see the difference I can make in the lives of others. I believe volunteering will help ratchet that up.
- Vacation: Not necessarily go to an exotic locale (though that wouldn’t be bad), I’m thinking more about weekend trips to visit friends. I haven’t taken a real vacation since the spring of 2014 (yikes!).
- Write (almost) daily: Blogging has been a huge help for me. Writing about anything feels like a release for me and it puts me in a good space. It is self-care that I have been avoiding for far too long.
- Exercise: Doesn’t have to be a gym membership (though I’m considering it), just has to be consistent working out.
- Create: I wrote more last year, but I want to be intentional as well and create more. To stop being afraid and work to complete a project.
- Go on at least 10 dates: I’ll write more about my experience dating, but I will say I want to try more of it this year. Without worry that it will become something, or that I will fail.
- Take More Risks!: At the end of 2019, I want to be able to look back and have a year that was full of adventure and growth that is predicated on adventure. I also wouldn’t mind failure as I’m tired of avoiding it.
- Learn a new skill: Doesn’t have to be a job skill could be a craft, but I want to learn how to do something new every year.
- Be More Present in Relationships: Lastly, this is the most important of the bunch. I want to reach out and not be so content living in my own bubble. Being comfortable on my own is a good first step, but being connected with my people is even more important. In 2019, I pledge to set out and be vulnerable and transparent in how I feel.
That’s it. There’s no narrative that I’m stringing. Just a day to have an outlook toward the rest of the year. I have a ton more things I want to accomplish but this is the foundation. If I fall short or I don’t even attempt any (or all) of these things I’ll bring it up here… this is my attempt to hold myself accountable.
So here’s to a New Year, and the death of my cynicism.
Happy New Year!