I don't have to if I don't want to

I had a teacher in high school that transformed my life. It wasn’t an overarching life lesson or advice I wasn’t mature enough to realize on my own. Instead, he simply told me that if I found myself reading a book that I lost interest in, that was okay; stop reading. That’s given me the freedom to put books down nearly without guilt. I still have some guilt over books like One Few Over the Cuckoo’s Nest because there are books that I feel like you are judged for not finding interesting or not appreciating or, blah, blah, blah. So I still have some of that. But books are no different than food or clothing or music in that everyone has their own taste. I’ll pick almost anything up, but that also means that I reserve the right to put it down whenever I decided I don’t care about it. It’s not a lack of respect for the author and it’s not a lack of intelligence or ability to understand. No, it’s typically that I just don’t care and would rather be doing something else.

So, thank you, Mr. Name-I-Don’t-Remember. You have truly given me the gift of time.

This Year's Presolutions

The holidays are a very bad excuse to indulge. The general trend in behavior is, “And the diet starts tomorrow!” But that never works out. And then we end up fat, lonely and depressed in the middle of winter with no more holidays to look forward to. Additionally, cold weather is such a buzz-kill to throw on top of all that short-lived motivation. So what can be done? Nothing! It’s hopeless.

To a point.

I didn’t mean to sound so pessimistic about it, but I’m coming around to a realization. Making New Year’s Resolutions is essentially setting you up for failure. The whole idea is supported by lazy dreamers. If there is something you want to be doing or you should be doing, why does an arbitrary date make any difference? It shouldn’t.

I’m here to advocate the Pre-Resolution or the Presolutoin, if you will. (And you will, damn it.)

Figure it out today, right now, this second, what it is you want out of your life. Is it the ever-constant desire to lose weight? Start now by just not gaining any over the next three weeks and start your New Year off right.

Plus, there’s always the truth that you might die at any moment. So… there’s that.

So go for it. Sky’s the limit. You can do anything you want and you can start as soon as right friggin now!

Me? What will I be doing?

1)      My first Presolution was to exercise more – something I’ve been doing consistently for well over a month now. Check!

2)      Another Presolution is to find more time to create. I started a new blog combining my love of drawing and puns – it’s fun, fast and gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Check!

3)      For my third Presoution, I’ve decided that I’m going to read whatever the heck I want! I’m not going to shy away just because a book may be on Oprah’s book list, nor will I feel ashamed that I too enjoy a bit of chick-lit from time to time. Check!

4)      Fourth Presolution. Honesty. It’s ongoing and it’s my biggest challenge. I’m not out to be insensitive towards others, but I am out to de-coat the sugar from what I say and how I feel.

5)      Five golden rinnnnngs! No, the fifth Presolution is to throw myself into work more. As long as I'm spending about 35% of my waking hours at my job, why not get the most out of it? I'm trying to do more, stay productive, generate new ideas, be more assertive, mingle with co-workers and generally kick it up a notch. Working can become ho-hum, but if you're lucky enough to work somewhere you're excited to be and have the opportunity to have opportunities, roll with it!

I feel like that’s enough for now. There are always things I can do to improve myself and even more, my enjoyment of life. And the thing is that I’m the only one standing in my way from making those things happen.

You are too. So get off your ass.

(Ahem. If you’re already off your ass, nice ass. Keep it up.)

Arriving at an obvious conclusion

In interviews at work, one of the questions that I like to ask people is, "What is your biggest challenge?" It's intentionally open ended and could apply to anything. I dislike it when people hear the question wrong and think I'm asking, "What have you overcome in the past?" No, I don't care about that. It's interesting to hear someone identify what they're currently struggling with in life. Because whether your 22 or 72, there's a challenge in your life. And it doesn't have to be epic or monumental, but it has to be yours. And depending on the day, your challenge may shift. Today it hit me what my current biggest challenge is: time/expectation management. If I've got 13 things to do, I get overwhelmed easily. And they all have to get done RIGHT-FRICKIN-NOW. You know that saying about procrastinators, "Why put off til tomorrow what you can do today?" I take that in the worst possible way. I overexert and overextend my own limitations, both physically and, more importantly, emotionally.

Days begin and end with me in a tizzy trying to get too much done. But at the same time, it's not usually the things I want to be doing. I'm not reading and I'm not writing and I'm not painting. I thrive on creativity, but rarely have enough oomph to get around to it. So, by the time I get the cleaning, laundry and dishes out of the way, I'm too exhausted to want to do anything else.

And that's dumb.

But I don't know how to let that go. I need an altered mantra. Something like, "Put everything off that brings no inner-gratification til tomorrow so you can be sane today." But I want that to be more boiled down. It could be as simple as, "Consider yourself today." Or it could be scarier like, "You'll probably be dead soon. Don't waste it." But that starts to border on "Carpe diem." Hm. Maybe that's it.

Damn it.