Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Themes.

Now that we're a little over two weeks into 2013, I'm finally done thinking about my resolutions and pondering how to handle a new chapter in the book of life.

Typically a new year is just that, a new year. Not much actually changes besides the number you write. That is, unless you decide to make changes. However, the turn of this year marked a change in my job. Mainly, because I don't have one anymore. So there's that whole lack of paycheck thing for a while... But, it was my decision and part of the process. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Ie, tuition payments for un-payed student teaching will ideally lead to a bigger paycheck in the fall. God willing.

So, the resolutions. Well, I'd really like to clean out and reorganize my coffee cup cabinet. And of course the living room needs painting. Again. Oh yeah, I'd also like the extra 15 20 pounds I've picked up to go back to 2012 where they came from. But those aren't really resolutions - more of a few items to add on the to-do list.

In looking forward to the next year, I had to stop and look back over the past year. An ongoing theme I've noticed over the past few months has been my lack of confidence. I've never been much of a go-getter, if you will. Sure, I work hard. And, yes, I usually have some sort of general plan in mind. But mostly, I just let things come to me and hope that hard work pays off. What I'm trying to say here is that I don't put myself out there. Risk taking is not my forte.

For example, I love photography. It's a great hobby and I have fun playing around and photographing every person, place and thing that crosses my path. Really, we're at the point now where TC has to ask me to put the camera down and live my life. Not to mention that the best way to get me to partake in a new activity is by reminding me that it'll make for great photos. Like snowshoeing last weekend. You think I went because I like trekking through the woods? I guess I kind of do. I definitely like hanging out with my friends. But what I really like is the idea of getting some fun photos. That's the only benefit of going into the woods instead of hanging out with the same people while we, say, sip mimosas on the couch.

So if I love it so much, than why am I scared to try and develop my passion and make something more of it?

My friend Annie is an amazing person. She's so much fun to be with and she has a heart of gold. Annie's gorgeous, smart, creative and talented. She's recently picked up photography and is doing an awesome job. Photography takes a ton of practice and even though she's still learning (albeit very quickly!) she's set up a Facebook page of her work and openly asks to do photo sessions of friends and acquaintances so she can get some practice and start a small business. How brilliant of her! That's exactly what I want to do.

So why can't I? Because I'm a giant WEENIE. The thought terrifies me. I would like it to just fall in my lap without me ever having to put myself out there.

Moral of the story: I need to stop being scared of failure. I need to magically become confident.

Enough about confidence and goals and that nonsense. That's all lovely, but you know what is better? The return of my motto from last year. I was doing well for a while, but then I fell off the wagon. Lately though, I've hopped back on and it feels good. Here it is:

Kind thoughts, kind words.

Here's where I struggle with this one. For example, I'm in line for the self-checkout at the grocery store. The woman in front of me is moving at a snail's pace. In fact, I'm sure she is moving this slow on purpose, just to spite me. From there, my thoughts deteriorate. I'm too ashamed to tell you what I really think but let's just say that I quickly start judging her entire outfit down to her shoelaces. All because she isn't scanning her groceries at warp speed when I'm in a hurry.


I've found with practice I can actually bury my unkind thoughts about this poor woman, who has done absolutely nothing wrong and is in fact probably the nicest lady ever, and instead think kind thoughts about something else entirely. Silently judging her choice in shoes is not going to speed up her grocery scanning abilities. In reality, all I'm doing is letting letting negativity into my own brain and raise my own blood pressure. In the end, the joke's on me.

I probably shouldn't have admitted all of that. Can you relate or am I the only unkind thinker out there?  If you are, trust me when I tell you that's it fixable. Kind thoughts and kind words will do wonders for your stress levels and make you a better person. BAM! A two for one deal. Just keep repeating it to yourself until it becomes habit.

So there you have it. My themes for 2013:

Confidence and Kindness.

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