Dearest collectors,.I think we can all agree that 2018 was a…strange…year, and starting fresh in 2019 sounds great to most of us. Now, while, I’m not the Doctor and can’t regenerate myself into a new form each time my life needs a change of direction (would that I could though!), I think that New Year’s Resolutions are our (often misguided) attempt to change the trajectory of our life’s path.
So, allow me to share a few of my 2019 resolutions with you, and maybe we can all regenerate a little bit in this brand new year.
Resolution 1: Read More.
When I finished my graduate degree in literature several years ago, I quit reading. Not the everyday obligatory reading of emails, but reading novels, short stories, and even magazines, for pleasure. I was burnt out (still am, to be honest), but I’ve noticed over the past few years that my mind is restless, and I think it’s because I don’t read nearly as much as I should. My brain needs exercise! I only read three books last year, and that’s a tragedy compared to the dozens I used to read. So I’ve challenged myself to read 12 books this year–one per month. I’m currently reading Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst, and I think it’s the most fun that I’ve had reading since before I started grad school. I’ve got a few others on my list to read this year too: Ship It by Britta Lundin, Carol by Patricia Highsmith, and In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, to name a few. And, who knows? Maybe 2019 will be the year I finally finish the Percy Jackson series and return NerdyDonut’s books to her.
Resolution 2: Be kinder, and yet also learn to say “no.”
This one’s a tricky one, because I’m a giver. It’s inherent in me to show affection by giving things or my time and abilities to others. In a world like ours, kindness is more important than ever. It’s important to give time, money, and charity to those who need it, and to pay attention to causes that are important. I resolve to do more to be kind to others and to inspire others to acts of kindness.
That said, I’m exhausted. Over the last six weeks of 2018, I literally worked myself into almost-pneumonia, because I gave, and gave, and gave until I had nothing left. Not even my health. It came to a head on Christmas evening. Picture me, alone in my apartment, coughing until I couldn’t breathe. Coughing until I vomited it up phlegm and what I felt like was my lung (it wasn’t).
I think our society often misconstrues the word “yes” for kindness. It isn’t. Kindness is being gentle, friendly, and considerate of others and yourself. Part of being kind to yourself is saying: “No, I can’t do that. I’m sorry.”
In the words of the great Mama Ru herself:
Resolution 3: Take better care of myself.
This kind of relates to Resolution 2, but I feel like we’re all obligated to put in the “get fit” resolution right?
I’m not just talking about physical fitness, although I did just sign up for the Awesome 80s 5K run in Pasadena in March (if you’re in SoCal and interested, here is where you can find the info). While New Year’s Resolution are usually targeted at weight loss (lose 15 lbs by swimsuit season, etc), I think that this year I want to encompass all aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and anxiety, and oftentimes that means I neglect myself, especially in the winter months. So, this year, I plan to be proactive, and to embrace things that make me feel good about myself and avoid the things that don’t. It seems like a simple enough concept, but it’s hard, especially when you’re in a negative headspace.
However, last night, after 2019 year began, I came up with a simple rule that will help me live my best life and be the healthiest I can be. I call it “The Wonder Woman Rule” and it’s just this: when I face a decision that I’m worried will negatively affect my health, I’m going to ask myself, “Will it help me become Wonder Woman?” If yes, do it. If not, throw it. Wonder Woman is a woman who is strong in all the ways that matter, and I’d like to think that she’d be a good example of healthy living in the 21st century.
So, that’s all my resolutions. Here’s to hoping we can all achieve Wonder Woman status in 2019.