Sunday, January 25, 2015

January Hope Moves to February Action

Here it is, coming on the last week of January, and in the interest of being brave (which is one reason why I chose to start this blog), it is time to take stock. "Of what?" you may ask.

Of many things, really. I have always loved January for a variety of reasons. On a selfish level, it is the month in which I was born. It is also the month in which I was married. The fact that it is in the winter season, with the sometimes bone-chilling temperatures, the desolation of shortened daylight, the compelling bleakness of bare trees and my backyard devoid of all the colors from flowers and shrubs doesn't seem to bother me. I love being able to slow down to hibernation-mode and pad around my home in an oversized sweatshirt, slacks and thick socks, build a fire and read a book or listen to music....and let my mind mindlessly wander to things that I would like to improve in my house, my yard, my relationships and the like.

In its own way January is the most hopeful month of the year. The sorrows, frustrations and pain of the previous year are gone. A new year begins with all the resolve and energy that somehow things are going to be different. Yet how many of those dreams are quickly abandoned by the end of January (or even before) simply because of inaction? So it is time to take stock because I have decided if I don't check in with myself on a regular basis, this year will be as others before: months flying by, and at the close of those 12 months all I have to report is that I made it through another year.

I have read and heard over and over again that "if it is not written down, it won't be done." I sort of believe this is true. In all those years chasing children from school to school, managing what really was simple household, running errands and the like, I did feel so wonderfully successful as I checked things off my "goals for the day" list. The game of getting those tasks checked off was extremely important, too. If on the days that the dozen or so things I "had" to do even one thing did not get done, my day was a waste. I failed. I was somehow not the best person I should be.

Well, I stopped the "goals for the day" list many years ago, mostly because I did not want to continue to feel as if I was a failure, and it zapped my energy to sit down and write one. The other thing, too, was that I was getting far too clever at convincing myself that I had actually completed all those things on the list, when in fact, some things were only partially or minimally done. Laundry, for example, was one of those things that I could say was really "completed" even if all the clothes were merely washed and dried. What did it matter if they were not sorted and put away?

It is now apparent to me that this sort of "let life happen" approach I have been using was not getting me where I wanted to be, even though I didn't really know where that was exactly. Deciding to put into action those "mindless wanderings" of these sometimes bleak January days, I have to now take stock and see what I have accomplished. This would be much easier if I had written these things does make the process of taking stock much easier.

So for what it is worth, I have one week to accomplish a (haha) "laundry list" of things, which will be miraculous since most of these things are still in my head and run the gamut of my various current careers (health coach, office manager, mom....). At least I have been brave enough to recognize what I need to do (like put my mindless wanderings into actionable goals) and look forward to moving the hope that January brings into February.