Every year, I make a big to-do about my New Yearâ€™s Resolutions (NYR). I have always loved the fresh start that a new year signifies â€“ itâ€™s a chance to start over, to refocus, to redefine. Iâ€™m pretty good about actually achieving my goals.
This year â€“ for the first time in a long time â€“ Iâ€™m not setting a NYR. Well, I technically am, but my resolution is to stop setting goals. Itâ€™s kind of an oxymoron, I know. Let me explain. As I wrote in my recent Run Happy post, I have begun to understand that, at this point in my life, itâ€™s not about doing more things more efficientlyâ€¦ it may be about doing less so I can focus on what actually matters. And â€“ you know â€“ be truly happy.
Last year, I wrote about my messy little secret. For as organized as the rest of my life is (or I try to make it), my silverware drawer is a disaster. When I unload the dishwasher, I just toss the silverware into the slots randomly. My friends and family think this quirk is hysterical. They will open the drawer, searching for a spoon to stir their coffee, and die laughing. â€œSeriously, Katie?â€ they say. â€œWhatâ€™s up with your drawer?â€
I explain that I have never understood why people organize their silverware. It takes so long and doesnâ€™t actually save you real time when you select your silverware. I donâ€™t care that my silverware drawer looks like a disaster. It works for me. A few weeks ago â€“ it hit me like a lightening bolt. The secret to greater happiness lies within that damn silverware drawer.
I hereby declare this year The Silverware Drawer Year. Iâ€™ve always said that the Type A personality is the best and worst to posses. If used for good, it can be pretty amazing â€“ you can accomplish a lot, check off goals, and move forward in your career. But if used for evil, it can trip you up. The drive for perfectionism is really a double-edged sword. Iâ€™ve reached a tipping point (hardy har har) in my life â€“ for the first time, I think my personality is truly starting to get the best of me.
But I have all the resources that I need to turn around my attitude. So Iâ€™m going to do it in 2013.
No longer will I worry about getting this done or that done unless it really, really needs to be completed. I will not take on any projects that Iâ€™m not 100% behind. I will go to bed instead of doing laundry. I will not train for races that I donâ€™t have time or energy for; Iâ€™ll still exercise and race because I love it, but Iâ€™m going to adopt a different attitude about it. I will take more opportunities to simply rest on the couch while Henry naps. I will let go of some of my Type A quirks that bring me down, not lift me up. I will take deep breaths when I start to hyperventilate over my dirty floors because dirty floors really donâ€™t matter in the grand scheme of my life. I will refuse to panic if an email or phone call is not answered immediately. I will work to my make business and my husbandâ€™s business successful, but I will never work past my breaking point. The words â€˜time managementâ€™ will not escape my lips. I will focus only on the things that matter: my husband, Henry, my animals, myself, and my family and friends.
Since my 2013 NYR is pretty much a non-goal goal, I do have one â€˜behavior modificationâ€™ in mind. Iâ€™m going to try to get to bed earlier every night. Over the holiday, the Husband went on a four-day vacation with his friends, and I had nothing to do once Henry went to bed besides go to sleep, too. Some nights, I crashed at 9:15. Iâ€™ve maintained the habit of a 9:45 â€“ 10:30 bedtime since, and I canâ€™t tell you what a difference itâ€™s made in my mood. Instead of TV and late night emailing, this year, Iâ€™m going to make bubble baths and reading part of my nighttime routine.
Honestlyâ€¦ Iâ€™m pretty excited. Iâ€™ve been living like this for a week already, and although my kitchen is a disaster and my inbox is insane, I feel so good. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve ever been less stressed out in my life, which is saying something.
Iâ€™ve grown a lot since I started this blog in 2008. When I began, I was a 24 year-old technical writer for a consulting firm, living in an apartment in Florida, and engaged to my college sweetie, who was toiling away for his masterâ€™s degree. Now, Iâ€™m living in my own house in North Carolina, nearly one year away from 30, married with a child (!), a furmom to three pets, and a work-from-home mom who helps her husband run his own clinic. Life changesâ€¦ people changeâ€¦ and attitudes have to change, too. Itâ€™s really been a pleasure to write about my journey, and Iâ€™m excited to take you along on this ride.
Hereâ€™s to doing less but living more. May this year be the most fulfilling yet.