New Years Hopes

1 Jan

I’m not even going to pretend to make “resolutions.”  I think we all know that I do not take yoga 4 days a week, I don’t only buy absolutely essential items, I don’t have a thorough understanding of current events, I can’t do perfect triple (um, double? single?!) pirouettes, and I sure as hell don’t use polite language.  All resolutions – all tiny failures marring my years beginning around the 6th of January.  So, in an attempt to be more honest and maybe a little gentle with myself, here are some of my most sincere hopes, and maybe even some prayers for 2011:

Vocation.  I want and really hope to find a thing to be great at and to make some money doing.  I’m trying to be open to what this thing or things might be, and I’m trying to notice the things that I’m good at.  I’ve pretty much made all other major life decisions on a whim, but this time, no whims are coming – nothing is falling into my lap.  Which might be okay.  I’ve been involved in some grand scheme or another since I can remember (performance productions, college with the hope of being a professor and scholar one day, a vibrant dance education center, think/dance collective).  Since Ida came on the scene, things have been quiet on the “grand plans” front.  I think I’m ready for a grand plan.  A community?  A sewing enterprise?  Butchery?  Or maybe, the grand plan portion of my life is done – or in a lull.  I’ve been early for everything my whole life, always with my poop-in-a-group and taking action.  It’s been surreal to have such an extended period of sedentary feelings and definitely not having “it” together.  Looking back, or in, or from wherever I am – it’s been restorative and educational.

Generosity – I aspire to be a radically, subversively, evocatively generous person.  I want my family to be rooted in the idea of giving (help, resources, and our selves).

Money Oblivion – I want to face the cluster-fuck that is my financial ignorance and learn how to make and manage money.  Consider any helpful resource suggestions solicited.

Wellness – I feel pretty good about many areas of my commitment to this.  I’m a great cook, a pretty responsible eater, a creative and crafty domestic problem solver, and I think we live a kind, love-filled life in the JS household.  Where I would like to grow in this area is in getting more exercise and pursuing a more active life in general.  I’m going to shift my focus from the results end of this (which for me is pretty much always about how I look and what I can DO with the physical fitness) to the good feelings I experience when I’m using my body in a mindful and active way.

Community – I’m going to make a more disciplined effort to be helpful and involved in my friends’ and family’s lives.  Any other outgoing introverts out there find this stupidly challenging?

So there you have it, a hand-full of aspirations for 2011.  What are you hoping for in the New Year?

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3 Responses to “New Years Hopes”

  1. Beth Lucas January 2, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    On the money stuff… The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is a really good resource. The guy is a wee bit over-the-top on some things, and he’s talks to the reader like they’re 5 years old, but it’s got a lot of sound advice on budgeting, saving, paying down debt, etc. John and I have used it as the base of our financial life together, adding and subtracting details as we’ve seen fit.

  2. Mary January 4, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    I just need to say this – I find it inordinately comforting to continue to read all this evidence (your writing, here and on Facebook) that confirms that your need for personal evolution or growth or whatever you want to call it didn’t stop the second you became a mother. Largely for selfish reasons, I’ll admit.

    I’ve thought since I was young that whatever way it was going to happen, be it naturally or through adoption, that I was pretty sure I wanted children in my life – just something I always recognized in myself. But the older I get, the more aware I become of how much more *I* want to do independently of that “goal,” if you can call it one. And parenthood, more specifically motherhood, becomes more and more frightening as I realize how little I know and much more I still want to do. I don’t want to stop changing. I really, really value the evolution….you know?

    So, though it sounds awful, I love that you have so many things you want to change about yourself and the way you live, etc. It’s so good to know that you can have a child and be a good mother and not completely forget that you yourself exist and can plan and change your mind and plan again and think and do something, anything more than merely existing as a caretaker for your child.

    Also, please keep writing. I’m loving all of it. For more than just the selfish reasons listed above.

    • lizjoyntsandberg January 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      Man, Mary! I’m a little blown over by this explosion of kindness and understanding! I guess it never occurred to me that I could use the meatloaf as a get-out-of-aspiration-free card. Now that you mention it…… No, just kidding. Mostly. Partly. At least a little. It’s frustrating to feel like this sometimes, isn’t it? But I think we’d be vegetables (delicious, tall ones) if we didn’t. I value the process too.

      I think that some of us might just be designed to life in mild frustration, always wanting to do more, or be different, or achieve things. When I was making dances I would experience this cyclical madness: I’d get the idea for the dance and fall in love with it. I’d work on it and fall in love with the dancers. I’d change the dance to incorporate that love. That was the best part. Right around the time that the dance was culminating, I’d get a new idea for a new thing and start resenting the fact that I had to finish the other thing (because it was being performed at such-and-such place or whatever). So the result was that I never made a thing I liked – I never felt finished. I never enjoyed a performance. Or, put better – I never enjoyed MY work in the performance – I was most always impressed with the dancers’ work, but I was always watching through an aspirational lens. I think this is an unfortunate pattern that I’ve since incorporated into my life in general. Ida does provide considerable relief from that most of the time. The sheer tonnage of practical junk that has to be accomplished in a day is usually enough to distract my brain. I love being her mom for lots of reasons, but maybe the most selfish one is that I get a break from myself. I’m no picnic, Nathan will tell you. But eventually, the break from myself morphs (develops? matures?) into an a still clearer picture of my insides. All this to say, that after the first 6 or 9 months of tiny wonder’s life (which I think should probably be considered “non-time” for parents – just tread water and evaluate on the other side), I think being a parent has put my aspirations to better, more healthy use. Your brain is still your brain, you know? It does it’s thing whether it’s faced with art choices, or human waste (and for some of our more radical artists, both). It’s trusty like that. It’s a game day player.

      I keep waiting to feel like a grown-up – to have “done it.” I’ve gotten married, owned a business, birthed a baby, paid the dentist, bought appliances…… And still I look at myself in the same corduroy pants and tee-shirt I wore in High School, giving myself a haircut, and I think “huh.” I guess the only difference is letting go of waiting to feel like something else. I just keep waking up and being me. You know?

      We’ll see how this all shakes out, I guess. I spent the morning drinking coffee and using the internet to figure out if James Franco was actually certified as a midwife, so…………… you should maybe take that into account when you consider me as any kind of inspirational figure.

      Hearts. I can’t wait till you get your baby – You’re going to be so great at parenting.

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