I am still a little bit in a daze. As I was taking down the Christmas decorations this weekend it struck me how I didn’t get an opportunity to enjoy them this go around. I did, after all, spend sixteen days of December out of town and away from my apartment. I’m still processing how I actually feel about that outside of disconnected and in a haze. Something about the entire process of my mother’s final round of illness through her death then into Christmas has left me both completely connected and feeling sharply like an outsider. It seems cliche to say that I feel like I’m missing a limb, but that is exactly what it feels like. I’ll go to reach for something (in this case, picking up the phone to call my mother) and then discover that there is nothing to reach for. There’s a space, an absence, an unfillable hole that doesn’t exactly hurt, but isn’t comfortable either.
In short? I feel orphaned, adrift, and guilty as hell that I’m not crying more than I already have.
I’m trying to keep in perspective that we all grieve differently and that it is okay to not cry and that it is okay to define sadness differently than standard. Keeping that in perspective isn’t easy, but it becomes a little less difficult when I faced with the clean slate that is a new year. I’ve said over and over that I’m not really a resolution person, but then I go ahead and make resolutions that I don’t really keep. If madness is defined by doing the same thing over and over with an expectation of different results then I’ve been mad a long, long time. Keeping madness in mind this year I am fully embracing that I am going to make resolutions. I hope that just owning it will be enough of a change to get me to keep them. Making and keeping resolutions this year just feels more important somehow. It’s almost as though I expect a project as personal as my own life to be the thing that helps me heal and, in some small way, lets me honor my mother. I have 366 days to find out if I’m right. Here are my 2016 Resolutions.
Cook more, eat less.
Sounds kind of conflicting, doesn’t it? Here’s the deal though: I need to lose some weight. It’s a health thing, not an image thing. I also do need to fit nicely into a bridesmaid’s dress for my brother’s wedding in October and I have to order that sucker in April. (The dress fits me now, but I want some wiggle room.) That’s where the eat less comes in, but it ties in beautifully to cooking more. Right now? I eat a lot of fast food and take-out. A lot. Most of my lunches are junk. It’s so easy to just get and eat and if I want to overindulge it is far easier to do that with food I don’t cook. Cooking more is not only better for me, but it will limit my portions. I also love to cook so 2016 is going to be a year about really enjoying food in balance.
Make time for hobbies.
I work and then I work and then I do writing work. That is pretty much it. But I love photography and music and drawing and doing things that have nothing to do with writing and work. So why aren’t those things part of my life? These things that I love get trimmed out because they aren’t on the books. This year I am going to schedule my hobbies into my days. Things you love should be habit.
In 2015 I only went to two concerts, Third Eye Blind and a Fray/Matt Nathanson/Train show. I was unable to get tickets to a second Matt Nathanson show (damn scalpers. I hate StubHub.) I had tickets to see Third Eye Blind a second time, but I opted not to go (which ended up being a good idea because my mother entered the hospital that weekend.) I had such a good time at the concerts I got to see that I want to keep that going. So 2016? More concerts.
Step up my style game.
On New Year’s Eve I took about two hours to create a January Capsule Wardrobe. I will be writing more about this next week. As I was trying to select my forty piece wardrobe for the month I realized that while I don’t fully hate what I have to wear I also don’t feel like I have a specific look. I more or less figured out that my personal style is modern vintage with a classic bent (you can also call this Pinterest meets Dwell) but I want to make that as polished as I can. It means wearing better shoes, some with heels. It means buying t-shirts that will last more than a season. It’s about leather handbags and real jewelry. It’s more Madewell and less Forever 21. It’s about trying but not being obsessive and more touches of Kate Spade.
My high school years were spent journaling every single day. Even when I had nothing of worth to write down. I can’t say that I will journal every single day of 2016 but filling up my present journal so I have to buy a new one is definitely my priority. Journals are a cheap form of therapy, after all.
That’s two books per month plus one. My first book will be City on Fire. Read more. It’s important.
Finish what I start.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. If I start something, I need to finish it. It would be really nice to get better at having completed projects instead of a pile of never-finished works not in progress. And yes, I will count picking up one of those discarded projects to be “starting.”
Handwriting and calligraphy refinement.
In a nutshell I just want to have better penmanship and ultimately learn to make pretty things with words so I can do my own wall art instead of spending too much money on Etsy. Seems legit to me.
What are some of your resolutions for 2016? Share them with me in comments so that maybe we can help support each other in this brand new year.