For New Year's resolutions, I like to make it simple and do themes instead of specifics like "Lose 20 pounds" or "Get a new job." For 2008, my New Year's resolution is to "Be Uplifting." 2007 was about "Leading an authentic life" and when I did my end of year review over a glass of red wine last night, I gave myself an overall grade of A-.
The minus part involves being authentic in my relationship with Matt. I'm not going to beat myself up for things I didn't do or should have done better in the last year of our 3-year relationship, but I did learn a great deal about myself in relation to being my authentic self when in a romantic relationship. The biggest lesson I learned after my breakup is that you know you are truly in a healthy partnership with another person when you can truly be your authentic self and that person still loves you and wants to be on your team.
The inspiration for 2008's resolution came from me thinking about my life purpose. It's interesting, when you get older, the thing that becomes more and more important, at least for me, is that you want to know, "Why am I here? Why did God put me on this planet? or better yet "What was so important that my spirit wanted/had to come back to earth?"
In 2002, I left my corporate career in high tech corporate/product marketing thinking I would take a year off and then go back. The year off plan stretched into 2 years, and when I tried to go back, over a 3-year period '04-'07, I had a hard time getting a job. I quit some jobs. I did contract work. I got fired. During that time, I felt very lost and frustrated. My parents helped me out financially during that time, and so did Matt. One of the sore points in our relationship was my inability to have steady income in the whole 3 years we were together. I don't blame Matt for that, in fact, he was probably more patient than I would have been had the roles been reversed.
In hindsight, I can see that all my struggles in going back to corporate America and tech was really "closed doors." God did not want me to go back there, and I wasn't getting the hint. In 2005, I started blogging thinking I could do it just to make some money on the side, and then 06 I wanted to do it as a full-time gig, but I continued to look for and get "jobs" to make Matt and my folks happy. I was never happy in those jobs. I learned the hard way that it takes a long time to make the kind of money you need to support yourself through blogging to live in Silicon Valley. I must have been smoking some delusional optimistic crack because I did not plan well and realistically. But, oh well, we learn, and thank you God for my parents. Without my folks, I really don't know where I'd be.
I still don't know exactly what my life purpose is but I I found a clue in thinking about what I want my legacy to be when I leave this earth. I want to be known as someone who was loyal, who was real, and who helped others. I want to be known for my creativity, my humor, and my insights. I feel great joy when I have done something that helps someone else have a better day or better life. This is the primary reason I continue to write here at Back in Skinny Jeans. I'm doing something that has meaning to others and to myself. It may just be a small part in the grand scheme of global issues, but it's something that brings me joy and fulfills that "purpose" need. What exactly I'm supposed to do is still not all known, but where I am so far feels pretty darn good.
So, this is how I came to my 08 NY resolution, "Be Uplifting." I want to spend this year being a source of uplifting energy. I want to spend my time uplifting others, and doing things that make me feel uplifted. One way the "Be Uplifting" theme helped me so far is with eating. The other day I really wanted to get a greasy take out burger with french fries. I ran 10 miles that morning, so I figured that I had every right to eat that burger guilty-free. But then, I asked myself, "Okay you can still eat the burger if you choose, but after that 10 mile run which you feel so proud of, will eating that burger and fries add to your uplifting feeling you have right now?" Again, I still had the okay to chow the burger but then when I thought more about it, at that moment it was more important for me to continue to bask in the glow of my 10-miler than to consume that heavy burger. So instead, I got myself a salad at Whole Foods and splurged with some Poppy Seed dressing. The uplifting feeling from my run was still alive and kicking after the salad.
To start off the uplifting new year, I gave Back in Skinny Jeans a new look and brighter feel. You'll see more changes coming around the bend, and I am excited about what's ahead. It is my intent that you my lovely readers will benefit and are uplifted as well. Let's make 2008 another year of health, prosperity, and progress!