New Year’s: For every ‘reproblem’ there’s a resolution
It’s a new year. That means obligatory resolution talk! Right? Last week, I neglected to write about New Year’s resolutions, which means two things: I am being kicked out of the Columnists Clubhouse, and that one of my resolutions should be to be less scattered.
It honestly did not occur to me that my column would be running the day before New Year’s Eve, thus providing the perfect segue for a nice list of attributes, qualities and positive characteristics that one would like to possess. Unfortunately, foresight is not one of my attributes. I have perpetual tunnel vision of the brain. Unless it’s in my peripheral, things often do not occur to me.
I get up, and follow the first-person camera path – slippers, bathroom, toothbrush, shower, downstairs, banana, shoe, car, road, work. Somewhere in there, I should be going, “There’s a computer over there I should be using to pay bills, which are buried in that stack over there, which I should be cleaning.” The car insurance quotes I wanted to look over are in there somewhere, along with the new healthcare premium information from work. Projects, mail, half-finished paperwork are all outside of the path from bed to door, so they remain unfiled. I write notes, and I usually remember to do most pressing errands. I’m not overtly forgetful, I’m just used to only being able to do the barest of things – work, home, work, home, occasionally forage for berries. Survival is usually all I have time for; stuff like calling to negotiate a lower interest rate for my credit card or making a dentist appointment get glossed over.
So, maybe that should be a resolution: Take a few minutes every day to sit and think about what I need to do that day. Make a game plan. That way, I don’t magically end up at work in my chair, and then go “Duhhhh, I should have stopped at Rite Aid on the way here,” or “I totes forgot to buy stamps,” or “The human body requites sustenance, yet I didn’t purchase food and/or milk.” The dotted line between home and work is a path worn so deep that I don’t know if I would detour if my hair was on fire. So, maybe I’ll start asking myself “So, where do I need to go?” That way, the recycling and the bag of clothes meant for Goodwill don’t sit in the back of my car for another year and a half.
Also, I neglect to factor in things that aren’t the basics. There’s a mental block that assumes I won’t have time or money to do stuff, even if it’s free or would only take a minute. So, I hereby resolve to do at least one non-essential chore a day, whether it be rearranging my sock drawer so that I can actually shut it, or finally having the cable company come and fix that thing where none of my local channels work (even though they’ve already been out four times). I should probably get my bike tires fixed too, so that I can get started on the Mother Of All Resolutions: Getting in shape.
I also want to get back into a routine. Since changing from day shift to night shift, my sleeping and home habits are all out of whack. I know I shouldn’t be Swiffing at 4 a.m. I know I shouldn’t be sleeping until 1 p.m. I know I shouldn’t be living off gas station pizza and cans of Coke Zero I buy at the comic book store. Getting back into a more reasonable sleeping schedule would not only help my physical well-being but do a lot for my organizational problems as well. Then it’s settled. Alarm clocks will be utilized. I need some sort of peppy wake-up theme song.
Another aspect to my procrastination curse is my crippling anxiety over having to make phone calls or appointments. Stuff like meeting professors or calling companies fills me with dread. I remember as a young adult I was afraid to even call and order pizza. I guess I fear reproach or judgement. Completely unwarranted. If I got over this fear, I would get a lot more done, and faster. Add that to the list.
There’s a million other things I’d love to do this year. Build a canoe. Visit friends out west. Get my front tooth cap fixed. Do yoga. Volunteer. Finish this diorama I started. Time and money are realistic factors, but sometimes they’re just excuses. If I really want something to happen, I have to make it happen.
And that’s the brass tacks, isn’t it? Make things happen. We are in control. Your life is a process. Goals are pushpins in the map. Reach them, and keep going.