Thursday, December 31, 2009

And another year speeds by

New Year's Eve 2006. I flew back to Boston after a short and rocky trip home to El Paso. I was unhappy with everything in my life. I hated my job, my body, and the mess in my head. I did not want to go back to Boston. El Paso was safe. I was ready for 2006 to be over. It was a dead end year. To celebrate (though celebrate doesn't seem like the right word) the entry into 2007, I went to an artsy party where I felt fat and uncool. There was also only one bathroom for the 50 people there. Basically, it was miserable. I think I cried walking from the cab on Harvard St. to my apartment on Devotion.

3 years later, and it's New Year's Eve again. The end of a year, and the end of the 00s or whatever the fuck they will be called. Maybe we'll all adopt Time's description as "The Decade from Hell". Most people I know have a similar feeling about 2009. This year certainly was not easy, but there were many high points for me. Standing in the cold watching Obama sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, seeing history as he tells that his father would not have been able to sit at a counter in DC 40 years ago, and now he was the President, will be one of the best memories I think I will ever have. Finishing graduate school, only a couple of years after thinking that I would never get in anywhere, and finding a job in my field where I actually use my degrees and am respected made 2009 perhaps the best year for professional success I have had. However, 2009 also proved the most challenging when dealing with my family. Simply, my mom almost died of an eating disorder. She was malnourished and her organs began shutting down. She coded three times and spent 3 months in 3 different hospitals, including 3 weeks in the ICU on a ventilator. (That's a lot of 3s). I wasn't there for most of it. My sisters did most of the heavy lifting, and now that she is home, Whit does all of it. My mom still can't walk on her own. She uses a walker and a wheelchair because of the damage to her nerves from the malnutrition and lack of oxygen. They say she'll get better. I'm hopeful, but even if not, I'm just happy we got to spend another Christmas with her.

So yeah, a lot of ups and downs this year, which led to a lot of complacency on my part. I stopped paying attention to what I ate or to the disaster that was slowly expanding in my apartment. I still can't get to work on time, and I have no idea how to save money. My clothes need to be dry cleaned or hemmed, and I should cook for myself more. These things aren't necessarily new, but they are starting to interfere with my quality of life. Therefore, it is time to do something about it.

I hate the whole New Year's Resolution stuff. They tend to be too lofty, and when I fail at them, I feel like another loser statistic who thought that an arbitrary change in day or year would lead to lasting changes in life. But, after seeing that Americans are less hopey-changey this year (wonder if 2 wars, 10% unemployment, a movement of people that compares our president to Hitler for trying to pass universal health care, and some guy setting his underpants on fire on a plane has anything to do with that?), I figured I'd buck the trend. I don't like floating through life, especially whilst carrying 15 extra pounds.

Here are my lofty goals for 2010:

1. Lose 15 pounds through mindful eating and exercise- and keep it off
2. Cook more meals than I eat at restaurants/take-out
3. Clean, organize, and decorate my apartment- and keep it that way
4. Be at work on-time
5. Save money, but not at the expense of enjoying life
6. Get more tattoos, massages, pedicures, and facials

So number 6 should be easy, especially since I have an appointment for a tattoo scheduled for Jan. 18th, but the rest are big. They require planning and specifics. Otherwise, failure is imminent. And failure usually makes me frustrated and upset, leading to many of the behaviors I am trying to eschew this year. I'm going to use this blog as a way to track my planning, execution, and progress. I find writing things out helps me get out of my head, so that's what I will do. And I am going to probably do the hardest thing about all of this and be honest. If I don't hold myself accountable, then nothing will change- and basically, I can't live this way anymore.