New Year – New Me – Not Exactly

My New Year’s Eve experience was not at all like I expected. I was worried I would sad or nostalgic, but I wasn’t. Working was a good idea. It kept me focused, but not distracted. I was with my colleagues and we did our thing. The night’s performances and appearances were spaced out so it made the night rather long though. We were upstairs in an office which basically was a series of alcoves with a large opening in the middle towards downstairs. It was very warm upstairs and made me and others not feel terribly well. That I think added to the long feeling of the night. In the end I did not feel terribly festive but not at all sad, lonely or depressed. I was in a pleasant mood and I felt OK. That was nice.

After we rang in the New Year I went over to my favourite bar for a private party. It was 1ish and everyone was way ahead of me drink wise. I had no plans on catching up, but over the course of a few hours I had three beers and a couple of shots and I ended up more than a little tipsy. I was still in my pleasant mood. I chatted and I laughed. I tried to make sense of what my drunk friends were saying to me.  Nothing terribly crazy. It was a good time.

For Christmas my sister got me a workbook for resolutions. I think she was giving me a hint. I have been rather lost these past two years and I have certainly felt like I am going through some major internal changes.  I have an artist’s sensibility and enjoy exploring . Different things interest me at different times. Now, I do live in the real world and I have goals and plans. For a bit though I need to go inwards and evaluate myself and my life.

There has been one thing in particular I have learned about myself. While I am a dreamer and a creative person, I also have a very sensible serious side.  However, it can be overly strict – a perfectionist of sorts. When I do not live up with my ideas of perfection I feel like a total failure. It’s ALL OR NOTHING for me. Good person or bad person.  Saint or sinner. Selfish or altruistic.  I cannot be both. I must only be one. Every mistake I make is perceived as something that will cause the world and its inhabitants suffering and I am the tipping point for its demise. It’s a twisted form of delusions of grandeur.

This past year I have been exploring this way of thinking and deconstructing it. I have looked at the emotional pieces that make up this way of thinking and started creating new pieces. These pieces are strong yet gentle. They support me and fill me.  I am finding what was so elusive, what I so craved – emotional and physical equanimity. It is such a blessing.

I did fill out the resolution book with general things I wish to do in terms of my finances (pay down the debt I accumulated this past year) and my health. The love and sex part was left blank. I am not inspired at the moment to tackle that one.  A little more internal work needs to be done I think. There were also other parts of the workbook I did not fill out. It has a section for rewards and punishments. I already have those. If I do not pay my credit card down I will have consequences. Awful phone calls.  The reward is the awesome feeling I will have from not being financially burdened. I will be able to save up for something special. I will have that ever so strong feeling of balance.

There were a few books that have had a major impact on me this past year and along with weekly therapy have brought me to this more stable, kind emotional place and are helping me along physically as well.

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I got this book at the beginning of last year and it introduced me to the joy and power of green juicing as well as so much more. There are amazing exercises that helped me listen to my body and figure  out why I was eating what I was eating and when. It helped me get away from the computer and into the world. I started to meditate and do yoga again. I took long walks and I was still. Later, getting a TV and some bad news made me backslide into mindless escaping again. Time to get the juicer out again and be still every morning before getting on with my day.

The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life by Maria Menounos. Many celebrities write how to books and I suppose one could just lump hers with the rest, but I cannot. Her approach is very do-it-yourself, but not do-it-on-your-own. She believes in the power of allies. She also has great organizational tips that suit most any budget. I have implemented many of them (I still have a few to go) and it has made my life easier and I can actually focus on my passions. Overall, I suppose it’s her think big yet keep it simple, be true to yourself and your values, approach that resonated with me.

Magical Housekeeping by Tess Whitehurst.  I loved the book’s way of explaining Feng Shui. I used her tips to help organize my apartment and get energy flowing. I also like her rituals and tasks to help this along. Its a good way for me to focus on the intangible things that I value and release things that are bogging me down. She has a great blog with new activities  every couple of weeks.

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. This book has been recommended to me by my therapist. We have discussed many of the things from the book over the two years I have seen her, but it was only recently that I got a copy and dived into the words of wisdom. I have received a great deal over the years from Buddhist teachings. The idea of impermanence is one that I have struggled with though. In part I do know at my core that all things, good and bad feelings included, are not permanent, but I think the little girl in me finds hurt so unbearable that she created a system to avoid it. A very flawed system and the hurt always come back.  The book explores alternatives to our flawed systems with the new system begin one of exploration and curiosity. In a short time it has done me wonders. I am getting so much from the book. So much!

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