A New Year and Nothing's Changed

Andrew and Me right at the beginning of 2010

I have no idea what happened to my New Year’s resolutions of last year. I’m uncertain as to whether I continued with my goals or managed to fail the first day. This is slightly relieving as it keeps me free of guilt from an unexpectedly difficult year.

With this year, though, my goals are written down in a journal I will not lose. These goals are important as they deal with self-improvement: Specifically, a new mind set.

For the majority of 2010, I lived in survival mode. Given everything that came my way–colicky baby, busy husband (first with school then with two jobs), two miscarriages, yada yada yada, it makes sense. I don’t look down on myself because of how I parented or how I lived each day. However, now that I’ve met the worst head on and survived, I feel much better equipped to start 2011 on the right path.

Goals can either be tools of self-reprimand–if you fail–or vehicles of positive self-change. Despite my tendency toward the former, I intend for my goals to be used as the latter. I believe that the past few months have granted me power to achieve this. I survived losses. I became aware of my anxiety and depression. I have struggled from and come to terms with chronic pain. Each of these events have made me stronger. It’s not easy, and never will be, but the process has refined me in a manner yet unmatched. In the future, I would like to look back at 2010 as my defining year.

To begin this year, I do have certain goals for this space.

Consistency. I will improve on quickly responding to comments and answering e-mails. This is my weakest point when it comes to blogging; thankfully, there is always a way to change.

Better writing. I know my perfectionist attitude often prevents me from change, but in this area I will allow it to help me. I know how to write; unfortunately I often don’t allow myself enough time to edit. I don’t want to read old posts and gag anymore because my writing was so poor.

Give myself a break. Blogging, for me, is about fun. I won’t have unrealistic expectations for what I should do; instead, I will allot myself a specific time to read and relax. Getting to know all of you has been invigorating and refreshing and I refuse to let that go.

I used to wish and wait for things to be easier. Now I realize that life will only get more complicated and difficult so I am learning new methods to handle unknown stressors and to improve through the challenges. As hard as trials can be, and though I would never willingly repeat certain events, I am grateful for what I have learned.

As for 2011? Bring it on.

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30 Comments

Filed under Awesomeness

30 responses to “A New Year and Nothing's Changed

  1. I love that last paragraph, " I used to wish and wait for things to be easier. Now I realize that life will only get more complicated and difficult…"

    It's so true! What a great reminder to just accept things and try to live life no matter what is happening.

    Hope this new year goes especially well for you.

    • admin

      Thanks, Kristen! I hope the same for you as well!

      Living life under the assumption that it will only get easier has only left me feeling even more desolate in the past, I guess it's about time I changed this attitude!

  2. Di

    Amber, you've achieved so much in 2010. I look at your pictures, and see a wonderful young family growing up, and you growing in wisdom and experience. It's in the words you write, the way you think, reflect, hope, and keep working towards your aims. I'm really proud to know you, through our writing, and number you among the great women I have the opportunity to share with. Look forward to reading here in 2011.

    • admin

      Thank you, Di. It has been a pleasure getting to know you as well. I have cherished your constant support.

      P.S. Thank you for the link a while back to that blog (if you remember what I'm referring to), I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting and reminiscing with the lady. : )

      • Di

        Oh Amber, you'll have to visit her blog today, then. She recounts getting stuck in a lift (= elevator) on her own late at night; very amusing.

      • admin

        Ok. I found her blog, again, and laughed so hard my daughter looked at me with great concern. Again, thanks for the link!

  3. I have spent too much time wishing for easy. But those things that make life complex, they also bring the biggest joys, the deepest lessons. And what felt like the worst years were pivotal moments, launch pads to new and wonderful.

  4. I think I could definitely use more breaks. 🙂

  5. These goals are terrific. I also appreciate the line of waiting for things to get easier when in reality as you grow older, often life gets a little more complicated. Admitting that is a huge epiphany.

    • admin

      Thanks, Rudri, maybe if I keep having these epiphanies I will stop looking for the easy way out. : )

  6. Bring it on. It's so good to hear you say that. I know you'll win the laundry war and all the other ones you're fighting right now. Happy 2011!

    And your sweet polka-dot-swaddled Andrew is too, too precious.

    • admin

      I don't think I will ever win the laundry war–who does?–but I am hoping to not feel so…unraveled by every little setback. I guess that's a big goal itself.

      I randomly found that picture when searching for the perfect photo to accompany this post. I must say, it's now become a personal fave.

  7. I like your line about waiting for things to get easier. I think we all do that. I have learned just as you have that things only get more complicated. They get easier when I change my perspective and expectations. Thank you for sharing! I love visiting your blog!

    • admin

      Thank you, Marvett! Yes, I am gradually changing my perspective and expectations. I say gradually because it takes time to break old habits, y'know?

  8. I'm with you…bring on 2011!!!

  9. I'm sure you'll do awesome this 2011!! Hey at least you write them down in a journal!
    Me? I have no idea what goals I wrote down. Did I even make any? Hmmmm……

    • admin

      I'm getting better about recording things like goals and blessings in my journal. It's amazing to look back and see how much I have improved, even if it's only slightly!

  10. Amber, you have had a very tough year. I think you have handled all of the challenges amazingly well! Hopefully the new year will bring all kinds of happiness. You deserve it!

    • admin

      Thank you! I believe it will bring happiness because I don't feel so…dark. If that makes sense. I hope your year is full of happiness as well.

  11. Bring it on – yes!! Cheers – and hear hear – to goals as vehicles of positive change. I could use some, too.

    • admin

      I suppose I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions, but do believe in setting small individual goals on a regular basis. This year, the new year happened to coincide with reviewing and renewing my own collection of goals.

  12. CK

    Giving yourself a break is the best gift ever. You have such a wonderful heart and you do SO much. Celebrate yourself. (Or at least, celebrate some downtime.:)

  13. I like these goals in combination. They sound achievable and as though they'll feel weighty when accomplished. I chose to give myself a break by not setting goals. What does that tell you?

    • admin

      That you are very wise. : )

      My goals are more reflections of what I've been trying to do over the past year. A continuum, if you will, of change. It's all about the baby steps, Kelly!