Thursday, February 10, 2011

I resolve...

So somewhere around August, all my blogging stalled out. Heck, I still have over two weeks of vacation to share--the ship hasn't yet left the dock. And yet I am paralyzed by...well, guilt, maybe? Or perfectionism?

I had ideas, plenty of them, that floated through my head and deserved a post of their own. The mid-term elections. Getting my kid through the college applications process. My thoughts on healthcare versus big business. What "family values" should mean. And does mean in many European countries. The recipe for quick cinnamon-swirl-in-a-pan that I heavily modified from a magazine ad. Living on the east coast. Why the little electric vehicles in Zermatt are so cute (wait, that's vacation again).

But there was always a deep pang when I considered going "off-topic": I've got to finish the vacation blog. I must finish telling about the vacation. Notice how effective that's been in encouraging me to write?

I typically don't make New Year's resolutions because my success rate is pitiful. I always vow to exercise more, lose weight, send greeting cards for the birthdays of family and friends, clean out the closets and the garage. And it doesn't happen. After enough repetitions of this pattern, I had to acknowledge, even accept it was futile.

But this year I experienced a bit of a shift: I volunteered to write a brief article for an online newsletter posted on my employer's public website. I get the assignment at the end of December, having mere days to put something together. I want something timely, with a bit of a research base, of interest to the community, and on a relevant topic (the month prior someone wrote about the dangers of synthetic marijuana. Okay, then). The answer: New Year's resolutions, which a small study from Scranton PA shows can be successful. If done right.

Well, the article had an affect on me (heaven knows if anyone else read it). So I chose two tasks that were simple, concrete, and achievable...and meaningful to me.

#1 was to improve my asthma (I had been hacking since Thanksgiving with a junky cough that wouldn't quit). Not completely accomplished, but major improvements occurred once I saw my new GP, changed meds, and worked on getting more sleep, being better hydrated, and watching my weight. Oh, exercise has gotta be a part of that too, but give this poor woman a chance!

#2 was to write. Blogging would be a good way to do that.

I used to commute by train to my previous job, and I loved the train. I would read, sometimes chat with my co-worker when we left together, and eventually I realized I could write. So I journaled at least one leg of the trip, every day. And I had disciplined myself to blog on other days.

And then I left that job for my current one, which meant replacing the train with a 45 minute drive (or slog, depending on traffic), and replacing blogging/journaling with audiobooks. And now the challenge of trying to find the place and time to blog. And to imbed the discipline of writing back in my life. Writing is part of who I am; I'm not so willing to let it go.

So, finally in month 2 of 2011, I have sat down to write. Can you all serve as my conscience, reminding me to express myself at least once a week? If I can floss daily, I can certainly write once a week. At least. No guilt about undocumented vacations needed.

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