New Year’s Resolutions: 2017, The Year of Self-Study

I am going to start by saying that I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions. And yes, I know that this is somewhat of a cliche thing to say, but it’s true. I think the last time I made a New Year’s resolution was in Middle School, when we did so as a part of a class activity. It’s not that I don’t believe in the power that setting goals for oneself holds, but I generally subscribe to the idea that I am able to set these all year round, and that I should.

Unfortunately, living our lives in the “shoulds” just doesn’t make for a productive or happy life; and while I do periodically set these goals for myself year round, it just doesn’t always present itself as pertinent all the time. This year I am making a major shift in how I view my self value, and some steps I have already invested in, but I know that it’s easier to stick to specific, measurable goals than vague ones, especially when someone else is helping hold you accountable. Thanks, Erin.

Bearing that in mind, here are my New Year’s resolutions:

  1. I will land the job.
  2. I will not pin an article without having read it.
  3. I will go running at least twice a week.
  4. I will walk my dogs every day I am in the same home as they are.
  5. I will read a new book that broadens my worldview at least once a month.
  6. I will read a scholarly news article everyday.
  7. I will research, or make a note to do so later, anytime I question my knowledge on a topic.
  8. I will take a new Coursera class every month.
  9. I will say no to things I don’t want to do that won’t contribute to my success.

This year I am being intentional and making decisions knowing that I can only spend my resources once, be that time or money.  That means, instead of binging on worthless TV only because I can’t think of anything else to do, I will be realistic and not say I won’t watch TV, but rather that I will only binge on a little TV and only shows that bring me joy. With my newfound extra time I will play with my dogs, go to the gym, or just sit and read quietly. That’s where you find the time to do the things that bring you joy, by eliminating those that either actively detract, or actively distract and leave you feeling neutral. In that vein I have quit my job and stopped even considering applying to anything that won’t bring me joy.

I have made the choice that I am worthwhile, and I am learning my value. I have plenty to bring to the table in a job, and I am tired of working places where people are just there for a paycheck. I understand the need for money is inevitable but, jeez, guys. I want a career, not just a job, where people are excited about what they’re doing. Everyone has bad days, but if I am around people who generally share my enthusiasm, I’ll be alright. I’ve spent enough time being unhappy and unfulfilled.

2017, you will be good to me, whether you like it or not. I will make this year, my year, because I will make it about bettering myself in order to better my circumstances and the world I surround myself with. So here’s to you, 2017: cheers!

The Fox

We all have feelings on the topic of New Years Resolutions. Some believe in them wholeheartedly, embracing this fresh start and claiming the new year to be “theirs!” Others believe it’s all a farce – perhaps still waiting for their new “self” from many new years’ past. Some argue that you can have a fresh start anytime.

I get all of these points of view. And so on that note, part of what I’m trying to embrace with 2017 is accepting “conflicting” feelings. Because isn’t that what being human is? Being able to feel many complex emotions about a single issue or matter?

  • So, to those of you who say, “You can start fresh ANY day! Why wait for the first of the year?” I say: Good point -I admire your motivation! But how great that this new year represents a push for many people to make changes, right? 
  • To those who say, “2017 is going to be my year!” I say: I’m here to support and encourage you – it may be hard, but you can do it. 
  • To those who think, “This never works for me, I’m still waiting for my workout routine from 2003’s resolutions to kick in” I say: well, you know what doesn’t work – time to try something new! Be kind to yourself and keep pushing.

I have been feeling some conflicting feelings for ages. This year I am letting those constant battles die by accepting the contradiction. In that spirit, here are my New Year’s resolutions for 2017!

  1. Some days I walk out the door like I’m the most beautiful person in the world, and some days I find myself saying things like, “my belly is jiggly today” or “please don’t post that picture of me I look awful”
    GOAL: Arm myself with confidence and kindness and be okay with being me. Some days I’ll look and feel great, others I won’t. Every day though, I am the same me with the same love, accomplishments, and skills. I’m making peace with this battle and feeling cool in my own skin no matter what my interpretation of my image may be that day. 
  2. I have promised to myself for ages that I will get into a workout routine. This is the classic New Years Resolution fail. We’ve all experienced the busy January gym and witness this failure trickle down year over year. I beat myself up for this. I go through phases of working out and phases of barely meeting my step goal each day.
    GOAL: Seek accountability in those who want me to succeed. Don’t expect it to just happen. Expect to hurt – to collect up my grit to get it done. Expect to fail sometimes, but to keep pushing anyway.

  3. As a perpetual student I have stacks upon stacks of books and (figurative) articles that I want to read. I want to learn and explore all the resources available to me – plus I want to justify the $7.50 I spend per month on a digital New York Times subscription. Sounds great until the work day ends and I find it much easier to click on the tv and veg out for the rest of the evening.
    GOAL: Accept that it is hard to be productive after the work day AND how important it is to keep my curiosity alive and continue learning and pushing myself. Build time into my daytime to read. I will read one full-length article per day and one book per month. Perhaps I’ll start my day with an article and spend 20 minutes mid-day to dig into a book. Care to join the fox and I? We’ll be reading some books simultaneously and discussing here so stay tuned!

At the end of the day remember not only to be kind and good to yourself but kind and good to others. There isn’t one formula that works for anybody – some need new year’s resolutions, some don’t. Let’s encourage and support one another either way.

Let me know what you think of New Year’s Resolutions or what you’re hoping to improve this year!

-The Floater

Who is the Fox?

Well, she’s me! I have always had a hard time with describing who I am. I feel like there are so many pieces that come together to create who I am that get complicated by intricate stories that I just never really feel like there’s just one way of looking at who I am.

I had a pretty complicated childhood, and maybe there will be a time where I share stories with you, but an introduction doesn’t seem the most appropriate place to do that. Regardless, it’s just one piece in the puzzle that is me. I grew up in the Seattle area, and that’s not to say that I grew up around Seattle, I mean I literally grew up in the areas in and around the city. I spent a lot of time bouncing from house to house. Eventually my life settled out in Tacoma, WA, where I went to high school and college and met my now-husband. Now, I’m the mom of two rescues, Maize and Diogi, living in Savannah, GA.

Why the fox?

Well, it all begins with my father. He believed himself to be spiritual, having grown up in a pretty traditionally Jewish home.  However, as a man who chose to be homeless, he was clearly lost a little searching for meaning in his life. He found a little in the culture of the Tlingit people, and spent a lot of time with them in his early adulthood. When I was born, he took me to a friend, who told him that I had the spirit of a fox, and that’s where it all began.

Now, this was pretty bogus to me for a long time, I admit that. I identified where I could during my teenage years, while I too was searching for meaning in my life and grasping at straws for a meaningful relationship with my father.

I saw myself in that role. I knew myself to be curious, intellectually, but also a little nosy in life too. I knew I spent a lot of time alone. I evaded the truth, preferring to tell people what I knew they wanted to hear, having come from a background where that was a survival method. You could call it cunning, as I also saw through it when people tried to lie to me.  As I have grown I see the relation more and more, and have grown to embrace this totem and find new ways it fits with my life.

TL;DR: it’s been with me my whole life, and I’ve learned to appreciate it.

 

Who is the Floater?

Hi everyone! My name is Erin and from here on out you’ll know me as the floater. I come from a small town outside of Boston, MA where I grew up riding horses, playing and bickering with my three siblings, playing outside until my mom dragged me back inside, and learning as much as possible. I’m now the mom of a boston terrier/ french bulldog named Bean who is the light of my life. She came into my life about a year ago with my boyfriend Connor, and having her helped immensely with the time apart a deployment caused.

So what do I mean by floater?

I’m an introvert who truly loves and values the connections I have with other people. I often view myself as an individual human, floating around among other humans, doing the best that I can. I have never really had a “group” of people, and the times when I do find myself in a group it usually started as a random mix of people that I jumbled together and that all happened to get along. I love being a floater – it opens me up to all types of people. I have a friend who is a nomad, traveling full time and linking up with new people, jobs, and communities to get by. I have a friend who is an electrical engineer who works her ass off daily both at work and inspiring young girls to learn to code. I have a friend who researches frogs at Harvard and travels to Central America for parts of the year to collect data. I have a friend who speaks fluent French and is a math genius. And I have a friend who is a fox who lives 15 minutes from my house and who I bonded with immediately. We bonded over a passion for education, children, and culture. We impact each other positively, pushing each other to health, happiness, and new adventures. So here we are at our newest adventure, A Fox and a Floater – I hope you enjoy following along!