Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Is February too late to declare New Year's Resolutions?  Maybe a little, but at the same time, I think this way it's almost more legitimate, because these are the ones I've had the opportunity to test and I'm fairly certain they'll stick.

For the last couple years, my resolutions have been defined as mottoes.  In 2011, it was "The Year of Yes."  I had finished a year of poverty, volunteering with Americorps, and in trying to save money, and sheer exhaustion from the work, I had pretty much given up many hobbies and social activities.  Too often, friends invited me out at the last minute and I ignored their invitations or had to decline.  So in 2011, I decided to never say no to outings, at least those that I would usually be interested in, or that I could reasonably afford.  As a result, I was very busy, met lots of new people, and overall had a great time.

In 2012, it was "Do it Now," which I hoped to apply to everything from laundry and catching up with correspondence to graduate school and job applications.  While I still did a fair amount of procrastination, I did apply for graduate school (accepted to Harvard's Arts in Education program, but decided not to go) and apply for a new job (accepted and started as the new Tutor Coordinator for the Northeastern's College of Professional Studies) so in that respect, I think it's fair to call my resolution successful.

This year I don't feel as though there are any major themes or goals I'd like to achieve, but there are lots of little things I'd like to work on.  Without further ado, here's a representative sampling of my New Year's resolutions:

Drive More.  Several years ago, I was in a freak car accident and ever since then I've had something akin to a fear of driving.  Towards the end of last year I was beginning to drive more, but now it's time to get serious.  Boston's a tough city to drive around, but not impossible with practice, and there are places within a few hours of Boston, not on public transit, that I want to visit.

Sit Up Straight / Stand Up Straight.  A job that had me sitting in a hard seat for 6+ hours a day had me in the habit of slouching, and eventually I also had some lower pain: no more! 

Just Deal With It.  A little over 10 years ago, in a hilarious and infuriating ordeal that I'll probably write about at a later point this year, I was diagnosed with Klinefelter Syndrome.  Though it's one of the most common genetic anomalies, it's not often talked about, and some of the information about it, in-print and online, is either misleading or just plain inaccurate (the literature on it has gotten better over the last few years).  Pretty much since I was diagnosed, I've been embarrassed and pretty much silent about it, except with some friends.  After a while, I stopped talking about it at all, and pretty much gave up on telling people, because I forgot who I'd told, band there never seemed to be a good time to bring it up.  In making it a secret, I almost tried to make it secret with myself, which of course meant not dealing with.  At the end of last year I set up a consult with one of the top Endocrinologists in the field ,and in January started a new treatment plan.  I'm not about to shout it from the roof tops, or tell people in our first few conversations, but I refuse to be ashamed by it.  Now that I'm dealing with it, I'm feeling better than ever, and the reality of it feels like less of a big deal.

Be Physically Active.  For three years I'd been a reliable summer exerciser.  With a friend, I stretched tennis as deep into the fall as possible, but after that I partook in little exercise.  Since starting my new job I've joined the gym and after a month and change of biking and lifting weights I already feel healthier and more energetic.

Eat Well.  This shares some traits with Be Physically Active.  Sometimes I cook ambitious meals and slow-cooked sensations, but too often I find myself microwaving a tv dinner or a bowl of soup.  When I cook I make tastier, healthier food, and the act is therapeutic in and of itself.  I'd also like to eat better when I go out, which mostly means avoiding the Popeyes in Northeastern's Student Center, but isn't just about eating healthy, but also exploring some of the many cool restaurants Boston has to offer, including Saus (a new favorite) and maybe Clio (once I've saved some money).

To be sure, there are plenty of other resolutions I'm toying with, and probably others I should add to this list.  Some involve enormous projects.  Others are tiny things.  But I think if I can keep these four going, it'll be a productive, meaningful, and happy year.

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