It is 8:30 am on January 1. The first day of the decade. The first day of the decade. The next time a new decade comes around, I will be a completely different woman. I'll be 36 and I'll still get a little bit excited/ nostalgic when Sunny Came Home comes on the radio, but that's probably all I really know for sure.
Who am I going to see every day, this time next decade? With whom will I feel comfortable sharing my coffee cup and social networking passwords? Who's not going to be around anymore? Where will I wake up? Everything's going to be brand new. I could be a mother. I could be married. I could have a real job. I could be writing for real. I could live on the North West Coast. I could be working at a library. I could continue writing only for my own personal pleasure. I could still be a single, wonderful aunt (though, at some point in the next ten years, I do see myself growing weary of waking up alone). I will never have more than one cat at a time. Call that a lifetime resolution if you will.
The last few weeks of 2009 were not the greatest of my life. It's too bad that it had to end with that flavor. It makes it feel like 2009 was a personal bust, but I'm sure that it wasn't. So this wasn't my year, that's fine. Sometimes the fact that I survived it is enough for me. Some magnificent things happened for a lot of people that I love a whole, whole bunch. Jamie and JD had (hands down) the most fantastic wedding that I have ever been to and then quickly began their exciting life on the other side of the planet. Jocelyn was born and she was perfect and healthy and is absolutely adorable (what a relief). Steven made it out of Olathe and into a seriously cool city. Gina started dating this guy who is head over heels in love with her. Both of my brothers got their spouses knocked up. This is exciting stuff and it really makes me happy to be in the background of the photographs.
But in all honesty, I would really like to make something great happen for me in 2010. Something big and noteworthy would be nice but I feel like even getting little things under control would really help to move things in that direction.
-Can you believe that I'm 26 years old and I don't have a savings account? I've never had one and it's super embarrassing. This year, I'm getting one and I'm going to add to it with some regularity. Resolution Number One: Get a savings account. I feel like this would bring some relief.
-The other day, a guy came into the deli and I fell in love with him pretty quickly. He was cute and my type and all of that, sure. But he was also courteous enough to come in after our lunch rush had subsided. We had a conversation about what sort of caffeine-free concoction I could create and what he would find palatable. Eventually these two came together and I made him a drink that he liked. He was so kind and seemed to be very excited to be meeting me and anyone else that he came across in the deli that day. He was apologetic about the trash that his visit brought about and when Marge and Norma came in, he lept up from his table and ran to get the door for them. That really was the kicker for me. Marge and Norma come in every day at 3:00 and they both have walkers which makes coming and going quite difficult. Norma gets a sugar cookie, they share it, and Marge gets coffee that she never pays for. Of course I treat them differently than I do other customers. Their combined age is probably 180 and they are frail little persons. Guy wasn't particularly charming--he was just kind and aware of and appreciative and I want to be that kind of a person. I want to see them coming from the other side of the door and I want to be there to greet them. And I want to inspire other people to be that way, too. Resolution Number Two: Become aware of my surroundings and the people I meet. I feel like this would bring some wonder.
-Where I work, a whole sandwich costs me about fifty cents more than a half a sandwich. Logic would state that the whole sandwich is a much better deal so that's what I always get. In recent weeks, however, I've grown aware of the fact that while it's a better deal, mathematically speaking, it's not what I need to make it through the rest of the day. Portion control should probably be limited to needs rather than good deals. A human body needs protein, fiber, and various vitamins to function in a productive manner. A human psyche needs ice cream and oatmeal raisin cookies to function in a productive manner. If the psyche is going to find some resolve, it's going to have to compromise with the body and they're going to have to work together. Resolution Number Three: Work on the relationship between body and mind by being mindful of what enters the body. I feel like this would bring some self-awareness.
-In the same vein of self-awareness, I think it's important to spend time alone with ourselves. Look at yourself by yourself with yourself and be made aware of the mind, spirit, body--the trinity of being a being. To quote my friend Jason (who has inadvertently helped to shape my world view along with contributions from other authors, artists and personal persons), " By waking up one hour earlier you can date yourself even before your day begins. For example, you could spend 20 minutes calming the mind in meditation, 20 minutes stretching or running or twisting or jumping, and 20 minutes reading or writing -- funneling your thoughts into soulful action." Resolution Number Four: To wake up an hour earlier (which I usually do, that hour is just usually spent lying in bed, dreading leaving it) and spend meditative time in relaxation and self awareness. Mind. Body. Soul. One. I feel like this will benefit everyone in my community.
They are small, but they are attainable. And with the exception of Resolution Number Two, they are measurable. This will make a difference in the long run--and there will be a very long run. Here's to 2020!