i am finding this “end of year” post difficult to write, and it’s coming out in pieces. i am trying to wrap up 2010 in my mind and in writing and it’s not going well.
part one: recognition: grace
in my solstice blog post i talked about why this year hasn’t been fun for me. the thing that bothers me most about it is not that i feel like life has been cruel or unfair to me in particular – i am highly aware of my 1st world privilege and all the good things surrounding me – but that the overall affect on my mood and attitude has made ME not fun. a couple of nice friends told me after that post that despite how i have been feeling on the inside, i’ve been a friendly, positive force for them, and i appreciated that, because i think most of all this year i have been afraid that i’ve maybe rubbed some people the wrong way with my grumpiness, even though it was rarely ever personal, and possibly even damaged some friendships/relationships. my boss in particular – wow. the combination of 1. work stress 2. body pain 3. not sleeping 4. task boredom have sometimes compounded me into a srsly ….bitchy person at work. some days even i can’t believe how grumpy i am at work. and that my boss puts up with it. i feel guilty about this. which goes back to my last post about my main resolution for 2011 is simply to try to be a more positive person, even if in just the little ways. i want to have more grace.
part two: shedding skin, removing the unnecessary: austerity
like everyone else, i have (ongoing) goals of removing the unnecessary from my life, physically and mentally. clean out the shelves, get rid of useless stuff, release attachment to objects, cleanse the environment and body. the drastic Austerity Measures in europe this year piqued my interest in learning more about that idea, philosophically and economically, and while this 2010 Word of the Year has a bad reputation economically and politically, philosophically i am not opposed.
the crux (for me) here is whether austerity is, by definition, on the opposite end of the spectrum from hedonism. can you not be an Austere Naturalist (see: Hume), living life to the fullest, completely enamoured with creation, but without all the excess? isn’t that a better way to be, happier in simplicity? is this idea truly audacious in a modern consumer world?
more than anything though, i feel that simplifying my desires, my belongings, and my inputs and outputs will help me gain some focus. i need focus. there is too much extraneous going on here.
part three: reincarnation: focus
recently some friends started an email thread wherein they reported all the things they’ve done/accomplished/significant events for them this year. while i’m inspired by my amazing community, it also it made me sad, because i feel like i have notable nothing to say, and i didn’t participate in that thread. going on vacation to south america and watching a lot of really good movies and being lucky enough to have worn some fabulous outfits this year don’t qualify as accomplishments to me.
in retrospect, the two biggest things that happened in my life this year have been 1) again, the ongoing body work/struggle to find pain resolution and 2) becoming a full time bike commuter. at the beginning of the year i was certainly not expecting #1 to still be ongoing here at the end, and was unprepared for the mental toll it would take on my energy and commitment-to-do-things level. as for #2, i knew that biking to work and back would be somewhat of a shift, but didn’t realize that it would feel like such an accomplishment. according to my exercise log i have biked over 1500 miles this year. every day that i get out of bed and get on my bike and make it to work is sort of a little miracle.
but if these are the two biggest parts of my year, i’m not sure how to feel about 2010. in past years i’ve always found myself little side projects, moonlight jobs, or new hobbies that resulted in feeling like i accomplished something new and definitive. i feel like i just let this year the last couple of years roll over me. maybe this is what i needed and a natural downcycle but it feels very unproductive and i feel that now i am overly-anxious to DO SOMETHING in 2011.
“Someone told me not long after I moved here that people with talent and no ambition move to San Francisco, people with ambition and no talent move to Los Angeles, and people with talent and ambition move to New York.” (–PH)
OH HOW THAT RESONATES.
but WHAT? the thing is i still do not have any definitive goals. i can’t tell you what i want to do in 2011. or who i want to be. so in addition to more Personal Austerity and Grace, i need Focus.
so here’s to 2010: the year i went to South America, the year i bicycled nearly every day, the year the whole world felt volatile and entropic on both a personal and global scale.
may 2011 be full of austerity, focus, and grace.
Filed in autobiographical, resolutions | Tagged with bicycling, pain management | Comment (0)