2007 My Year of Self-reliance

by Adamheist - Date: 2006-12-25 - Word Count: 931 Share This!

2007 My Year of Self-Reliance

At the close of the year in the western tradition, we tend to overeat, overspend, and generally engage in many forms of excess that we excuse by calling it 'the Christmas Season'. Then comes the 'New Year' when we make resolutions-the promise to repent of those things we just did and do better starting now.

Usually the things we intend to get better at are focused around moderation-eating less and exercising more to lose weight; budgeting to save money and avoid going deeper into debt; being kinder and less judgmental to those around us; doing preventive maintenance on our homes and vehicles to avoid problems later; paying our taxes before April 15th; but somehow the farther away from January 1st we get, it seems those good intentions lose importance in the inevitable mundane progress of daily life, and all returns to the way it was before.

As John Lennon said,

"Life is what happens while we are making other plans."

If we aren't careful, we can live our whole lives reacting to things, letting them 'happen' to us in crisis after crisis-I have some personal experience with this phenomenon. I plan for an event or course of action, but then other things get in the way. Sometimes those things are not avoidable, as in a car accident or weather event that causes a missed appointment, but in many cases the cause is really inability to measure time.

Time is a sensitive subject for many, including me. I admit I am terribly inefficient at measuring time for myself. For my entire working career, time was the focus of my day. Getting up on time, being at work on time, answering the phone in time, hanging up before time was up, arranging time off, and it seemed that time was my enemy. I was always working against time, instead of managing my responsibilities so time wasn't the focus. My horoscope often has advice that seems to fit my personality-the more rigid the time constraint, the more I fight against it, to my own detriment. I've also heard it called 'Pagan time'-a half hour, give or take.

Now that I have retired (early) I don't know how I managed to keep a corporate job for 30 years!! I also got my children raised and have been going to college for the last five. I now find it difficult to make plans for two days in a row. Multitasking used to be easier for me when it was part of my job. I worry that I am being still, not 'doing' anything. When I had limited time, I did more with less of it, including fun things. I haven't been able to tackle reading or doing creative things that are enjoyable pastimes in an open-ended way, yet. A friend who retired a few years earlier than I did calls it 'the long vacation' syndrome. After nearly a year off, I still feel as if I will have to go back to the old routine tomorrow, so I don't start something I won't be able to finish in a weekend.

What I have learned about myself-or to put it more precisely, what I have accepted about myself-is that I've had the luxury of squandering time. As one of the young oldsters of the Baby Boomer generation, I am reminded often that time is marching on, and I don't have an endless quantity of it. I want to learn to handle it better. These days I treat every morning as a gift, and I try to take advantage of feeling my body being healthy with a good stretch and a deep breath. I used to need at least seven hours of sleep. Now I can get up easily after four, and then nap later in the day. I believe it has been a healthier routine for me, because I am not under the stress of a workday schedule. I try not to feel guilty that I am still under the covers, relaxed, with the day ahead of me to enjoy at a leisurely pace. The knowledge that I have 'some' time is a burden to me if I don't get going early, though. I find that I really do function better in the morning, now that I am driving myself, instead of the clock being in charge.

So, this January 1st my New Year's Resolution is not going to be vague or open-ended. I resolve 2007 to be My Year of Self-Reliance. I have determined that it is important to me to continue having time to pursue projects and pastimes that interest me instead of going back to the corporate, structured-time existence. One of the lifestyle changes I want to pursue is to become more self-sustaining and to be environmentally friendly-maybe off the energy grid at some point, and learn ways of living that involve more physical activity instead of dollars. I am putting some plans in motion to make my wishes into realities. My first projects will be moving (next week) to avoid paying rent while I do some home improvements, planning an organic vegetable garden, and completion of my website to chronicle the trials and obstacles as well as the fun!

My progress will be serialized in journal form online over the next weeks and months, and hopefully this time next year I will have some good ideas and advice I can share in book form, especially for those who may also be contemplating more economical and natural ways of living.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Check out my updates at www.conversationcorner.com/blog

Related Tags: environment, natural, organic, earth, harmony, sustainable

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