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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013: The Year of Dedication

I read somewhere that the new challenge is to come up with one-word New Year's Resolutions. Many of the standard ones are pretty easy:

Exercise

Diet

Socialize

Donate

Read
They're also pretty boring as resolutions go. (Not to say unnecessary or unworthy. Just uninteresting in their very necessity.)

So, although I need to do more of all of those things listed above, I've been casting around for a really really good one-word resolution for this year. I'm thinking of:

Immerse.

As in: be deeply present in everything I do.

This means I need to work more efficiently when I'm working. No checking email between chapters I'm reading to teach. Stop making excuses that I need to grade papers and can't exercise today, and instead make exercise the reward for working smarter and getting the grading done. No frittering away time online because the work is tedious.

It also means I need to play more joyfully when I'm playing. No more feeling guilty over a board game with my kids that I "ought to be" checking email. No more reading a bedtime story while making a mental list of the tasks I need to accomplish after the kids are tucked in. I am going to try not telling the children "yes" if I don't really want to do an activity with them (I'm not very fond of certain board games *ahem, Monopoly, I'm looking at you*) but then suggesting something else we can do instead that will make us both really engaged and happy.

Immerse means being wholly in this moment rather than worrying about the one I haven't reached or the thing that I can't be doing simultaneously.

It means admitting aloud, to an actual coach, that I want to start taking some figure skating tests and then committing to the lessons and practices that I long to enjoy. Six hours a week of skating is hardly an extravagance of time; it's just that rink hours overlap with work hours, and so I always feel guilty about taking time away. But (see above), if I work more efficiently, there is no reason I can't skate at mid-day and grade three or four papers at night.

It means doing 15 minutes a day of diligent cleaning rather than two hours of resentful cleaning on Saturdays. And doing it even when I'd rather fritter away the time on the couch.

Immerse is about dropping the endless inclination to multi-task and realizing that doing one thing at a time, really well, for the amount of time I am doing it, is enough. In fact, it is preferable a lot of the time.

It means dedicating a weekly chunk of time to writing, and then not doing all the other procrastinator-y things that are so much easier to do than writing. Like laundry. Or answering email. Or walking the dog. 

I will have to find myself a schedule, and I am not sure that will be easy for me, since I seem to be more of a make-a-huge-list-and-then-just-start-plowing-through-it kind of girl. But the problem with those lists is that it's so alluring to cross things off that the easy things always get done first. And then, all of a sudden, a whole week has gone by without any writing or any skating, and the bathroom needs cleaning again, and then the cycle starts over.

I suspect there are a lot of things I will have to figure out along the way. I tend to take on too many projects and then burn candles at both ends to finish them. So I may have to learn to say "no," to choose more wisely, to be more realistic.

But I really really love the idea of doing things deeply rather than just trying to do all the things.

Immerse.

I like it.

What will be your word for 2013?

3 comments:

The Empress said...

I'm so happy to see you.

Yes, I want to change so many things: like the daily upkeep instead of the end of the month declutter that borders on panic.

I need to do it every day. Chip away at it all, I'll feel better, my family will feel better. I won't have the stress of trying to concentrate while I look around and see the SO MUCH of everything, everywhere.

Good luck to you this year, dear lady. It's always good to see you.

anymommy said...

I like it too. It reminds to be where you are and be present, but succinctly. Happy New Year! I've missed you!

Jeanie B said...

Right back at you.
I juggle so many wants and shoulds in my head day to day that I rarely do any of them, I sit like a rabbit in the headlights. Common problem isn't it?

My word would be 'Focus', I don't have to do everything, be everything.
Then once focussed, I can try to immerse.

Happy New Year!

 

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