Considering I’ve been at the blogging thing for three years, I’m surprised this never happened before! I uploaded an unfinished blog post today. I’ll get back to actually writing it soon, but email subscribers have already seen the contents. Sorry for the spoiler. I’ll take this opportunity to wish you a happy new year! All is well here (well, considering), and I hope it is the same with you.

46 and still kicking

Facebook Overdose, by mkhmarketing on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

I failed to post here on my birthday (other than editing my age on the About page — that was actually the very first thing I did). I’m only a bit surprised about it, to be honest. I’m sure that you, my most beloved and faithful 3.5 readers, have noticed a dropoff in posts here. I guess that stable health (well, comparatively stable, pneumonia notwithstanding) makes me less likely to keep returning here, to the scene of my illness. Much in the same way that my habitual and lifelong journaling habit turned out to be something I was doing while waiting for my actual adult life to start, keeping this blog was a lifeline at my sickest and most anxious and mortally afraid moments — and I hope that in the event things become gloomy again, I’ll feel the same — I’ve also felt that posting here sometimes feels like an impediment to other progress. I know that other types of social media have been that type of impediment to me. I’m trying to find a way to renegotiate my Facebook involvement, but since it has formed part of my daily life for twelve years now, that is easier said than done.

Last year I launched a Seven Year Plan on my birthday, and with the exception of one month this year, I did manage to check in with myself on a regular basis. I was open to changing the nature of the plan throughout, and was amused to find, as the year went on, that I got a lot of satisfaction from striking things on the list I’d made, and not because I had accomplished them — not by a long shot. Instead, it turned out that when you make a bulleted list of things you want to achieve, that list may be coming from somewhere external to yourself. And if you are setting goals for yourself that would please others, that will soon make your self-esteem plummet — particularly if you know as many superachievers as I do. Striking through those goals was liberating.

I also noticed, when it came time to read over my monthly check-ins, that I was bored to tears, and I had also made so many excuses to myself. SAD! 

I know I accomplished things this year, but this process wasn’t helping me to spotlight them. So, while waiting for my eye checkup with Dr. D yesterday, I wrote up a new list of goals for Year Two of the plan. They are 100% more vague, but I feel 100% more excited about accomplishing in those areas. And my monthly check-ins won’t be written anymore. I’m going to make a mini-portfolio each month, with anything from a diagram to a drawing to a photo of a paycheck or of work I’m doing on my laptop. So much of my plan centers around doing creative work that it seems a shame to miss the opportunity to do it creatively. When the monthly check-in reminder pops up on the 13th of each month, I want to be more excited about it.

Dr. D, by the way, said my eyes are looking fine. But he keeps nudging me to consider progressive lenses. I realize I’m at the age where they would be beneficial, but I just can’t give in yet, and I told him so. My extreme stubbornness has helped me quite a bit thus far, and my slower adjustment from long distance to reading distance is not a threat to my health or safety (or that of others) yet, so I will wait for the progressives, thank you very much. Dr. D then insisted on showing me that perching my glasses on the end of my nose might improve my vision for reading. (Nice try, Dr. D.)

I hope you are all keeping warm and doing the things you love, in between doing the things you have to in order to get by (which in my world includes taking medication and calling my elected officials).