Making the most of 2015

Start the New Year right with GINORMOUS earrings!
Start the New Year right with GINORMOUS earrings!

I have been delinquent on making New Year’s Resolutions the past two years. As I’ve written before, I don’t do resolutions, but rather New Year’s Fantasies. They are less like obligations and more like awesome potential if I play my cards right. It’s akin to what I saw recently going on over at Bucket List Publications.

My New Year’s lists are a way to remind myself of what’s important. When I make a list of fantasies, it often reveals what is not there, so I can add it. Does that make sense? I don’t want it to be all filled up with activities, because I need to remember to slow down and enjoy my people. I don’t want it to be filled with career goals and paying down debt, without including quality time with Tara and a few good hikes. It’s also a way to embrace my ambitious nature, and give myself permission to be driven and to look forward to amazing adventures and phenomenal self-growth, because that is simply what makes me Crystal.

Another way my tradition is different from resolutions is that I try to make my list around my birthday (January 9th) instead of the first of the year. My birthday reminds me that I’m older (45 this year!) and that lists like this are actually important. If I am granted a typical lifespan, then I’m already more than halfway through it, and that puts me into a little bit of a panic. So much left to do!

Fantasies for 2015

  1. Buy a house.
  2. Visit my brother and his girlfriend in Seattle right away, and tour the University of Washington campus.
  3. Finish the Japan photobook. I am *still* not done. It’s absolutely inexcusable, I know.
  4. Paint something in oils. I need to stop thinking of art as a luxury and make it a priority.
  5. Write more on my Shemya book. I was going gangbusters till pulling up the memories from all those years ago brought up a particularly terrible and traumatic memory. I’ve been in therapy since then and it is making an enormous difference in my life. I think I can dig back into my old life again without meeting an emotional roadblock.
  6. Have a fabulous coast road trip to Canada with M in March.
  7. Have a Disneyland trip in June that is so awesome it totally wipes out the horrible Disneyland memories from last March (I focused on the good stuff in my blog, but now you know the rest of the story).
  8. Be more assertive. As a parent, as a partner, as an employee. I need to be much better at speaking up for myself.
  9. Continue cultivating friends. 2014 was a great year for building healthy friendships and critiquing unhealthy friendships.
  10. Get better at referring to my transgendered teen in gender neutral pronouns, which is *so hard* to do. More on this later…another enormous life-changing event I haven’t told you about yet.
  11. Plan and pay for my trip to Sri Lanka, January 2016. M is from Sri Lanka and has been begging R and me to go there with him. We finally agreed on early January, so logistics must be completed in 2015.
  12. Come up with a way to manage the blogosphere. Those of you who post every single day, sometimes more than once a day, offer me an excellent opportunity to learn better time management. Also, you keep me in awe. “How on Earth….?”
  13. Put out the rest of my raccoon stickers.

Ok, I think that’s a good list. Here is an awesome one from 2011: “Laugh more.” In 2009 I included this long rant. It obviously touched a nerve when I wrote it. And…it remains relevant:

Stay open to what the Universe provides for me. Stop trying to bully my way through. Stop trying to control the direction. Stop trying to control the definition of my success, and my path toward it. Give it up. Have some peace. Accept help from others. Be graceful in acknowledging my ignorance, while maintaining my strength and confidence and power and beauty.

Here’s hoping that most of your 2015 fantasies come true!

27 thoughts on “Making the most of 2015

  1. I love your list. I don’t make resolutions, I hate failure and I never seem to accomplish what I resolved on New Years. However, reading your fantasies with the idea of carrying over the unfinished to the following year, … awesome! I may have to revisit this idea completely.

    Thanks cousin, as always you are my inspiration! 🙂
    Debbie

    1. Oh I get you, for sure. No sense in setting ourselves up for failure. That’s why I like to call them fantasies, because no one judges you if your fantasies don’t come true…but we all realize a fantasy is something you really want.

      It occurs to me that my next list ought to include a planned visit with you. Maybe another road trip. We could be dueling cameras! Kisses and hugs.

  2. Wow! your list looks as long as mine. We really set ourselves up. At least I don’t do resolutions anymore. I just need to get organized so I don’t spend hours looking for what I want to do. Too many moves. You have an awful lot going on. Best of luck with all of it. Love the earrings. 🙂

    1. There’s your list: get organized! Ha ha. That is always on my list, because I could always do better.

      I think you make such a good point though, about a possible set up. As my cousin commented above, it’s so easy for a New Year’s list to turn into a sense of failure, that we need to know ourselves before we create one. If it’s likely going to cause frustration and self-criticism, then don’t do it!

      I call myself a Tomboy in many ways, because I’m just not a girly girl. I can’t stand most stuff that stereotypical girls like. But I LOVE big flashy earrings, ha ha. And after my favourite colour green, I love the colour pink.

    1. You are so perceptive! I noticed the same thing as I was writing the list. For me, it’s all about tricking my own mind. If I thought I had written a list of resolutions, I would develop a stubborn attitude about it and get resentful with myself. But if I’ve got a list of fantasies (even if they’re dictated exactly as a resolution would be)… then I give myself a break.

  3. I like your rewording and just one thing to share – I am not sure how smoke people post every day either – whew – but I think we all have different seasons and styles – eh? well have a nice day and cheers to a new year!

    1. Thank you so much for your input. You are right: we all have different things going on in our lives. I have been following others long enough now to see a few of them drop completely out of the community for months. Then when they come back it’s explained that there was a family emergency, or a move, or broken Internet connection. So in the future I may be the person who is able to post each day, then I will understand. 🙂

      1. Hi crystal – and I have to share that I actually unfollow people who post too much – but if it is a blogger I like I will still peek in on them – but it clogs my reader to see 4 or 5 or 6 posts in a row from them – and just not my thing.
        anyhow, looking forward to checking in on your blog this year and hope you have a great start to the new year!

  4. New Year Fantasies … excellent!
    You shared a whole lot in this one, Crystal, particularly #10. What challenges for both of you. T is lucky to have you for a mom. Love and understanging are huge … but don’t make it any easier.
    Happy Birthday 2 days late!!

    1. I shared a LOT with this one. Thanks for noticing. As you certainly know, it’s often a question of how much to say in a post. It’s healing for me to talk it out, but usually I don’t want to go online about anything till my mind has focused. My main goal is to not be embarrassed about my post in 3 months. I want to say something honest, that shows the best side of myself and not the mean side, and in the case of #10 – not before all parties are ready to have it public. 😉

      2014 was an incredible year for self-growth, and I’m going to be able to add more introspection to posts, and rely less on We-Were-Here posts to get me through the hard times. I aim for something like Bruce’s writing at Ram On. He always has a thoughtful perspective from the heart. And at AppletonAvenue, she faces her life and tells us about it. It takes courage to write like that.

  5. I love the idea of making a list of fantasies instead of resolutions. I might adopt that for my New Year’s! (In August, at my birthday. ;P)

    Re #6: YOU HAVE TO COME VISIT MEEEE

    Re #10: It makes me so happy that you are putting this on your list as something to get better about. My pronouns are zie/zir (they/them also acceptable) and I accepted a long time ago that my mom is never going to use anything other than she/her. I get why, and I’m not upset about it, but it makes me happy when I see parents actively trying to switch to gender-neutral pronouns for their non-binary trans* kids (which can be a lot harder than just switching from she/her to he/him or vice versa — he/him and she/her are *known quantities* in the pronoun game; the gender neutral pronouns could be they/them or they could be sie/hir or zie/zir or ze/them or anything else, so I get the difficulty. I actually have a post-it note on my Stickies app that keeps a running list of my friends’ pronouns).

    We are going to have awesome 2015s. *nodnod*

    1. Tell me where you live! Is it anywhere near the coast? I thought you were inland. That is a brilliant idea! The only other Canada blogger I know of is in Edmonton, and that’s just not do-able on this trip.

      I already adopted your idea of the “good things” jar, so you can use the fantasies idea – in August, which would be funny. In fact, T and I filled it all year, and on New Year’s we emptied it. That is a post coming soon, and you totally get all the credit for the idea.

      Post-its to remember pronouns. Whew. The world is different than when I was a teenager. I appreciate your validation of my struggle,and through Tara’s eyes I feel like I have a small understanding of yours. Switching pronouns from she to he would have been easier than she to them, but that is easier than she to what…? zie? Tara is unbelievably gracious and loving and patient while teaching me and learning about themself too.

      Omigosh…possible blogger friend *second* visit…. this is unprecedented. /bounces with giddiness/

      1. I am basically on the coast! I live in Langley, which is part of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, and pretty close to the border. =D (Inland is WAY too hot; never living there.)

        Well, I found out about the good things jar from somewhere else, though I don’t remember where now. Probably saw it floating around Facebook. So it’s not my original idea, but I’m happy you got it from me originally! 🙂

        Yeah, zie/zir is really hard to remember, harder to say. It’s why I’m pretty laidback about it, and accept they/them as well. But I mean, my fiance is probably never going to migrate from she/her to zie/zir. I will be lucky if someday he can figure out they/them. And it’s not from lack of love for me, it’s just…his brain isn’t equipped to handle the change, you know? And it doesn’t upset me or anything, so I just roll with it.

        The thing that upsets me is when I’m conversing with strangers on the internet and they refuse to call me by my preferred name or pronouns. Sometimes I even get people calling me by *other* genderqueer pronouns or titles, and then they act offended when I’m like “Could you please *not*?” because “What, OTHER genderqueer people use those, so you can’t be upset!”

        It’s like saying “Well I know ANOTHER genderqueer person called John, so I can call you John and you can’t get upset.” Well, no, yes I can, because not. my. name. Especially when I’ve already said, several times, “These are the things I would like to be called.” And, you know, typing, so it’s not like I’m expecting an answer right away. People can take time to compose their posts and use the right pronouns.

        But with my friends, I’m much more laidback and easygoing about it, because I know they care about me and are trying, so. Good faith is assumed. (Or even if I know they aren’t necessarily trying, I don’t assume bad faith. Some people, like my fiance, just have *really* tough times dealing with pronoun changes.)

        Anyway. I will FB you with my contact info and we can figure out when/where to meet up when you come up here! (And you might even get to meet Mr. Katje!)

        Yaaaaayyyy so excited!

  6. I kept my list from last year, which included gems like “don’t forget that you’re a girl’. (oops, I forgot that one quick), “Learn to say ‘yes’ ” and “learn to say “no”. No wonder I never managed to get any of it done 😀

    1. Don’t forget you’re a girl! That is excellent. I am really glad I’m a girl, but I’m often lazy about the girl accoutrements. Some days I make myself dress like a girl because I don’t want to forget how.

      Learn to say “yes” and “no” in the same year?!

  7. I love your list. How do you find the time to do all this? It’s a great year plan and I hope you do it all. Especially getting better with gender neutral terms. That would be so difficult, and our language only has two choices. How to coin a third term?

  8. How do I find the time? It’s an excellent question. I am a master strategist, for one thing: trying to cram in some adventure into every 15 minutes. But then, I also have to remind myself that this list is only my fantasy of what I would like to do: it’s not my calendar. So…chances are good that I won’t do all these things.

    It is fun to pretend though. 🙂

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