Resolutions for 2019

“If nothing else, the routine of aspiration, disappointment, and rebirth gives him a sense of purpose. There is an essential reward in the circular struggle to create a better self, even if…we’re making up that better self as we go along.” —John Teti

Orchid buds. I won’t even try to keep alive an orchid this year. (Photo credit: Robert Mitchem)

When I reviewed how I did with last year’s intentions, I questioned whether I should even keep doing new year’s resolutions. I mean, so many hopes at the start of the year went by the wayside almost faster than I could say “Oh it’s February!”

We are nothing without some measure of hope, however, so here I am with a list of resolutions again.

Take a daily vitamin
This isn’t hard, but I still don’t do it. Having to put down any pill on the regular is a big mental block for me that must have something to do with my father being a pharmacist. You know how the rap on preacher’s kids is that they rebel? Well, pharmacist kids rebel by being anti-drug, I guess.

Get organized, aka, finish moving
There is still a garage full of boxes from the move that have yet to be dealt with, and this is what I’m tasking an organizer with once I hire one. Very excited to do this. If you’re interested, there is a whole association of professional organizers who can come and make sense of your stuff.

Look inward
For a good six years, I was almost nonstop giving myself over — literally — to other humans. No joke, between January 2012 and March 2018 I was either a) pregnant or b) nursing. During that time we also moved internationally, opened a new bureau, covered three countries with dominant languages I didn’t understand and criss-crossed East and Southeast Asia to chase the news. So often I felt disconnected from myself because I was just constantly onto what’s next, what’s next, what’s next. Now that I’m integrated again and in sunny California, I don’t even KNOW what I want to do next. So I shall devote time to being still and meditating so I can hear myself better. 

Learn to surf
Also file under: I live in Southern California now! Friend Nate at work has a live cam on his second monitor of all the beaches nearby so that when he sees really good surf he can escape early to hit the waves. I would really like to join him.

Learn to play the ukulele
We got Eva a ukulele for Christmas, which I am more into than she is, so I’m going to go ahead and teach myself by watching YouTube instructional videos and THEN teach Eva. I think this is doable, but then again I always think resolutions are doable at the beginning of the year.

Blog at least four times a month
I’m glad this self-hosted blog is still around since letting Facebook “connect the world” or whatever has proven so pernicious. Last year my goal was five posts a month, which I only did for four months of the year. So I’m lowering the bar in hopes of actually passing it.

As for my 2018 list, I added the final progress report to last year’s resolution post.

If you have any resolutions of your own that might be worth adding, leave them in the comments. And look, if things don’t get to a great start in 2019 we have about a month to screw up until we can claim the Lunar New Year as a fresher fresh start.

YEAR END UPDATE, December 2019

Take a daily vitamin

Success. Thanks to aggressively tracking whether I took a vitamin each day, I did accomplish this more than 330 days of the year.

Get organized, aka, finish moving

Success. I hired a garage organizer who came over and basically do the job for me, with my oversight.

Look inward
In progress, but I can check this off as something I did this year. I deliberately spent a lot more time alone, more time meditating, and regularly went to see my LA therapist, Bobbie. My friends and I refer to her as “Bobby with an i” for some reason, even though her name actually ends in an “ie.” I spent a lot of time exploring through her and through my journalism how to be a better human — trying to analyze myself in context to improve my relationships (with others and communities), to be less of a slave to my emotions and mainly, to figure out what it is I want in this back half of my thirties, back in America and in late capitalism.

Learn to surf
Failed. I blame losing the use of my right arm/shoulder for three months and lacking full rotation for the entire back half of the year. Does it count that my daughter, the first grader, popped up on a board on her second try and continues to go surfing with a coach? Kidding, I know it doesn’t count.

Learn to play the ukulele
Failed. I lost interest by the end of January. I have never liked stringed instruments, ever since violin lessons in elementary school.

Blog at least four times a month
50 percent success. Made or exceeded the goal in January, February, March, June, July and August. I was in a malaise for the fall, which I blame for not feeling like writing as much.

4 thoughts on “Resolutions for 2019

  1. Back in 2018, my resolution was to avoid ice cream for all of January 2019. Yesterday, my husband and I ordered lunch for delivery and were just short of the delivery minimum, so had to order coconut pineapple ice cream. [It’s from Jus’ Poke in Redondo Beach, if you’re ever in our ‘hood. It’s a must try.] I’ve revised my resolution to avoiding ice cream until February 2, 2019. I am considering a cleanse for February, in which I avoid scones.


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