I have a resolution for 2011 and that is to make no resolutions. I came to this conclusion after excitedly making a list of to-do’s for my ten days off over the Christmas holidays (do tae-bo or yoga every day in addition to my daily walks on the beach; bake cookies; sew some gifts; clean out my part of the garage; organize my beach glass and shells; sort through clothes and other belongings for sale/friends/charity/trash; write every day and get at least two stories done for upcoming anthologies). I was hyped about all of these things, full of energy at the thought of ten days to get my life in order, by thunder! Instead I got sick two weeks ago today, dragged myself into work for the first three days until my vacation started, and was pretty much ill for the duration with maybe two days feeling relatively healthy, overdoing it, and getting sick again.
I did manage a few batches of cookies and some sewing, and had some nice walks on the beach in between some butt-ass cold and windy days where my common sense actually overcame my “I…Must…Walk!” attitude and I stayed home, but organizing, sorting, exercising and writing were all busts because I just can’t think when I’m ill. We’re talking your basic fever/congestion alternating with runny nose/aches/chills/exhaustion type bug. I have no idea what it was/is (still kicking it off and not happy about having to go back to work tomorrow) and it doesn’t really matter. I figure it was my body’s way of saying “Enough, beeootch!” so I’d take some time off and just rest and relax, something I’ve lost the art of doing somewhere along the last few years.
Problem with this is while intellectually I know I needed the rest, emotionally I refused to accept it and proceeded to beat myself up over my inability to get my shit together and accomplish all the things on my list. This led to a fairly comprehensive depression (NOT my natural state and one I don’t handle at all gracefully), a state not helped by the fact Dad died last year on December 27th or the declining health of my oldest feline, Beezle. Lots of mortality issues going on here. I spent a lot of time on the couch with Beezle curled up next to me on or on my lap.
At first I tried to write, but even emails were a struggle. A story I actually have plotted out in my head is still stuck in there with only a few paragraphs to show for literally hours of computer time trying to get the damn thing written. Much bleakness and self-loathing ensued.
Did I mention I don’t do depression well?
Finally after a meltdown New Year’s Eve right before midnight (not that I placed any expectations on New Year’s Eve as heralding in a better new year or anything…Nope, not me!), I thought about the correlation between stress and illness; the fact most of the people I’ve known who’ve gotten cancer or some other major illness tended to be workaholics, martyr types, or just people who refuse to give themselves a break when it come to down time. I took a look at the last week and a half and the time I’ve spent with Beezle and my other cats; more quiet time than I’ve had with them in literally years. I considered how hard I work what with my day job (at least a half hour overtime every day), commute time, and all the writing I’ve accomplished in the last three years. I thought about what I want to accomplish in 2011 and thought maybe I’d make a list of resolutions. And then I saw this cartoon and saw Type A Dana refusing to accept relaxation as an option ’cause it’s Just. Not. Productive! So I grabbed Type A Dana by the shirt front, bitch-slapped her and told her to shut the eff up and deal with the down time without making me feel like a worthless slacker.
No resolutions! If I make a list and can’t live up to it, I’ll just beat myself up over my failure to achieve results. I know what I want to accomplish and what I need to get done in order to do so. The important thing here is to appreciate each day no matter what it brings, to enjoy time spent with family, friends and felines … and to learn to relax while I do the things that need to get done and the things that I want to do. Funny thing is if I just remember to stop beating myself up by not living up to a self-imposed list, what I need and what I want tend to be the same things.