Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hello 2010!!


Well, I've seen lots of 2009 Review blogs and 2010 Resolution blogs, but I just can't get on board with either of those themes. So I'm going to do a hybrid version...

Lessons from 2009 to remember in 2010 (and beyond):


Let's break this down into 4 quadrants: financial, family, personal, professional and we'll start with the hardest-hitting one.

FINANCIAL
1. Credit card debt is a monkey-on-your-back-albatross-BITCH!! Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way and will definitely be taking it with me into 2010 (and probably longer based on those balances, yikes!)

2. Finding ways to cut back on spending can be fun. Really. Everything is up for grabs. Now I look at something that I normally would have thrown away as something that I can probably reuse or reappropriate.

3. Living a cash-only lifestyle is harder than you would think, but also way more rewarding than you would think. We cut the cards in January of last year and have been living only on the money that we make, as we make it...what a concept!

4. Making your own clothes will probably cost you more (when you add in labor and material) than just shopping at Target. However, not shopping for clothes AT ALL is free.

5. If you think of every dollar you spend as a dollar that could go towards debt or bills, you will think twice about spending that dollar on lattes at Starbucks.

FAMILY
1. Love your family and know that they love you. Always. Unconditionally.

2. Sometimes in your life your family members will seem like strangers to you. But that's okay because we all change. We just have to focus more on getting to know the new versions of those that we love, without judging or condemning, rather than lamenting over the loss of the old version.

3. Keep talking to each other. And I don't mean through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. We are all just talking into the ether at each other with those platforms. Too much gets lost in translation and misunderstanding hurts more than not talking at all. Let's trade that crap in for webcams and have some real face time - not Facebook time.

PERSONAL
1. Patience. This one is huge. 2009 was a year of learning to just "hold your horses" and be patient. This is a hard one for me, because once I make my mind up to do something I want immediate action. This year of patience has taught me that life is like Chinese handcuffs -- the more you struggle and fight against it, the tighter the hold becomes. You have to relax and ride the wave. This is probably my most despised lesson of 2009, but also probably the most valuable. But "Patience" by Guns and Roses is one of my all-time favorite songs, so at least this lesson comes with a theme song that I like.

2. Follow your heart, always. When your heart tells you to make a change or you're going to suffer -- make the change. Moving to Portland from L.A. was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It's right up there with marrying my wonderful, loving hubby.

3. Don't be so hard on yourself. All my life, I've thought that I have to be perfect or at least produce perfect results. This is such an impossible expectation to have of yourself. With this type of thinking, you are just setting yourself up to fail. We are all human and we all fuck up (see #1 under Financial). But we live, we learn, and we keep living.

4. Your life is your life. When it comes down to it, the only person you have to answer to is yourself. It's funny how I keep learning this lesson over and over, but under a different guise every time.

5. Everywhere you go, there you are. You can't run away from the things that you don't like about yourself. It's up to you to change it or live with it, but running from it is not an option.

PROFESSIONAL
1. Your work doesn't have to define you. If you love your job and it fits within your definition of yourself -- good for you! If not -- don't sweat it. It only defines you as much as you allow it to. I've felt like I've been living a double life for the last 4 years because my career is such an extreme juxtaposition to my hopes, dreams, and plans for the future. In terms of "when life gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold" (thanks Atmosphere for the best motivational line ever) I've decided to continue building my skills and gaining experience, then when it's time, extract the best parts of my job and apply it to my dreams and future plans.

2. Your health is more important than your job. I don't mean that you should quit your job if it stresses you out to the point that you have to be talked in off the ledge every other day (been there). I just mean that you have to let some things go sometimes and relax, breathe.

3. You should just be happy you have a job, right? Sorry, that one will never take the sting out for me. I want to love what I do and not just be satiated by a paycheck. However, patience (see #1 under Personal) can bring you through the tough times at work and give you hope that it won't always be that way. But for now, it is. Be patient, young grasshopper, your vision will be actualized with time.

So the moral of this 2009 lesson is:

Keep on keeping on. It's the best you can do!

(Please note that everywhere I say you...I really mean me. Advice is not my agenda here.)

Happy New Year!!

1 comment:

Terry said...

I am so proud of you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It helps me feel close to you.