Every year I write my New Year’s resolutions on Post-It notes, filling a blue, vintageMason jar with them after reviewing the ones from the year before. I write the date on each Post-It note. If a previous year’s resolution wasn’t met, and still holds merit, it remains in the Mason jar with the new ones.
Previous years’ resolutions in the jar:
- “My health: that I may remain cancer-free” (1999)
- “The continued good health of our families” (1999) I updated this one to “our families” in 2004, the year David and I married.
- “David’s and my continued good health and happy marriage” (2008)
- “To show a financial profit as an artist.” (2008)
- “Gallery representation”(2008)
- “Publish more stories in 2011” (2010)
- “A book deal for my manuscript” (2010)
- “The blog will have more than 1,000 visitors/month (2010)
- “Lose ten pounds” (2011)
Most striking about the hopes and dreams on this list is that none of them are actually resolvable. They are ongoing. Sure, publishing my manuscript into a book would be great, however, knowing me, the next year I would resolve to write another book, one that won an award or topped the charts, or something like that. Artists are rarely satisfied with any level of achievement. We are always looking up the ladder at the next rung:
- Gallery representation leads to the desire for critical recognition, increased sales, collectors, fame.
- Publishing stories leads to writing more stories, longer ones, for larger audiences.
In general, human nature is much the same:
- Health and happiness leads to the expectation for more of the same.
- I lost ten pounds last year. For 2012 I expect to keep them off.
Resolution is the wrong choice of word. For me, setting New Year’s Goals is better phraseology. Most of the improvements I wish for in life take time and perseverance to achieve, and more hard work to maintain. To my way of thinking, New Year’s is a time to review the larger goals of my life, and see if they are still worth steering towards. If so, then I ask myself what small adjustments can I make this year to further them? These adjustments are written as goals on the Post-It notes, dated, and placed in the jar.
The most important part of opening the Mason jar each year is reading the hand written Post-It notes, and saying a small prayer of thanks or another expression of gratitude for the advances, which occurred over the past year towards each goal. There is no lasting joy in achievement without gratitude. This year, I am thankful for:
- A clean bill of health when we were afraid my cancer had returned.
- Editors who published my paintings, essays, and blog posts.
- David and I lost weight. He avoided a prescription for blood pressure medication.
- I was represented by Anka Gallery. I met wonderful people there and made lasting friendships.
- I sold some paintings.
- JParadisi RN blog has grown beyond my previous goals.
- I have met inspiring people through blogging. Special thanks to: Dr. Dean Burke, Joni Watson, Brittney, Sean, poet Stacy Nigliazzo, and artist Matt Lamb.
So what’s on Post-It notes this year? What goals am I steering my life towards in 2012?
- Remain cancer free
- The continued good health of our families
- David’s and my continued good health and happy marriage
- A financial profit as an artist
- Finish the Vessels of Containment painting series and start the new series
- Gallery representation
- Write and publish more stories in 2012
- Increased writing income
- The blog will continue to grow
- Keep off those ten pounds
Here’s the cool thing about writing down goals: The Examined Life (Socrates). Today I see each goal I’ve written down is focused on an unknown future. I haven’t written a single one, which applies to my present reality. So, until my dreams come true:
- I will continue to develop my skills as a nurse so my patients remain safe in my care.
- I will strive to be a better team player at work.
- I will phrase criticism in a constructive manner.
- I will remember that everyone has a difficult job. That’s why they call it work.
- I will say Thank You at least once daily. It’s wrong to wait an entire year to give thanks for everything that is good in my life.
I wish to thank my family and friends (new and old) for your support of JParadisi RN blog. May your New Year be filled with Health, Love, Happiness, and Prosperity.