A fresh page

journalI wish that I had had the foresight to purchase a beautiful new hand-tooled leather journal with handmade paper pages to open for 2015 and write the first words of the new year.  I didn’t have that foresight.  Instead, I am writing here.  It’s okay.

I had a rough start to 2015. Last year didn’t end the way I planned it.  All in all, the past 2-3 months were just rotten.  The events that took place were upsetting, and completely outside of my control.   Those of you who know me best know how hard that is on me.  I try to be a “just go with the flow” person, but it’s just not in my nature.  I like to have a plan and I like to stick to it.  If the plan needs to be changed, I need warning.

Just before events began to spiral out of control, I was in a very good place physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I was feeling so “zen.”  I’d come up with a plan to [eventually] supplement my law practice income doing something that I would enjoy immensely.  I had a plan.  I could see myself taking the steps needed to actualize that plan and realize the goals.  I was PSYCHED!

Self doubt is a funny thing.  It’s insidious (I love that word).  It creeps in slowly.  Before long, it erodes the progress you’ve made.  You fall back into unhealthy patterns that manifest themselves in various unpleasant ways.

We started the new year cleaning up the house this morning.  Before long, I was the only guest at a pity party, and it was a dandy.  I posted on Facebook that I was having a rough start to the new year.  My friends rallied.  One told me that someone was posting as me, because I am a positive person.  That got my attention.  Another told me to physically turn myself around.  I did that.  I spun clockwise, then counterclockwise.  Then, I started spinning and spinning until I got so dizzy that when I stopped, the world kept spinning.  It was fun, but I don’t recommend trying it if you’re over 10.

The world got brighter.  I left the negative of the past 60 days behind, if only for a a while.

I have a fresh notebook with clean pages.  It may not be a leather-bound masterpiece, but It’s not yet spoiled.  What I write on it is entirely of my choosing.  I can’t completely control what happens to the book.  It may be carried off or spilled on.  I’m the only one, though, who can write on its pages.

On the first page, I will list some of my goals for 2015:

* I will register for the first class of several that I need to get the certification I want to reach the goal I have in mind.

* I will continue on my path to greater physical fitness.  As a part of that goal, I will renew my gym membership, enrol in at least one group fitness class to meet new people, and I will continue my running program.  I will continue to eat whole foods and do a better job of staying away from sweets and processed foods.

* Although this is part of my path to physical fitness, it is worth it’s own category.  I will continue to run.  On January 1, 2014, I couldn’t walk a mile without breathing heavy.  Since March 2014, I have run over 330 miles.  I have run on treadmills and tracks.  I’ve run on trails through woods and by lakes.  I’ve participated in (and finished) four 5K races and a 10K race.  I will run my first half marathon in 2015.

* I will reconnect and engage with people.  The second half of 2014 was a very solitary time for me.  I realized only recently how much I need people.  I need to look for opportunities to meet with friends for uplifting each other and sharing ideas.

* I will spend more time in prayer and meditation.  Some of that time will be talking with God on the running path.  Some of it will be communing with others in church, and some of it may even be in less traditional settings.

* I will be mindful of the fact that nobody else is responsible for my happiness (or my unhappiness).  I will take steps to remind myself of that fact.

* I will remember to have fun.  It’s been too long since we took a vacation.  I want to plan a road trip to meet up with some of my network of “invisible friends” who have helped me through so many difficult times in the past 8 years.

* I will worry less about making other happy and instead try to simply do the right thing.  If doing the right thing makes others unhappy, that’s about them and not about me.

* I will continue to share my journey here and continue to refine the plans for the goal that makes me so happy.

That was probably more than a page.  Just writing about positive things made me feel happier.  What’s on your page?

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