In college, we used to call that oppressive, restless Sunday afternoon feeling funkengruven. The weekend and its pleasures are behind you, some unpleasant chores you’ve been putting off are now urgent, and the long weary week of work looms ahead. Sometimes the next good thing seems just too far away, across a minefield of obligation and dullness.
I think that’s how I’m feeling about 2011. This past week of not working and gallivanting from one good thing to the next–stomach flu excepted–capped off with lots of excellent quality time with the boy over New Year’s has been too sweet. The idea that tomorrow I start working AND going to school, and that my time is totally not my own in a way that hasn’t been true for a long while, fills me with pure dread that edges toward panic. The ongoing ambiguity of the Lieu situation doesn’t help; after the recent time we spent together, I feel less able than ever to take a firm stand with him, because the risk that he will choose to walk away is one I just can’t face if I don’t have to. It’s doubly frustrating because my ask is so small: I’m not pining for diamonds and caviar and a proposal played on the Jumbotron; just a chance, a REAL chance, to see if this thing might work. After all this time of knowing each other yet holding so much back, I’m not even sure if it would. I just don’t know how this stuff is supposed to work; do people really invest all this time and emotion and then bloodlessly decide that the risk/reward ratio is unfavorably skewed, and walk away?
Probably what I am really panicking about is school, and that fear is coloring everything else. It is a great opportunity, I should be proud of myself for engineering it (I am, after all, paying for it with my own money), I should feel lucky that it’s even an option, and I am, and I do. But I also feel starkly terrified that I am going to cock the whole thing up. And work…something’s gotta give on that front, besides my sanity.
So. An attitude re-shuffling is in order. Perhaps some new year’s resolutions will help, some hard and fast goals between which I can ricochet as I find my way in this scary new year.
1. 100% attendance at class (possible weekend of my company’s annual meeting excepted.)
Yes, I will be tired. Yes, I may be ill. Yes, I deserve a break. No matter; to class I go, on time and prepared. I was going to make “get straight A’s” a resolution, but I have to take some math classes, so that’s obviously not going to happen. Outside of those classes, though, I am expecting myself to be perfect. If I don’t sabotage myself, there’s no reason I can’t be.
2. Live on a budget.
I can use public transportation and the shoes I already own. Take-out is not a universal human right. Two years without a vacation is not a cruel and inhumane punishment dealt by an unforgiving god against whom I must rail. I don’t have to get everything I want–every book, every bracelet, every $12 lunch–right when I want it. I need to stop treating myself like a cranky toddler who must be appeased and soothed at every turn.
3. Live in a tidy house.
I think the fact that I have to make this a resolution at 35 speaks for itself.
4. Act like maybe I am aware that my health is an actual thing that must be considered.
This includes walking more, avoiding things that are bad for me, taking my medicine, and no longer denying that I know certain things, such as the fact that carbs are bad for people with my metabolic issues and chicken is healthier than beef. My capacity for denial is really peerless across the board, but when it comes to my own health it’s positively absurd. The mental calculations I perform in order to allow myself to continue to live in such a flagrantly unhealthy way are really taxing, and it’s time to let them go.
5. Get my shit together at work.
I need to find a way to make it work or go somewhere else. Current daily misery levels are not good for anyone, and I have begun to let down my guard and speak my mind when I know I should not. I need a more organized workspace, a relentlessly positive attitude, a quieter mouth, and to remind myself more frequently that I am nicely paid to do something that just isn’t that fucking hard when the elements of psychological warfare are stripped away. I don’t work in a coal mine. I don’t even work on my feet, for heaven’s sake. No one’s life is in my hands. In the span of human history, very few people have had it as good as I do, and I need to suck it the fuck up already and be a force for good from 9-5:30.
6. Try to become the kind of person I would want to love.
I have to have a love resolution in here somewhere, and I guess resolving to have someone fall in love with me is like resolving to have less humidity to contend with this summer. So, I’ll try to control the controllable, and work on making myself better in all aspects–mentally, physically, and emotionally–so that I can receive love should the universe deign to send some my way. I personally think my current incarnation–deeply flawed but self-aware and working on it as best I can while trying to have some fun along the way–is not so bad, but maybe I’m not hard enough on myself. Something certainly isn’t working.