I know a lot of people who don’t like to make New Year’s Resolutions. I love making lists and giving myself goals and challenges, so I am all about them.
One nice thing about having a site is you can look back with perspective on what you’ve written earlier. 2017 was a tumultuous year for women–the first March on Washington, the #metoo movement began. I can’t say that 2018 was much better–more marches, more #metoo, Christine Blasey Ford. I feel as if many women (like me) have spent the last two years beyond frustrated and completely flummoxed and enraged at the continuing assaults thrown at us. At the same time, we are getting really good at banding together as a strong, positive force to be reckoned with (hello, the incoming freshman Congress). Change is coming. But it is slow. And exhausting. Thankfully, we’re learning how to deal; when we’re tired we step back, find more strength, pick each other up and push forward again.
In 2017, being proactive was my number one resolution; since then donating money, showing up to demonstrate and speaking out have become second nature. In 2018, it was meeting more women–an evergreen resolution.
What do I plan to do more of 2019?
- Share more women’s stories. The most gratifying experience of doing this site has been meeting new women and hearing and sharing their stories. I am currently working on some new venues in which to do this that will ad to your experience and hopefully broaden my audience. Stay tuned on this–some announcements will hopefully come soon.
- Give my time to others. Last year, tired of the “I’m Too Busy” culture that predominates, I started tutoring kids at a local high-school (with a low graduation rate) every Monday afternoon. Lately I’ve been working with them weekly on their college application process. My heart breaks listening to their stories–many are almost unimaginable. I so want them to succeed and they deserve it. I plan on finding even more time this year to help and encourage them.
- Get offline and get creative. There is a rather mind-boggling article in the NY Times about what we could do with all the time and money wasted from being online. The idea that our phones are evil will get us nowhere since we rely on them for so much, and frankly, I have been inspired by and discovered many new women, artists, places and things on Instagram that I do not plan on giving it up (nor can I, obviously). That said, I do want to carve out time to do something hands on. Am thinking of a stone carving class, which I almost started this week and then bailed, because I am deep in catch up mode from the holiday slack off. If you consider trying something new for two hours a week and taking that time from the hour(s) you spend online, I think it would be a win-win.
- Travel more. Always. Where am I going this year? Austin and Marfa again next month….after that who knows. Chile, Japan, Oaxaca are all on my wish list.
- Make an effort. This is a perennial. You would think I could stop reminding myself, but apparently I still need prodding. Whether it’s getting dressed in the morning (I easily fall into winter outfit ruts) or setting the table for family dinner, I’m going to make an effort to look my best and find and add beauty to the everyday aspects of my life. Sure beauty and adornment aren’t nearly as important as helping people in need, but there is great value in cherishing the idea of beauty and presentation. It’s human nature. It’s also a premise of TFI, to try to live life with flair.
- Be more thoughtful. About everything. I am not going to let go of being spontaneous–that is a must. But I am going to be deliberate about the decisions I make, the people I surround myself with, even the things I buy.
What do I want to do less of in 2019?
- Waste time on people who take up too much time. I will learn to say “I can’t right now.” Or more honestly, “I don’t have time for that right now.”
- Throw in my unsolicited opinion when I should just listen. I am so tired of the quick-to-judge nature social media has created and also have also listened to a lot of experts discuss how to deal with people you love and respect who have different opinions. It’s called listening. It’s also easier said than done. I’m excellent at it when I’m doing an interview, but not as good when I’m having a personal conversation. This, like everything stated above, is a work in progress.
Wishing you a brilliant 2019!
maria devaney says