I’ve been meaning to return to the blog here and write down a few things I plan to do to own 2016. I know I have to make some changes in my life, and sometimes writing it down helps to make it official. So, we don’t have to call these resolutions, or even plans, exactly. They’re just a few things I want to do or change about my life as the year goes on.
1) Get a new job
The place I work now has become pretty stressful, especially over the past year or two. I’ve worked in customer service jobs for the past 15 years, and while much of it has been great, and I’ve enjoyed the comradery of my co-workers, much of it has really become stressful. I dread going into work lately, and literally was on the verge of a panic attack when I started getting dressed today. It’s not any one thing causing it, it’s that I think I just need a change. Unfortunately, the job market kind of sucks right now. Still, I’m keeping my eyes and options open.
2) Read more books
I do a fair amount of reading each day, but it’s mostly articles online. Not enough, maybe, but likely more than the average person. What I’ve really slacked off on lately has been reading books. I’m a bit of a bibliophile, and because of that, I end up buying a couple dozen books for every one that I read. So my “to-read pile” is just getting ridiculously high. I’d like to make a dent in that as the year goes on, and, more than that, I want to read books (and articles) that educate me, as well as challenge my viewpoints about the world.
3) Write more
I know, I know. I’ve said this a few times on this blog recently, but it really is something I want to do. Truthfully, I do feel like I have done a better job of it lately. True, until this post here, I hadn’t written anything in nearly a month. But, before that, I was writing somewhat regularly. I don’t feel any pressure to pump out a blog every day, or even every week. But if I can put something down two or three times a month, at least, I think I’d be pretty satisfied with that. As much as I’d like to write a few opinion pieces, I may want to focus more on personal stories and “confessional” type writing. This is Confidential Korbus, after all.
4) Make time to meditate
It’s not exactly a secret, nor is it something I talk about regularly, but I have suffered with a fair amount of clinical depression and anxiety in my life. I’ve seen different doctors, been on and off medication, and yes, even read a bunch of the so-called “self-help” books. In my mid-twenties I began to study Buddhism and got into meditation, specifically Samatha to help calm my mind and, to a lesser extent, dabbled in Vipassana as well. I feel like I got a fair amount out of it, too. But, like a lot of things throughout my life, I didn’t keep up with it, and eventually I fell out of practice altogether. Though I definitely do not see it as a substitute for medical help, I’d like to get back into a routine with it, if not daily, at least a few times per week
5) Eat less
Hard as it may be to believe, I was once in decent shape. Granted, it was many years ago, when I played organized baseball, but still! It happened! Though there were small signs of mental illness at the time (I always called them my “quirks”) as I got deeper into my teenage years, they began to take on the form of weight gain. Eating was something I did when I was lonely or sad, or even when I was happy. I ate when I was celebrating, I ate when I was bored. I just ate, period. Even now, when I go to a restaurant, I look at my dinner like a challenge: eat it all, regardless of whether you are even hungry or feel full. Just a couple weeks back, for instance, I was halfway through a burrito at a local Mexican restaurant when I could feel myself hitting a wall. Instead of asking for a container to take the rest home, I pushed myself to finish everything. It was stupid. I was so uncomfortable that I could barely get back to the car afterward. In 2016, I want to stop looking at food like a challenge, like it’s some obstacle to be overcome. Instead, the challenge will be to slow down. Pace myself. And, by all means, not to be afraid to ask for a take-home container.
6) Do more yoga
As a treat for myself around my birthday a couple years ago, I bought a DDP Yoga DVD set. Right away I took to it, and I actually enjoyed it. Within just a few days, I could feel results. For one, I felt stronger. My knees felt better. I seemed to have more energy. After working with the program regularly for a while, I took a weekend off. That weekend turned into a whole week. Next thing I knew, I hadn’t done my workouts in months. I still haven’t. But that laziness ends now. I’m going to clear a space in my bedroom, roll out my mat, grab my yoga block and strap, and get back to work. My goal with yoga isn’t actually to lose weight. I simply want to feel better. If I lose a few pounds as a result, great.
7) Take walks
I spend a lot of time inside. It’s way past time for me to get out more. And while I can’t say I live in a nice neighborhood, it is an area I feel safe in both day and night. This little community I call home has a lot of side streets with cute names, and a longer winding road that circles them. All of which provide plenty of room for walking. There’s a park area nearby, along with a playground, and there’s a few interesting characters that plod along around here as well. There’s Teddy, an older gentleman who I kid is an aging mobster responsible for “taking care of business” in the neighborhood. He doesn’t know it, but I refer to him as Capo di Teddy. There’s also a man who I just call “the Philosopher,” for no other reason than that he walks along with his hands clasped behind his back and his head down, as if lost in thought. I don’t know what my nickname will be once I start taking more regular walks, but I hope it’s something cool.
So, there it is! Are there more things I’d like to change? Yeah, probably. But I think these seven things provide a pretty solid foundation. I’ll be pleased to make progress on all of them as the year goes on, and hopefully continue developing positive habits further on into the future.
How about you? What are you doing to own the new year? Leave me a comment on the blog, or drop me an e-mail to let me know.