I am a big believer in reinventing oneself. It’s something my father taught me. Each year, on January 1, he would give me a new diary — one with a full page for each day of the year— saying that while it is hard to be honest to others or even one’s own self, it is easy to be honest to pieces of paper that nobody but the writer would ever read.
He would then ask me to sit me down and list five school-related and five personal life-related changes that would would make life a more positive experience for me. I didn’t need to show them to him. All I had to do is be honest — to the diary. Then, he would ask me to use the page for January 1 to list 10 habits I could develop that would help bring about those positive changes in my life. What he said, paraphrased (because I cannot remember the exact words) comes to this:
What life doles out to you, or, how others behave, are largely beyond your control. How you react to what life or others dish out, what principles you live your life by, and what habits you adopt that set you up for either success or failure, are entirely within your control, however. So, today, being the first day of a new year, is a new beginning: You can decide whether you are going to set yourself depends on the habits you inculcate. Today, think about how you want to be, and spend the rest of the year doing your best to be that better version of yourself. If you are unsatisfied with yourself, re-invent yourself. New beginnings have great power: the power of the seemingly clean slate. So, be a newer, better you.
And seeing as my father is the wisest man I have ever known, I decided to adhere to that tradition (even if I failed in its execution throughout the year to lesser or greater degrees) with the hope that someday I will arrive that a version of me that needs no more total redo versions.
My 2015 Resolutions:
- I WILL strive to live in the present moment and live it in happiness. It seems to have become the time I least occupy, dwelling instead in either the past, or innumerable possible future scenarios, each of them bad.
- I WILL update my lab notebook regularly, thus freeing my brain of brain-RAM that can be put to better use than remembering the exact point at which I am in a plethora of different lab projects and their experiments and instead just refer back to my notes.
- I WILL keep working on my portion-control as the way to lose weight and keep up the progress I have made (lost 6.5 lbs in December 2014)
- I WILL NOT be mean to Keith as a way to vent my own frustrations.
- I WILL meditate at least 5 days a week, even if for just 10 minutes. I will deepen my meditations through meditation retreats that require me to observe total silence for extended periods of time (I may explode though…I am positively beastly at keeping quiet for any length of time; I have been known to even talk in my sleep.)
- I WILL Learn to program Python and code some small little tool by the end of the year as a demonstration.
- I WILL work very hard on my general health and fitness, especially since Keith and I have decided on living the alternate lifestyle (involving camping, hiking, backpacking and NOT 1.5 kids in white-picket-fenced house nightmare).
- I WILL curb my natural inclination to spite people I am annoyed with.
- I WILL try to see the good qualities in each person I interact with instead of harping over their negatives.
- I WILL NOT spend all my free time hating S**** (even though she is an annoying, attention-whoring, lying bitch).
- I WILL graduate from my goddamn PhD degree so I can finally not be in grad school any more.
- I WILL blog at least 3X/week.