Top 5 Rules for Taking 2019 by the Proverbial Balls
By Carrie Joyner
New Year, New Me....we hear it all the time. But how many of us really mean it?
There are a lot of negative posts floating around on social media about 2018 and a lot of optimism about 2019.
This is going to be the year, apparently, that everyone with an Instagram or facebook account change everything.
I love the romanticism of the idea, but it’s kind of the same story every year and a lot of hype goes into the New Year and its symbolism.
I think it’s fabulous to “review” the year- what went wrong, what went right, what didn’t change and what needs to change. Kind of an inventory check aka self- reflection.
The reality is most of us are probably going to party way too hard tonight and wake up nursing one of the worst hangovers of the “new year”. Ah, maybe the New Year resolutions can start on the 2 nd of January instead of tomorrow?
Either way, doing my own self-reflection I pin-pointed a few things that I need to change or at least be mindful of this year.
1.) Respect Time.
“The Problem is that you Think you have Time”- Buddha
I love this quote. I think Buddha meant this more universally about being present and mindful, but it applies to punctuality, too. I have noticed, and so have others (cough, cough) that I tend to leave things a little to the last minute, especially when it comes to being “on time”.
Whether it’s for a meeting, work, getting my son to school, showing up to a scheduled dinner, etc- I always seem to be “just on time”, a few minutes late or some natural disaster prevented me from showing up anywhere near on time.
It’s a problem.
And it’s rude.
I always say how much I hate it when people waste my time by cancelling meetings, not showing up, making me wait, etc.- so why do I feel that it is excusable for me to do the exact same thing to others? It’s not. When I owned my yoga/fitness studio I would be livid if I didn’t start one of my classes on time for whatever reason or if an instructor came in late with car trouble excuses yet a room full of clients waiting to start the class. It was my show, though...and if anything happened on my watch, I was accountable.
Lately I seem to be making a lot of excuses to myself and others about my punctuality and that is going to change out of respect to the others that it affects. Time is money, we all know this, but is also a verbal contract with the other person when a meeting is set; whether it is drinks with a friend or an early meeting with colleagues, punctuality does matter and a lack thereof doesn’t go unnoticed. I used to work for a film producer and we had a lot of meetings with directors, actors and other very animated characters, one famous porn star in particular was always late...if she showed at all.
Sitting at a famous restaurant in Beverly Hills waiting for her one day, the producer said to me “5 minutes late is understandable, 10 is annoying and anything over 15 minutes is just rude”. That stayed with me but hasn’t exactly been applied, until now. The president of the radio station I work with now takes it another degree higher and says “showing up on time means you are late. Always plan for something to go wrong and show up early”.
Food for thought and advice I will take with me into 2019. I don’t think I will be joining the 5am club, but maybe setting the alarm a bit earlier. Baby steps.
2.) Find and nurture love
I have wrestled with this one a lot over the course of my life so far. A lot of important people have come and gone from my bubble over the years, and I am not referring to death- just leaving or being left. I am also not just referring to romantic love, but the ability to trust, love and release your entire being to another with full confidence. Going through my parents divorce in my teenage years and my own in my thirties was not fun or easy. Not that it ever is. I can admit that I have abandonment issues which probably prematurely wrecked or sabotaged some other very important relationships with people I cared about in the past.
For that, I am sorry. I put up the walls and always used that “you can’t fire me because I quit” mentality if anyone got too close and I thought I could get hurt.
Fight or flight?
It ultimately doesn’t do anyone any favors and is a fabulous way to cheat myself out of a lot of goodness. In some cases, crazy just has to go but they are the exceptions to the rule. There is a communication gap in a lot of relationships and it needs to be filled, as painful as it may be at the time, it HAS to be filled. We all have, will be or are going through relationship issues- whether they are friendships, romantic, parental or professional. It is very easy to look back and dwell on the past, to dissect it and get caught up in details and existential grief. It is much harder to just be where you are.
Breath it in, soak it in and take that inventory again of who IS in your life right now that brings love, joy, happiness and focus on nurturing and growing those relationships. Learning to soften and let go into the arms of love- be that of a child, lover or friend...to really open up, be vulnerable and soak in love.
Listen, learn and love.
It is such a cliché, but its an inside job and it starts with one’s self...which leads me to number three;
3.) Radical Self Care
For a new mom, this could be as simple as a 30 minute (ok, fifteen?) bath with candles and soft zen music as someone watches the baby. Just TAKE TIME to be alone. I have been learning this as time marches on.
My son is almost twelve, so the new mom category is out for me, but I have been doing this a lot lately. Reading more, watching movies, sleeping in, going to the gym... just unplugging from life
when I can etch out a few minutes, hours...whatever.
Just making sure I do this every day makes being a single mom with two jobs actually fun. Here’s another cliché, but we all know that you will never be able to love or give of yourself freely if you don’t take the time to nurture and honor yourself. Running around in thirty different directions most of the time is a reality for most single working parents with a child in sports...but carving out that “me” time and making it a DAILY ritual is the key to not only functioning but thriving in light and love.
Take that trip! Hang out with that girl from high school who messaged you out of the blue on Facebook. Disconnect so you have more room to fully connect.
It’s like charging your phone...it eventually dies if you don’t charge it, right? It’s not about being selfish, its about self preservation and ultimately, getting that glow back. Maybe its not a brand new wardrobe or expensive surgeries- but a pretty new top, or a hair cut, or a massage up north at a thermal spa.
Get militant with protecting your downtime.
Say NO more.
Do LESS when you can and don’t need to be overextending for useless gatherings with people you don’t care about.
Networking is amazing, but in small organized doses. That’s what it has been for me lately- prioritizing my time and making sure I am giving myself enough of that yummy me time.
4.) Be Kind
It’s that simple.
As a former yoga teacher I learned a lot from my students. The most important lesson is to back off on the knee-jerk judgement calls on people.
You honestly never really know what the other person has been or is going through. EVERYONE has a story. Take the time to smile at strangers, but not in a creepy way, of course, and preferably not in a public bathroom.
Just be gentle with people.
Not everyone is out to get you, and some people may be on the verge of some pretty dark stuff that you know nothing about. Give your clothes away to a shelter, buy a homeless person a meal or at least a coffee or tea, tip more than you normally do if the waiter/waitress went out of their way to serve you with a smile even though they could be having a horrible day.
It doesn’t take much to do something nice for someone everyday and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. It could just be a compliment, opening a door, asking someone how they are doing... whatever.
I find you get treated the way you treat people.
Maybe just simple karmic law, but I plan on finding a lot more ways to, simply put, be nice.
(Side note: Don’t be a fool either ...some people don’t deserve your energy. Learn how to read this carefully and donate that energy accordingly. Know when to trust your gut and move on).
5.) Be grateful
One of my friends on Facebook posted something yesterday that instantly got me thinking about how grateful I am for everything I am and have.
I am far from perfect and there is a laundry list of things that I
need to work on, from my physical health to career goals to finding a really good hair treatment... just constantly striving to better myself.
But I have my health, ten fingers, ten toes, my beautiful son and family, friends, a great career, love, both my parents are healthy and alive...another nephew is on the way soon.
I am so blessed and the gifts keep growing. So, this friend on Facebook posted about someone in his life who was in a wheel chair for 30 years, and now entering into their last quarter of life, a woman who broke a leg or a hip or something...and all of his pictures were of her as a young woman; healthy, beautiful, strong and then a photo of her in a wheel chair lifting weights at what looked like about eighty years old in a hospital somewhere.
DAMN! I thought.
It really is all about how we look at things/situations and our attitude that can get us in or out of a positive mind set.
Sometimes I hear people complaining about really trivial stuff (I need to lose 20 lbs, guys don’t hit on me anymore, I can’t afford XYZ, I am not smart enough, good looking enough, etc) and I will admit I get caught up in the negative self talk myself at times, but the important thing to remember is these fighters.
Never getting caught up in a defeatist mindset, rather focusing on the end game.
I guess that is what it comes down to this time of year.
I said “baby steps” before, and while I do
believe the small changes add up to the big ones, I think selling ourselves short of our wildest dreams is
Tonight, as everyone is out partying,
I am going to set down some pretty lofty goals for 2019
because I know I can attain them.
Shoot for the moon,
because even if you don’t reach you will still end
up with the stars, right?
Happy New Year! Cheers to owning 2019
1/3/2019 08:26:06 am
Love Caroline's honest and inspirational writing - she has the courage to reveal what many of us feel but don't share!! She should write her biography or a novel - I'd buy it!!
1/3/2019 06:47:31 pm
Thanks a lot for sharing this article, Frank. It's really wonderful with lots of heart-warming advice and wise perspectives on life and love. I really appreciate how she said this:
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