I’m not quite sure how appropriate it would be to say “Happy Festivus.” After all, this annual holiday allows us to air our grievances rather than to celebrate loved ones orÂ gives thanks — both of which I could be better at doing right now and throughout the past year.
In fact, I figured I would take the time not to complain but rather to be thoughtful over the ways that I could improve over the next year and throughout the rest of my life. My intent isn’t to be negative but to take responsibility because I think I’ve been blaming my emotions too much on other people and circumstances, and that leads to no happiness for anyone.
Over this year, I tried to take on too many of my friends’ problems. In the process, I became anxious and unhappy. I wouldn’t set aside time for myself in a meaningful way, and this would make me resentful for my friends who would seek out my assistance more than I could give it. The best version of Cole would be able to set boundaries so resentment doesn’t set in, and she would also remain grateful for those who do seek her help. It’s flattering to know that people trust me with their personal issues and feelings and that they seek my counsel as someone who will won’t judge them. That people think little ol’ me is smart enough to give safe advice is quite the compliment!
More recently, I’ve allowed others’ words to fester. I’ve imagined insults and competition, snark and other general negativity where it probably didn’t exist. Many of these things were intended as a joke, with a light intention or simply offhand. I read too much into these things, and held onto the negative thoughts they caused in my own mind. Going forward, I should remember that people, especially those who love me, don’t mean harm. And that if I am experiencing troubled thoughts, there are appropriate ways to communicate those feelings.
Resentment has often built this year over the belief that I am somehow better than people. However, the only thing that truly makes me better is by thinking and acting in a way that I can respect and in a way that would hopefully encourage others to do the same.Â Being kind to others seems to be one of my main priorities. To treat people with respect and not to let my shortcomings color our interactions. To believe the best in people because wouldn’t I want them to do the same?
In 2014, I have been mindful about reaching out to others. I should continue to do this, so that they may provide support if they want, and so I won’t have to shoulder the entire load myself. My feelings are intense and my thoughts are acute, but I don’t have to do that alone. Perhaps I could re-build connections with some of my family members, who I haven’t been particularly close to in years.
It’s not just my interactions with others, however. I think I will have to reconsider some goals for the next year. Whether that is to make Reviews by Cole my full-time job (unlikely), to pursue creative writing in a professional manner (ie getting published), going back to school, attending conventions for blogging or sexuality or making some short-term investments that will bring me close to home ownership within the next decade. Really, many of these things could be done simultaneously, and my main de-motivator might be fear or a lack of belief in myself. Or perhaps I am simply too complacent.
I think I would also like to add a physical activity that has a social aspect. Perhaps something like yoga. I’m not into sports per se, nor do I love spending too much time outside during winter. Although, perhaps I could take up something fun such as disc golfing during the summer time. 2015 might be the year that I finally get some volunteering in or join a book club, which would ensure that I get more reading done, too.
With these thoughts in mind, I will end this post but look forward to the coming year!