2015 – Discernment, More and Less

New Years resolutions aren’t my thing anymore – like a lot of my friends, I choose a word for my year, set a few goals, and that’s about it.

Last year was recognition – as in recognizing my own habits, recognizing opportunities to use what I already know, and also being recognized/recognizing myself for my talents.

2014 In Review

I did pretty well in the recognition arena last year. 2014 included:

  • Being semi-officially named Senior Technical Writer at my dayjob
  • Managing to get another writer hired and promoted semi-officially to be my manager (which enabled me to get out of managerial duties. I haaaaate them)
  • I signed up for very few classes and read comparatively fewer self-help books, and found myself not only realizing how much I already know but actually starting to feel like an adult, holy crap.
  • I started working with a great local doctor on getting my fibro back under control.
  • I admitted to myself that it was time to give up Aikido for the forseeable future and focus on getting healthy. This was really hard and took most of the year for me to get to that point.
  • I was accepted to vend at Pantheacon this coming February, which is super exciting.
  • I realized that the psychological benefit I was getting from making my library a forever home for any book that crossed my path was no longer particularly significant, and decided to cull my book collection as part of my 2015 work.

Yes, you Read That Correctly. 2015 in Preview

This year’s word is discernment, the ability to grasp and comprehend the obscure and to judge wisely. Basically, I see it as recognition one or two difficulty levels up.  It ties in really well with the last item in my list above, which is nice.

Folks who have known me for a long time are probably a bit shocked that I am seriously planning on getting rid of some of my books. For ages, I’ve refused to do so, to the point that I own over 1,600 books. I’ve defended my library tenaciously, and found a lot of comfort in the long rows of bookcases.

In a lot of ways, I think hanging on to every single book, regardless of quality or attachment, served as a self-soothing mechanism. I didn’t have to worry about that aggravating feeling of wanting a book and knowing I used to own it. It gave me something people found impressive. It was evidence of all the places I’ve been and books I’ve read.

However, over the last few years, I’ve worked really hard on my own self-confidence and security, and I don’t really need that security blanket anymore. In fact, I think I’d prefer to have a library with a higher awesomeness quotient and fewer books to what I have now, where the awesome is mixed in with the unnecessary. Time to use some discernment and separate the wheat from the chaff.

It took me a few months to get to this point, and reading Experience Curating by Joel Zaslofsky was a big part of my coming to this decision. The idea of artfully maintaining a constantly-curated collection of books has an appeal similar to growing roses or having a garden. I’m excited to see how this goes, and am hoping to blog about it on the way.

My friend Mazarine posted lists of what she’d like more of and less of in the coming year. I like this idea!

In 2015 I’d like MORE:

  • Time outside 
    I’ve taken up Tai Chi, and reached a point where I don’t have enough room inside to practice. I live really close to two gorgeous park-type-areas, and want to spend more time there. I’m also trying to visit the Portland Japanese Garden at least once a month. It’s good for my sanity.
  • Bookbinding, book selling, book repair, et al
    Unsurprising, I’m sure.
  • Blogging
    I am spending way too much free time doing pointless crap (see below), and that’s taking up the time I used to spend blogging. Not cool! More blogging, less faffing about!
  • Sleep
    Even though I know I do best on about 9hrs of sleep  (or at least, 9hrs between lights-out and alarm-beeping) but struggle with actually getting that much. I want to sleep more this year, dammit.
  • Time with friends
    I really like my local friend, but it seems like I hardly ever see most of them! I want that to change. I have a great local community, I want to spend more time with them.

In 2015 I’d like LESS:

  • Faffing about
    This is usually on the internet – puttering around Tumblr, Facebook, et al, reading random articles and watching random videos. This can be fun and good, but in small doses. So, I want to do this less.
  • Debt
    I’m about to pay off one of my credit cards, which is really exciting. I want to get at least one more paid off this year if I possibly can, and take a good whack at the others as well.
  • Unhealthy eating/drinking
    I know how the things I consume affect me, but part of the reason I’ve been doing so poorly health-wise is that I’ve been letting myself eat whatever I feel like rather than what’s actually good for me. There are heaps of things that taste fabulous and don’t set off my food sensitivities or aggravate my fibromyalgia. I want to choose the unhealthy crap less often.
  • Hustle and bustle
    This ties in with the faffing about – I let myself wind up with a lot of little crap hanging over me and then stress about it all. It’s like the clutter in the house, but it’s in my brain instead. I wind up feeling really busy but not like I’m accomplishing anything. Time for that to reduce significantly.
  • Stressing out about my dayjob
    My dayjob is really, really important to me. I take it really seriously. I also find it really really really stressful – mostly because I don’t leave my work at work at the end of the day. I want to notice when this happens and let the stress go. I can stress about my dayjob while actually working on my dayjob, it doesn’t have to affect me 24/7.

Phew! That’s a lot. How about you, readers? What are you hoping for this year?

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One Response to 2015 – Discernment, More and Less

  1. Alex Summers says:

    I’m hoping (since this is to an extent outside of my control) for less distraction this year. The biggest example is that, in 2014, my office had to move, which is a huge distraction from both work and life.

    I’m planning on less time commuting (and the concomitant stress), which is of course a direct result of the above.

    -Alex