Sunday, March 26, 2006

New Year's Resolutions, 2006

I think that, years from now, the twelve-month span from October 2005 to October 2006 will be remembered as one of the most productive years of my life. During this time I have been pulling 17 hour days Monday through Friday, and trying to squeeze in practical matters such as laundry, auto maintenance, and getting married on weekends. Some weekends, I have been in 9-hour long classes, adding to the challenge.

I realized a while back that, unless I’m depressed, I am a highly energetic person. Since I’ve been living with G, I haven’t really been depressed. I have my down days, but not for weeks or months at a time. When I do have down days, we talk it out. Subsequently, I have been running on all cylinders for some time now. When I decided to get a massage therapy license, I knew that, if I wanted, I could simply not work for awhile, and just go to class, letting G take care of my basic needs. I didn’t want that – I wasn’t ready for it. Not yet. So I made the decision to fill my days with work and my nights with a different kind of work. I knew I’d enjoy my time. And I knew I had a lot of energy. I knew I could do this. And so I have.

I remember a couple of years ago, when I used to stagger home from work, immediately change into my pajamas, cook something menial for dinner, and spend the evening in front of the TV or the internet. Often, after several hours of this, a friend would call, and I’d get dressed, hop outside, and head to the local jazz club or Irish pub or Indian restaurant at 10pm. I remember feeling energized by the darkness of New York Streets. I used to wear a lot of makeup and funky clothes, hiding behind a glossy sheen of Stuff I Can Afford, like so many yuppies do, while we complain snottily about relationships and jobs and people who hold up the line at the grocery store, glancing at each other over the rim of an overpriced apple martini. It was a role I played, and for awhile, it was comfortable, and kind of fun. I sure loved the costumes.

I moved to New York City eleven years ago. I graduated from a performing arts academy. For a few years, I worked in hospitals, administratively assisting some of the top docs in their fields. I got married, and divorced. I had my four yuppie years, working in Midtown, living in Astoria and the Upper West Side. I sang with cover bands on Bleecker Street, and with That Guitar Man from Central Park. I sang in a supper club in Harlem. I sang with a concert opera company for around seven years. I joined a church and sang in their Christmas services, and for awhile was a regular soloist there. I found the divine inside myself, and outside myself, and learned to celebrate my faith, living it every day in my own way, unapologetically. I have owned upwards of 300 pairs of shoes. I have had one-night stands, office flings, bone-crushing love affairs, and everything in between. I have lived.

Wow, have I lived.

I am sitting now, as I have sat so many times before over the last two and a half years, at G’s living room desk, facing the windows which look over the Hudson river, the lights of the Tappan Zee and Westchester County blinking on as the sun sets somewhere behind me. The loudest sound is the refrigerator, making ice. I’m at home here. The cat is snoozing on the couch. G is reading in the bedroom. Everything is where it should be. The light from the desk lamp glints off my engagement ring.

I am still living life, absolutely, to the fullest. And now, it’s Spring again. Time for my New Year’s Resolutions.

Last year, I wrote this:

That amethyst crystal has never left my immediate living quarters since I brought it home that weekend. It sits in a place of honor on the altar to the Goddess which I maintain in my living room. It sits in the North, the direction of Earth, representing groundedness, the comfort of the Mother (pun definitely intended), solidity, and, being an Amethyst, spiritual awareness, clarity, and intuition. At some point this past winter I placed a golden Sacajawea dollar on top of it as a symbol of abundance, hopefully encouraging even more of those vibrations and qualities to flow through me.

I was referring to an Amethyst which I found when my parents and I cleaned out my grandma’s apartment, after her funeral. Of course, that amethyst is still on the altar, with the Golden dollar nestled in it’s facets.

My 2005 resolutions:

1) Pay off my first student loan in full (current ETA: October 11th) Nope. Not only that, I took out a new one.
2) Resume my Maiden Name. Done! As of January.
3) Become a licensed Massage Therapist. Well on my way.
4) Build up my savings. I’ve done pretty well at this. Not as much as I intended, but enough.
5) Increase my debt payments. Done!
6) Submit articles to at least four magazines by year end. Ouch. Didn’t do this. I submitted to one magazine, who almost used it, and then I flaked on the rest.
7) The minute I have health insurance, get to the dentist. Done. I never got health insurance, but I went to the dentist anyway, which was the point.
8) By the end of the year, two things:
a. Strategize how to eliminate the last of my loan debt Done, and working on it.
b. Begin preparing to buy a place of my own.Nope… but then, this goal has changed.

Not bad, given all that’s happened.

I know that, last year, I was not sure exactly where my relationship with G was going. I was too scared to really think about it. I think I knew I was in over my head with this guy, and was terrified of getting my heart broken again. I adopted a play-it-by-ear attitude with him. It turned out to be a good way to handle things. I simply lived for the happy times, and dealt with the difficult issues as they came up, resolved to be honest at all costs. This relationship has been like much of life – living to feel alive is much more satisfying than living to avoid death at all costs.

New Year’s Resolutions, 2006:

1) Pay down the rest of my debt. I’m so close. I know I can do this.
2) Submit articles to three magazines. JUST DO IT.
3) Have the gum surgery I’ve been putting off.
4) Graduate from school on time, with a 90+ average. (Apparently a lot of students graduate late, due to missed classes and clinic shifts. Not this Virgo.)
5) For April and May, double-pay my loan.
6) Go to some Karaoke nights. This not-singing thing has to stop.
7) Get my piano moved into this apartment.
8) Don’t fight with people I love. Be patient and understanding, but firm.
9) Get comfortable with not always being able to finish my lists.
10) TBA

So far, I have a four-day weekend in Chicago with my sisters planned for mid-May, and a one-week surprise vacation with G planned for June. (He won’t tell me where we’re going, hence the surprise.) I make the most of what little leisure time I have.

Things I would love to do, but know, due to my schedule and budget, I won’t be able to:

Attend some WYSIWYG shows.
Attend Moon Circles.
Attend Jess’s 40th birthday party. (I will call you though!)
Spend more time in Manhattan.
Visit friends anyplace other than my apartment.
Have long chatty late-night phone calls with loved ones.
See more movies.
Get smashingly, gloriously drunk.
Buy new clothes.
Hang with my cousins.

It’s ok. It’s only for seven more months. And it’s going to be a really great, challenging, fascinating, rewarding seven months.

A happy, blessed new year to all.


Jess said...

I look forward to the call. :)

I also look forward to you having more calm in your life, although I guess life is pretty good for you now, even if it is packed.

Steven said...

You are inspiring me to make that 2006 list of my own; I never prepared one this year, and it's good to have goals. Right on!!!

PatCH said...

Smashingly, gloriously drunk?


Lee said...

Go luck on the list!