Even though it is already the eleventh day of the year, this is truly my first working day of 2012. It's been so long since I had a routine, I don't even remember what my "normal" schedule is anymore!!
That's okay though. I'm the eternal optimist, always pushing for things to improve, so I see January as an excellent time to re-vamp my work schedule, set new daily and monthly goals for myself, start all fresh, and more along those lines.
I have a junk notebook that I keep in my car, wedged into the space between the seat and the console. I use it for lists, random thoughts, general paper needs that I have while driving. It's been there for more than two years, and I flipped through it yesterday. If I had a dime for every time I have written new goals in there, or, my favorite obsession, re-worked our budget and our future financial goals, well, gee, I'd have a lot more money than I 've actually saved towards those goals. :)
Makes me laugh at myself, but even when I know I'm doing the same things over and over, I just let myself do them. It helps my brain focus and reduces anxiety. I'm too set in my personality to change something that is so much a part of how I organize myself, even if it is a bit of a time waster.
Speaking of organizing and new starts, January is a natural time for tidying things up. After the chaos of Christmas, there's always a lot of clearing away and re-ordering of storage space to find room for new gifts. The decorations all have to be packed away; everything has to be cleaned and polished. January is a perfect time for this, so one of my goals for the month is to just keep cleaning up one small area every day. Emptying drawers, donating old clothes, that sort of thing.
January is a beautiful month. The days are short and gray, the trees stand stark without their leaves, thrusting sculpture into the sky. It's a ragged, rugged time of austere beauty. The comfort comes from the absence of light and warmth and softness. January calls us to those places in ourselves that are most barren but still lovely.
With that in mind, I've been considering letting go. Where do I want to focus my limited amounts of energy during this next year? My 24 hours per day of Time? What matters most? What will take me where I want to wind up? In January, I consider stopping this blog. I consider starting a journal that is just my own. I consider starting a new blog, with my new pen name. Or perhaps abandoning the idea of a pen name altogether. If I want to write and publish, I probably need a pseudonym just to distinguish my work from already published writers with my same name. But pseudonyms are complicated in themselves, more so for me, and perhaps it's not worth the hassle. And really do I even want to write? Is it even realistic for me to write and publish, now, with the amount of time I can give it, at my age? Am I perhaps already too old and too far down the stream of life events for the type of writing I would do?
I don't have answers yet, only lots of questions. What I know is that I cannot do everything I think of, and that if I focus, I probably can achieve the goals I set. I know that my business offers more opportunity than writing and that perhaps I should focus there. At least for the next few years. At least until the girls grow up and are independent. I have a teenager now. A gorgeous young lady, as tall as me, but much prettier, and she'll need money for college in just a few short years, and then her sister after her. That's a pretty sobering thought.
I have clients and a sort-of boss who count on me for regular work. I have a friend who wants to join me in business by this summer. And I have two growing girls who count on me to fill their every need, and whose needs are only going to continue to grow exponentially during the next eight years. And I feel myself getting older. I'm getting more settled, starting to look beyond the time when I will be so needed and engaged with being a mother, and imagining a calmer life with more room for personal growth and enjoyment with my husband. Just two adults again. I'd like that second half of life to be fulfilling and stable.
And I feel like all of those hopes and dreams, all that I wish for, it starts here. In January.