It's been a long, arduous year, filled with many trials for almost everyone I know. Many of my friends and family have had to contend with employment issues, romantic problems, or the deaths of loved ones -- some at the same time -- and I was not immune to these. But sometimes I let myself get so involved in the bad, that it envelops me, which is why the latter part of this most-horrendous year was dedicated to finding the hope and brighter side of everything that happened.
I think (read: hope) that it worked, because I have been generally happier lately, all things considered. And through it all, I found out a lot about who my real friends were, how amazing my family really is, and just how far you can push a nice guy before he stops caring. That last one is especially true when it comes to my list, because I made too many concessions for people in 2010, which consistently backfired. So, as I begin to piece this list together, I'll start it off right:
In 2011, I resolve to...
1) ...stop letting people who aren't my friends -- or who aren't being good friends -- dictate who I can or cannot spend time with. Avoiding a party full of great people just because my ex didn't want to see me and got my former best friend to tell me off is the last favor I do for someone who so clearly hates me. No more, 2011. We decide who our friends really are!
2) ...stop putting off going to the doctor. Starting January 1, I will finally have great health insurance for the first time in almost four years! I keep toughing through things, hoping I'll get better naturally, but let's face it: I'm not wolverine. So in 2011, "If it's broke, fix it."
3) ...cover my ass on the little things. When times got tough, and I had to tighten my belt, I thought renter's insurance was a simple corner to cut! But even in one of the safest neighborhoods I've ever lived in, things went awry, and I lose a lot of stuff. So this year, I will err on the side of caution once I start rebuilding my temple of technology.
4) ...Run! A lot! In a little while, I'm going to go buy some new running shoes, and soon enough I will break them in. Maybe, by the end of 2011, I will even try a half-marathon. I might have used to run track in early college, but I never willingly ran past seven miles. I was too scared of my asthma, but finding a fix for that goes along with No. 2 on my list!
5) ...be less liberal about my use of the words/phrases "awesome," "legendary," "mind = blown," "snap," and an iterations of "best. thing. ever.," when they're not applicable. I know it annoys some people, entertains others, and the majority of you have probably written it off as normal (albeit weird) for me! So it's not stopping completely, just becoming more frugal. Because even I recognize that things like finding a lost guitar pick do not merit note, much less a, "Best. Day. Ever!" Not all the time, at least.*
6) ...keep telling people I care about the truth, or what's on my mind, or when I think they're doing something amazing, because people deserve to hear that. Good people deserve honesty, and to be reminded that they are appreciated or admired! In the same respect, people need to be told when they're out of line, or wrong, because letting someone continue on in ignorance will only beget more issues later. But don't worry, I know how to pull my punches.
7) ...start eating breakfast, and eating healthier. I say this every year, and it goes well until about March. I will try again, because my amazing older brother -- Daniel, who is a vegan -- has been showing me more and more that I can enjoy many (not all) completely natural, healthy foods. Just, you know, no more vegan-friendly gravy for Thanksgiving.
8) ...continue doing what I love for a living! I am constantly grateful that I get to do web-development, and that I am using my degree to its fullest, because I enjoy it. It's not a luxury many people get, and though I may gripe about work now and then (really, who doesn't?) I am always careful to remind people that I love my job. I wish this kind of luck to anyone else who is looking for a position: love what you do. It makes getting paid for it so much sweeter.
9) ...build myself a website. I might as well make good on what I wanted to do last year now that I have some money. I don't know what I'll do with the site, but odds are I'll just move my blog there, or start trying my hand at amateur photography/videography. I mean, really, I should put my entire skill-set to use for myself once in a while.
10) ...buy a girl flowers! No, I don't have anyone in mind. And no, it doesn't necessarily have to be romantic. I have bought single roses plenty of times before, but it has been several years since I bought a girl a whole bouquet of flowers (and I remember exactly when too). So, along with caring for my new Peace Lily, I will also shell out for what I used to believe was a pointless, and very fragile token of affection. It's on the road to change.
-- That's it for now. I'll add more as I think of them, but I'm tapped out. Have a wonderful, safe, and Happy New Year!
*Addendum: My use of the phrases "crazy-random-happenstance" and "bam, said the lady" are infrequent enough that I will continue using them. Plus, they really are kind of awesome.