If you think New Year's resolutions are stupid, turn around. You might want to stop reading now. I don't even think of them as resolutions: I think of January as a time of reflection. It's a time of reflection on the past year — what you are happy you did, and what you wished you would have done more. And for those things you didn't do, January is a time to set in motion your new, improved self. And I love doing just that.
So, since we're well into January, I've been doing lots of reflecting. I've reflected on my work in the past year, where I've been physically and emotionally, and what my current habits show about me.
And sadly, my current habits show that my laptop is my best friend. I spend so much time bingeing social media and Netflix. I refresh Facebook so often that I know way too many details about people I've hardly met. My laptop goes with me to the bathroom as the "Law and Order: SVU" theme song plays. And as much as I love that satisfying "dun dun," I have seen every episode (more than once!), and I'm not contributing much to myself, or society, by constantly having it on. Sorry, Olivia Benson.
One thing I've been thinking about — and slowly trying to start actively doing, agh! — is spending my time in a more fulfilling way. I left my job in May, and when we moved to Italy, I had a bit of a personal existential crisis about what to do with new my time during my funemployment. I struggled to find what my purpose was in life post-job, as if my career provided that to me. And I'm learning more and more not to define myself by my job title, and that I am at my best creatively when I am happy.
But I'm also learning that my new freedom from a lack of a job can be almost crippling. I read a piece yesterday by Jonathan Harris — who created the storytelling platform Cowbird and a myriad of other amazing things — about his creative journey. And he said, "Sometimes I wonder whether too much freedom produces a weird kind of psychological paralysis, which is almost like a prison."