New Year, New Thoughts

So it’s a new year, and while I haven’t done resolutions in quite some time, I realized that completely unrelated to the new year, I have a number of goals and projects that I think are important to my health and wellbeing, and so I thought I’d share them with you along with some thoughts about making resolutions that build myself up and help me integrate self care and self esteem into my life rather than creating resolutions that will just make me feel shitty. Welcome to self care resolutions!

  1. Read! I always feel better when I replace some of my computer time with reading time. IT helps me step back from what’s happening on the internet, gives me a little bit of escapism time, and makes me feel more productive. However I want to be a little more specific than just “read more” because that isn’t a very helpful goal. I’d like to continue to read each night before I go to bed, and start tracking what I’m reading on Goodreads. A tentative goal is 50 books this year, although I haven’t tracked before so I have no idea what’s reasonable.
  2. Deal with health issues. I think this is something more people could stand to do. I think a lot of us ignore random pains or weirdness because we don’t want to deal with going to the doctor or because it seems stupid. I’ve had headaches for my whole life and constant exhaustion for many years, no matter how much sleep I get. So this year I will go see a doctor and ask about these things. I will get a sleep study, I will see if there is a way to improve my quality of life. Because I fucking deserve it, and because I know that my emotions will be more stable when my physical health is stable. This is one of the Adulting things that I don’t feel I was ever taught: how to advocate for my own health, or identify when a problem is serious enough to warrant medical attention. So my secondary goal is also to improve my confidence around my ability to do Stupid Life Things.
  3. Look into a tubal ligation. I have never wanted children and I don’t ever see that changing. Permanent sterilization feels like an act of empowerment and control over my body to me. I would strongly prefer not to ever have to deal with birth control ever again. So this would take one (totally unlikely awful) stress off my mind: pregnancy. I was talking with a friend last night about this, and she pointed out that in addition, we cannot rely on abortion being readily available in the future. I don’t want my reproductive future to be contingent on our elected officials not being dicks to women. So: taking control.
  4. Finish editing my novel and start getting it out there to publishers. I’ve been working on it for a year, and I’m fine with taking my time (it’s a side project), but at some point I have to take the deep breath and be confident enough in my abilities that I cannot continue trying to “fix” it, because it will never be good enough. So one more run through, and then it starts going out. Writing and publishing a novel has been the one goal that has held through my entire life and I want to make that happen.
  5. Start eating meat again. Ok, hear me out on this one. I made the switch to vegetarianism in the midst of my eating disorder, and while I do strongly believe in the ethical principles of animal rights, I would be lying if I said the decision was not motivated by the disorder. It makes it easier to restrict, and it makes me less healthy. And while I have kept it up as I’ve started increasing my food intake, it has made it increasingly difficult to eat a balanced diet. I realize that there are people out there who can be completely healthy on a veggie or vegan diet, but I am not one of them. Thanks to a lot of my sensory issues around taste and texture I really can’t stomach most veggie proteins, which means that I’m gaining weight and getting minimal nutrition from my diet. I need to focus on eating well rather than just eating. I don’t like prioritizing my own health over animal rights, which is why this one is a challenge and a goal rather than just a simple decision for me. But it’s important for me to recognize that I deserve health and that I am allowed to prioritize myself. Acting it out by feeding myself helps me to convince myself that I deserve respect and care. It’s a choice that I can make to help shift my values. By consistently acting out something that I have rationally decided is important, I’m hoping to slowly adjust the emotions associated with it.
  6. This is the haziest goal I have: figure out what to do with the information that I am autistic. I haven’t had much spare time in the last few weeks since I got the diagnosis to decide whether I want to pursue any kind of treatment or pass info on to my therapist or read more about the autism community or what. I’d like to try going to a support group, and read more first hand accounts from others about how they have learned to cope. But I’d also like to do more research about whether there are different therapeutic techniques or ways of doing CBT that are more or less effective with autism. I just feel like I need more information, so that’s where I’ll start, and I hope to have something concrete to do with the diagnosis, some ways of helping myself that came out of that information by the end of the year.
  7. Climb a 5.11b. Feel good about it. This last year I got to the climbing gym pretty regularly through the whole year. It made a big difference and I’d really like to keep it up. I’d also like to actually keep improving, but I don’t want to forget to applaud myself and recognize when I hit goals. It’s too easy to continually be looking to the next thing. So more than any physical accomplishment, I want to take a little bit of time at each milestone to throw myself a little internal party and feel like a boss.
  8. Build a gaming table. Do more work with my hands. Most of the work that I do doesn’t produce nice, physical results that I can hold and see. While I love what I do, and I love writing, there’s something soothing and confidence building about creating something physical. I’ve been doing a lot of cross stitching recently and I think that’s a good start, but The Boyfriend and I both want to build a gaming table and I think that’s a good large goal for me to have. It’s clear, it shouldn’t be overly complex, and it’s something that I know I’ll use and want in the long term.

So that’s it. I’m focusing more on what makes me happy this year. What about you?


Values and Resolutions

New year’s resolutions are odd to me. No one ever seems to follow through on them, and they’re often forgotten within a few weeks of making them. Often they look like preening or attention-grabbing. However I do think that it’s a good idea to periodically take a good long look at your life and structure some goals or ideas to aim towards. Things have been a bit on the change-heavy side in my life lately, so this feels like a good time to assess and to try to understand why I set the goals that I do and how those goals fit into my values.


As I was working on writing my resolutions for this year, I really found myself struggling with what I felt were the resolutions I “should” be writing. It’s been obvious to me for a while that many times resolutions are a way for people to beat up on themselves about not doing enough, but in this case it felt more like a conflict of what my values were: did I really want to resolve to work harder to overcome my eating disorder this year, or did I want to resolve to lose some weight this year? This, in my mind is the important thing about resolutions: they force you to take stock of your values and then ask you how you can actually live out those values in concrete ways. I’ve had a very hard time with values, with identifying my own values, with truly committing to any set of values, for a long time, so this year for my resolutions I’m going to start each resolution with a value that I am choosing to commit to this year.


  1. Family: run a 5k with my dad for his birthday.
  2. Social justice and animal welfare: be better about my vegetarianism. No meat that is not produced ethically. Do not seek out meat.
  3. Intelligence/knowledge/curiosity: read more. This means taking some time out of each day to read a real book, not just blogs.
  4. Purpose and commitment: make a decision about what I’m going to do after I finish AmeriCorps. Commit fully to it. Actively work not to feel guilty or to continue revisiting the options I did not choose.
  5. Community/friends: be more social. Get to know more people. Actively reach out to the friends I do have.
  6. Self-reflection and creation: finish a draft of my book.
  7. Work, self-improvement: learn to accept criticisms without tailspinning emotionally. Work to incorporate criticisms actively into work.
  8. Life (yes life is a value that I have to commit to and it’s one I find difficult): find things that make me happy and excited. Engage in them often.
  9. Humility: spend some real time thinking about what it actually means to be humble in a positive way. Rethink the idea that self-flagellation is humility.
  10. Self-care: eat more cake. Both metaphorically and literally.