Ah, the New Year.
Tomorrow starts another trip around the sun.
Many people use the beginning of a New Year to start afresh, to make changes to their lives, to try to be better people.
I’m not really doing that this year, although I had a sudden compulsion to buy a $40 planner yesterday to try to get myself and my year more organized.
I started my “New Me” in July, when I started P90X.
In 3 months, I lost 15 pounds, 11 inches off my waist, and more inches off my chest, hips, and thighs.
In the one month that I’ve been back on it since my break, I’m down a total of 18 pounds, and about 11.5-12 inches off my waist. I’m only 12.8 pounds away from my first weight loss goal, and only 43 pounds from my final goal.
This New Year, for me, is about continuing to cultivate good habits: eating better, working out every day (at least 4 times a week), and spending more time “unplugged.”
On Christmas Day, my fella and I went to brunch at a great little Thai spot near the house. We’re both pretty avid people watchers, but on this day, I found myself drawn to the table next to ours, where four late teens/early twenties sat, on their phones. For the first 10 minutes that they were there, the only time they looked up from their phone screens was when the waiter came by. They sat in silence. They didn’t speak to each other. For 10 minutes! Watching this, I became grossly aware of the tendencies I have to be on my phone when I’m out with Morgan. USUALLY, if we’re out with other people, I stay off it till the very end, but a lot of the time, when we’re at a restaurant or bar, Morgan and I will both chat for a few minutes, and then spend a few minutes looking at our phones.
I really don’t like that this has become such a normal occurrence. I don’t like that when I go visit friends, I have a habit of pulling my phone out when I don’t have anything to say.
Over the last week, I’ve made more of an effort to keep my phone/web use to a minimum. I used to spend all day at work cruising around on Yelp writing reviews, and chatting with people. I’ve stopped almost completely. If we’re super slow, and I don’t have a book, I might hop on there for a minute, but, not nearly to the extent that I used to. Morgan and I went to my parents’ house for Christmas Eve, and I kept my phone in my coat pocket all night. I didn’t even take it out to take a picture of my dog in his new bed! On Boxing Day, we spent the evening with some friends celebrating Hogswatch, and I’m proud to say that the only time the phone came out was to take pictures of the delicious food my friend had prepared, and to take a “thank you” call from my nieces and nephew in Chicago.
Last night, I had a lapse, and spent the better part of 3 hours on my phone, but so did Morgan. We were at the ER, and he was in pain…there’s only so much “Its going to be ok baby” either of us could take. But realistically, I feel that there has been serious improvement.
Its my goal, in the coming year, to try to spend more time face to face with people. I want to spend more time actually talking with and enjoying my friends.
In my last post, I mentioned the loss of one of my best friends. Its been two weeks since he died, and while we really didn’t speak often over the last few months, I miss him terribly. I really regret not calling him more often to hear his voice…instead we’d text. I regret not taking a trip out to see him. I regret not badgering him until he came to see me in Vegas.
But losing Jake has inspired me to really make more of an effort with the people that I love and care about. I have many friends that I don’t see often enough, simply because of being “busy.” Well, I’m done being busy. I’m almost 35 years old, if I don’t start living my life now, and really enjoying every moment of it, its going to be too late before I know it.
I’ll need to start small, of course. Putting my phone away 30 minutes before bed, turning it off when I get to a bar or a party, NOT photographing everything I eat…I also want to set aside one day a week where I keep my phone off for the entire day. Just have one day to myself. This will also include the computer, unless I’m watching a movie, but I want to try to spend some of those days crafting, knitting, reading, playing cards or other games.
Technology is a wonderful thing that has the ability to bring people closer together, and in many cases it has. Through social networking sites, I’ve been able to get acquainted with several women who share several passions of mine (belly dance is the first common passion, and we’ve discovered several others through the years), and these women, even though we’ve never met in person, have become real friends! People that I think about often, and consult when I have a problem, or just need to vent.
But technology also has the dangerous potential to completely isolate us, if we aren’t careful. We can be “out with friends” and spend the majority of our time on Facebook instead of talking to the people that we are face to face with.
I’m not going to let that happen to me. I’m tired of telling people “I miss your face” and not doing anything about it. I miss your face, so lets get together next weekend for a night of board games! Who doesn’t love Cards Against Humanity?! I miss your face, do you want to come over for dinner? Morgan is cooking! And once you’re there, tell me, how are you doing? REALLY, I want to know!
My New Year’s resolution is simple: I want to be a better person, and friend. I know what I have to do to accomplish this goal, and I am determined to do it.
May your New Year be safe, warm (its really cold here today), and full of life!