This has been one of my favorite prompts so far! But when it came through on Saturday, I knew it would take some time to put together a meaningful response. I needed time to mull. What eleven things would I want to eliminate from my life in 2011? How would I accomplish it? What would it mean in my life? Here goes:
How to solve this problem? I'm going to have to start meal planning, consulting recipe books, trying new things. The tried and true and getting old and dull. And once I have meals planned, I am going to post them on the calendar - thus eliminating the need to ask at all. I also need to resort more often to the measured response of "I am fixing xxx for dinner. If you don't like that, you are welcome to fix your own." I just have to let go of caring what response comes next from the mouths of my babes. If I can do that, I will feel a lot more calm around the issue of what's for dinner.
2. Drama. With a capital D. And by this I mean teenage drama surrounding the littlest things such as what's for dinner, to the biggest things such as fights with the boyfriend. Since I cannot control the drama being created by these darling creatures of mine, I'll need to control my response to it. I can't fix it. Nothing I can say will be right. Offer advice only when specifically asked. If it's too much, count to ten and walk away. Just walk away. And breathe. They'll live through it. And it's not my problem.
3. Being Taken For Granted. Again, I know this is an issue where I cannot control the behavior of others - only my reaction to it. My reaction of choice for 2011 will either be to (a) not do those chores where I feel I am being taken for granted (allowing my children to do their own laundry, meals, etc.) or (b) accept that I will not receive any recognition for particular tasks and choose to do them with a glad heart anyway. How much better will I feel about my daily round with this shift in my own attitude?
4. Excessive Sitting. I need to get OFF MY BUTT! In 2011 I will post a series (downloaded photos) of stretches by my computer. And I will plan to get up every half hour and spend two minutes doing one of the pictured stretches.
5. Clutter/ Excess "Stuff". I like clean surfaces. I find clutter to be visually distracting and bothersome. I will continue my (now two year) effort to declutter my home bit by bit, eliminating all the excess that we don't need and being more selective about what new "stuff" is brought into the home.
8. Medical Issues. In 2010 I ran into a few snags in my fitness program with knee and back problems. I plan to eliminate medical problems in 2011 by continuing my physical therapy program and once discharged, by returning to the gym at least three times a week and continuing my stretching on a daily basis. I also plan to wean myself off certain OTC medications and continue to improve my overall health through vigilance in my meal choices, portion sizes, and attendance to regular medical check-ups and preventive care.
9. Fast Food/Processed Food/Refined Sugar. I have cut so far back on my fast food indulgences that I feel I have nearly eliminated that demon from my life. That leaves processed (convenience) foods and refined sugar. Which are going to be a tad more difficult to eradicate. They are tenacious little buggers. But this is one of my long-term goals and I will continue in 2011 to work on eliminating these evils from my life by replacing them with natural foods and learning more ways to cook foods on my own, instead of just heating things from a box.
11. Perfection. I want to eliminate the need to make things perfect. Me included. I have been trying to let go of perfect, but it's still a work in progress. I intend to get a jumpstart on this one by letting go NOW of the need to make Christmas "perfect". Perfection doesn't exist. Except maybe in a Hallmark movie. In which case it is entirely predicable and dull. Striving for perfection is a waste of the time. Time that could be spent finishing up unfinished projects. Time that could be spent just enjoying the little moments of life - even the less than perfect ones.