Chaos Attraction

Repeating the New Year's Meme

2013-12-31, 9:16 a.m.

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Last year's here:

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

* Went on a solo vacation by myself, flying alone and getting a hotel room and wandering around a big city without getting into trouble.
* Bought a car!
* Made reservations ahead of time to go back to a con in a few months--alone, which is something I don't really want to do alone but I will anyway.
* Drove by myself to Placerville and my hometown in the Bay Area.
* Went to Kauai in December (okay, this is stretching it a bit because I have been there before, but Christmas was different!)
* Went to Maui, even if this is on a technicality because I only got to see the airport and fly over it. But still! Maui!

I think that's it for the major things.

2. Did you keep your new years resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year's were:

I think I need to work on fixing my finances so I could afford to get a car at some point. Start incredibly fucking slow so that oh...when I'm 40...maybe... I dunno. Something.
Theoretically--and I do mean theoretically--I would like to go to LA in May. There's reasons for the timing of that, but I don't want to get into that now. Supposedly this is going to happen, but I don't believe it until the money's put down. And given the timing (which would be right after Busy Season/Mom's birthday/Mother's Day to boot), that especially makes me think that going then is unlikely. But it's something that Jess, Mom, and the shrink are all like, "You are going" about, so.... well, I'll mention it here anyway.
And I want to get back to learning the guitar again. I got out of the habit after coming back from vacation, and I need to get back into it. I'd LIKE to actually go get lessons from a human sometime. I was planning to in the fall, but the lessons I wanted to go to overlapped with other things, and apparently that guy doesn't teach in winter? Grrrr. Well...there's always justinguitar.com. Learned three chords off that guy.

Fixing finances: nope, really didn't do this, but bought a car anyway.
LA trip: did it!
Learning the guitar again: I did get real official lessons from a human and online, but got really fed up at the super-accelerated pace of both classes (plus they ended up running at the same time, which didn't help) and haven't touched it again since. I feel bad about that, but am not sure if I am going to get back to this or not. My motivation for learning has kind of flushed down the toilet. I'm still objectively interested, but....I don't know. When I was in Kauai in the yarn-and-music store (seriously, this exists) I had a conversation with the lady there about how some instructors are just not for you, and if both of them were chucking way too much at me too fast, I should do something else. Good point.

So....1.5/half of them are done, I guess. Not bad for me.

This year's resolutions are not SMART goals. But I just don't have anything that specific to shoot for in life and don't know Exactly What I Want, so odds are I will just stay in place as usual. I don't seem to be able to figure out how to change shit. So I need to focus on things within my abilities that are a bit of a stretch rather than super fucking impossible, like having an artistic career or moving.

(a) Force myself to look for a new job more, even if I don't actually get one. Honestly, customer service on this level is really freaking draining on me.... but I can and will deal with it until retirement if I have to, because I don't quit anything unless I'm forced to. But I should make myself look more, even though I hate looking at job listings and get annoyed at how I qualify for nothing other than jobs in my office. Make myself look once a week or at least every other week if I'm especially fed up. I was doing this off and on throughout the year, but hit fed-up points and stopped.

(b) Look into acquiring more money somehow, either through the first resolution or by doing some sort of side work. I don't have super motivation on that one either though, so I admit this is kind of a token mention more than anything. It's that lack of entrepreneurial interest in me that always dooms this one...but I should be doing it.

(c) Seriously, freaking work on my writing more. NaNoWriMo went really well, and I should do more of that. Especially writing more nonfiction essays. At the very least, this is the one I actually need to do. Write an essay once a month (or edit one) and submit it to group.

(d) Do.... something.... about my whopping case of acedia, depression, "meh," or whatever the hell it is that's going on with me. I have ambition to want to do ...something... but no actual ambition to do.... whatever.

I didn't write this, but I could have because I am pretty much in the same "meh" mental situation of no ambition or drive to do anything major, and the examples in the link are pretty close to some of what I supposedly want(ed) to do. I'm over the love thing, but I don't know why I don't have super motivation to do things like say, submit work for publication. I bookmark websites and then never send anything because I don't CARE. I am supposed to submit My Writing Goals For 2014 at the next writer's group meeting and I don't know what to say for that because I have no interest in submitting my work to random websites and people I don't know. I should if part of me wants to be a little fame whore, I know that. But in my brain it's all, I can just slap anything I want to on the Internet immediately without gatekeepers and not too many people read that anyway. But on the other hand, I kinda think that's for the best anyway because we all know what happens when you get noticed on the Internet. I still haven't gotten over that worry about what happens when you do finally get noticed.

It bugs the shit out of me that I have no ambition for anything huge. No burning desire that I will chase to the ends of the earth like being an entrepreneur or moving. I just hit the inner "meh, I don't wanna," and don't.

I know that every single person reading this is screaming at their computer, "TAKE MEDS, JENNIFER, YOU CLEARLY NEED THEM FOR LIFE! IT'S JUST LIKE IF YOU HAD DIABETES!" If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that I'd probably have a good down payment on going to Hawaii again. But I am incredibly fucking uncomfortable at the idea of meds for life. I get the screaming meemies every time I do research on the topic, I get MORE scared rather than reassured, and I keep thinking that I do not feel badly enough to "have" to put up with the shitty side effects that will happen and make life worse along with screwing with my brain. Combining that with a lifelong inability to gulp down pills whole and I don't even take chewable vitamins on a daily basis because I start rebelling at anything habit-y and chorelike....to some degree I am all, "anything but trying THAT."

Things I am pondering looking into that I haven't seriously tried already:
* Sleep problems since I don't sleep well on any day I have to wake up early.
* Vitamin D--my shrink said that a doctor relative of hers recommends 5000 IU's of that daily. Having done a bunch of research on how much of that you should be taking (sounds like the upper limit recommended these days is 4000 IU), this shocked the shit out of me. I don't know if I want to go that far, but Internet research yesterday sounds like a lot of people are going for higher levels.
* Getting a cat, though I lean against going that way.
* CBT if I could find somewhere to do that, anyway. Don't really know who actually does it IRL at the moment.
* Maybe some other herbal-y remedy. I had great luck with taking 5-HTP years ago and then it just seriously pooped the shit out after a few weeks and taking higher doses did nothing for me to make the high come back. I wish that one had kept working. Okay, so I wasn't really more ambitious while on it so it didn't solve the problem (um, whatever the problem is because I'm not sure I quite know), but I was bizarrely chipper for about two weeks.

I make no promises about solving this via getting a cat or getting on meds for life here. But.... I should do something. I just hope I can find something to do about it that I am comfortable with. By the standards of the CrazyMeds website test, I am not badly off enough to be forced to deal with the shitty and inevitable side effects that only cause more problems that I don't have (and I do not want to be dealing with unpleasant side effects while serving the public at work, under major stress, with no relief and no quiet.), so.... really, am I that bad that I have to? I don't think so, everyone else clearly does.....argh.

Oh, and I really should add a fifth one after spending all this time at Mom's: try not to become a hoarder, or at least clean up or get rid of things far more often. Like weekly.

I just found this tracker that lets you mark off goals on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. I need this kind of thing.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, two of my cousins did and produced more baby cousins.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandma.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A goal, a plan, a point to my life. This is the same answer I gave last year, except I can cross "car" off the list!

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 13, for not being what I thought it was going to be.
The end of December FOR BEING IN KAUAI.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Buying a car!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not being a perfect public service person who loves to serve and help at work. I am not a natural born giver a la Mom and it is A Huge Problem.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I felt down in the street in June and skinned and sprained things, and I had a weird freak vomit/back fever incident at the start of this month. But otherwise, I'm okay.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Car!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Um....mine, in some respects. And not so much in others.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The general public I have to work with. Specifically one woman who basically pulled a "previously calm dog who bites you out of nowhere" move on me that has probably scarred all of us at work for life.

14. Where did most of your money go?

To buying a car, plus the usual stuff. Also buying souvenirs in Hawaii.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to Kauai, going to LA, getting a car, surviving driving to the Bay Area.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

"Wake Me Up" (see last question) and "The Wire" by Haim.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
(a) happier or sadder? Happier in some respects and sadder in others.
(b) thinner or fatter? Same.
(c) richer or poorer? Same, I just feel poorer though.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Practicing the guitar. Probably meditating, but I still enjoy it about as much as I ever have (i.e. it's a necessary evil, but I don't super enjoy it or crave it like I should).

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Dealing with the pissed off public.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent it watching Hallmark movies, watching a baby walk, eating sushi and trying out a bidet.

21. Did you fall in love?

Never, ever again. If I had the money and were into betting (which I'm not really), I would bet one million dollars that I never fall in love again. I am so over and done with that, it's one of the things I realized about myself this year. I lost that capability and I am mostly fine with that, because it's obvious to me now why I am better suited to being single!

22. How many one-night stands?

Yeah, RIGHT. Also, who actually answers this question?

23. What was your favorite TV program?

Parks and Recreation, Switched At Birth, Arrow, The Good Wife.

Still like Revenge. Community and Glee haven't had the best year. Quit watching Vampire Diaries because man, I just wasn't enjoying almost all of the last season.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I don't think so.

25. What was the best book you read?

Hm, my only 5 star reviews for this year were The Curse of Chalion and Heaven, I Mean Circle K. I think I was extra picky this year.

Of the 4 star reviews, this year I'd like to pimp Parasite, Indexing, The Chimes at Midnight, Midnght Blue-Light Special,
Velveteen Vs. the Junior Super Patriots, Across A Star-Swept Sea, For Darkness Shows The Stars, Sweet Thunder, School Spirits, Celebromancy, Magic Rises, This Case Is Gonna Kill Me, Box Office Poison, Self-Inflicted Wounds, One Foot In The Grave and pretty much the rest of that series after that, A Game Of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, The Human Division, and Etiquette and Espionage.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Haim. And on a non-musical note, I took up listening to "Girl On Guy" and Welcome to Night Vale podcasts this year.

27. What did you want and get?

A new car, a trip to Hawaii, a trip to LA, 2.5 weeks of vacation off at the end of the year, more independence.

28. What did you want and not get?

A life goal. To not have to deal with the general public so damn much. TO BE LEFT ALONE.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hm....Frozen, I guess? Doesn't look like I did a lot of movie reviewing this year to recall what I liked. I did like The World's End, Monsters University, Before Midnight, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters....

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Just went to work and class, but did have a surprise birthday party at the CC the next day. I turned 35.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Doing something different for income. Something far less stressful, at least.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Same old "rainbow acid trip" homemade craft fair style.

33. What kept you sane?

Knitting.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I am actually over everyone I fancied, more or less. I finally got over my most longstanding celebrity crush this year, pretty much because, well... the dude grew up and became boring and doesn't say anything that amuses me any more. I think it's very sad. Probably good for him to no longer be choking on his own feet in public, but it feels like the spark of wackadoo genius that I loved is gone. Feh.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

Keeping my mouth shut about the grumblings about everyone having to have health insurance now. I know getting the websites up and running for that sucked, but by god, I approve of people not being able to be rejected for health insurance. Much as I haaaaaaate the idea of even considering meds, a major reason for me not wanting to is for future insurance rejection reasons, so that at least is ruled out for 2014.

36. Who did you miss?

Same people I usually do. L is added to the list this year for moving, though I did see her once after that.

37. Who was the best new person you met?

Jamie, I think.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Brutal reality is all I've got. Living in fantasyland and thinking that someday I'm going to be better than I am is not making anything happen, because brutal reality and practicality always win out. This is who and what I am and it's probably not gonna get any better than this, so I need to learn to accept it. I'm working on it, because the whine of my soul going "I want this" or "I don't want that" is not motivating me enough to move mountains. This is it.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"So wake me up when it's all over, when I'm wiser and I'm older" --from "Wake Me Up" by Aloe Blacc and Avicci (seriously, look it up: why is the guy who came into the song second getting the billing?).


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