Hello everyone and 2020. So far, so interesting. I realize it is now February and one typically decides and promptly proclaims their resolutions for the new year on or around New Year’s, but it wouldn’t be “Waity for Katie” if I did that kind of thing on time.
Which is an excellent segue to my new year’s resolutions! They are the following (and will shock literally no one):
1) Improve punctuality
2) Be more assertive
Regarding the first resolution, there has been excellent progress in this first month of the new year. I estimate that prior to this resolution, I was late about 90% of the time, if I’m estimating conservatively.
Post-resolution, I have not only showed up on time to some events, but also, even arrived…
dare I say it…
However, waiting around for other people to show up is possibly the next worst thing to being late. I take my phone out and look at social media or I read news articles, and then I think that I’m behaving like a typical, technology-bound youth, so then I put my phone away and try to “take in the scene around me.”
I can do that successfully for about a minute, and then I become bored, which distracts me from appreciating my existence. (Also in my defense, it is cold and miserable and essentially, January-February weather, so *shrugs*)
This is swiftly followed by my attempt to change positions or locations slightly, without feeling too socially awkward, because I am incredibly good at sketching myself out.
But waiting anxiously is still better than running late, stress-driving, and the rain of vitriol I shower myself in when I realize I’m running late because of my poor planning!
Overall, I’d say this resolution is going well. I’m becoming better at both recognizing my propensity for lateness and thus adding more cushion time while planning and also keeping myself to a more accurate schedule. I feel better about making plans with people, as I’m showing respect for their time. Additionally, I’m ensuring that when I set aside time to do something, I’m protecting that time, rather than throwing it away on some time-filling task that overruns its borders and could very well have waited for when I returned home (looking at you, dishes!)
The second resolution is to be more assertive. This is a quality I’ve struggled with for a long time. I’ve never been comfortable calling attention to myself, and I never do it willingly. I hate the spotlight and I hate the additional responsibility and pressure it brings.
That distaste is directly connected to my aversion to conflict. When it comes to relationships, I’m content to let stronger personalities lead. I like not having to make decisions, and the people I love and choose to have around me often have ideas and pursuits that mirror my own preferences.
This go-with-the-flow approach can be troublesome though, because I have the tendency to let people make too many of my decisions. I wind up going along with things that I may not be that truly invested in doing, to the detriment of other plans I may have had.
Furthermore, if there is a problem, I generally try to fix it myself or make my peace with it, rather than bring it up with anyone directly and asking them to resolve it. It’s just easier that way – I don’t have to have an awkward conversation about my issues with another’s decisions and risk angering or disappointing them. It also means I don’t have to rely on the goodwill of others to implement and follow through with solutions.
That’s an unbalanced stance to take though if the issue is a trend or pattern of behavior, especially when it comes to emotional and proximal relationships. My attempts to change my environment or my determination to grit my teeth and try to ignore the issue are limited solutions that don’t actually resolve anything.
If I’m out with someone, and I never assert myself to say, actually I’m not feeling in the mood for that (which is so much harder than saying, sorry my budget won’t allow me, it’s out of my hands), then I end up forsaking my time for the whims of others regularly. If there’s a household chore that slips out of alignment, then I’m taking on more than my fair share of work and sacrificing my quality time, which violates the pact of a household.
That trend of passiveness creates discord in my life and it’s a form of dishonesty within my relationships. Which is why I am making a concerted effort this year to assert myself.
And for this resolution too, I have made progress, though to a lesser (and probably barely noticeable) degree. It’s simple actions like sending a text message or bringing something up in casual conversation to ask for change. It’s deciding to assess choices and balance them against what I want and need, without the horrible weight of shame for having wants and needs. It’s believing that opting out of an activity or asking for more contributions of effort in chores will not result in others’ perpetual hatred and disgust.
Even though taking those small actions is Very Scary, I feel accomplished in the aftermath. I’ve certainly had more opportunities to practice punctuality than assertiveness. Not to mention, working on punctuality is far easier to stomach than my second resolution. But I am pleased with the results toward both so far. As we’re now into February, I’d say that January has been a successful month in breaking old habits and beginning to institute newer, healthier ones.
I hope your resolutions, if you made any, are also going well; if you didn’t, I hope the year is starting off on the right foot, with good luck and good decisions. In another year, we’ll be here again, hopefully wiser, happier, and more at peace.