It’s about time for New Years resolutions.
I have neither lit a menorah nor hung an ornament yet, but I have already started thinking about all the ways I can improve my well-being in the new year.
At Retimement, we are interested in the full integration of earning, living and having fun, so I have decided to make three New Year’s resolutions in the spirit of those three important Retimement verbs.
I believe that people should be paid to do what they do best. In the material world, money determines value. If you pay your therapist $300 per hour then one hour of your therapist’s time is worth $300 to you. If you are a lawyer that makes $300,000 per year and you work 80 hours per week then you and your boss believe that your blood, sweat and tears are worth roughly $72 per hour.
A paycheck is a physical form of appreciation. For some, this is not necessarily the kind of appreciation that nurtures the soul, but it certainly nurtures the bank account which in turn nourishes the body. Money allows us to buy food and put a roof over our heads, which means it is important for our survival. The way we receive money is also an expression of our set of values, not just the way we spend it.
When I started my writing career a year ago, I wrote for free. I considered it an internship or residency of sorts. I remember saying to my friends and family, “I’m being paid in eyeballs. I am being paid in exposure.” This was and still is true. Since then I have amassed a body of work that I am enormously proud of, received letters from strangers expressing their admiration for my work and was asked to write for other sites. Yet, I still write for free…sometimes.
I don’t want to do that anymore. If I don’t value my writing, no one else will. I am good at what I do and I should be paid to do it. This year, I want to value my talents and not give them away for free.
Retimement defines living “as encompasses the responsibilities and obligations we must fulfill, including childcare, eldercare, healthcare, cooking, eating, shopping, carpooling and housecleaning. It can include our plans for everything from finances to vacations, holiday celebrations to paying bills, feeding the dog, to therapy, exercise and more. It also includes sleeping.”
Roughly seven out of the top ten New Year’s resolutions for 2014 fell under what we consider “living.” I am sure it will come as no surprise that losing weight was #1. That means a lot of us are dissatisfied with our bodies. Most people who are making resolutions, want a better shape. But being in better shape, or rather good shape, isn’t always about poundage.
I am extremely fit. I exercise frequently and eat smartly. I try to be as conscious as possible about what kind of fuel I fill my body with. But I am not always necessarily in good shape and sometimes I take my highly functioning body for granted. I am fortunate that all my limbs are in working order and technically my five senses function perfectly. But although I’m not hard of hearing, sometimes I am hard of listening.
This year, I want to listen to my body. Like, really listen to it. If my body is tired, I am not going to check my email or Instagram one more time before I go to sleep. Did you know that using electronics right before bed can really mess with a good night’s sleep? If my body is sick, I am not going to drag it to a workout class because I’m more interested in maintaining my cardio levels than allowing for proper rest. If my body is feeling stressed, I’m not going to add more to my plate rather than removing something from it.
To live, I need a body that is in good shape. And sometimes we forget that good shape has nothing to do with weight. Because what’s the point of looking great if you’re too tired, sick or stressed to appreciate it?
My definition of fun is always changing, but the common thread has to do with free time or freedom time. And when I look back on the year, I’m not always sure where that freedom time went but I know some part of it was lost to the Internet abyss. And, I know exactly what I want to do with my free time this year.
This year, I want to read for pleasure and I don’t want it to involve vacation. I want to read the stack of books that is currently on my coffee table. I want to read in my apartment and I don’t want it to be the news. This isn’t about an update, this is about an upgrade. I want to actively make time to nourish my mind and learn. I want to read things that will grow my mind and heart because one of the things I enjoy most in my life is the feeling of my consciousness expanding.