Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions and Mid-Life Crises

"I hope and pray that in the days ahead, each of us does all we can to see that the goal of creating a happier, more harmonious, and healthier world is achieved." -- The Dalai Lama

I can see why some people buy red sports cars or run off with underage mistresses near their 40th birthdays. I feel a similar, but somewhat more ethical, urge to run off and do something wild. But instead of race cars or racy affairs, I want to do something good, really good, something bigger and (seemingly) better than being home with my kids and writing on a blog that hardly anyone reads.

I want to bust loose and contribute to the larger society, in a larger way. I want to be more and do more, though not necessarily to have more. I want to express myself and share myself more with others. In honor of my midlife crisis and the beginning of 2009, I'm brainstorming how to do just that.

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to write more -- to write more frequently, in greater quantity, reaching a wider audience, and making writing a priority in my life. Another resolution is to buy local -- supporting local businesses with my consumer dollars instead of sending my money to multinational corporations and their overseas sweatshops.

My most ambitious resolution is to begin pursuing the graduate studies that I postponed when I became surprisingly pregnant at age 23. I'm not sure yet what I'll study, but an advanced degree has been a priority since I realized that my bachelor's degree in psychology makes me highly qualified for a career in retail or as an administrative assistant (especially in a glutted college town like Eugene, where the waiters have PhD's).

Plus, I want to learn, grow, and expand my horizons beyond home and family. Teaching yoga has been a wonderful experience, but my fibromyalgiac body just doesn't want to demonstrate triangle pose three times a day anymore. The kids are getting older, so am I, and I need to find a new career.

So my winter project is to research, network, and explore possible paths into the future. An online degree program? Community college classes? A master's degree? A professional certificate? A volunteer training program?

Something to apply my nimble mind, to help others and the world, and to pay the bills once my dear, older husband retires. Something not too hard on my aching body, nor too stressful for my frazzled mind. Something I can do part-time until the kids are older. Something creative, caring, conscientious, and fulfilling.

For now, I'll write. Perhaps I'll also dip my toe into the academic waters and take a community college class. I may return tentatively to seeing clients in my Yoga Therapy practice, with ahimsa (non-harming) and moderation in the forefront of my mind.

May my process help me and everyone around me, to learn and to grow, without causing any harm to anyone. And may it show me the way forward into the future.

Happy New Year 2009 everyone!

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