Thursday, January 1, 2009

Spin Cycle: 2009 “Resolutions” and Positiviality

Sprite’s Keeper is having her weekly Spin Cycle and with New Year’s it’s about resolutions. I wasn’t going to post any since A) I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in a long time; because B) I feel like a loser when I’m unable to keep my resolve. But the waters of better intentions always do look so inviting.

In Sprite’s post about the spin she mentions “Lay it out for the blogosphere, maybe it will help you stick to it, you know, witnesses...Maybe you're looking for a resolution to a problem that's been plaguing you. Ask for help here!"

I believe putting one’s intentions down in writing can be powerful. Making it public does add the peer pressure element. So, I swished my toes in and tested the water.

Movie mentioned the word intentions versus resolution. I think it was in a comment thread. But I liked it. I was willing to wade in up to my knees.

Thistle put up her spin and gave me the idea of taking things one goal and one month at a time (and she stole the idea from Brandy). Ah. OK. I was ready to walk up to that first wave and take a little dunk.

Then, my Mom (don’t get me wrong internet I love her dearly) decided to be especially difficult this holiday season and has been drinking and dialing me on a daily basis.

So I decided to get my fucking body board and head out into the deep blue ocean.

First up. Positiviality. Something I have been using to keep my head above water for two and a half years now. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through the six months of treatments, one of the silver linings was that it gave me the inner courage to speak my mind when necessary. A prime example is my mother. She cannot help but talk major nasty shit about people when the mood hits her. Usually it’s about people I love, like my sisters, or their spouses, or their children. I used to feel that I could just loan her an ear and let her get it out. However, when I was going through cancer treatments I figured I needed to be as positive and nurturing to myself as possible. Using my ear to funnel invective into my psyche seemed counterproductive. I started telling her I wasn’t up to listening to her be negative and judgemental. At first it really pissed her off. But truly, how brutal are you going to be to your daughter when she just had poison pumped through her veins?

Apparently she thinks I’m out of the woods enough to get me back on that horse. Uh. I don’t think so.

Despite the setbacks that have appeared recently, I am determined to stay calm, stay centered, and stay positive. I will only succumb to the temptation to pretend my cell phone signal is having difficulties, make static noises and yell, “Hello, hello, hello, mom I can’t hear you,” and then hang up on her when I am extremely desperate.

Not allowing myself to get sucked into others’ bad moods or destructive behavior patterns is probably one of the most uplifting things I have done for myself, ever. It even works when my husband is OCD/anal, whatever one wants to call it. I just straight up tell him he’s being a weenie and if he thinks the house needs to be vacuumed two days in a row, by all means, go for it. But to please do it without raining his anxiety attack all over the rest of it.

Other than not letting other people cast me in their negative nets, I have some general goals for the year.


  • Exercise regularly

  • Be greener.

  • Stick to eating healthy and my vitamin regimen.

  • Be creative.

  • Take time for myself.

  • Be better with money.

  • Practice and role model what I preach to my children a bit more and preach a bit less.


Obviously, I’d be overwhelmed to find doable goals for all of these intentions from the get go. So I’m going with thistle’s monthly idea.

January’s Goal…..

Do my morning yoga, breath exercises, and reflection before I have coffee and go on the internet.

PS thistle, I apologize for seemingly copying your January goal, but it really was something I had been meaning to get to.

PSS Question to the internet….. Anyone out there know how to get an 81 year old woman to stop picking at people?

Sunrise. It's a New Year.
Peace and Joy to all.

34 comments:

LiLu said...

If I could achieve even one of the goals you've outlined for yourself, I'll be doing pretty damn well in ot 9.

Well, except for the kids thing. I'm still one myself, for a little while.

Happy New Year!

Kathy said...

Love the idea - it's like baby steps. Maybe I'll try some. :) And as far as getting the 81 year old to stop - tell her that you won't listen any more when she is like that, and if she gets like that - hang up the phone. She'll learn pretty quickly that if she wants to talk to you, she can't be toxic. Good luck!

Lindsay Price said...

I love, love, love the idea of coming up with a word that is the focus for the year rather than a resolution. It seems like small enough to accomplish and yet quite expansive, as words can be.

Dave said...

Nice noble intentions. I know you will give them a good go, and succeed.
I have enjoyed your wonderful blog this past year, and look forward to being a regular in 09.

À la prochaine,

David

Cristin said...

I didn't know I had another sister... because we most certainly have the same mother...
right Movie???

essee said...

We must all be sisters, sounds like my Mom too. I, too, have decided PMA is on my agenda (and a long time coming) for the new year. I love the month goal - good idea too. I'm going to think on all of this myself. Happiest of New Year's! Using my PMA as I type, sons attacking each other and crying, so all for now!

WV: scuse as in 'scuse me while I turn that frown upside down

only a movie said...

Our mom isn't 81, but when you find a solution to that problem, please let us know Pseudo.

This post made me laugh outloud. You seem to be right inside my brain - really saved me the time of writing my own New Year's post. I can just link here, right?

I have to get back to my vitamins and try yoga (again) everyday. Or at least 3-5 days per week...

Happy New Year.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

lilu - ah. to be a kid again. I am planning on that as soon as my children are clearly adults and can take up thesalck I plan on creating.

Kathy - you are right. pretending my phone loses its signal is not going to work forever.

Lindsey - we'll see how it goes. Hopefully it will work.

Dave - thank-you for your support!

cristin, essee, and movie - hmm, apparently the Grand Creator has a mold upstairs that is used when he/she is in a certain humor. sorry about your mums. Maybe I'll try Kathy's idea and post how well that goes over.

thistle said...

OMG...your mother and my mother, separated at birth. I think the meanness comes from them never realizing the importance of positiviality in their lives...or perhaps never thinking they should (or were allowed to?) indulge in such 'silliness' and now all these years later, they're leaking bitterness all over the rest of us. Negativity has apparently corroded the containers.

The rest of your goals sound like mine...i will actually be posting a more comprehensive list of goals (i'm in the middle of renovating over there LOL)...but i think YOGA maybe should be on everyones list...maybe even our mom's. Hmmm...now there's an idea for a b'day gift for them eh?

Thanks for the linky love...but i think we really owe it all to brandy for her last year's Resolution post! Happy New Year again :)

word veri=uncepac

Uncepac the Negativity's bags....life gets better!

Jack said...

I love your goals for 2009! I was going to make a crack about us having the same mother but I have been beaten to it by some other commenters that see the same traits in their own Moms...

Looking forward to reading many more beautiful posts in 2009!

Mama Dawg said...

All very reasonable resolutions. I wish you well! Happy New Year!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

thistle - great visual of corroded containers leaking bitterness. I try my best with her. She is also a 30 year cancer survivor and I figure some of that meanness got her through in its own way. And I will edit Brandy;s credit on our goal setting.

Jack - Happy New year! I find it interesting that a lot of the friends I have made on the internet have moms from a similar mold. Because in real life, many of my friends have lovely mothers. They love taking their grandkids and are gracious and sweet and supportive. I feel so validated and not alone in this now.

Mama Dawg - right back at you!

Kristan said...

Eh, to be honest, I feel like at 81, people are pretty unchangeable. (Maybe even at 18?!) Or at least, change can't be forced/coerced. I think you're better off doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. If everyone did what you're doing -- i.e., refused to listen to her meanness -- then she'd have no one to talk to about it and maybe THEN realize why.

I too am trying not to let other people's negativity seep into me. I've always been a sponge, so that's hard, but I think you're right: if I can achieve it, it will be one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

So good luck to both of us!

Beth said...

There are some things you just can't fix (about your mom). And for some people, the more miserable, the better.

I feel for you. It isn't easy dealing with folks who want to be unhappy (and want others to feel that way, too).

My mother is great! And I'm willing to share. :)

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I have no advice on your mom. I do think your resolutions are admirable. I also think you are a VERY strong person and can accomplish whatever you set out to!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

kristan -learn to stick up for yourself and when to put on armor early. You won't regret it.

Beth- Thank-you for shairng your mum. I have a couple freinds with moms they share here. I use them as studies for the kind of grandma i hope to be someday.

24 - I think you are tremendously strong.

goodfather said...

Happy New Year! I haven't read Thistle's post yet, but I love the idea of a monthly goal. So much easier than doing trying to maintain 58 resolutions simultaneously. ;)

Vodka Mom said...

Happy, happy new year. I LOVE your goals. You can do it!!

Queen Bee said...

Those are some good goals. I discovered the static-on-th-phone trick when I started college and I've been using it when my mom gets picky ever since. It's great!

Casey said...

I'm with Goodfather, the monthly goal is such a great idea. I also love that you're trying to rise above your mom's negativity and stay positive. I have a hard time doing this when my mom is being negative since I try so hard to keep it neutral. You're right though, you need to stay positive and someone bringing you down just plain sucks. Happy New Year, I hope this is a good one!

Marinka said...

Fantastic goals and I liked how you broke it up into manageable steps for January.

Good luck!

Laura said...

I didn't realize that what I have been doing every morning is coffee mediation. That makes me feel so much better about my ritual.

Getting your mother to stop bitching? Are you kidding? That's probably what she lives for. Think of it as her coffee meditation.

Good luck with the goal-setting and goal-keeping. I'll be happy walking into a goal unbeknownst to me. Yes, I like that idea. A goal that finds me.

Sprite's Keeper said...

I can't think of any advice for your mom since your way of handling it is already the best I've read. When they're that age, there's NOTHING you can do to change them or their ways. So blaming the cell phone service is perfect and semi-true!
Great resolutions, Pseudo. Especially after all you've been through, your positivity is something I need to resolve to have more of.
You're linked and Happy New Year! (I didn't see the email until tonight since I was blocked from it today. Sorry!)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

At 81, it's doubtful that you can get your mom to change. All you can do is change how you react to her and I for one had to smile at the visual of you acting like you have cell trouble. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, right?

Great goals and I like the one month at a time thing a lot.

Happy New Year!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

GF - yes, one step at a time sounds like it would work best for me.

VM - sometimes it's with the help of the martini ; -)

QB - you are at the age where fake cell phone connection is kind of appropriate. me? ah, well...

casey - thank-you for the encouraging words.

Marinka - O my. I got visited by NYC today. Thanks for stopping by, I have to say, I'm a little star struck.

Laura - i love the idea of the goal finding you i wish i thought of it myself.

Sprite's Keeper - thank-you again for hosting the spin cycle.

SMB - yep, yep and yep. Isn't it silly my mom can get me, at 51, to feel like a girl struggling with mother issues.

qtpie said...

You have great resolutions. As for the negativity of your mom (or anyone else for that matter) I feel your pain. It is draining to have to listen to someone be miserable and down all the time. Do whatever it takes to stay up and 2009 will be fantastic!

Just B said...

The power of positivity is not to be underestimated! You should give your mom my mom's number and they could compare nasty notes (no disrespect to your mother). I was mom's dumping ground for a long time, but part of my healing process was forgiving her and then being very deliberate in putting my hand up to stop her. It was quite liberating!

I very much like the one month at a time idea.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

qtpie - draining is the right word alright. Happy New Year and let's both try to no let others drain us.

B - I like your use of the word liberating. That's how I felt when I finally told my mom no too.

Debbie said...

Hubby and I joke that the reason we butt heads with his parents is that we want them to behave the way we think is best and they feel the same way about us. We have finally learned we can't get them to do anything. Good luck with your mom. I love your goals. I like to do that as well. Just set smaller ones for myself. I think I'll copy you!

Laura said...

Happy New Year to and to your family and I admire these goals for sure. I love making goals for myself and checking them off of my to do list. I might have been a good teacher? :)

Tricia said...

Happy, Happy New Year. You'll accomplish each goal, I'm sure of it.

As for your mom, I wish we all had the ability to easily eliminate toxic personalities from our lives. I suppose in the end it's more about us and the choices we make than it is about them. It takes conviction to stand up to a parent, no matter how old we are. Good for you.

Fragrant Liar said...

I, too, like your monthly goals. About your mom, you might try one of Tony Robbins' old tricks. It's actually kind of fun too, if not a little wicked . . . As soon as your mom starts bashing people, clap your hands twice loudly. She'll be startled and ask what that was about, and you just change the subject and talk about something positive. When she starts in again, clap your hands twice loudly. She'll be stopped in her tracks again, and you can start in on another subject.

What happens is that her habit is interrupted and she must stop and think about something other than the negative hurling.

It really does work.

Happy new year.

KJ
http://fragrantliar.blogspot.com

Mocha Dad said...

I think your 2009 goals are achievable. I'll check back to see how you're doing.

Mary Ellen said...

Glad I stumbled onto your blog. I like your outlook - good luck with your intentions.

For what it's worth, I believe we can never really change other people - only ourselves.

I especially admire people who can come up with words like positiviality.