A Better Me

First, let me just get this out of the way: This next year is going to be awesome. It is. I can see it and feel it and everything. And I’m SO EXCITED to have you guys here with me. 2011 was a good and challenging year, but 2012 will be so, so sweet. I have a feeling it will be the year to enjoy all of the hard work and scrambling that was 2011.

That being said, I read something on Verhext about the good fruits and the bad apples (you should check it out, Tamara has an amazing blog). The good fruits are all of the things that help you be the best you, they are the things that you can take from and use to push yourself forward. The bad apples are the things you want to leave behind. Let them die and step forward into the new year without them. They may be things that are holding you back, or struggles you’ve gone through that it’s time to move on from, or people in your life who you know deep down aren’t doing anything to make your life a good place and maybe they need to be set free.

Good Fruits Bad Apples
Moving to a nicer apartment Holding onto anger
Taking a leap forward in my career Being afraid to take risks and holding on for too long
Getting married to an amazing partner Fighting in unproductive ways
Continuing to risk and challenge myself Getting sucked into the wedding vortex and not spending mental energy on enough Adventures
Keeping an awareness of charitable acts Feeling small
Getting a handle on our finances during lean times Forgetting to be enthusiastic at times
Working to support other artists
Keeping in touch with amazing friends

I’ve never been a fan of New Years Resolutions because I feel like I’m setting myself up to fail. Generally the resolutions are too big or something I feel I should be doing, but don’t really want to do. And both of those attributes pretty much guarantee failure. If you want to change your life, start today. Don’t wait until the first, don’t put anything off for any reason.

I do love reflecting on the past to make a better future, though. This year I want to do more things that scare me, more things I’ve said before that I can’t do. I’m sticking my tongue out at myself and saying neener neener. I realized last week that it had been a year since I took surfing lessons. I was shocked!! A whole year? More than a year? You’ve got to be kidding me. I haven’t done something epic in all of that time? (Ok getting married was epic, but … that was a group activity… it’s important to keep doing things that just challenge me, even if Kamel comes along sometimes.) So, in 2012 I’ve already started planning my Next Big Thing.

Starting in February Kamel and I will begin a month of rock climbing lessons! And I’m the girl who gets half way up anything and decides, “Nope! I’m good! I’ll just stay here! Thanks. Oh? Coming down you say? No thank you… I’m fine where I am.” So this should be interesting.

And then sometime after that we’re going to take a hot air balloon ride over Napa. I know, right? Ridiculous. And also – why haven’t we attempted this before? It’s always so much easier to do these things than I think they are, up until the point I decided to actually look into it. You should try it some time. Seriously, you’ll be shocked.

In general, I want to do things that excite me and scare me and push me beyond the imaginary limits I’ve set for myself. And above all, I want to remember to be enthusiastic, because excitement is contagious and being exceptionally stoked about what you have makes gratitude so much easier. Like I said, 2012 is going to be a supremely excellent year.

Thank you to Verhext for the inspiration! And to Mike Jutan for the amazing, amazing TedTalk

17 thoughts on “A Better Me”

  1. I really like this.

    I can’t wait to hear about the rock climbing! It’ll be fun. I can just picture you and Kamel hanging off a rock wall. Kamel will be saying things like, “You can do it, Lauren!” and you’ll just be muttering to yourself that you MUST BEAT HIM TO THE TOP. Hahaha. I miss you two a lot when I imagine you doing funny things in my head.

    Also, OMG, I would love to go on a hot air balloon ride. Over Napa! SO FUN!

  2. “Holding onto anger”

    Why is this one always so much harder than it should be?

    Also, rock climbing chicks are HARDCORE. Their arm muscles make me feel like a penguin with flappy little wings. Go you.

  3. First, Tamara includes a Sound of Music reference in the original post. I’m sold. Maybe you missed my live tweet of my annual SOM sing-along, it was real.

    Second, I love love love this. I think of it as the scaffolding of my Mondo Beyondo list. How do I need to grow and tweak to cross those puppies off and experience the Best Liz Possible? What are the awesome things that are helping the Best Liz Possible shine through right now?

    Third, cheers to adventuring! We’re having a comprehensive financial check-in in January (at our kitchen table, with tea, nothing fancy) and I’m hoping we can have a little adventuring fund. Can’t wait to hear about it.

    1. 1) I LOVE that you are budgeting adventures!!

      2) It’s amazing how much stuff you can do for little cost. Taking day trips are surprisingly cheap (gas money only, pack your own lunches!) and if you’re willing to hang in the car for 4 hours, you can get to a TON of places. And I think my surfing lessons were like… 100 bucks for two days? Something like that. And rock climbing lessons are under a hundred per person as well!

      It just… blows my mind how there’s so much to do, but so much of the time we’re sitting around going “nope, i don’t have the time, nope I don’t have the money, I bet there is NO place to do that here… nope nope nope” and the SECOND you research it (that takes a SECOND as well because of google) you see how easy and doable it all is. (well, minus the world travels, but… we’ll all get there.) SERIOUSLY! It boggles me and I’m looking to convert the masses. 😉

      1. Making the time (and scrounging together the money, sometimes) for the fun stuff is so important. More than we generally give it credit for.

        I’m excited to hear about your rock climbing and hot air balloon adventures … as well as the many others that I’m sure you’ll share.

  4. Um, balloon ride over Napa? Can I come? Or at least hang onto one of the ropes dangling over the side? I’ve been plotting a return to Cali/PCH/Napa since I left the lovely state, and a hot air balloon ride has been on my list for ages.

    I’m not doing resolutions either, but a broader “DO THINGS!” type attitude is my main goal. I’ve just started writing about it, and I’m excited I can now link back to your post.

  5. Cheers to a great 2012 🙂
    And thanks for this “because excitement is contagious and being exceptionally stoked about what you have makes gratitude so much easier”
    Makes me want to jump and hug you.
    And yes, adventures, day trips , are the best, and like you said above, you just get in the car and go.

  6. Love this!!

    rock climbing – I’m interested to see your arms GROW! It will be like magic 🙂 that is a super push yourself type situation – so kudos for seeking it out despite your internal conversation, hahaha which is even funnier when you said it outloud awhile ago – I just giggle and giggle!

    ps: Once my job solidifies (xmas miracle!) – I’m going to start finding a new push myself activity for the new year – can you help me with ideas?

    love you!


    1. Lady I am ALLLLL about the risk taking and the adventurous, but I think you’ve gotta find that for yourself. What is freaking you out and what do you think will be a challenge?? You’ve got to WANT to do the things that you would normally say no too …. otherwise if I just suggest it it’s not as GOOD.

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