Howdy everyone! It’s about that time of the year, when its mad crazy at school, work, with life in general, and everything’s winding down because a huge event is around the corner: New Year!!! And in true new year fashion, most people make resolutions. My New Year came early this year — at least, as far as my body/mind clock is concerned. Which is pretty weird, cos I start feeling all sentimental and reflective around my birthday — that’s my real new year anyway. But this time around, I’ve shifted into clean-up,-reflect-and-make-new-decisions mode early. Guess I’m tryna beat the traffic. Anyways. To the point.
In A Nutshell
2009 has been a roller coaster ride. So many major events happened, and there were extreme highs and lows. From finalizing and receiving my B.A. to thinking I couldn’t possibly find a job in this recession, to having to say “see you later” to wonderful college friends, to staying an extra three months in beautiful Mount Holyoke, to having to make some tough decisions concerning my personal life, to being horribly homesick, to switching up Circumspect’s layout and to finding myself here in D.C. with an amazing new life, friends, prospects, challenges etc etc. Life is unpredictable, but I think ’09 tops it in my book (so far). [Whew, what a mouthful!]
My New Year Resolutions
In 2010 I hope to:
> Listen and Learn: My current job allows me to interview the most amazing people ever. And every time, I’m blown away – by their accomplishments, their experiences, the passion in their voices when talking about what they enjoy doing, all of it. So for 2010, I’m gonna try to listen more. And not just to people. But to the sounds of life and nature – well, there isn’t so much nature in the city, but just to surroundings in general. I wanna take it all in, and enjoy this ride (life) while it lasts.
>Let My Hair Down: I think I take life too seriously sometimes. I’m almost always in “professional” mode, and usually making a mental list of things I’m supposed to be doing, should be doing, haven’t done yet etc etc. For 2010, I intend to let my hair down more often and take a breather. All those tasks will be there waiting for me, but if I don’t slow down from time to time, I might not see the break of dawn to attend to them.
>Talk to Random People: Well, it depends on the setting, of course. About a week ago, while sardined in the metro, my co-worker and I started talking about whether I’d wanna live in the U.S. permanently. To which, I automatically said “no, I wanna go home.” There was a girl next to us, who responded that she knows exactly how I feel. She felt the same way when she was abroad in Paris. Coincidence, we were both abroad in France around the same time. Then this guy who I kept bumping into when the train screeched to a halt mentioned he has some Euros and he thought about selling them, but decided not to because the Euro’s value keeps going up against the dollar. Long story short, within the space of 10-15 minutes, we found out we had things in common. The connection between humans is but an invisible thread ;)
>Make A Decision to Start Something…And Get Right To It: While I might have graduated, it seems procrastination didn’t get left behind. And it’s nerve-wrecking!! You know, I do the whole “to-do” list thing. And then I sit for hours thinking of how I should be doing whatever’s on that list. But I don’t actually start. And then last minute, see me rushing to get my stuff done. Yea, def throwing procrastination out the door in 2010.
>Explore Islam More: I embarked on a mission to read and contemplate the entire Qu’ran (in English) during Ramadan. It’s gone pretty well so far, and I intend to continue with that. At this point, I want to find out these things for myself instead of relying on he said-she said.
>Experiment: Nothing life-threatening, rest assured. I just realized that a lot of the new music I’m into – David Guetta, Asa, Kate Voegele etc – is because I took a chance on someone’s recommendation. So I’m gonna try to broaden my horizon on music and other things too.
>Read: I’ll say I read quite a number of books in ’09. And I’ve rediscovered my first love. I love being immersed in a good book. But these days, other things tend to distract me. I wanna go back to wonderland in 2010, and immerse myself entirely in a book, flipping from page to page, unable to put down the book. Yea, that definitely sounds tempting.
>Continue This Love Thing: My hostess commented recently that many people don’t know how to live/be alone, so when they grow old, it’s like torture. I’ve generally been a loner. Don’t get me wrong, I adore people. But I also like some me-time. And I’m pretty comfy being alone for weeks on end. So far this love thing (with myself) is going great, and even though I sometimes have to stop myself from muttering aloud in public, I couldn’t ask for a better mate. In the same vein, I intend to eat better, workout whenever possible, and learn more about myself.
>Learn to Say No: I’ve already had to do this towards the latter part of the year, and it’s going to continue in 2010. I’m happy to help people out w/ things, but right now things are getting to be a little too much on my plate. To the point where I feel like I’m always on go. Weekdays, weekends, whenever. I need a breather. And especially since I want to be effective in whatever I do, I’m going to have to decline some requests for help etc. That’s not to say that people can’t ask favors of me. You can. But I’ll just be honest with myself and you, and tell you no if I absolutely won’t be able to help out.
>Come Up With A Five-Year Plan: Nothing too detailed, just a general trajectory of where I would like my life to go. I’m currently plan-less. Well, to some degree. And I feel like I need to get on that. There are so many possibilities and opportunities, I need to start doing my research. Does this cancel out the “letting my hair down” resolution?
>Use the Phone More Often: Okay, so I know some people are gonna do a double-take on this one. I’m generally not a phone person. When I use the phone, it’s on average 20-30 minutes max. And even then, it’s few and far in-between. But I miss my mummy and my siblings. And my daddy called me today! On the phone! (That’s a big deal, trust). So I’ve decided I’m gonna do more voice communication as opposed to just texting, emailing etc. This is exclusive to family and friends though. Baby steps. Lol.
>Make the Circumspect Experience Better: I have big plans for you folks out there. And I’ll be soliciting your ideas and suggestions soon. And I’m gonna do some research on new technologies out there. So keep an eye out. Let’s leave it at that shall we? :)
>Express My Appreciation More: By that, I don’t just mean saying “Thank You”. I mean letting people know how and when and where they impacted me. Because there are so many people out there I should be telling. And if I decided to do a blog on it, it would be endless. So I’m gonna do it a person at a time. And hopefully, by the end of 2010, I’d have covered a good chunk of those individuals :D
Alors, these are my resolutions so far. As the clean-up and reflection process continues, and more come up, I’ll let y’all know. In the meantime, I wanna know what YOUR resolutions are. Did you keep the ones you made for 2009? What were they? Details people, details. Lol. Ciao peeps!
Photo Source: http://www.vinfolio.com/vinfolioblog/education/index.html
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.