A new year always, for me, initiates a new beginning, and, as many others have already done, it prompts me to reflect, re-evaluate, and plan for the upcoming year.
As in past years, I’m starting out with the way I want to feel: connected, creative, fun, soft (receptive, accepting, breathing through the hard parts), sexy, and confident. The rest of my plans and goals have to support me in achieving these feelings, or they aren’t important enough to focus on or commit to.
As a fairly socially awkward introvert (excuses, excuses, I know), I tend to have difficulty building and sustaining deep relationships. I struggle with vulnerability (I don’t like it) and I tend to put up walls to protect myself from rejection or hurt. I don’t do myself or anyone else any favors by doing this, but it’s such an ingrained habit that I have a hard time avoiding it. I have to actively plan to keep up my social relationships, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. This year, I’m really going to work on this…being vulnerable, letting people in, sharing, listening, engaging…trying to enjoy the good that connection can bring.
What’s at the top of my “relationship list”?
My marriage is still (as always…and as it should be) a focus for me this year, with improved intimacy, initiative, creativity, and communication being the core goals. After this year’s separation, I think Mr. D and I have finally hit the end of what either of us is willing to put up with from the other. We’ve gone to the edge and bungee jumped, bouncing back to the edge with some new knowledge. I came away from that month having made a few decisions…to re-establish (or at least investigate) my own eroticism (which has taken a long and unappreciated vacation)…to work on being more vulnerable and open…and to surrender my destructive obsession with control (for reals).
I’m not a religious person, but I’m trying out The Love Dare, anyway, just to see what can be achieved by keeping a daily focus and creating a daily intention. I’m bending and twisting the dares to make them work for me, using them as a starting point for reflection and contemplation. I may, after I finish, work toward creating my own list of “dares” that are more secular and erotic.
My relationship with myself is not to be forgotten here, either. I need to work on improving my self-concept, building confidence (especially sexually), putting passion and fun first on my to-do list, committing to what matters most, doing less…better, and saying no to more things.
In the past, I’ve created all kinds of health goals that I haven’t lived up to (some of which I have – like training for and completing a few half marathons). This year, I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m beginning with a 30 Day Yoga Challenge, knowing that, because I’m me, it will likely take me well over 30 days to complete it. I’m cool with that. Aside from this, I’m keeping it simple…hydrate more, move more, and sleep more. My mental health is key, as well. As my readers know, I struggle with bi-polar II. Many of the things I do to maintain my mental health (sleep, diet, yoga, medication) impact my self-concept and my sexuality, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively. The medication increases my weight and decreases my energy levels, but without it, my moods are unstable and impact my relationships. So, I suck it up and accept the fact that I am likely never to be thin and completely sane, but am rather destined to always be curvy, soft, and a little unsteady. C’est la vie, eh?
As far as blogging and writing? I’m also trying to keep that simple. As I state on my welcome page, I’m focusing my blog energy this year on my new Erotic Journal Challenge, Brigit’s Book Club, and keeping up with the memes of other bloggers whom I love and want to support. Those can be found at the bottom of the page under the heading “Memes and Publishing.” I can be shit at commenting on other people’s blogs, so I am going to make a concerted effort to read more, share more, and interact more with the online sex-blogging community. (Hear that, Twitter? Even if you shadowban me, you fuckers!)
For Sinful Sunday this year, I’ve asked Mr. D to do the honors. I’d like to see what he’ll photograph when he has complete control…what he’ll chose to focus his lens on and how he’ll capture it. I’m might learn a thing or two about what he likes this way. It will also change things up a bit, as I have a tendency to photograph myself in the same way over and over, both because it is difficult to photograph myself and because I hide the same parts of myself that I don’t like. Mr. D is not hindered by these things, so his point of view will be different and may force me to see myself in a new light.
And that’s where I’m going to leave it for now. No big “I’m going to lose 30 pounds” or “I’m going to run a marathon” goals for me this year. Mostly, it’s about creating habits and routines through short, do-able challenges that can be broken into achievable and measurable steps.
Here’s to a new year!