-a note by Val Haller, founder Valslist.com
I think there's something wrong with me. It was confirmed on New Year's Eve.
We met our kids (4 boys + 1 fiance) downtown for an early New Year's Eve dinner, before they met up with their friends for their real New Year's Eve. Our dinner conversation covered big news of the day (in an all male family these are topics like the firings of NFL football coaches, predicting and betting on college bowl games, high math to determine how many kegs were needed for their party, and last minute requests to crash at big brother's apt that night, along with the usual hoopla over who beat our Chicago Bulls (Bobcats this time) and their pre-hangover idea to see Django and Zero Dark Thirty on New Year's day... ) During a pause, I changed the subject and cheerfully asked, "so do you all have your New yYear's resolutions ready?" They just looked at me. I waited. No really, they just kept looking at me. I said, "what? no one has any?" These couldn't possibly be my kids.
They didn't act coy or evasive. They didn't seem ashamed or embarrassed. They just didn't have any new year's resolutions. That's when I knew ~
Something's wrong with me.
You see, I'm a new year's resolution fanatic. I love making them and actually do it four times a year - New Year's, beginning of school year, end of school year, and my June birthday. I believe in new year's resolutions. Self-improvement - who wouldn't want that? Doesn't everybody? Apparently not. I asked some girlfriends at a holiday lunch. Same question. Same response. Really? What's with everyone?
I'm seeing a trend here. And now I'm asking, what's wrong with ME?
... But you see the ads on TV, in print, on the radio. Gyms and clubs who promise to slim you. Books and apps that promise to organize you. Doctors and counselors who promise to guide you. Help you quit. Help you start. Help you JUST DO IT! It's clear, I'm not alone here, am I?? Statistics say that 50% of Americans make new year's resolutions. 75% will succeed in the first week. 45% will fail after that. 8% succeed in the end. Not good odds.
I know all of this going into it. First hand. Because I make New Year's resolutions ~ and never keep them. So why do I believe? I have no idea. I self-reflect all the time. Always have. I watch the way I do things, compare it to others' ways. I love asking friends/family how they structure their lives, their lists, their M.O.'s. I listen, take notes, choosing options that might work for me too. Does anyone else do this? I'm not the analytical type, but apparently I'm analyzing my life and actions all the time. So what is wrong with me?
I could give the psychologist a few clues. I'm a first-born. I'm Type-A. I'm female. I'm a mom. I'm right-brained. I'm from a big family - and have a big family. These types have tendencies... We aren't trying to be weird or different, this is our idea of fun. Organize, clean up, efficient-ize, create, simplify. I know, weird. You may ask if I ever relax. Um-No? But wait, it's not what you think. I relax when my work is done. I relax when I've made an improvement. Which I rarely do.
But it feels good to try. I guess you could say I'm hopeful (idealistic or Pollyanna are even better descriptions). Hey, the world needs more dreamers! The sad part is, my dreams are always the same. My list is the same stuff I can never quite fix about myself:
Be On Time. Exercise Every Day. Stay on Task. Become a Morning Person.
I admire my friends who can stick to a diet, train for a marathon, give up dairy, get up at 5 am. Their self-discipline astounds me. My personality type betrays me on that one. Here's why. If you know anything about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - MBTI - it explains me well. It's a personality test originated by C.G.Jung that's very popular and used by many corporations to determine, basically, how you're wired. The test is a series of 100 questions and your answers land you in one of 16 personality types. There are four categories (they call them preferences) with two choices each:
Extroversion/Introversion Sensing/Intuition Thinking/Feeling Judging/Perceiving
(E) (I) (S) (N) (T) (F) (J) (P)
I've been tested four times and I always score the same. ENFJ. For purposes of this post, basically I'm an artsy type who relies on my feelings and intuition, who likes making lists but hates following them. uh, correct. So when it comes to my new year's resolutions, I list the things that I know would make me feel good about myself... Like Timothy Gallwey taught in his book "The Inner Game of Tennis" to see yourself hitting the ball.... I see myself arriving early to a meeting and doing a power walk every morning. It's so easy! Not.
I am proud to say that I'm on Day 6 of 2013 and the new me has walked every day, haven't been late once, and jumped out of bed with a smile on my face to seize the day six times in a row. Damn proud, I am.
So what is your New Years Resolution? If finding new music and filling your iPod is on your list, do I have a list for you... Below is a list of new artists you simply must know about. Trust me, they're hot. I've included a video for each so you can give them a listen. I've also included a link to download the songs if you like them. It's a list to get you started, get you caught up, or add to what you already have.
: : : : :
2013 :: who val's listening to:
"Tessellate" (The Amazing Sessions)
"Charlie Ain't Home" ft. Ali Shaheed Muhammed
SHOVELS & ROPE
"Birmingham" (Live on KEXP)
"Blues Hand Me Down"
"Sea of Tears"
"Good vs Bad" (Live from Klaffbron Sweden)
"Raggamuffin" (official video)