Jan 1, 2014

Welcoming A New Year

Well, here it is 2014, and I haven't even been able to catch up with my new filofax, the segments and all the new plans and ideas one has as soon as December 31st becomes January 1st. I'm still on vacations, which is a big, big plus right now as I need time and patience to map out this new year. Already have some Resolutions, to call them somehow (wrote more in depth about them in my Hungarian blog), which could be quickly resumed as it follows:

1. Continue my studies to get my degree in Accounting.
2. Work harder at the office, which in this particular case is a Resolution more oriented to the organizing of my work, which I haven't been able to figure out just quite yet.
3. Keep working on my Filofax. Basically, it means to make it more functional to my needs, and this time add two (maybe three) definitive sections: Work and University (and Finances).
4. Keep practincing archery. My goal hear is to get to 2015 shooting at 70 meters.
5. Read 24 books.
6. Keep doing the List of 13.

Yes, it would have been magical to make 13 of them, but 6 is quite enough, wouldn't you agree?

In this spirit, I have spend my whole day trying to organize in some fashion the files I keep in my computer and erase everything I don't need... and the work isn't even finished yet! To my horror, I realized I had created similar folders for the same thing in different locations and none of them made any particular sense. That's also something I want to tackle, but I won't make it into a Resolution, because it could take years and years of my life. I just know the way I do things. Then worked on some templates and some inserts for my filofax, and haven't even finished and already realized that I've planned so much this new binder would be again bursting at the seams. Hopefully the paper I purchased from filofax will be thin enought to make it manageable.

January is pretty much a month of hope, of dreams, of energy, of plans, where the year seems full of attainable possibilities. Hopefully we won't forget about that. It is, indeed a chance to make things better, to try harder, to make something different, to change something, to get rid of something or gain something. As we have artificially created these cycles, we have in our hands a way to measure our actions and our efforts. What can we manage in a year? Well, let's try it out. It didn't work last year? Well, it could very well work this year! Who knows? Now we at least have the experience we gained in 2013, right? So let's use it!

Now, there's something I would like to take from last year, a little something, a comment really, that could work as a warning for all of us. By the end of the year I came across some people with whom I've had a sort of disagreement years ago - and whom I haven't seen since then. The dispute had been unpleasant, but nothing nearly mortal, or so I thought. They were - how should I say this - well, determinated to ignore my presence, but in a way that came a bit... childish. I was taken aback by their actual effforts to ignore me in a group where the rest of the people wasn't doing so, which, well, came out quite awkward. I did greet, did smile - don't like them at all, but you know, there's a certain level of "hypocrisy obligued by politeness" you must exercise from time to time - but they didn't. Oh well, that's them, life goes on, and everyone behaves the way that makes them feel better. More power to them. Anyway, the next day they talked to someone who was in the previous event and apologized to them (weird, right? Because that person wasn't even the host!), and said that they behaved the way they did because they couldn't forget what I posted about them maybe some five or ten years ago in one of my many, many blogs (actually, not in this, but in one that's hardly read).

Now, I'll be generous and assume that they came up with the first thing that came to mind to cover up some other, shameful reason for their behavior (got into a fight and didn't want to admit to it, had a terrible setback, are under a lot of stress, etc.). However, I must say that my first reaction was disbelief. Could it be that my simple, subjective, humble opinion is so powerful that it actually has the power to mark other people's lives? Because in order to do that, it would mean that my opinion has much more strenght than the opinion people have of themselves. Am I perceived as a sort of Guru of Life? Am I an Oracle of Personality? Or perhaps a Conjurer of Tempers? Actually, no, I am not, but you all know that. Nobody can simply talk someone into change, or alter their selves by simply speaking words. Some words can be hurtful at time, or astonishing, or flattering, or even surprising, but the effect they have on you depend only on you. People only have the power you give them.

They made me think of the Moron Lady, you know, the terrible Director I had in my previous department, the one that harrassed us all. When I was under duress, I did send all politeness out of the window and ignored her as much as I could, even refused to look in her direction when I wasn't speaking or spoken to, basically to be able to keep my composure, and got to the point where stress went to my jaw and I couldn't open it to talk or eat. However, now that I moved on and happy at my new department, I see no reason why not to greet her or smile at her politely. It doesn't mean I like her or that I agree with the way she manages her team - and as a unionist, I plan to work forward to help people under her and other bosses like her to get free of their reign of terror. You don't have to agree with some people or the ideas some people uphold, and you don't have to ignore the damage done to you, but that doesn't mean you must let that harm, those words or that episode take over your whole life. If you do, then that event, those words, that opinion, those actions will become your reality, and you will make them more true than they were ever meant to be.

Well, thing is that this happens all the time: we let publicity convince us and shape our lives in ways that take it out of our hands to become something that suits the needs of a company that leeches on us. We let magazines tell us what to think about our body, let them rearrange our priorities to their convenience, often going against what would be best for our own lives and our plans for it. Sometimes we hold so much and get hung up on something someone said and dwell in it. How many times had it hurt us when some acquintance or just anyone tells us something like "you are fat" or "your hair is quite messy" or "those clothes make you look ugly" or "your nose is too big"? Someone says we are stupid and we fall for it. Then person we have a crush on says we are not attractive (or start dating someone else) and we believe we are no good and nobody will ever love us. We tend to make opinions into inmutable, absolute truths, when they are not. They are simply a point of view of a person. Not true or false, simply a subjective, personal appreciation. Think of the following: just because I say blue is an ugly color, it doesn't make blue an ugly color. Blue is a color, just as lovely as any other color in the chromatic scheme, so my opinion of blue doesn't define the truth about it. Same with everything else. Same with everybody else.

In this sense, I'd like to call upon this curious situation for all of us to reflect on, to take a moment to analize those elements that seem to define us so much, and think of them, determinate if they are really such milestones, or if we have blown them out of proportion, giving them a power taht do not belong to them.

2014, sounds like a good year to recover our power over ourselves and our lives.

No comments: