2017 Resolutions

As I stated in my previous post, I like New Year’s Resolutions. I love the idea of a new year and the possibility that year holds. I like to visualize the year ahead like a map, each month a stage in my travel. Who will I be at the end of the year? What will I have done? What will I have accomplished?

Sometimes I’ve set very simple resolutions, ones I know will make me happy: pet more cats. That’s always a good one. And it can be a challenge. You don’t always come across a cat. Dogs? Yes. But a cat? A friendly cat? One that will let you pet it? Good thing I have two cats.

I like to write my resolutions down so that I can reflect on them later. Did I do the things I hoped to do? Did I pet more cats this year? Hard to tell. I don’t know how many I pet last year. But it feels like more.

I’ve never really planned out my resolutions. Some people do. Real go-getters. They set dates and deadlines, benchmarks for progress. That’s good. That probably makes it easier to accomplish your goals. I however, have not done this.

Instead, I’ve written them out, in some detail, below. These are just some of my resolutions for this year. I have more, like: save money; travel; pet more cats. But below, you’ll find ones that are important to me. Ones that I’ve thought about a lot. Ones I felt compelled to share.

I’ve written them in the style of a debate brief. I don’t know why. They’re not up for debate. I simply like the style. It’s clean, straightforward, and clear. I hope you enjoy them and, if compelled, please share some of your resolutions with me. I’d love to read them.

Resolved: Yvonne Lorraine Lovely will read more books in 2017 than she did in 2016.

Background: Yvonne Lorraine Lovely, hereafter referred to as Yvonne, loves to read. She reads nearly every night, as least one chapter of a book from the stacks (yes, stacks) of books on her nightstand. She loves to read so much that she used to work in a bookstore, one that no longer exists due to progress and technology and a shitty economy (so it goes).

Therefore, Yvonne will read more books in 2017 than she did in 2016. In 2016, she read 30 books. Good. Great even considering that in 2015 she read something like 14 books. She more than doubled her reading list. While I do not insist that she double her list for this upcoming year, I stand solidly in favor of her reading more than 30 books. 31 perhaps?

Resolved: Yvonne will write, weekly if not daily, in 2017.

Background: Yvonne created a blog in 2016. This blog, the one you’re reading now, becoming evielovely, is a chronicle of her mind and her development as a person. She has a few (possibly three) readers. Thank you.

In 2016, she wrote, but not consistently. We will absolve her of any ill feelings because, we understand. She was going through some shit. In 2017, however, we highly encourage her to write more. Write her feelings. We know she has plenty of those. Write her thoughts. She’s always in her head. Get some of that out. Write about your work, your development, your progress, and your struggles. Write what you know. Get it out and share it with the world.

Write creatively. We know you have it in you. Write a story. Write a poem. Whatever it is, just write.

Resolved: Yvonne will continue to work on her mental health.

Background: Yvonne has had a rough few years. Honestly, her whole life has been rough. She can’t truly recall any time in her life when she wasn’t depressed. There may have been a few good years as a child, but she’s blocked many of those years out. That’s okay. She doesn’t need them anymore.

The past, say, four years have been really rough. She’s been depressed, everyday, after the death of her aunt in 2012. Or maybe it was the moment she heard her sister say, through strained teary vocal cords, “Aunt Jolene has cancer.” That moment changed her. The phone call four months later changed her. The call that expressed, like a confession, like a brick to her stomach, that it was over. She passed. Yvonne hasn’t been the same.

She wasn’t the same after receiving a text message, what, a year and a half later? It came through on a rainy day in November. An awful day that was grey and dirty and exhausting. “Kaylee committed suicide.” Her breath caught. How?  Why?  Oh god.

She wasn’t the same after a phone call nine months later. Something’s wrong. An attempt at suicide. Days in a hospital. But then, in a flash, it was over. She was okay. Everything was okay. Nothing had changed.

But it wasn’t. And it had.

After that, Yvonne knew she needed to take care of herself. She knew that her depression was becoming too much for her to hold on to on her own. She developed an anxiety disorder. She started having panic attacks. Life became overwhelming. Answering the phone was too much. Opening email. Responding to a text. Her head became heavy. Her arms were like weights. She’d cry just turning a corner. Her life halted. So low. So sharp.

She’s doing better. She sees someone about it. Two someones. A councilor. A psychiatrist. She’s medicated. The panic attacks have lessened. No more crying jags. She has good days.

Keep working, Yvonne. Take their advice. Take care of yourself.

Resolved: Yvonne will work on her physical health as much as she works on her mental health.

Background: Yvonne has, for most of her adult life, worked out. She’s learned to love to run. She’s gotten strong. But it’s been tough. With mental health issues, the ability to move one’s body becomes impossible sometimes. There have been good stretches of time where she’s been able to be consistent with a workout routine. There have been mornings she’s been able to wake up early (before the sun once or twice) and run. There have also been times where the thought of getting out of bed was too much, so she didn’t.

Some people argue that exercise is good for depression. They’re right. But they need to shut the fuck up about it. I’ve read many articles about natural ways to fight depression. That’s great. I get it. Eat well. Move your body and all that. That may work for some people. But if you’re using all of your energy just to stay alive you may not have any more to spare for a quick jog. That’s okay.

Unfortunately, for Yvonne, and many more like her, with depression came weight gain. I’m not here to judge. Fast food is still food. Frozen dinners provide a quick, warm meal. But if she’s doing better, I argue that she can improve her physical health as well.

Let’s not measure this is pounds. Her body is fine no matter what weight it is. Be strong. Be capable. Do pushups without wanting to die. Get to a point where your heart rate can soar without feeling like you’re going to have a panic attack (because exercise and panic attacks can feel quite similar).

Resolved: Yvonne will create beautiful things in 2017.

Background: Yvonne used to be an artist. She used to paint and sculpt things out of clay. She was never really that good, but it felt good.

Yvonne will create things this year. She will use her favorite tools. She will create beautiful meals to share with her family. She will create memories with her friends. She will create laughter and love and beauty. She will use to hands. She will use her mind. She will use her voice. She will, hopefully, touch people with her creations. She will bring beauty to those around her. She will create space for more people to share their beauty with her.


Hey Yvonne. Where have you been?

…Dealing with some shit.

I know it’s been a while. I’m sorry you guys. Some great stuff has happened since my last post (SIX MONTHS AGO!!!).

And some not great stuff has happened to all of us.

First: the good stuff. I got a new job. That happened back in September. I started the interview process in July (right after my last post. I guess that is what kept me from writing, at least initially). I now work for an awesome organization. I work with wonderful people. We have a great mission: engaging with young people and helping them get involved in politics and civics. Be the People. Do something. Give a shit.

I am no longer in a toxic work environment. I no longer work 10-12 hours a day with little support, where everything is my fault, and I can never do enough. I’m out. I can’t believe I lasted so long.

Despite being in a better work environment, I’m still dealing with a lot of anxiety. I wonder why? Maybe because I got to witness this country poorly handle racism and sexism and homophobia and transphobia and Islamophobia and xenophobia. I’ve seen dick heads justify sexual assault, violence, hatred, and more. And I got to witness our least qualified presidential candidate win an election in, what I feel, was a knee jerk reaction to marginalized people having more access, having a voice, due to social media and smartphones.

Sure, it’s more complicated than that. Jobs are scarce. Wages suck. The world is…not doing great (are any of us?).

But, ultimately, fear won. Racism won. Sexism won. Hatred won.

Before the election, I felt lots of anxiety. After the election, I felt lots more. I don’t have an eloquent way of expressing it. It was hard. It was difficult to understand it. It was difficult to know what to do about it. It was difficult to do anything at all.

Now it’s January First. It’s a New Year. There are Possibilities involved with that. There is Hope.

I know many people don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. Well, fuck them. Thanks for being a bummer.

If you don’t like resolutions, that’s fine. Don’t do them. And shut up about it please.

I like resolutions. I’ve been doing them for a while now. A couple of years ago: eat more vegetables. Great job, Yvonne. You’ve been eating more veggies since!

Another year: get better at folding laundry. Well, I have. I now, almost always, fold the laundry within 24 hours of taking it out of the dryer. ::high five::

Almost every hear: read more. Last year I read 30 books. The year before: 14. The year before: 16. It’s been rocky, but not too bad. This year: read more than 30.

So, I will work on a new set of resolutions. I plan to include in them writing more (weekly my lovelies!). I plan to keep reading. And I plan to work: on fighting racism and hatred and fear. I plan to keep working on my self: on my anxiety and depression, on my physical and mental health. And I plan to keep working at this new organization. With these new amazing people. With amazing young people. To educate. To engage. To do something. To fuck shit up.