Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Forum - Vol. 119 - Resolutions


Another year come and gone.  2014 was not a great one for me.  Work was stagnant, and so was a lot of the rest of my life.  I really was not very sorry to see it in the rearview mirror.  2015?  Totally different story.  It was a roller-coaster from virtually day one, but in a good way.  Good in terms of the way I like to live, anyway.  Fast paced.  Downright frenetic.  Stretching.  Growing.  Getting out of my comfort zone, way out over my skis. Then, somehow pulling it off before disaster strikes.  Better yet, I was aware that it was a big year, as I was in it.  That is not always the case.  I had a similar year (though on a smaller scale) some time back, and I really didn't recognize how special it was until I looked back in late December and listed all the positive movement.  We often live these disconnected existences, looking back at the past with longing, or blaming things in the past for our current state.  Or, we long for a future different from what we have, putting all our energy into imagining some ideal future state in which enough of our problems will have gone away that we will finally give ourselves permission to be happy.  Or, just to be content.  It is rare that we have a year of living in the midst of the storm, while being fully aware that is is a storm, but that the storm, with all its lightning and thunder and battering winds, is exciting and even fun.   I can't say that I was FULLY aware and engaged at all times in 2015, but I was there for a lot of it.  So, unlike 2014, I bid 2015 a fond farewell, with a bit of regret at seeing it pass. 

As longer-term readers know, I like resolutions.  I like setting goals. I know I won't always hit them, but it's amazing what you can accomplish over time if you are able to improve incrementally day by day, week by week, year by year. On the other hand, I admit to being a little depressed when I look back at old blog and journal entries and realize that I seem to wrestle with some of the same challenges year after year.  Last year, I posted a list of some of my resolutions for 2015.  Here is how I did: 

General Resolutions

 I hereby resolve to:

  • have fewer Saturdays spent regretting my Friday work-related socializing [FAILED]
  • earn to better control my temper at work [FAILED]
  • nurture those important relationships, both work and personal, that sometimes don't get the time or attention they deserve [SLIGHTLY BETTER]
  • Exit 2015 in better physical shape than I entered into it, as measured by pant size, blood pressure, strength and endurance [MIXED.  Strength and endurance up, but so was my weight, though pant-size stayed the same]
Domestic Discipline Resolutions

I hereby resolve to:
  • self-report any infractions at least weekly [FAILED]
  • empower my wife to grow in her disciplinary authority, including by showing more outward signs of submission to her control [FAIR]
  • during spankings, instead of "taking it like a man," try hard to let go all ego and control, surrendering totally to her authority [FAIR]
What I find fascinating when I look back at these is, I failed or only marginally improved in goal after goal, yet, as a whole, 2015 turned out to be a great year.  This demonstrates the necessity of keeping an open mind and enjoying what you get, even if it is not what you thought you wanted.  You can have a really great year even if it goes in a totally different direction than you intended.

The other interesting aspect to my resolutions where DD was concerned is that I failed at so many of the specific goals I set, yet the year as a whole was probably the most transformative we have had since starting domestic discipline a decade ago.  While far, far from where we want it to be, her authority and willingness to exercise it grew by leaps and bounds.   My ability to really submit grew, though it was an internal fight every step of the way.

So, where do we go for 2016?  Here are some thoughts.  Although given how 2015 turned out, I know these are, at best, kind of like looking at a map to lay out a route for traveling from one coast to another.  On a journey of that length, there are going to be detours.  Road closures.  Unexpected diversions.  Long-anticipated sight-seeing that leaves you flat and thinking, "Well, I drove 500 miles to see that?"  But, also, wondrous sights and sounds and tastes that you never knew were out there but were waiting right around the next bend.  With that all in mind, I'm keeping these a little more "thematic" this year, letting the details work themselves out, though I am putting in a couple of specific, concrete ones related to Domestic Discipline.  I'm also mixing up goals related to DD with  others that are more generally applicable to things I need to do to advance the ball over 2015.

RESOLUTIONS: 2016
  • Empower my wife as HoH.  This is a little different than the goal for 2015, because it focuses on enabling her overall authority, not just her disciplinary authority.
  • Do a one or two-day self-directed domestic discipline "boot camp" in which we spend those days alone, without distractions, with her fully and consistently leading and me following.
  • Let loose and really cry during a spanking.
  • Where information and content is concerned, produce more than I consume.  For all the time I put into this blog, I spend 10x mindlessly reading other blogs, reading the news, reading books, etc.  That's all well and good and keeps me well-informed, but to what end?  99% of the information I consume has no impact at all on my life.  Unfortunately, some variation on this one has appeared on many of my resolution lists, and I never quite pull it off.  
  • Apply whatever growth I achieve in being more submissive and accepting at home to the workplace, blowing my top less and being more accepting of those things I don't agree with and can't immediately change. Many months ago, one of our posters who was, as I recall, in a sales position, recounted his workplace arc, where he started out as a top performer, but hit a ceiling because of the way he drove and mistreated the people around him.  His boss became his disciplinarian (I think, if I am recalling this right).  He learned to get his temper and ego under control, and his earnings soared.  That is what I want to achieve at work this year. Though, this one is, again, something that has been on  my list more than once and never really been fulfilled.
So, those are some of my resolutions for 2016.  Care to share yours?  I ask that question, knowing that every year I have broached this topic, and every year it has flopped.  But, as indicated by my own attempts at putting my personal resolutions together year after year, hope springs eternal!

Have a great week, and an awesome, consequential, meaningful 2016!

Dan


23 comments:

  1. Sorry, Dan (and gang), I have no intention of making a single resolution. Life has an uncanny way of twisting and thwarting even the noblest of intentions with the circumstances it tosses our way. (I am an atheist, but I have said that I sometimes think the odds-defying way that things seem to always "go wrong" in ways one never expects is proof there is a malevolent entity out there endlessly toying with us for its perverse amusement.)

    So, being that my experience with resolutions is quite akin to yours.....only for longer, I refuse to torture myself with this futile exercise in actually listing the hopeful intentions I can then watch be destroyed as the year progresses. Instead I'll just try my best as I take things one day at a time and see where it all goes.

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    1. True, though Life also has an uncanny way of presenting new challenges and opportunities, which sometimes do derail our intentions, noble or otherwise. I also wonder whether the Hindus have it right, and the god/goddess of creation is also the god/goddess of destruction. Nietzsche characterized the insistence on a god who could do only good as an "unnatural castration of a God" and observed that "one has as much need of the evil God as of the good."

      Now that I've managed to piss off the entirety of the Christian Domestic Discipline readership . . . :-)

      The fact of Life derailing our intentions suggests another question: Was the problem with Life, or with our intentions? It's not a completely abstract question for me right now. A year or so ago, I came to a fork in the road where my career was concerned. I had been putting myself (and others were pushing me toward) a certain track that, at the time, seemed like exactly what I wanted. And, because of a whole lot of things that went "wrong" (many of them of my own making -- that temper thing I mentioned among them), that path was cut off. And, looking back, I'm glad. Because the path that opened up was one that, in truth, suits me a hell of a lot better than the one I was pursuing. I agree with you 100% that taking things one day at at a time and seeing where it all goes is a very realistic way to approach Life. Probably the most realistic and maybe the most spiritually mature. But, I don't see that as incompatible with having goals and setting bars you want to get over. I don't see a problem with having preferences about where things go, and acting to try to bring them about. You just have to recognize that life may very well throw you a curve ball that disrupts those plans, and it may or may not turn out to be a ball you can hit.

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  2. I typically dislike resolutions but I have been working on some and will do the following:
    1 - when being spanked, not wimp out. stay in place and take every single spank.
    2 - encourage my wife to spank me more than just once a week.
    3 - report transgressions to her to build up the spanking account
    As for 2015, my employer took the 'at will' relationship to heart and let me go. I spent two very busy months looking for a job and was able to get a job offer in the third month . my new position is much more challenging and enjoyable. AND most importantly, my work stress level is very very low versus the 24/7 nature of the job I was fired from. It seemed a bad thing when it happened, but in the long run, best thing that could have happened. I am looking forward to a continuation of the last few months of challenging work into 2016 and beyond. If you must know, my wife gave me a few spankings after I was fired from the other job and they were much deserved as I was a butthole to my wife and others. Life is much better. so the only resolutions, beyond the normal lose weight and get more exercise, is to heighten the spanking experience with my wife, also known as, my mistress or my dominatrix. 2016 should be good.
    Baxter

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    1. Hi Baxter. Great to hear that despite a big challenge, it worked out in a good way. Happy New Year!

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  3. I'm not a fan of resolutions, and typically don't make them. However I am fascinated by how people do their bootcamp? I've done a little Internet research on it in the past few weeks with little success. I'm just curious about it in almost a morbid sort of way lol. So I guess I'm just asking if we can talk about that as a specific topic sometime? We did a sort of a boot camp not that long ago, and while it was incredibly intense for me, I did enjoy the aftereffect of feelings that came with it. I felt very close to my wife as a result. It's tough to explain why. Just the way she did it was just very intense. Anyway... Happy new year!

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    1. I have been thinking about doing it as a topic, though I don't know if we have enough people who have done one to get much of a response. I only heard about the concept a few weeks ago, though others may be ahead of me on this one.

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    2. Internet reading would lead me to believe more fantasy than reality when it comes to boot camp. I obviously cannot question the veracity of people posting here however.

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    3. We never did anything like that but I admit a curiosity about how it works.It may all be fantasy or exaggeration. But assuming some couples have real experience with it, it would be a worthwhile topic to kick around
      Alan

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    4. Rosa & I have done a 'boot camp' of sorts a couple of times as a sort of reset and kick-off to a stricter regime. Given our current stress-induced lull, it would not surprise me if we used a similar strategy to restart things when we are ready. I'm not sure why something as basic as a 'boot camp' would come across as pure fantasy. It's not uncommon, and it's not complex to do one.

      (And we are real. At least the pain in my back from some work on a trailer makes me believe I'm real.But maybe I'm just a plugged-in drone in a "Matrix" existence?)

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    5. Hi KD,
      Certainly not trying to impugn anyone's veracity, just saying I don't know much about boot camp, having never tried it. Why don't you provide some details as to when ,why, and how you have used the concept
      Alan

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    6. I've read some outrageous boot camp 'stories' where the giver shoukd exhausted and receiver passed out if the scenarios were true.

      I too would not mean to impugn the veracity of anything said here.

      We can only wish to be so lucky as to have extended fun as a boot camp.

      I can definitely see where keeping it simple would definitely work from a logistical point of view.

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    7. Let's hold off on more bootcamp comments, and I'll make it a topic for next week. My only one for now is, I don't think anyone suggested it should be "fun." Experiences that thrust you outside of your comfort zone seldom are.

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  4. I'm a big fan on annual goals and I always make time at this time of the year to review and reset them - financial, fitness/health, career goals plus self development (reading/music, etc)

    I always find relationship goals much more difficult to define and set, mainly because progress is so difficult to measure. This year I am pushing myself to meet up with people who I may have slightly lost touch with (probably because I am close to being obsessed with my primary relationship!)

    I am also aiming to shift the balance of power even further to my Lady and get her used to and expecting the 'habit of power'. I am also trying out ways to ensure that any punishments are consistently more unbearable, as she has a tendency to go easier on me as my overall behaviour improves. Whilst I may be glad of an easier session at the time it does leave me feeling a bit 'let off' and strangely unsatisfied.

    Suggestions welcome!
    TB

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    1. Hi TB. Our approach sounds much alike. The goals/resolutions I posted are a subset of a larger set that includes more financial, career and self-improvement goals. I also agree the relationship goals are harder to define and measure. I really like your phrase the "habit of power." I may have to steal that one.

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  5. As a diabetic there is always the goal of better sugar control. That's always a goal tho.

    A change for a new year is somewhat arbitrary.

    I swim at God awful early in the morning. There are people who have had heart attacks there. They lament changing only after the attack. If a change comes as a result of a new year it's better than not coming at all.

    If we need a change however then please just change. Don't leave it to late.


    Specifically to DD. I am always encouraged by the people that know about how my wife and I live, my wife included, to be more brave and allow pictures of me to be taken and to invite or be accepting of others knowing about us.

    I'm very scared of pictures. With the Internet you never know where a picture may pop up.

    I'm very nervous of others knowing. Three of my wife's friends know. For me it's enough. It's a huge trust to be in the circumstances we often as the receivers find ourselves in. I can't just submit. I need to know and trust the other person.

    Have I rambled?

    Oh great nietzchie quote my BA in philosophy fails me as I can't spell the name however.

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    1. I understand exactly how you feel. I trust my wife totally but only her and I can know. I would be devastated if anyone else ever found out. We've taken a couple of pictures but only for us to see and no faces were shown.

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  6. I have ONE desire for this year: To improve my relationships and hopefully repair some damaged ones. I realize it's not really DD related, but the final months of 2015 put me (and my Household)through the grinder, and as much as I've enjoyed my 'freedom' I realize that I have relatives who I had to put aside so I could reach my goals that I kind of miss, so I'd like to at least be able to talk to them on occasion on my own terms. My hope is that it won't take a death for us to talk.

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    1. Hi Merry. Great resolution. I had a similar one last year, and not only failed, but lost ground. I need to try to make up for that in 2016. So, let's wish each other luck.

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  7. Am I the only guy? My wife is not dominant--we make decisions together--and get along great---There is only one thing that has always been the cause of a bare paddling---My conduct with my male friends---It involves alcohol and other conduct my religious wife disapproves of---Its been this was for almost 40 yrs. It5 means a couple paddling in a typical yr--Otherwise we do not fit the typical story of spankings with in a marriage----Its always the same--we both seem to know at the same time---when a paddling has to settle things--there is really very little conversation about it and never argument--So I shower and just out of the shower---bend over and hold my shins and she paddles my naked butt and it hurts alot and then things are back to being just fine between us. It works for us--and always has---It is however, a total secret.Since its just the two of us there is no embarrassment or shame---No others not even our children when they were home--ever knew---Are there other guys like me ? thanks

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  8. Dan

    Happy New Year ! We had a lovely holiday. No phones or internet for 19 days. Interesting to say the least.
    It was good for my boys to experience life without texting or cell phones or electronic games. Having read your comments while we were away I do of course have a few comments.
    Allow yourself to accept the need to release through tears and moans.
    You are a submissive deep down accept that. Remember only a true man can kneel .

    Be well and may you and your family flourish !

    Anna
    ps love the topic of boot camp lets have that a topic.


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    1. Hi Anna. I hope you are all well. Sounds like you are more than well, though I honestly cannot imagine what 19 days without internet or cellphone would give me. Perspective perhaps? ;-)

      Great to hear from you. We will leave whether I am submissive deep down to our very lovely ongoing conversation. Looking forward to keeping it up in 2016!

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  9. I have long since given up on New Year resolutions -which I unfailingly break! - and I expect to be duly spanked or whipped whenever J. decides my (mis)behavior calls for it. She sets the rules - and I know what I can expect when I disregard them...

    L.

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    1. Exactly! - and you'd better behave over the weekend (the martinet is ready to use!)

      J.

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