"To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often." -- Winston Churchill
Hello all. Welcome back to The Forum: Disciplined Husbands & Disciplinary Wives, our weekly gathering of men and women participating in or aspiring to Domestic Discipline or Female Led Relationships.
I hope you are enjoying this last day of 2016. Where did the year go? For once, I don't have a strong inclination to look back on this year fondly or, rather, wish it good riddance. Most years, I have an opinion one way or the other. I hated 2014 from the minute it started and was very happy to see it gone. 2015 was absolutely frenetic. I felt like I was riding a hurricane all year long, but I actually loved pretty much every minute of it. 2016? Well, it has been frenetic, but I felt more like the hurricane was riding me, and I could never quite get on top of it. I also felt like in 2015 I controlled a lot of the action around me, while in 2016 my time was spent more reacting to events than initiating them. Still, it wasn't a bad year by any means, at least in my opinion. I get the sense though that I may be in the minority. One of my kids told me over the break that 2016 "sucked" and that many of his/her friends feel the same. I also sometimes judge the community sentiment going into the end of the year by the number and quality of the Christmas light displays in our neighborhood. On that very unscientific measure, people were either down or distracted this year. Many houses had no lights at all, and those that did didn't seem to go all out. But, still, I'm not prepared to say 2016 "sucked." The year certainly ended on a weird note, but I'm not ready to write it off entirely.
One area in which 2016 did definitely suck, however, was in my own performance on some of my resolutions and goals. Those of you have followed this blog for a while know that I am big on resolutions and goals. Every year I sit down in late December and try to map out areas in which I want to improve and to lay out concrete some concrete measures of success in various aspects of my life including career, family relationships, health, personal creativity, etc. While some goals go chronically unmet, I usually do fairly well. This year, however, when I went back to my list of 2016 goals and gave myself an honest "pass" or "fail" grade on each, it was pretty dismal. Fail, after fail, after fail. If I was a student bringing home a report card to my parents, mom or dad would be going for the paddle or strap. The one bright spot was career and finances, where I either hit most of my goals or had only near misses. And, I usually set pretty big goals in those areas, so a near-miss is still pretty good. But, where more personal goals around family, friends, fitness and non-work accomplishments were concerned, while the year may not have "sucked," my performance over the course of it sure as hell did.
Depressingly, part of the problem was probably just getting older. Like many Americans, some of my resolutions were around fat loss and fitness. And I failed miserably on those. But, while my diet and exercise behavior wasn't great, it was at least as good, and in some ways better, than in past years. The simple and depressing fact is, it is just a hell of a lot harder at this age to strip off those extra pounds than it used to be. I also had a series of illnesses and minor injuries that sidelined me from working out for weeks at a time. But, other goals were undoubtedly within my control and went unmet because of pure lack of attention. As I looked at my list, the disparity between the passing grades on career-oriented stuff and one failing grade after another -- on things relating to deepening or renewing personal relationships or personal growth things like taking up new hobbies -- spoke volumes about where I was probably placing my energy and where I wasn't. Worse yet, as I was trying yesterday to work up a new list for 2017, it seemed like a lot of the things I was coming up with that would have been motivating a few years ago just felt flat. So, unlike in other years I find myself going into this one without a very clear sense of what I really want to accomplish over the course of it. But, that's OK. I'm going to just try to ride it out for a while and see if inspiration strike, while trying not to stay in a rut. Ruts scare me. As they say, the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
Fortunately, one area in which I do have some concrete goals is around the FLR and DD aspects of our relationship. I did a topic last year on DD boot camps. We couldn't find a good way to work one in last year, but we both agree it needs to be a priority in 2017. I also want us to make the mid-week maintenance check-ins we tried out near year-end a more regular part of our routine. Finally, I want to get regular date nights on the calendar, where we go out to dinner alone and actually talk about what we want, what is working and what is not, etc. We have been a tight-nit family over the years, and there is good in that, but the hard reality is we have sometimes erred too much on the side of family togetherness and not enough on separate time as a couple.
Wow, was that ever a long-winded way of getting to this week's topic. Or, more accurately, topic(s), as I really have two, though they are related.
First, every year I ask people what resolutions they are making for the new year, and every year it is a total flop. But, hope springs eternal. So, care to share some of the things that are making it on to your 2017 resolution list? Are any of them DD or FLR related?
Second, to what extent, if at all, do you use DD to try to reinforce your personal goals or resolutions? Many of us are drawn to DD because of our need for accountability, but the fantasy usually seems to revolve around a wife getting spontaneously pissed off about her husband's bad behavior and taking up the paddle or brush to get him back on the right path because of the impact his behavior is having on her or others. But, what about our own goals and areas where we ourselves want to improve regardless of whether our HoH really cares about that particular issue?
Maybe it's losing weight, or exercising more, or making some progress on that novel we've always wanted to write, or increasing our performance at work. Have you used DD to provide a painful little incentive to keep on track with your personal or professional goals? If so, did you ask for help, or was it imposed by your HoH?
Also, since I got a late start on the week, I don't feel like we gave the chastity and orgasm denial topic its due. Please feel free to carry over that discussion to this week if you have something to say on the topic.
I hope you all have a great week and that your New Year gets off to a great start! If you are new to this Forum, please stop by the Guestbook (tab above) and tell us a little something about yourself or you DD or FLR relationship or aspirations.
Happy New Year to one and all!