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:
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]
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]
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.
- 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.
Have a great week, and an awesome, consequential, meaningful 2016!