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One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something

Celebrated architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist and designer of my sister’s (geodesic) home R. Buckminster Fuller once said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

2014 is lurking and so is the promise of a cleaner slate, grand plans™ and the year I will finally do x,y, and z. Like most people, I get caught up in the excitement of a New Year and the chance to “start over”. But somehow, when the clock strikes midnight, I have not transformed into Anna Alexander 2000® and I still have to get up for work, pay bills and deal with traffic. What I don’t do each year is take “Bucky’s” advice and think about how to build a better model and learn from the previous model’s mistakes. It’s easy to get caught up in the inertia of life (work, commute, family) and not spend time building better models of ourselves. I’m not saying you have to lose 50 pounds in one year and split atoms in your garage on the weekends, but how often do you take inventory of your life and think about the small ways in which you can either continue being fabulous or make little tweaks to build a better model?

One small tweak I did this year was set monthly lunch and pedi dates with a friend. I tend to ignore my feet until I’m doing sun salutations in yoga class and realize they need maintenance. The monthly date is a nice little treat of relaxation and it doesn’t cost the earth. Something I really need to work on in 2014 is getting out of bad headspace at work when I’m learning something new. The perfectionist in me thinks I should already know how to do something rather than “being a sponge” as my mom says and enjoying the opportunity to learn. I work with some very intelligent people and I have a great opportunity to learn – beating myself up because I don’t know how an electrical current works does not make me a better Anna 1.5.

What does make me better is knowing I CAN be a better Anna 1.5. I haven’t’ been exercising as much as I should these past few months so I used some of my Christmas money to buy a membership to a local running club. I do better when I exercise with others and, quite frankly, it’s more fun. Sure, it’s going to hurt and I won’t be able to sleep in on Saturdays but I’ll like myself better and that’s work an early morning wake up call any day.

What about you Gentle Reader? What simple steps can you take to build a better model in 2014? What has been on your list forever that needs action or just simply crossed off? Drop me a line and I’ll report on my findings throughout the year.

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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