New Year’s Revolutions
A few years ago, I opened a book and out fell my New Year’s Resolutions from decades past. I looked at it and laughed. I was getting ready to write many of the same resolutions all over again. The funniest—because I have now deemed it impossible to achieve unless I was critically ill, was to “weigh an honest 115 pounds.” Those days are long gone; given up as a lie even on my driver’s license. All the other things on the list were similarly honorable aspirations, especially, “pay more attention to my husband.” He says he is still waiting for the “Year of THE MAN,” pointing to himself, of course.
My sister Shelley, the pragmatic type, laughed when I told her about my discovery. She suggested that I A) give up writing resolutions, B) just insert a new date at the top of the 4×6 index card, or C) aim high and declare my commitment to a New Year’s REVOLUTION.
Revolution—a complete break from the old goals and commitment to new ones. It sounded exciting, but when I put pen to paper, I had to really think about it. If I couldn’t achieve the old goals, how would I achieve something bold, different, and brand new? Once again, my sister made an excellent suggestion.
“Look, you’ve got more on your plate than the average person. You think they’re worried about all this stuff on your top ten list? DO NOTHING. That would be revolutionary!” I had to laugh. Shelley was going in the right direction. Like most mothers I obsess that I’m never doing enough, or that it’s good enough. After all, the stream of “needs” flows continuously.
So as you compose, here are a few suggestions:
- Keep the list very short—No more than three things. You already have enough on your mind.
- Do at least one thing positive that you really want to do for yourself. This will make you a better person who is less resentful of all that does not get done for you by others.
- Promise yourself to do a quarterly check-in. If you do what’s on the short list 4 times a year, consider yourself a success; if you do it once a year that’s a success too.
Why these suggestions? You are being the best parent you can be, and everything else in life has probably become secondary to the well-being and happiness of your babies. Given all that, you definitely deserve to take my sister’s suggestion and DO NOTHING to add to your plate. But if you must be a revolutionary, please consider my suggestions to simplify. The year will progress, as it always has, with or without a resolution on January 1.