Thursday, December 30, 2010

You Say You Want a Resolution

Here's the thing: I have this love/hate relationship with New Year's Resolutions. I have this never-ending pro/con list about them.

  • They stir you to think about your life afresh in terms of making positive impact on things you can change.
  • They give you something to think and obsess about during the darkest most dismal month of the year.
  • Post Christmas, they allow you think you are going to fix all the things you are doing wrong, like eating pumpkin roll for lunch.
  • They sometimes work.

  • They eat at you constantly nagging your mind about all the crap you're not good at, like ending clauses in prepositions.
  • They give you something to think and obsess about during the darkest most dismal month of the year.
  • Pre-bright, shiny New Year, they make you feel like you are failing at life and you need to change everything to be good enough for this fabulous new yearishness.
  • They never really work.
I am an anal-retentive, crazy, obsessive, worrier of a person and something about the idea of making a resolution appeals to the whirring noise in my head. On the other hand, the feeling of failing when you suddenly realize that you've eaten an entire cheesecake and it's only January 4th is pretty horrific. Last year, I resolved not to worry so much about my resolutions and I think it's the only resolution I've ever kept. Pretty impressive. So, yesterday, I sat down with a notebook and pencil and I started thinking about what I could do to make 2011 better: more dinners at the table (we almost always eat together, but lately, due to The Husband's work schedule and my inability to keep the table cleaned off, we've eaten a few too many dinners around the coffee table), finally making family game night a reality, REALLY taking the GRE, more cooking from scratch, more veggies, more walking, more music - less TV, more writing, less complaining, more laundry, more stories, more cuddling, less worrying, more cleaning. Then, I started narrowing down: a table's a table, really. And I ended up with a list of ten.

Ten New Year's resolutions, and if that's not setting myself up for failure, I have no idea what is.

But the overarching theme, here, is more time. Spend more time with the kids, more time on myself, more time on my writing, more time on the house. I don't know where I think this time is going to come from. I guess I plan on not sleeping in 2011. I wonder if people still take diet pills to clean house...

I'm not sharing my resolutions, because, well, failure is one thing, but public failure... That I can live without. The upshot is that I could look at that list and be discouraged, feel like it's truly impossible to make that kind of change in my life. I could shrug, say the old bit about 24 hours in a day and go on just like I am now. I could keep thinking that I could be more, that I should be more, that I used to be more and never trying to be more RIGHT NOW. But I'm not going to. Sure, I'm going to fail at most of those resolutions, perhaps even all of them. That's fine. That's life. But I'm going to try.

This year, a lot is going to change in the Scattered House. A whole lot. And this time next year, I'm going to be a happier person.

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