Happy New Year to all my readers. Have you made your resolutions?
New Year – the time of resolutions. A happy, hopeful time where everyone is brimming with enthusiasm for all that they’re going to conquer in this brand new year.
There’s something magical about New Year’s Day – not in reality, of course. It’s really just another day, just the same as the one before; except it isn’t.
Like many people at this time of year, I’ve had resolutions on my mind. To tell you the truth, I always have a pile of resolutions bouncing around in my brain. I’ve always got a multitude of ‘self-improvement’ tasks that I’m ‘working’ on or am on the verge of implementing.
And, frankly, this year between the chronic pain that I just can’t seem to conquer and trying to hold my life together, I just don’t have the energy for it.
My NON-RESOLUTION Approach to New Year’s:
The most obvious non-resolution, of course, is to not have any resolutions. Seems simple, but what does it really mean to not have a resolution? Does it mean that I’ve given up working towards the things that are important to me or striving for my goals?
No, not at all, I’m still going to chip away at my dreams.
To me, not having any resolutions is symbolic. It’s my way of rejoicing in me. It’s my way of saying that I’m fine with how I am right now. It’s acknowledging my imperfections, but not being compelled to exorcise them. Rather, I’m going to embrace them as part of who I am.
Let’s be honest, my imperfections aren’t necessarily negatives; they’re a part of my personality or the way that I am that makes me uniquely me. They’re part of my identity because they set me apart from everyone else.
In my experience, most resolutions are just thinly veiled attempts to exorcise our imperfections, to make ourselves more like societal norms. They aren’t really goals for manifesting our best self, but rather self-improvement projects to force us to conform to what society views as ideal – stronger, healthier, thinner, prettier, smarter.I’m not perfect, and I don’t need to be. This year, I’m not going to try to be. Click To Tweet
I used to pride myself on being a very good multi-tasker. I could accomplish incredible amounts of stuff in a day because I could be doing two or even three things at the same time.
The problem was that I didn’t get to actually experience anything that I was doing. I was so focused on the multi-tasking that I missed the experience.
My chronic pain has forced me to slow down and focus. It has fogged up my brain, so that sometimes I can barely do a solo task never mind multi-task. But, this forced concentration has also taught me that I’ve been missing out. So much of my life is a blur. I don’t have a lot of crisp, distinct memories, because I wasn’t paying attention to the right things.
This year, I’m taking things one at a time. Like right now, I’m going to stop typing and just revel in petting my cat. I’m going to listen to him purr and notice how he reacts to the different ways I pet him. I’m going to focus and maybe actually create a beautiful memory for in the future when I know longer have the pleasure of snuggling with my purring kitty.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months resting on my couch unable to do much of anything. It’s given me lots of time to think about how the world is passing me by.
I’d been sick for quite a while before I finally allowed myself to rest. During the struggle to keep my life from changing, many things had begun to slip. My house had become messier. Fitness goals had gone by unachieved. My career advancements had come to a halt. And my parenting presence in my children’s life had diminished.
Meanwhile, all around me, people I knew were going about their amazing lives. They were doing amazing things. I was falling behind.
When I first stopped struggling so hard and gave myself permission to rest, it was easy to wallow in all the ways I was ‘failing.’
It’s time for a new mindset.
So, my non-resolution is to stop comparing myself to others. Everyone has their own story. They have their own challenges, and I have mine. Right now, mine take most of my energy. So, this year, I’m going to just let myself be.
I’m going to celebrate the small steps I take forward. I have a journey to celebrate, and it’s my own unique journey.
Between my personality and being a mother, my guilt seems endless. And I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to be able to just turn it off.
I’m still going to try.
This non-resolution goes hand in hand with no comparisons. Because, guilt, at its very heart, is just comparison in disguise. I feel guilty when I don’t think I’m measuring up to what society demands of me. My parental guilt stems from a hidden belief that I’m doing enough or good enough. My personal guilt is rooted in the belief that I should be different somehow.
It’s time for it to stop.
I’m a good parent. I’m not perfect, but I try my best and that’s all anyone should demand of me.
I’m also a good person. I try to do no harm to others through my actions.
I AM good enough, just the way I am.
For some more reading on Parental Guilt check out Five Things Every Guilty Parent Needs to Know.
If you’re really struggling with parental guilt you may also like to try reading, Am I a Bad Parent? How to Let Go of Parenting Guilt by Janet Lehman, MSW.
My final non-resolution ties closely in with the previous two non-resolutions.
Sometimes I catch myself changing myself so that I fit in a little better. I might laugh at something that I don’t think is funny just because everyone else is laughing. Sometimes I choose what I’m going to wear not because it’s what makes me comfortable, but because it’s what I think will make me fit in.
In a word, I find myself conforming. I find myself trying to fit in.
Trying to be something different than your true self is exhausting and stressful. The last thing any of us needs is more stress.
I see evidence of my tendency to not be true to myself is small actions every day. Even with my blog, I find myself scouring articles about what I should be writing and how I should be doing it.
It’s not healthy.So, I non-resolve to be myself. Click To Tweet
NON-RESOLUTIONS FOR NEW YEAR’S
Making resolutions is a tradition for folks at this time of year. And it’s a good tradition. It gets people thinking about their goals and things they’d like to work on improving.
I actually love making resolutions. I always have a bunch.
But, I’ve come to realize that this constant drive to evolve myself is exhausting. I’m burned out. So this year, I’m approaching it a little different with my list of things I won’t be doing – my non-resolutions.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things that society constantly hints that I need to change.
There’s nothing wrong with change, but it can set you up for dangerous levels of stress in an already stressful world.
Change is positive when it moves you forward towards your goals.
But, change is negative when it results in you trying to change who you are.This year, I am making non-resolutions to stop trying to change me. I’m going to focus on being me, guilt free and with no comparisons 🙂 Click To Tweet
People can take it or leave it, and that’s okay too.
Are you making non-resolutions this year? I’d love to hear how you’re celebrating being you in the comments below.
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