I'm not much of one for resolutions, since they just seem to reinforce insecurites and short-comings when you repeat the same sentiments January after January. It doesn't mean that I don't have the same base desires: spend money more wisely, lose that weight, exercise consistently, and become a more stellar parent. It's just that I'm tired of aligning myself with standards that really don't resonate with who I believe myself to be.
Saturday, as Brian and I were waiting in check-out #3 in Superstore, Brian observed the woman ahead of us- 65-ish, lumpy in all the wrong places, and purchasing Slim-Fast. I was reminded of the many desparate measures I have adopted to just lose that weight. Even while knowing that the method was crazy, but speculating that once those pounds came off, I would deal with the whole "lifestyle" change. I would surely then begin to eat sensibly, and simply maintain a low weight without see sawing. Surely it would be wise to start with a slim body, then work to maintain it. Instead, I developed a few eating disorders that made me even crazier and desparate than I'd ever been in the first place.
So, what if I have that January fat feeling? Does that make it a reality? Does it actually matter? Will I construct my life activities around that "feeling" and try to make my life work out by beginning with the physical? I think not. True change comes from the inside and moves outward. Real lifestyle change has a lot more to do with the renewal of the mind; not renewal of the body. I'm not going to spend year after year purchasing new year's meal replacements and holding onto the much commercialized lies of better body= better life. When I'm sixty-five, I'll be at Superstore buying party supplies in January to have a dinner party with people whom I love. And we won't be eating slim-fast.
Spending money more wisely sounds very righteous, and is a sensible goal. Unless you hoard your money, become proud in your frugality, and turn money saving into some kind of sacred cow. I think I'd like to free up some money to balance the world a little- put together some aids kits for MCC, be generous with my neighbors and our local food bank, and continue to pursue our fund-raising brain child for the women and children of Darfur.
Sometimes I'd like to resolve to quit smoking, and use all that saved money to take my husband and children on a family vacation. I've heard of people who saved that way, then went on a posh cruise to celebrate breaking free from their addiction. There's only one problem: I'm not a smoker.
So, that leaves becoming a stellar parent. I don't think there are any potential addictions stemming from that desire. I suppose I could get over-involved, or over-protective, but I've never been accused of anything resembling either of those. Rather quite the opposite. Perhaps this can be the year that I remember to tell the kids to : brush their teeth, do their homework, shower with some regularity, and look adults in the eye, say "thank-you-for-the-meal-may-I-please-be-excused" once in a while. Maybe I could work on getting Jane's warts burned off, teaching Sammy to adequately wipe his own bum, impressing on Arianna the value of learning her math so she can move on with her peers in a year, and learning Micah where and when are appropriate places to pass gas.
I know for sure that this year I am going to:
drink a lot of great coffee,
embrace my husband with honesty and admiration
have more dinner parties
feel the feelings
learn more from Peter, Mr Armbruster,Cheri and Mr Tetrault ( a few of my spiritual teachers)
love people in my own way, and work on a strategy of not comparing myself to others
visit my parents every 7 to 14 days. I won't have them much longer. When they go, I know for sure that I won't say "I wish I'd spent less time with them".
I'll probably also:
go to too many garage sales
not drink enough water
break a lot of stuff
try to grow a garden in the spring, and fail again
chew my hangnails until they bleed
And that may never change.