Yes, I’m doing this like all the others, falling for the old hat trick that a new day, a new month and a new year may mean I actually get some of these resolutions done, figured out and resolved. A lot to ask of a year in my opinion, especially one that contains a lot of change in our family life in the year to come, and then the other challenge of just trying to manage my sometimes grouchy attitude about things.
Truthfully, some years, the best resolution for me is just to “be less grouchy.”
However, I like to aim high and keep expectations something I constantly strive for, so we’re going to go with the resolutions again this year.
I’ve narrowed it down to about four, somewhat achievable (but still reachable, I hope) resolutions/goals, and just wanted to share them with you in efforts that :
A.) If you put it on the WORLD WIDE web, you are accountable, or at least people know what you are trying to do, therefore you are sort of forced to do something about these goals. People are watching what you’re writing and what you’re doing. That shame, that sense of everybody knows may help propel me on the days I just want to write it in, wear yoga pants and take a nap on the couch.
B.) I like to share, and hope that something in what I write inspires others (again, a lofty goals some days when I can’t get my comma usage under control) and maybe somehow helps you in some way, even if it’s only that a word or a phrase resonates with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something that resonates with me-a word, a sentence, or an article, and for some reason it feels like warm tea, like slippers, like someone knows me and loves me. This is my hope of what comes from my writing-that you feel warm, loved and cared for, and that you know you are not alone.
So, enough of the setup, and onto the resolutions:
1. Love Well
This is a continuation from years past, and it is still a challenge. It is so hard to love well, to stop the grocery cart on the very busy day with the toddler question of “mama, why do you love me?” To stop the cart, pretend like the enormous list of errands is no big deal, to stop the cart and look in her eyes and tell her how very important she is to us and God, and how very loved she is.
It’s hard to love well on the days I would rather pursue my own personal pursuits and to-dos, instead of sitting down to write a letter to maybe an older person that doesn’t get that much mail, especially if it means I have to hunt down an address or stamps. But again, part of loving well is letting others know you care.
It’s hard to love well on the days that I’d rather my husband just grow up and deal with whatever unkind words I handed him that day, much easier to want to do that then to stop to take the time to talk it out, repair the hurt and say the “I’m sorry” that was exactly what I needed to say in the first place.
It’s hard to love well, to be present and intentional with all of those in my life, especially when there is just so much to do on a daily basis. So much laundry, bills, chores, birthday invites and the other general miscellany things in life that just need to be kept up with.
And in this vein of loving well, I’m finally realized that loving well also means the tangible pieces of love: showing up, doing the dishes without complaint, doing the laundry –yes, there is love in doing the laundry-before everyone runs out of the essentials like underwear.
Because I’ve found that loving well means that the one who cares the most wins.
And I’m not trying to win at life, like it’s some sort of insane rat race competition, which I’m trying to beat everyone at, that isn’t what I mean by this. I win, in that I feel like a winner because it just feels so good to care, to let someone know in some small way (or big) that they matter. So I’m going to keep loving and keep caring.
2. Friends-make some, be one
Friends and a social life are pretty important and good things to have.
Friends are something that I so desperately need that I’ve realized lately. I’ve realized it to the point that I am needy for community. But it’s still one of those things that although I’ve figured it out, I haven’t allowed myself make it a priority with my friends or my calendar. And everyone suffers when I neglect to make friends a priority.
When I hang out regularly with friends, I’m the kinder, nicer version of me, and I tend to take things less seriously. The chore list doesn’t seem so daunting and neither do the temper tantrums. Whose temper tantrums we’re talking about is still up for debate, but I will say that I have more than my fair share for a grown adult person. But that’s another resolution on another list that’s perhaps not available on the Internet.
We all know that friends are important to life, health, general happiness, and should be a priority. Now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and make it one of mine.
This means that if we are friends in real life (or even online) get ready for a more aggressive version of me that involves setting up times to meet and probably way too much in earnest eye contact. You’re welcome.
3. Trust myself and my God
Now onto the one of the harder resolutions. Trust myself, and my God means that I trust, just trust. That I trust I know myself well enough to know when I’m tired, stressed out, at my limits, know when to take a break of be gentler on myself, give myself some grace. Those last two bits-give myself a break or be gentler on myself-I need to do these things, but so often it feels like I’m letting myself off the hook, allowing the criminal to get away with the crime. But regardless of how it feels, it’s the essential truth of it that I need to remember: you cannot go through life running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
So, trust that I know myself, and trust the path God lays ahead of me-whatever path that may be. Of course I would love the one beautifully paved with giant pieces of flagstone of blessings, accolades, love and wishes coming true, but also knowing that I’m going to need to trust (and walk) the path laid before me even if it’s overgrown with weeds, matted down with pebbles and a lot more challenges, pain and unfavorable circumstances than I would ever want.
I need to trust that, and trust God. Which also means I stop with the questioning of the disbelief that He really does love me and that He’s not just up there taking an account of my sins and downfalls, planning to make me miserable by creating hail on the day I forget to look at the weather and take an umbrella.
Trusting means the unwavering knowing. And I need to do this.
4. Be a great wife, friend, mama, sister, daughter, writer, pet owner, housekeeper…
…And the list goes on: laundry do-er, dinner cooker, spill cleaner-upper, weed puller, etc.
To do all the roles I am or fall into-even the little things and the thankless things-which some days, are too numerous to count.
Doing this well means without complaint, without a huge sigh like I am a princess in a castle that has an option of staff that can take care of these sometimes inconvenient roles in life, just because I simply don’t want to deal with it. I don’t have that option, and in a sense, I just need to grow up and on the days there are more thankless tasks than not, just roll with it and roll my sleeves up and do it.
I also need to take all of the roles and responsibilities I have a little more seriously, reminding myself that this is the good stuff, this is where you show your best self, and all your love, showing no restraint in love:
When my daughter is having a rough day, I need to be the mama that comforts.
When my husband is sad and needs someone to listen, I need to be the wife that holds his hand, unwavering.
When my friend needs some time to chat, I need to be the friend that listens.
When my sister needs some advice, I need to be the sister that knows when to shut up and when to offer advice.
When my mom needs me in ways I cannot understand, I need to drop everything and just figure it out.
And that even applies to spills; I need to clean them up. To picking up the pet’s poop, to all of the sometimes less than enjoyable tasks in life too, I need to be responsible enough to just do them, without the huffing and the puffing and the teenage sighing that somehow my life would be better or different without spills or having to always cook dinner or pull the weeds.
My life is my life, and sometimes it’s a mess but it’s a joy. It’s a joy.
And the roles and responsibilities are part of that joy, and I need to remember this.
And, I think that’s it for the resolutions! Well, at least for now. It will take me at least a year to eighteen months to get these underway and part of my life. And I have to say, I am looking forward to the challenge, believe it or not.
And in the meantime what are your thoughts? Your goals for 2013?