Thursday, January 06, 2011

Resolution, Shmesolution


I gave up on making New Year's Resolutions in 2010. My last memorable resolution that I actually achieved was in 2007 when I threw myself a bit of a Nerf ball in saying that I was committed to perfecting the cheesecake that year. That being said, I did actually bake dozens that year and I think I did achieve Cheesecake Nirvana at some point. Once completed, it lost its luster. Or it could be that I was good and sick of cheesecake. No matter, once I was diagnosed gluten intolerant in 2009, it was a moot point, anyway.

Since then, I've learned that once I start thinking about things I want to improve about myself, it's hard to stop. I have this habit of scrolling through an interminable list of self-defined flaws that I wish I could just fix with a tube of spackle and a putty knife and after a half hour and the beginnings of a good belly-ache, I grind my teeth in frustration and resolve to think about it another time.

Slow down.
Simplify.
Play more.
Eat healthier.
Exercise more.
Pay more attention to the dog.
Keep a cleaner house.
Sell my manuscript.
Pay more attention to my writing craft.
Spend more time with Bubba.
Take fewer shortcuts in life.

It goes on and on. And when I decide to take just one thing and focus on it, I can't seem to pick which one is the most vitally important for right now, so forget it.

That isn't to say that I'm completely giving up on doing things to improve myself and my life. I am committed to moving forward and growing, but I'm hoping it's possible to do that without labeling those things as "Resolutions" and putting them out into the Universe to be checked off (or not - thereby producing that horrible feeling of failure to accomplish something I said I would).

And in all of this resolution-mining, I'm wondering what happens if I take a minute to list the things I DON'T want to change about myself. Have I ever really started a New Year with a list of those things? I'm pretty damn sure I haven't. So, here goes:

Stay compassionate and caring.
Continue to enjoy cooking.
Continue showing my girls that they are important to me.
Continue striving for balance in life.
Continue learning about new things.
Continue finding humor every day.
Continue caring about myself.

That's a good start. I think you should make your own list. Come on! Do it. I dare you.

5 comments:

chris said...

This is great! I am so tired of Resolutions. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. The last resolution I made was about 5 years ago, and I'm sure I forgot what it was after about two weeks (in other words: doomed for failure). I prefer to take my self improvement efforts in small tidbits when I think about them - not on January 1st. Love your idea of affirming what is positive in one's life. It's much harder than it seems. Happy New Year, by the way. Keep up the great writing.

Wanda said...

I stopped making resolutions a couple of decades ago. They never worked for me. The last few years, I have found (or been found by) a word to focus on. It gives me pleasure and
a new way to focus in the here and now. Continue...keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Glad you convinced yourself to write today...and refreshing to see that I am not the only one not taking New Years resolution. In fact to be honest, I never really did, never really could in any way. But wanting to look at what defines us, what makes us feel well and Happy, maybe this is worth considering. I guess we can call it compassion for ourself. Thank you Kari for putting my mind in this direction.

-Isabelle

Carrie Link said...

Great idea, resolve to keep the best aspects of ourselves!

Deb Shucka said...

Remember Eckhart saying what you resist persists. Making resolutions seems like a version of that - focusing on the parts of yourself you don't like. I like your focus on the positive. I like the idea of revisiting dreams and clearing obstacles out of the way of achieving them, too.

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