My husband refuses to make New Year’s resolutions. I think he’s onto something.
I remember our first few New Year’s together – it kind of blew my mind that he refused to even discuss resolutions. He said he doesn’t like to box himself into a commitment of that kind. Yes, really. He seemed like such a REBEL. I liked that, so I married him.
I like to think I’m rebellious enough to buck the system and refuse to make New Year’s resolutions, but the truth is, it’s hard for me not to resolve. I love to resolve. In fact, when people ask me how I feed, bathe, and put to bed three kids ages 5 and under almost every night without help, my answer is usually something like, “RESOLVE.”
My Type A side loves the idea of making goals in tandem with the clean slate that a new year brings. I like to put my mind to things and see them happen. However, I do not love feeling like a failure when I’m already struggling to figure out which way is up – piling resolutions of grandeur on top of that situation is just a recipe for disappointment. So this year, I resolve to lower my expectations for everything … starting with my resolutions.
I’m not going to make any.
I remember a time when I could leisurely think of a whole list of goals for the upcoming year in peace, without anyone scribbling all over the paper or spilling apple juice on it. That was back when I didn’t understand how anyone could go a full week without shaving their legs. And now … well … now I understand.
I’m in a different season of life that I like to call the Season of Survival. Right this minute I am running the dishwasher, I’m on my fourth load of laundry, a kid is in the tub, two kids are in bed, and I am supposed to be making a gumbo out of the turkey left over from the Christmas dinner that I hosted last week. I have no idea if my legs are hairy or not because I haven’t thought to check. I have a running list of things I need to take care of in the next 48 hours, none of which have anything to do with my children. That’s a whole other list.
Women are expected to do SO MUCH, and I know you know what I mean because you’re living it, just like I am. You’re probably on your fourth load of laundry as well. Maybe you’re preparing for a big meeting at work while children swirl around you. Perhaps you haven’t looked in the mirror for a few hours, like me. (I advise against it at this point. The other day I actually startled myself when I caught my reflection in the mirror after a long day with the kids.)
So this year, I will not resolve to lose weight. I will not resolve to be a better person, cook more often, spend more time with my kids playing on the floor, or attend church regularly. I will not resolve to be a better wife or a better mother.
The one thing I WILL DO is give myself more credit: for continuing to move forward even when it feels like I’m trying to run through Jell-O, and for keeping us all alive which is actually pretty miraculous. If you came to visit my house, you would understand why.
I look forward to this new year and all of the opportunities I’ll have to hone my survival skills, and will continue funneling all of my resolve into getting three wiggly children tucked into bed every night. Happy New Year, Baton Rouge!