Do you make them? I used to make them. Back before I had children. Back when the size of my thighs could be on my mind all day. Back when I might spend an entire Saturday shopping for makeup and clothes to feel good. Back when I had the luxury of time to be my own biggest problem to solve.
Wow, I could really fill my time up.
And then, New Years would come around and I’d see it as a chance to start over. A blank new landscape where I’d be a better, healthier, loftier version of myself. I’d achieve more. Consume less. I’d start January off with a bang that, inevitably, turned into a shallow whisper by spring. Here’s what my New Year’s resolutions probably looked like when I was 25:
-Go to bed earlier/wake up earlier.
-Volunteer at a non-profit.
-Read more (do more cultural things.)
-Stop eating abnormal amounts of pastries in private.
At 40, this list just makes me laugh. These days, I would kill to be able to stay awake past 10p.m. and stay in bed late. Of all the joys of motherhood, I’m most thankful that becoming a mom has gotten me out of my own way. While motherhood has blissfully taken the spotlight off my dessert plate, among other things, it has also righted my inner compass. I have no doubt I’m moving in the right direction. Perhaps imperfectly, but I now know that that’s kind of the point anyway.
So, I no longer make resolutions. For me, what I resolve to do with my life—as a woman, as a mother, a wife, a writer—well, most of it remains the steady work of daily life. I try to step back and renew my goals periodically, not just at the new year. So, instead of making more personal resolutions, I thought I’d institute some yearly resolve for what I’d like to teach my girls in 2015.
Here’s my inaugural list:
For Julia, age 7, I hope to help sink these ideas in:
1: Look people in the eye and introduce yourself with a smile. The return is big.
2: Give compliments to people, no matter how old they are. Tell your friend her artwork is beautiful. Tell Pop you like his shirt. Don’t just tell me.
3: Take compliments with a smile and thank-you.
4: Someday you will enjoy getting your hair brushed.
5: There’s no such thing as perfect.
6: Waiting is a part of life—for my time, for a snack, for the car ride to be over.
7: Mistakes and failures are sure things. They are also opportunities.
8: We are all good at different things. Embrace what you’re good at and don’t worry so much about about the rest.
9: Practice, practice, practice and things will happen, it will come together and you’ll get there—but it wont be perfect, you’ll definitely have to wait and you’ll make some mistakes.
10: Your sister loves you even though she sometimes pulls your hair and throws your toys.
For Emerson, 23 months, I’d really like to help her to learn the following in 2015:
1: To push only one button in elevators.
2: Primary colors (plus pink or else)
3: Furniture is for sitting.
4: The ABC’s
5: How to use the potty.
6: Basic shapes
7: We only color on paper.
8: We don’t hang on the bar on the oven door.
9: Proper utensil usage.
10: Your sister loves you, even though she sometimes shuts the door in your face and steals your toys.
What are your thoughts on resolutions?