I did not make any resolutions for the New Year. I’m not a fan of resolutions. They feel exactly like the perfectionism I’ve fought against for so long. The minute I miss a day at the gym, it is over. The day my weigh-in comes in over the number from the carefully planned trajectory I must follow in order to lose X pounds by June 1, I have failed. I cannot keep up, and I cannot fix what I have already ruined. Why bother? I may as well eat the entire bag of Doritos and sleep in tomorrow morning instead of going to lift, I think, since I’m obviously terrible at everything. I’m going to fail, so I may as well wallow.
It felt like resolutions made me worse, not better. So for many years I ignored the whole thing.
However, toward the end of 2018 I heard rumblings from people who were picking a word for the new year. Courage was one I heard. Strength. Faith. As I thought about the idea, it seemed like it might work for me. A set of strict rules I can’t do, but a guiding principle? That sounds like something I can work with.
I mulled it over for a while. None of the words I’d heard so far seemed quite right for me. Eventually, I decided to think about what I didn’t think was going well and see if I could think of something to make up the deficit. After some thought, I came up with “intention.” I think I’ve been going along and doing whatever’s next without thinking about it too much. I haven’t been doing some things that I really do want to do.
I bought myself a little sign and put it on the bathroom counter, where I’ll see it first thing every morning, as soon as I get my contact lenses in and start seeing more than large blurry shapes.
So, you ask, how’s it going? Eh. Medium.
I started writing this post on January 6. I didn’t finish it that day. On the other hand, you’re reading it now, so I did finish eventually. That’s something.
I finished reading a book today. It wasn’t a long book, and it took me weeks. But it was a book I wanted to read, and I managed to eke out enough time from my kids and my job and the terrifying expectations I have for myself to sit down and relax and read. the. book. When I finished, I sat for a minute soaking up the feeling, and I decided I want more of that. Audiobooks and ebooks are not going away for me, but I miss reading book books.
I had coffee with a friend the other day. I don’t see her enough, and when we did the we-should-get-coffee thing a few weeks ago, I suggested a time. On purpose.
My husband and I went out to dinner last night and had a conversation about some decisions we’ve been trying to make. It’s far too easy to float along and do whatever the easiest thing is that will get us through that day. But it doesn’t get us where we want to go. So we talked about it. We’ll talk again.
I got up this morning and realized that my eyes had started to skip over my little sign. We do this. We arrive at work with no memory of having driven there, because the route is so familiar that our brains don’t register the journey. But I don’t want my intentions to become part of my mental wallpaper. I moved the sign. When I no longer see it in that location, I’ll move it again.
I’ll likely forget and go weeks without thinking about it. When that happens, I intend to stop and think and move my sign so it catches my eyes, and begin again. I’ve never done this before, the word thing. I’m a little nervous it’s going to go like resolutions do. But I’m hoping that in 2019 I can be a little kinder than before, even to myself.
At least that’s what I intend.