January. Uh oh.
Time for resolutions.
I’m a self-proclaimed band-wagon hopper. If someone is palpably passionate about a cause, a new shoe, a new gadget, I am too.
So, New Years is a dangerous time for me. Every.Single.Person is excited about a New Resolution for the year. My excessive consumption of social media insures my knowledge of everyone’s plans and my band-wagon-hopping frenzy starts to rise.
She’s losing 30lbs? Me too! Redecorating the whole house? Great idea! Start a business? Can’t be that hard! He’s eating only raw food? Ooh! They’re planning 52 date nights in advance? Perfect! Marathon in the fall? Count me in!
You can see how this ends in heart-break, right? The problem with a band-wagon is that without true dedication and planning, it’s just so dang easy to fall off, or leap off, in a couple of my cases. I have a knee-injury, couple extra pounds and failed home-based business to prove it.
When the poo hits those spinning blades, or the rubber meets the road or [insert any appropriate cliche meaning life gets hard] my resolute resolve dissolves. Bad training tweaks my knee (goodbye marathon). I realize I am already working 4 part-time jobs (ciao Body Shop home consultant status). There’s nothing in the cupboard except ramen noodles (see ya later 100 Days of ‘Real’ Food).
Every year it’s the same vague goals: This year I’m going to pray more, exercise more, eat better, parent with more love and date my husband! And every year, within weeks, I’ve failed big time.
Here’s another problem. In addition to being a band-wagon-hopper, I am also the biggest Sour Grapes Fox I know.
Failed resolution = Guilt = Probably wasn’t worth it anyway.
The only way to assuage my guilt is to convince myself that external forces caused my failure and that the goal wasn’t truly important anyway. Failure couldn’t possibly have been due to poor planning or unrealistic goals on my part!
How can I know this about myself but continue to get caught up in resolution fever? My impressive ability to hold two conflicting beliefs in my brain at the same time. I know I’ve never maintained a giant, amorphous resolution in the past, but this year (without changing any behaviors or planning better) it will work!
I could go pro in cognitive dissonance. Silly brain.
Of course there are areas in my life I’d like to change, to improve. The question is not what, but how. Perhaps the classic style resolution is not for me.
My daughters. My marriage. My family and friends. My faith. The things in my life I am most proud of, most in love with, were not brought about by New Years resolutions. None exist and thrive because one day I decided to change my life. They are each a process. Those relationships are the result of a million little decisions every day, creating beautiful outwards signs of Love and Grace in my life.
Could they be better? Of course. But they’re not going to improve via a New Years resolution that I expect to work like a magic wand. One wide sweep and poof! Everything is perfect… If only. (Although if I had that power, I hope I would use it to end poverty or hunger or something perhaps more worthwhile than the first thing that comes to mind: a self-cleaning bathroom…)
No, my life and my relationships improve through little choices made with Love and Thanks.
So, now what? What to resolve? Should I even make a resolution?
I truly like the idea of one small change that is maintainable yet produces results. A sort of micro-resolution. A friend made a different type of pizza every Friday for a year. Sounds small enough, yet imagine all the planning and experimenting! New flavors, new shopping, new tastes developed and refined. Good conversations with friends and family shared over a slice. Those memories and lessons would stick with ya.
Can I add one small choice into my daily activities that would improve my life and the lives of those I love? Here comes that frenzy again, because I can think of approximately a bazillion things that other people are doing.
Wash the dishes. Every day.
Are you laughing? Or maybe confused? Allow me to explain.
I hate the dishes. I know. Wah! Poor me (sarcasm!). Tragically, I can’t just loathe them into nonexistence. My aversion doesn’t mean I’m often unhappy. It means Andy washes them. A lot.
Our future definitely includes eating, so the dishes aren’t disappearing any time soon. Why am I wasting so much emotional energy glaring at them? Time to grow up and get them done. I don’t expect to enjoy this resolution, but I can certainly fake it till I feel it. Or at least until I decide to use only disposables in 2013…
Why tell you? Why proclaim it to the cyber world? So you’ll help keep me accountable. Please, ask me how it’s going. I’m hoping the effects of this small choice spill into other parts of our lives. Maybe Andy will have more time with the girls. Maybe I’ll become a more efficient cook.
Maybe I’ll go crazy…
So far, I haven’t read about anyone else who is a dishaphobe. This band-wagon is one of my own choosing.
Here’s hoping I don’t fall off.