This is the first New Year of my life I have spent away from my actual life. Joe and I are on vacation over a thousand miles away (I think) and I am using this time to now consider the idea of one or more resolutions.
I view New Year's resolutions as seriously as I do Lenten resolutions. Having been raised "old school" Catholic, resolutions have ruled a lot of my life and from what I figure must be some amount of Catholic angst, everyone takes a little joy in breaking them all. My mother would always give up sweets and desserts, but find secret little ways to indulge herself. Frozen yogurt, for example, never counted because it was "healthy," therefore not a dessert. For me, keeping resolutions has always been akin to keeping secrets. Impossible. (Seriously, do NOT confide in me. I know I appear earnest and concerned, and I AM, but I'm also wholly untrustworthy.)
This year as I view my life from a distance, I see that many of the things I'd like to change about myself are not completely difficult. Smile more. Complain less. These were actually on my list for 2011, and believe it or not I think I had some success in keeping them. This year I also add, "Stand up straight" because my posture is a bit of an issue and I have back problems.
But I'd also like to be less quick to anger. More likely to laugh--at situations and at myself. I'd like to fear less. I'm afraid of EVERYTHING. Germs, mistakes, embarrassment, pencils. I need to work on that--do I want my children to hang back in the shadows because they are like me or do I want them to hold their arms out to the world and take it all in because it is wonderful and so are they? I'd like to be more like the person I want my children to become. Why shouldn't I? Every day we tell children in one way or another that they can be anything, do anything, become anything...can't we do it, too? SHOULDN'T we, in fact?
This year, unlike any other year, I have been given OPPORTUNITY. I want to take it and make myself worthy of the gift. I have had to be very strong in my life--at certain points--and some days I wonder where all that has gone? Surely to potty-training, and battle-choosing, and holding my tongue (a particular challenge). But why should there be nothing left over?
So here is to being the best me I can be, and making the most of myself for the good of everyone else. In the spirit of my children, my current trip, and the New Year, I'd like to say FAREWELL to THIS person:
and embrace THIS one:
Happy NEW YEAR, whatever you wish it to be!