January 1, 2012


Every year when January 1st rolls around, half of the world sits down to write a list of lofty goals and aspirations while the other half makes snarky comments about why resolutions are impractical and ineffective. I do tend to agree with the New Year's naysayers who argue that we should be making strides toward perfection more than just once a year, but I still think that this season is as good a time as any to reflect, reassess, and think about the person I'd like to be in the next 365 days. This time around, I've actually been thinking about my resolutions for a few months, noting certain habits that I'd like to break and others that I'd like to pick up. Sure, I have plenty of goals for 2012: keep running, read more books, get more sleep, all the usual. These five, though, took a bit more thought, and will hopefully represent a tough but worthwhile challenge in the coming months. 
1. As much as I hate to admit it, I am one of those people who is sometimes instructed by family to arrive at 7 for a 7:30 event. I am a chronic running-out-of-the-house, cringing-as-I-watch-the-clock-in-the-car latecomer, always 15 minutes behind and always feeling guilty for my tardiness. This year, though, I am determined to figure out what it takes to get me out the door on time and to my destination when I am expected. I know this is going to take a lot of effort, but I am just so tired of running behind schedule and the stress and guilt that comes along with always being late. 
2. This year I feel like I've been especially terrible at answering texts, responding to facebook messages in a timely manner, sending cards, and generally corresponding consistently with friends. I felt a pang of guilt each time we received a Christmas card this holiday season, knowing that even though my hubby came home early, we never got our own cards made and mailed. Next year, I am hoping to stay in much closer touch with the friends and family who mean so much to me. Having a husband in the army has helped me learn to love writing cards, and I firmly believe that finding a handwritten note tucked among the bills, catalogues, and junk mail in the mailbox is enough to make your day. Thank goodness for people like my grandmother and certain friends who still send these on a regular basis -- this year, I'll be taking a page out of their book and putting the postal service to work a bit.
3. I am typically a pretty healthy eater -- I like salads and veggies and try hard to keep my portion sizes reasonable and take it easy on the desserts. I certainly have a few guilty pleasures (iced coffee, red wine, those guys Ben and Jerry and their darn ice cream...), but I limit my indulgences and try to balance them out with lots of healthy meals. The challenge, I've noticed recently, comes when healthy eating gets tough -- sure, when it's as easy as ordering a salad vs. a burger off a menu I am pretty consistent, but when it comes to whipping up a healthy breakfast vs. grabbing a pop tart, I don't always make the right choice. When dinner time rolls around and I'm exhausted from a day at work and the gym, a pot of pasta is just so much easier than chopping up a bunch of vegetables to saute. This year, I want to work on eating the way I know I should all the time, even when it's inconvenient or challenging. If this means prepping food ahead so that I can just throw it in a pan or pop it in the oven, I'm going to work on that. If it means making my own meal when my darling-husband-who-never-gains-a-pound wants to stop for fast food, so be it. There are certain things I won't be giving up (see aforementioned coffee, wine, and Phish Food), but I am hoping to make this a year of more consistent good decisions, even when they are a bit tough to make.
4. Despite what my dear hubby might claim, I am a pretty decent driver. I have never had an accident and can boast only one speeding ticket (thanks, Mr. State Trooper, for making me cry over 12 measly mph), can parallel park (most days) and am comfortable driving even in questionable weather conditions. The problem I've noticed lately, however, is that I have become a slightly less alert driver than I was several years ago when I was new to the road. I'm certainly not one of those people who drives by texting on their phone, eating a sandwich, and fixing their makeup all at once. I do sometimes make calls while I drive, but I do not text while moving or blow dry my hair or become deeply engrossed in the buttons on my stereo, as I often see from fellow drivers. In short, I do watch the road... but I am not always paying as much attention as I should. I do my best thinking while driving, especially on long car trips, which sometimes leaves me less than focused on my true priority: getting myself to my destination in one piece. This year, I pledge to not only look at the road when I drive, but to really watch it.
5.My fifth and final resolution is something I say I will change every year, but it has yet to happen. I am by nature a worrier: I stress over everything, hold myself to an incredibly (and at times impossibly) high standard, and constantly compare myself to those around me. Not only do these traits exhaust my poor husband's last nerves, they often leave me exhausted, upset, or disappointed in myself for no real reason. My constant stress rarely helps any situation -- I spend most of my time frazzled and distracted, worried too much about what people think of me than how I actually feel. There are so many times that I could actually enjoy the people around me if only I could stop getting so caught up in trying to make myself and everything I do flawless. Dinner parties would still be lots of fun even if the food and decorations weren't magazine-worthy, date nights would still be exciting even if my hair wasn't absolutely perfect. So this year, I am absolutely determined to relax more often, let go of the impulse to stress over everything until it is just right, and let things be. I am going to stop wasting time and emotion comparing myself to everyone else, and invest those resources into enjoying myself and being happy. I am going to listen to my own advice: any friend who doesn't accept you for exactly who you are is not a friend worth having. I am going to work on embracing my own imperfections (those that I can't change, at least) and spend less time worrying and more time having fun, making wonderful (if imperfect) memories. Bring it on, 2012 -- I am going to enjoy you no matter what, damn it.

Happy New Year everyone! Whether you are a resolution-maker or a resolution-pooh-pooh-er... may 2012 be one to remember!




0 had something to say:

Post a Comment


Blog Template by YummyLolly.com