Hello Medium — Let’s talk about resolutions…
This… you… are my New Year’s Resolution. I have run the gamut of opinion when it comes to Resolutions. Are they good for me? Are they bad for me? Do they renew my sense of purpose, provide me with an opportunity to re-evaluate my life, and give me a jumping off point for making changes in my life, or do they inevitably fail by creating unrealistic expectations I can’t achieve and generally make me feel like crap for not accomplishing them?
Yes… and, yes?
After years spent failing at resolutions (yes, about my weight and exercise), and then several more years completely Scrooging out of the practice (I quite literally posted “bah-humbug” on someone’s FB page once over the topic — PS I’m sorry — I was a negative a-hole), I have once again come around on the topic to a different view of the entire cultural concept.
It started by coming to a kind of mea culpa about the whole weight and exercise thing a few years ago. I recognize my challenges right now and understand that they are a moving target, I know what I am dealing with as a full time working mother of a small child, and I literally make efforts every day to work on it. Some weeks turn out better than others, but I am showing up for myself every day and that is what counts. I know I will get there.
This led me to decide to disassociate resolutions with diet and exercise. Those two trains are just on different tracks and I needed my health track to run independently and, to me, on a more primary track. My health and well being are too important to be, in a sense, trivialized with a resolution. It actually has to have one of the highest priorities in my life because, simply put, everything else depends on it. This is not to say that I think resolutions are trivial, because as a vehicle of self reflection and potential change, I think they are very valuable. What I’m saying is, health starts now because it is a function of cumulative choices and this tool of my physical being is the only one I get and nothing else in my life is possible without it. No resolutions are possible without a working self to get me there.
Once I let go of the concept of New Year’s Diet Resolution #25, I asked myself a couple of questions about what would improve my sense of well-being in my life. I went back to my Reclaiming Witchcraft days, actually — teachings that I frequently refer to in my life as some of the most valuable learning experiences of my 20’s: Did I want my New Years resolutions to be about Self-Improvement, Relationship Improvement, or Community Impact? The three biggest realms of relationship that we deal with in our lives — our relationship with ourselves, our relationships with others, and our relationship with Community are often the places where we can look for inspiration on how we’d like to push past boundaries in our lives.
Some would also add relationship to a Deity, but in my spirituality, that is part of my relationship with self.
There are quite a few things that I could post here, but I’m trying to keep from biting off more than I can chew, so I decided to start here:
Resolution 1: I want to write more. Any kind of writing really. Writing is like riding a bike, you start to suck at it after a while if you don’t practice, but you can pick it back up fairly easily. Also your butt gets used to sitting on the seat eventually, but the first week feels like you took a hammer to your backside.
Resolution 2: Schedule real, tangible time in which my husband and I can be us and not parents. Parenting has sort of taken over our relationship, as happens with a baby or a small child, but our kiddo is old enough that some healthy space is good for all parties involved.
Resolution 3: I want to do something in my community that helps others, preferably children. I’m considering volunteering as a mentor for a kid at the Up Center in Norfolk. This was the charity that my family supported this year with gifts for their angel tree.
This year has not, by any means, been a failure to me. I became an active donor to a charity that I care deeply about, I am successful at my job and my employers like me and my work, my child is still alive despite being 2 ALL YEAR LONG, and my husband and I still like each other most days. I also started a wholly new gaming group and have been running a tabletop RPG for them since August — making new friends and having fun is great! I would have to say it has been a decent year in these areas.
In the “Needs Improvement” category: as a family, we have struggled with health problems — my child’s ability to bring home crazy virulent viruses that just destroy us has been a super huge problem. I could have done without that part. It is so difficult to keep a positive perspective on things when you are dealing with your 6th bout of some crazy illness. I have tried essential oils, vitamins, pushed healthy eating, fresh air, exercise, and supplements. I have purged my house with various forms of cleaning. I have tried a lot of THINGS. Dear 2016 — all I want is to have a healthy family. Seriously.
Well, thank you for reading about me, my goals, and my year — a bit of an introductory mess to get some things down in writing despite it feeling like I have a virgin ass siting on a new bicycle. I hope it was at least somewhat amusing.
Here’s to Doing Things in the (healthy!) New Year!