All my life I thought I was a resolution girl. For the past two decades — without fail– my resolution come Jan 1 has been to lose weight, exercise more and to create more balance. A big kick in the ass to get my shit together. Fortunately or unfortunately, the last 2 years have been stressful for many different reasons. Among them a complex health issue for myself — along with stress — has lead to a me not needing to focus more on my weight this January 1.
With the sky wide open for resolution picking … I came up blank. I had nothing. No clue what to resolve to do in 2018 without the stand by of “losing weight”. It comes as no surprise to realize that the 20 years I have resolved to reduce my calories and increase my exercise coincided with the first 20 years of raising my sons. When your focus is parenting, mothering, wife-ing, partnering, working … many parts of you take a side step. Resolutions become basic, survivalist and frankly, not very interesting.
The more I thought about it the more I wondered if perhaps I wasn’t a resolution girl. What I knew I was, was a tired mom and wife. A tired mom and wife who for twenty years yearned to find the youthful, thinner, healthier version of herself and resolved to find her … every January first. The simple fact that I had the same resolution 20 years running is enough to say … you aren’t that good at this resolution stuff, kid. But why? Was it my choice in resolutions, my plan of attack? Was I doomed to fail because I love peanut m&m’s? Or a glass of wine on a winter (spring, summer, fall) night? Maybe my concept of “gain balance” “lose weight” “improve health” were too damn vague. Promising to resolve to change something at the strike of a clock instead of working on small, baby steps every day, was beginning to look less and less appealing.
I began to research resolutions. What other people choose, why and how they succeeded. The concept beseeches me. I like to think I am fairly successful, I am a pretty good mom, my marriage is strong, I love my job and I enjoy my writing, I have wonderful people in my life who support me (and I haven’t been easy lately). Why in the hell am I so bad at resoluting? (I am also really good at making up my own words!)
Searching for a resolution had become cumbersome, awkward, like I was looking for a generic answer to a specific questions. What’s your favorite food? Italian I would answer instead of saying … I love a tender slice of chicken soaked in handmade marsala sauce and a bed of fluffy orzo, and throw in some asparagus tips! Or perhaps, where would you like to travel? Overseas? Instead of … I would love to set my feet on the French Riviera, Cannes especially, where my Grandmother took her leave during WWII that I wrote about in my book Love, Red.
What started to feel good was the concept that I didn’t have to come up with a resolution. The more I researched I wondered: maybe I am not good at resolutions because the resolutions are not good enough. Maybe what I’m working on has been focusing on outcomes, not the journey. After all, I never resolved to eat food that nourished my mind and body — I resolved to lose weight. I didn’t resolve to explore what made me feel out of balance and find solutions (if there were any)– I resolved to find that balance regardless. Just fix it. I resolved to find balance, when there are times when my scale will only tip. I never resolved to find an exercise that suited my body, my mind and my spirit — I only resolved to slog myself to the gym, drag my ass on a treadmill that I hate and do it because I had to.
So here’s my resolution: No more resolutions. Only Commitments. I am going to re-dream. Re-dream my answers to my own questions and commit to re-purposing old resolutions. I will covet my journey and stop looking for destinations, instead looking for ways I can give back to others that will fortify my commitments to a better life for myself and my family. I will set my mind to searching for commitments that support me, support my boys and my husband. I will commit to taking care of myself, if that means taking a nap because my body demands it today or walking six miles instead of three because my body can do that today, that’s what I will do.
And I will accept your encouragement and reminders when you see me faultering with my new found commitments. <3