I’m not making resolutions. I’ve tried it. By February, my resolutions are judging me and making me feel less than. I need my life to be more flexible. For example, resolution number one, workout every day for one month. Then I get sick or the kids are sick or my husband is having an affair with our new house and spending 12 hours a day there and I don’t get my workouts in and I feel like a failure and say screw it all and just eat bon bons and drink wine.
Or, resolution number two, finish my book by March. See above reasons for this not happening and change the outcome to vodka and pizza.
Instead I am taking stock of my life and creating an overall focus for the upcoming year. Less rigidity and more softness and asking of myself, “Who do I want to be this year?” Last year was an eventful year for me. My first born flew 3,000 miles out of the nest to college. My second born committed to a college on the east coast solidifying his impending departure from our daily life and sadly I lost my mom unexpectedly. When your kids leave and you lose your mom you start to wonder what it’s all for.
I spent most of the last quarter pondering that question. What is it all for? I stood in the kitchen night after night making dinner and wondering, “Is this all there is to life? Surely I was meant to do more, give more, be more.” The loudest voice in my head kept asking, “What are you giving back?”
Over and over, it kept asking me, no matter how hard I tried to focus on something else. The answer I ultimately came up with was, “not enough.” As a child I always thought I would grow up and spend my time working with those who were in need. Those less fortunate. Life got in the way of that and I feel less complete because I am not.
So this year, after taking stock, I have decided to make my 2014 focus on being a better me by my service to others.
1. Giving back to others. I have always wanted to do the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk. I have always wanted to work with a charity for homeless teens. I have always wanted to spend Thanksgiving morning at a soup kitchen. I will be doing those things this year and much more that will give my life more of an outward focus and fulfill a purpose I have felt missing. Look for a section of Ooph to be devoted to these events and ways you can give back if you are interested.
2. Focusing on the book I have wanted to write for years. It will help moms create conversations and relationships with their sons and I want to see it in print. Nothing is more precious to me than a boys love of his mother and vice versa. There will be no focus on a completion date, just a commitment to sitting down and making it happen…when I can. I get far too caught up in the idea of every Tuesday and Thursday I will write. Or one hour a day I will write. Or the book MUST be done by a certain date. And that means it still sits in my brain and not in print because I can’t do that and the weight of it overwhelms me. This year I am giving myself permission to get started. Nothing more.
3. I will continue to focus on my family and my marriage as it is and always will be the single most important thing I do on this planet. Nothing makes me happier or gives me a greater feeling of wholeness than being a wife and mother. Nothing.
There will be no set dates to accomplish weight loss by this year, no financial goals that must be achieved and no hard core dates that would put me in a tailspin to achieve or that I would miss and feel like a failure. In its place, a focus on the person I want to be for myself and for others. Simply giving myself permission to be all those things I want to be without allowing my inner self to grade everything I do by dates and numbers leaving me feeling less than instead of filled with.
Instead of asking yourself what you want to do in 2014, ask yourself who you want to be.
Who do you want to be in 2014?