Last year for New Year’s I wrote this, which I will re-post here in its entirety because it was short and I liked it. Then I will tell you how my year went.
I enjoy the acme of foolishness that is goal-setting and resolving to better myself. This year, as in the past, I got a sick kind of kick from making a list of the things I am not yet good enough about. (i.e. Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.) Am I the only one who believes that the magic of transformation lies in the enumeration of the weaknesses? Surely at the end of the year my inventory of defects will be just that much shorter.
About a week ago I made my usual catalog of these “resolutions.”
Today, to that, I say derisively: pfffft.
Perhaps it’s because my baby has been sick all week, and I am back to day-long pajamas and too much puke and poop to keep up with the laundry much less the laundry list of desired personal traits. Perhaps it’s because I read in Anne Lammot’s newest book: “We will be called to survive unsurvivable losses, and we will realize with enormous pain how much of our lives we’ve already wasted with obsessive work or pleasing people or dieting.” Perhaps it’s because (gasp) I am almost 30 and a few of my resolutions haven’t changed in 15 years.
Today, for this one year, I resolve only one thing.
Whenever I get a piece of floss that isn’t quite long enough, I will not wrestle with the short ends and struggle to make it through my mouth on that inch between my pinched fingers. This year I will just get a new piece of floss.
How did that work out for me? Well, it was probably the best year of my life. I did gain five or ten pounds. Went through a lot of floss–those containers actually do end! I also watched more useless tv. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I make a resolution or not, I don’t ever learn Spanish. But I also got a lot done, feel pretty good, and had a swell time.
This year, I’m going to make goals again, and continue to attempt to better myself, inside and out, but I’m going to judge each one of my efforts by the Lammot standard. Is it wasting my time with obsessive work, pleasing people, or dieting? If so, it will be swiftly removed from my mental and emotional space–or I will start nudging it out. That is the best I can do. Though perhaps I could also work my way back into last year’s jeans…