Alright, resolution time. Most years I roll my eyes and laugh at every person that tries to tell me that they’re going to have a New Year’s resolution. I mean, seriously people?! Do you not realize the disappointment you’re setting yourself up for? Do you not realize just how stupid it sounds to wait to start doing something better for yourself until the first day of the upcoming year? (Uhhhh, why not start today? Or yesterday? Or last year for that matter?) And then what do you tell everyone who you so adamantly promised that you’d totally do it this year and then failed?
I don’t want to be condescending or hurtful when I say this. But… well… I do. Because here’s the thing – I’m one of those people who makes resolutions. I don’t even do the big resolutions like weight loss or travel more. Mine are ridiculously simple. Don’t eat so many cookies. (Fail) Be nicer to Husband. (FAIL) Go to bed at a regular time. (FAAAAAAIL) Go to church every Sunday. (BAHAHAHAHAHA!!)
I just don’t understand why we do this to ourselves. We know it takes more than a whim decision to stop or start doing something, so why do we do it? You know what I think it is for me? I make a resolution because it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for myself. Albeit temporarily. Once the novelty wears off, I go back to my stay-up-all-night-sneaking-cookies-and-scolding-husband-for-scolding-me-for-eating-all-of-the-cookies habits. And that typically happens on a Saturday night. Say goodbye to getting up early for church on Sunday morning.
It’s a no-win. So I decided to take a slightly different route this year. First, I tried not making resolutions. I tried to just ignore it and let New Years Day come and go. I tried to not make myself any promises I knew I’d break. But… I couldn’t do it. I ended up making a resolution. I even went as far as to start asking for resolution ideas.
Hello, my name is Rachel, and I’m a resolution addict.
My resolution was to try to spend one hour a day with the kids with no electronics. Just good old fashioned play-doh, coloring, memory games and more. I really truly thought I could do it. And I did manage it on New Years Day. I was so proud of myself and it was so easy.
Then came day 2. Bear got a nasty fever and started throwing up, then Peanut followed suit a few hours later (no puking), and then Buddy’s temp spiked a few hours after that. So, instead of trying to have some quiet no-electronics time, what did I do? I got our TV out of the basement, rearranged the girl’s bedroom, dug out a stack (literally) of movies, and set the kids up in bean bag chairs for the entire afternoon. So, yeah, instead of one hour with no electronics, I gave them at least five hours with non-stop electronics. Without my presence. They were in the girl’s room with the door closed while I tried to work on paperwork and ran back and forth with bottles, rags, pukey laundry and more.
Fail, fail and FAIL.
So with my “I will spend at least one hour a day with the family with no electronics” already totally bombed. I decided that I needed to re-rethink my resolution plans. That’s when it hit me. Why don’t I concentrate less on a resolution, and concentrate more on something with no end goal or time frame? And while I’m at it, why don’t I work on ME? You see, I have many… MANY things that I wish I did better and other things that I wish I didn’t do quite so much. They’re things that I’ve always been aware of, but never really made a real attempt at correcting. Bad habits. Rude behavior. Unwanted traits. You name it.
So, this year, I’m going to dig deep and stop lying to myself. I’m going to put my flaws on the table and see if I can come up with a way to be less of some things, and more of others. Even if I don’t exactly correct my bad behaviors I at least admitted the problem. And if my husband was sitting here and reading this, he would tell you that admitting the problem would be a HUUUUGE step for some of my fatal flaws.
LET SOMEONE BE BETTER THAN ME – Seriously. Enough with the petty competition. I usually don’t gloat about the things that I know I’m truly good at like artsy things. But I have a problem with letting someone be better than me at them. Even if I see someone absently sketching a tree and I notice it’s good, I will suddenly find myself with a pen and paper in hand, furiously scribbling the best most realistic f*cking tree you’ve ever seen. It will make you cry tears of joy it’s such a perfect tree sketch. Or if someone beats me at a game, I will demand a rematch until I win. Even if it takes ALL DAY AND NIGHT. Why? WHY does it matter to me so much if someone is a better tree-drawer than me? Why do I need to prove that I can kill you before you kill me? Dramatic much? I need to cool it on the competitive edge.
LET HUSBAND WIN – Sometimes I go a little too far to prove my point. Annoyingly far. Over the top. Above and beyond the call of duty. (get the point?) Husband is gracious and never tells me to knock it the [bleeeeep] off already. But I know he’s thinking it. Especially when I will go as far as to reference something on the internet AFTER an argument is over just to push my point home. I just seriously need to lay off and relax. What? Is the world going to end if I don’t make husband understand that I am the undisputed winner over a debate on the origins of soy beans? Just… relax. (I think husband is going to pee himself when he reads this.)
ENOUGH WITH THE ADVICE – I can be a know it all (shocker!). Sorry to everyone that I do it to. I realize that I give unsolicited advice… often. I swear I’m not trying to be a know it all. I swear. I just see an opportunity to suggest help and I dig my greedy little claws in. The worst part is that it grates on me like nothing else when someone lays the advice on thick when I didn’t even ask for it. Especially when it pertains to the kids. So why do I do it to others? I need to learn how to encourage instead of advise.
SHOW A LITTLE CLEAVAGE – I am deathly shy when it comes to my body. I feel incredibly self-conscious in a swimsuit. I’m nearing 30. I have stretch marks. I grew up a tomboy. The excuses could go on and on. I let society’s standards of “beautiful” rule me, and because I’m so shy I quail at the thought of actually going for “bombshell” because I’m so afraid I’ll fall short and looking like a total idiot. Instead I go for “good enough” or “noticeable.” That way, no one will pick on me for my knobby knees or my acne or my chewed down fingernails. I’m twenty-seven years old, I’m married and I’ve given birth to three kids. These are things that I should be proud of, not embarrassed of. This is where I need to learn to give a big middle finger to all of the people who have made me feel like less than beautiful in my own skin. I’m done apologizing for my body. I’m going for bombshell, baby.
STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE THINKS – It’s ridiculous how much I worry about other’s opinions of me. Ridiculous! People I hardly even know! I go so far out of my way to not stand out that I feel like I’m avoiding doing what makes me truly happy. I never tell people just how much of a total geek, nerd and dweeb I am all in one. I don’t mind sharing my opinion on sensitive subjects, but if there’s a conversation about a sensitive subject that I disagree with, I rarely speak up. I just nod and go along with it so these people don’t think less of me. I constantly worry about what people think of my parenting skills. I never go in public in sweats because I’m afraid of seeing someone I know and looking like a mess. I shudder to think of what some fancy girls would think of my love of watching and playing football and video games. I don’t even want to know what my “jock” friends would say if they saw how excited I was to go to the Renaissance Fair. And I almost never subject anyone to my favorite music because I’m afraid they won’t like it. It’s like I’m too afraid to be an individual! Yeah… that’s gonna change. And Ill start by confessing that I LOVE Harry Potter, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. I regularly play Final Fantasy. ALL of them. I’m sort of obsessed with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I love wearing sweatpants, and damn it, I’m wearing them to the grocery store! I love sports and sometimes think I’m the best player on the block (even though I’m so bad at EVERYTHING but running). I get googly eyed over everything nature and I could probably live at an animal shelter because I have SUCH a soft sot for animals. I have my parenting methods and you have yours. STOP putting mine down! You got a problem with any of that? Bite me.
FINISH MY SENTENCES – Holy sh!t. I don’t think I could be worse at this. And I know I do it, too. I am so easily distracted it’s like I’m a feather in the wind. Nothing can keep me rooted in my thoughts. Nothing. Before our conversation is over I’ll have brought up seven different arguments, two compliments, and four random thoughts… and none of them will have anything to do with one another. It’s so bad that I don’t notice I’m doing it until I realize that my listener isn’t even paying attention to me anymore. Which brings me to my next thought:
STOP RAMBLING – Seriously. I need to realize that people DO NOT care about every little detail of a story. Get. To. The point.
What’s funny about this is that a friend of Husband’s was venting to us about his Mom one evening. She had told him a story about how she bought a sub at subway and went on about each of the toppings she was deciding between… etc etc. I was cracking up at how pointless and drawn out her story was… until I realized that this was exactly how I’d have delivered my story as well. (You see what I did there? Teehee)
L-I-S-T-E-N – This one is really hard for me. NOT because I like to talk about myself as I’m sure it might sometimes seem. I actually just HATE the awkward silence in between conversations. And what I hate even more is that I am always the first one to cave in and need filler talk. I just feel so awkward standing there and waiting for the other person to say something. What do I do? Stand there and stare at them? I feel like doing that puts someone on the spot, so instead, I ramble and end up talking about myself and looking like an arrogant, egocentric ass. That said, I’m going to try to embrace the in-between silence more. I’m going to try to let the other person start conversation instead of monopolizing it with my nonsense.
TALK TO HANDSOME MEN – As opposed to running full speed in the opposite direction. This has nothing to do with flirting, cheating or ANYTHING of the like. But this does have everything to do with my inability to compose myself in the presence of a pretty face. I mean, come on. Again… I’m twenty fricken seven years old and married to a man I’m completely in love with. So why? WHY do I still go cross-eyed and tongue-tied when a good-looking guy looks at me or smiles at me or GOD FORBID talks to me. It’s seriously embarrassing how quickly I blush and giggle like a little school girl. EM-BA-RASS-ING. I was the same way with Husband when I first met him. Thank the lord he was so oblivious to his good looks and charms or I may have DIED when we started talking in high school. So, blush be damned, I will make an effort to stand up to ruggedly handsome men and say hello without batting an eye. I will do it. I WILL.
GO TO BED AT A DECENT TIME – I have to throw this back on the list. I just have to… because I’m afraid of what I’ll do if I don’t.
STOP GETTING DEFENSIVE – Soooo… Husband was the one to suggest this lat little piece of advice and I’ll give you one guess what happened. This one is going to take a lot of work to head off. Getting defensive is like an instinctual reaction for me. I am really sensitive, so if I feel insulted, I huff and I puff and I blow things out of proportion. Usually at husband. There’s not much to say here except maybe I need to actually THINK before exploding.
So, there you have it. My fatal flaws exposed. Hopefully you can take something home with you and maybe do a little soul-searching of your own in this wonderful new year. But if not, then I hope you were at least entertained!