It is currently 8:07 PM on New Year’s Eve.
In prior years I would have had a laundry list of New Year’s resolutions. They typically looked something like this:
-stop eating sugar
-exercise 3x a week
-read at least one new book a month
I make them every year, and every year I fail within weeks, if not days, into the new year. At 37 years old, I think I have finally learned my lesson: screw the resolutions.
I am a grown adult woman. I have a stressful job, two rowdy kids, and I live in a land of chaos. There is no fairy godmother who will be appearing in my living room at midnight to wave her magic wand and somehow change me into the person I want to become no matter how many resolutions I make. And since she will not be making an appearance, it is very likely that I am not going to will myself into the person I have always hoped to become this year.
Do you remember in the movie “Bridesmaids” where Annie and Helen are passive-aggressively arguing back and forth about people changing? I happen to fall into the “people don’t really change” category. Do most of us desire to change? Yes. Are we capable of change? Yes. Can we willingly change on our own free will based on discipline and commitment? Ehhh…..maybe. I am not a keeper of all the data, but I would bet that most of us are not able to change who and how we are on the simple fact we would like to. There are many outside circumstances that prevent that scenario from happening.
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day, and the speaker brought up an article they read about how some people who are neurodivergent are physically and mentally unable to create a new routine and stick to it. Lightbulb moment. I personally have ADHD, and I live in a cycle of best intentions followed shortly by failure. I have tried all the things. I have a really pretty collection of planners sitting beside my nightstand. I have three visible calendars located purposefully on the first floor of my home. I have the fancy scale and the online membership to the weight loss thing with the tracking and the online help and such. I still miss appointments. I yo-yo within a specific weight range. I forget to change my calendars. Then, I spend a decent amount of time beating myself up, wondering why I can’t get it together and what is so wrong with me that I cannot become the person I really would like to be. Then, my attitude can be poor, and that frustration trickles into other areas of my life.
After hearing the podcaster say those words, I realized that maybe it’s not about me changing as much as it is about me accepting who I actually am. Women have a very turbulent relationship with themselves. As much as we are socially preaching acceptance and positivity to others, I believe many of us silently struggle actually to feel that way about ourselves. It’s likely you are your worst critic. Maybe it’s time to let go of the constant need to better ourselves one way or another.
Here I sit, now at 8:56 PM on New Year’s Eve, telling myself that maybe I am okay the way I am without any resolutions. Yes, there are things that I would love to change, and maybe someday I will be able to say that I did, in fact, figure out the algorithm and became the person I always longed to be of my own accord. But maybe being a mom to my two rowdy boys right at this time is helping to mold me into a better version of myself. Maybe deciding not to get irritated at my husband and instead telling him how appreciative I am that he filled up my gas tank helps too. Maybe I can take teeny tiny steps to do things that I need for myself and make myself better, like going on a walk when I am able, drinking a little more water each day, and trying to get up five minutes early each morning just to be able to breathe before the day explodes and I become a victim of whatever the circumstances are that day.
Mama, if you are reading this after not following through with some resolutions, take heart. You are amazing, exactly the way you are. I urge you to take this year to meditate on not just accepting who you are but embracing it. Fall in love with yourself and the role you play in the lives of so many others. If you truly want to make changes, allow yourself grace and time and whatever else you personally need to work toward that. Take care of yourself. God knows you’re the one keeping it together. You got this. Happy New Year.