By: Shannon Ralph
I just realized today, practically mid-January, that I did not make any New Year’s resolutions this year. That is very unlike me. Typically, by the second week in January, I have already made and broken at least half a dozen New Year’s resolutions. What is wrong with me this year? How did I get this far into the new year without a single reflection on the upcoming year? How did I manage to make it to the second week of January without a marathon goal-setting blog? In the spirit of tradition, I present to you my superfluous and entirely dispensable goals for 2012:
1. Get down to my birth weight. Okay, maybe not my birth weight, but at least my post-seven-months-of-puking weight I had reached after the birth of my twins. That would be nice —minus all the puking, of course. I am taking my children to the ocean this summer, and I am far —oh so very, very far— from being swimsuit ready. I seriously doubt, even if I starved myself, I would be swimsuit ready by June, but at least maybe I could avoid wearing a MuMu if I started working on it now.
2. Start writing my book. Yea, yea…I talk about it all the time. “I am going to write a book about my experiences in the trenches of parenthood.” One day I will. This may very well be the year. Then again, 2020 sounds like a nice round year to write a book.
3. Read more books. I got a nice Nook Color for my birthday this year and I absolutely love it. I find myself, however, spending more time playing games on it than I do reading. I could easily become a professional Globs player, if such a thing existed. Don’t get me wrong. I do read. I have read several books since getting my Nook, but there are a ton of books on my wish list that I have yet to tackle. In 2012, I definitely want to read more.
4. Unplug. In 2012, I would like to spend less time on the internet. Less time with my nose in my laptop. Less time surfing the web. Less time on Facebook. And Etsy. And eBay. And Pinterest. Over the New Year’s weekend, I was without internet because the power cable to my modem had gone bad. My internet provider shipped me a new one, but not in time for my four-day holiday weekend. I was a bit crabby, to say the least. As a matter of fact, four days without the internet put me into a funk that was both pathetic and moderately disturbing. No one should be that addicted to something as expendable as a laptop.
5. Eat at home more. This one actually goes hand in hand with #1. If I ate out less, it would most certainly be a step in the right direction away from the beach MuMu. The problem is, as a working mother of three children, I am just too damn tired to cook sometimes. A lot of the time. Eating out is convenient. It is easy. It tastes better than what I would likely cook at home. There are no dishes to wash. I can focus time and energy on things more important than cooking. All in all, the restaurant is one of humankind’s greatest creations. Am I right? See. The odds are stacked against me. With all of the perks of eating out, it is difficult to focus on the reality. The insane amount of money better spent elsewhere. The burgeoning waistline. The processed food taking the place of the fruits and vegetables my kids are not eating. It’s an atrocious habit, really. A tough one to crack, but one I plan on tackling in 2012.
6. Say no. As a good little lapsed Catholic girl, I have a lot of guilt. I carry guilt around like an infant in a sling, closely cradled to my bosom. I nurture it. I hold it tightly. I talk sweetly to it and kiss its fleshy, rotund cheeks. It is my baby. In 2012, it is time to kick that baby’s ass to the curb. I cannot be everything to everyone. As a modern woman, I try desperately to be exactly that. As a good little Catholic girl, I try to be perfect in all endeavors. As the eldest child in my family, I try to take care of everyone. As a Libra, I strive for harmony and peace in all interactions with all people. It’s exhausting! It’s time, at the ripe old age of 39, for me to learn to say no. Let go of all the guilt. Do what I want for a change. I am responsible only for myself, my children, and —to a lesser extent— my partner. I am not responsible for the happiness of anyone else. In 2012, I resolve to remember that fact. And to say a resounding “No!” when my guilt is being put before my own happiness.
There you have it. My goals for 2012. I can’t help but notice that they are eerily similar to my resolutions for 2011. As I explained above, I typically scrap the resolutions by mid-January, so it comes as no surprise to me that my goals are reminiscent of this time last year. Therefore, finally, I give you Resolution #7:
7. Stick with your resolutions until at least February 1st. A lofty goal, no doubt, but one I hope to reach. I’ll let you know how I am doing in three weeks.