I am not resolutionary. I love making goals as much as the next person, but I am reluctant to hitch my wagon to the New Year's Resolution star. Resolutions are known for their quick abandonment and feel faddish to me. Setting myself up to fail, even if I'm in good company with the rest of the United States, still hurts. Besides, I'm sure I'll achieve plenty of things this next year that won't get the attention they deserve. So instead, I like to take a more optimistic view of resolutions and announce the list of resolutions I should have made last year.
Resolutions For 2009
1. Get my Associates Degree, after five long years.
2. Write a novel. Immediately put the novel in a dark, secret place where it will never see the light of day, but feel confident that I can do it again, and probably better the next time. Still feel proud, even if no one will ever read it.
3. Redecorate my bedroom. Make it cozy and comfortable and pretty - like a hotel room, but with my own pillows. Feel a burning desire to redecorate the rest of the house to match.
4. Go on a vacation all by myself. Realize that airplane rides are SO MUCH EASIER with no children. See old friends and my hometown and spend quality time with my grandparents. Come home a little more balanced, like "Emily" regained space previously lost to "Mom." Vow to do this again, frequently. Also go on a road trip to California with my parents and a vacation to Walt Disney World. Vow never to go to Florida in the summer ever, ever again.
5. Enjoy watching Darcey enter her Princess phase (about 4 weeks after she went, obliviously, to Walt Disney World). Watch Ryan come home from the grocery store or Walmart or wherever with random princess books and toys that he "had to buy her" because it would make her so happy. Little did he know that every time he bought our princess something, he was making me happy, too.
6. Enjoy watching Zack get a little more mature, entering kindergarten, playing with his gang of best friends. Appreciate his good night kisses, cuddling on the couch, and sweet affection.
7. Enjoy watching Noah and Brad becoming good friends. Marvel at how fast they are growing up, Brad is 12 already and Noah about to turn 9. Appreciate having a built-in babysitter in Brad and a responsible and fairly level-headed boy in Noah. Realize that as much as I might complain about any of my kids, they all are actually the best kids I could ask for.
8. Enjoy watching Ryan relive his childhood fantasies by buying a Stormtrooper costume. Appreciate his unconditional support when things have been tough for me, and realize that as independent as I am, I need him. He makes me a better person and I wouldn't have as full a life without him. Try to follow his supportive example while he recovers from an emergency appendectomy, with mixed results. Vow to try harder in the future.
9. Learn just how much I need good friends. It's a lesson I thought I had learned before, but friends take on a different meaning when life gets hard, which it did for me this year.
Despite the year's challenges, I still think that 2009 was a good year. Last year I hoped that I would be less cynical and more optimistic, which I think I achieved. I also expected to continue my daily gym habit and accompanying weight loss, which I did not achieve, and in fact, went the opposite direction. I'm hoping to get back to that, although I'm not going to consider it a "resolution" per se, more of a renewal of old habits. I even attempted to go to Weight Watchers on the 28th, trying to jump the resolutionary gun, but wouldn't you know they were closed for the holidays all week! How do they expect me to pass myself off as one of the regulars and not a January newbie if they're closed this week? Humphf.
This year has made my ideal 2010 look quite simple. The only thing I really want is to be happy and for my family to be happy. Not giddy, over-the-top excitement all the time, just a peace and contentment that despite everything that might be going wrong, everything is somehow going to be okay. Serenity, a calm in the midst of chaos. I don't expect life to get measurably less complicated - I can't control all that stuff that happens and makes life hard. Instead I want to focus on my internal world, and try to find ways to keep that as stable as possible. Also, I want to recognize good moments when they happen, instead of only noticing the bad moments. And I want to improve my spiritual side, my relationship with God. I think all of these things combine to make for a happy life, and that's what I want.
So that's all I want, and I don't think that's asking too much. Although if I also happened to start exercising every day and eating right and losing 20 pounds, I wouldn't complain. I just won't call it a resolution.