A lot of people take New Year’s Day to reflect on moments past, working up to “resolving” to change either past behaviors or to do things that they have long procrastinated upon doing. Me… I do my best not to do either because, let’s be honest here, I’m lousy at keeping Resolutions, and if I fall short of my goal later on it tosses me in a funk so deep that not even a gallon of Haagen-Dazs and chick flick marathons can drag me out. So, I now keep my tradition of a non-resolutions resolution!
Seriously, I refuse to make a promise I have never been able to keep (have you seen me try to stay from sugar?!?), reflect upon past years (some things are best forgotten upon the promise of severe torture if ever brought to the light of day again!), or make vows of better… ahem… behavior/habits (are you kidding me? I’m just starting to learn how to let loose every now and again!). However, what I do instead is… dream. Yeah, I know… when don’t I, right? But seriously, why vow to recycle more, spend less, live more, eat better, spend more time with family/friends, or even maybe… possibly… carve out time to volunteer more (when in two to three months all of that will fall away due to the distractions of everyday life) when in all actuality, if we really look at ourselves, we can see how we do all that we promise to do, even if it’s in smaller, different ways. And there’s nothing wrong with smaller or different! It’s taken me years of beating myself up as a ‘failure’ when in all actuality, I’d just been looking at things the mainstream way, where bigger is better and anything less than over the top is considered blasé.
So, I dream. I dream of things to come, of what I’d like to see, what I’d like to share with my family and/or friends, and what can be accomplished by myself and by others. It’s a time that I like to hope for the best and try not to think of preparing for the worst. I take this time to mark how far my family has come, as well as look forward to the milestones we have yet to achieve. As a whole, my life is pretty damn good and I refuse to compare it to anyone else’s… because I don’t need to! I will not sit down and lament about how much better off we are compared to someone else, or look elsewhere to strive for what is best for me or mine. Honestly, there’s no reason to because we have our own unofficial philosophy… when things get tough, we dig in and hang on by our fingertips if need be, and if someone we know needs help… we give it to them because, more than likely, they’re worse off than we are. No, we’re not rich, and my patience and wisdom haven’t grown any over time, but we’ve (my husband and I) have noticed that we are much better at adapting, scraping by, and becoming very inventive in situations than other people we know. It must be how we were raised, or how many times we’ve pulled ourselves (and each other) up by our bootstraps and kept plugging along (instead of quitting) that’s made us both appreciate what we have and how we got here.
I’ve known my husband for 25 years. He’s seen me at my very best, my very worst, and was my best friend even when we weren’t ‘together.’ We dreamed of always being a part of each other’s lives, long into our elder years rocking in our rocking chairs on some porch somewhere, cracking jokes about those who passed by, and maybe even hopping in my Dodge Omni (as if my little Omni would last that long) for a spin or two around the block. Those were during hard days, but we knew we’d get through them… and we have. There were a few years that we weren’t physically together, but not ever truly out of each other’s hearts or minds, giving us the gentle silent nudge to just keep hanging in there, that things would get better. Those were days I learned from first-hand experience to never say, “Well, it can’t get any worse.” because… they could, they would, and they did! Those were days I couldn’t dream of tomorrow, because I was eyeball deep trying to dredge through life one day at a time with two small kids in tow. No, it wasn’t a happy time, but you know… I can’t say I regret it. Every past experience builds upon each other to either help you climb out of a pit, or crush you. I guess I’m lucky, because with my kids’ as my motivation (you really think I would have been able to roll out of bed some days without them being there?!? Yeah, right!), I swept off the expectations of others from my building blocks of experiences and kept dragging/climbing/digging forward until finally we broke through and was able to crest over the edge and saw the vast plane ahead of us. I guess that’s why I don’t have too much patience for people who whine about not having the latest gadget/car/house, because real life is about so much more… everything else is just a distraction.
I love my life (as hard at times to deal with as it is). I love my family (my husband can still make me smile with just a kiss or even a text. My kids are still my biggest source of pride.). And I love not feeling like I have to make a promise to do better when in all actuality, I am so much better as a person/wife/mother than I ever was before. So this year, I keep my non-resolution resolution, and feel so much happier for it!