Monday, January 02, 2006

Last Year's Resolution

I can’t resist New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not that I always fulfill them, but I am always better off from having tried.

I also know hot button issues won't be solved with a New Year’s Resolution.

I always make them, mostly in my head, so no one feels the obligation to “help me out” with sticking to them. And even when I say I’m not going to make them, I do. So I might as well be up front about it.

Last year I resolved to calm my life down. This included not being drawn up into the chaos that so often swirls around this household, just by nature of its inhabitants. It meant sifting through what is “news” and what is sensationalist noise. It meant very little TV, the easiest part of the resolution since I hardly watched it to begin with.

Calming down is not as easy as it sounds, because, while everyone talks about how good it would be if they could slow down, how much healthier, how much better for their soul, when it comes down to it, there is a certain amount of pride that goes with the appearance of busy-ness. I think that’s why everyone has cell phones hanging off their heads all the time. There can’t be that many emergencies going on.

And a chaotic life an easy excuse for the things we really do not want to do or for when we screw up royally: “I’m so sorry. It’s just that I’m so busy…”

Then there are those nasty obligations that you are expected to fulfill come hell or high water and the face you are supposed to present no matter what the truth is. Both are stressful to maintain, but you’d better be prepared for the kickback when the façade comes down. I’m sure I’ve been called everything this year from “selfish” to “lazy” to (this is where they bring out the big guns) “a bad mother.” (I could do an entire post just on that issue, but perhaps another day. Around here people are big on the “appearance” of parenting.)

But, no, I’m not exactly as serene as a Buddhist monk and I still cave in occasionally when one of the Heirs, having spent the entire afternoon playing video games, comes to me while I’m cooking dinner and tells me they need poster board for a class the next day. But it’s no longer a knee-jerk reaction and, lo and behold, the obligators are learning to do for themselves. But, of course, a “good mother,” a “selfless” person, an “industrious” person, would put dinner on low, figuring an adjustment to the time it would be done, drive to the store for the poster board, rush back home and resume cooking and might even fulfill the obligation to get the dinner on the table “on time.”

So as I continue my quest for serenity, I will add another resolution to the mix and see where I end up with it.

What is it?

Oh, no, no, no…I’ll handle it myself, thank you very much. I’ll let you know how it went in a year.


If you’re still talking to me.


Spicy McHaggis said...

Speaking of which, I need poster board, a coat hanger, and 3 rolls of heavy duty duct tape for class tomorrow. And a small flame torch if availiable, only 1 person HAS to bring that.....

happyandblue2 said...

I like your resolution to slow things down. I will try that this year..