I personally love New Year’s Resolutions. As Benjamin Franklin, a great believer in self-improvement, said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” I think most people get turned off from resolutions because no one ever tells us how to make one. Resolutions are different from goals. Goals are more wide sweeping overall visions of what we want. Resolutions are very specific choices. So, for example, “I will lose weight” is not a resolutions – it is a goal. A resolution would be “I will switch to whole wheat bread.” See? simple and precise. I tend to be the type of person that becomes paralyzed by what I think needs to be done. I experience great guilt about the environment, for example, I don’t recycle enough, I’m using terrible chemicals, I eat meat, ….*rips hair out* and I can’t even find a place to start. Resolutions help me make small steps toward who I want to be. I like this time of year for both goals and resolutions. Before I decide on my resolutions for 2009 I want to look back at my 2008 plan.
So I had two “resolutions”:
- Stop saying “what?” when I didn’t hear something and instead say “excuse me” or “pardon me.” Why? Well at work at least “what?” sounds less than polite I guess and it had been bothering me. I did very good on this one!
- Start brushing my teeth after lunch at work. This one was inspired by a coworker. She always brushes her teeth after lunch. I got as far as buying a toothbrush and toothpaste for the work bathroom. It was nice to have it there when I needed it but I never did make it a habit after lunch. This problem is really that I’m kind of a slave to my day instead of being in control of it. I kind of flit from emergency to emergency. Time management problem and still not brushing 3 times a day. :/
I had three goals:
- Operation Get Pregnant. DH and I decided that 2008 was our year – no holds barred baby making (please, not the fun way for us – get your mind out of the gutter!). We were planning on trying what we could and then moving on to donor sperm and trying that as much as we could afford in 2008. If we weren’t pregnant by tomorrow night we were going to take some time off, enjoy our 10th anniversary (4/1/09) and then decide what to do about adoption. I think it was great to have a specific timeline on our goal. It stops the constant wondering when will this end? Of course you can always move the date out if it doesn’t feel right. We actually went to the REs office to discuss donor insemination. We had even picked out a few favorite cryobanks and donors. At our appointment she said “Do you make less than $100,000?” (answer: hell yeah) ”I think you should try to get this grant.” The rest is history!
- Operation Go Green. This is an ongoing project but this year we wanted to switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products. We started buying Seventh Generation products. We really liked them but they are hard to keep up with in hard financial times. So that seemed to slack off as the year went on. I have an idea for 2009 but you have to wait to hear it!
- Operation Be Less Vain. Now this one wasn’t popular amongst some of my friends because it was took to imply that I thought these things were vain in anyone. Not true. For me though I was definitely filling my life with some things that just aren’t me. After 9 years of infertility I don’t know you just lose some of yourself in trying not to fall apart. Plus it ends up being retail therapy and I was spending too much money. So, this is no comment on anyone else’s choices but these are thing things I cut out this year.
- I started buying shoes for comfort instead of how much they hurt my feet. Seriously if you wear an 8 and want a bunch of 3″ pointy toed killer shoes let me know I’ll send them to you. Now, I should say that I buy shoes at Target and Payless. If you can afford quality (expensive) shoes then these styles might not be damaging to your feet (even if they do still hurt). I don’t know about Manolos. But I’ll tell you – cheap shoes in that style…you are going to have to pay for that some day. I’d rather not be crippled.
- I stopped buying purses and make up. Having a bad day? Nothing a lip gloss or purse can’t solve! This year I think I bought 1 purse and 1 laptop bag (at Target so it isn’t like I spend hundreds). And oh the makeup – I own so much makeup it is obscene. I’m adventurous with color so I’m a huge sucker for new colors. Plus anything else *new*…warming, cooling, long lasting, moisturizing, new brush, new scent, BRING IT ON! Whew, ok, getting excited. Anyways I’m a cosmetics junkie and it needed to stop. I have to say that I do still buy some make up (have you tried CG new lipmints lip gloss? It has Crest in it so it is cool and tingly and makes your breath smell good) but I’ve certainly scaled way back. Plus I’m wearing less make up. I still have blonde eyelashes so going makeup free is not on my agenda but ….work in progress.
- I started choosing a hair cut for convenience instead of “pretty.” January this year I got all my hair cut off to a short style. DH loves my hair short so that’s a bonus but my hair is so thick that choosing to have long hair means choosing to blow dry for 40 minutes in the morning or just pulling it back wet. I want to have a hair style and look professional but why the heck am I losing that much of my day for it? I’m the perfect short hair person because my hair is so thick that it just takes no time to do.
So, what did I get out of all of this? This year all of these things kind of meshed. In previous years I always say “I want to lose weight.” It is such a negative goal – my self hatred is implicit in the goal. It doesn’t seem to start from a point of self respect. This year I embraced my more natural self – it isn’t like I went all the way crunchy and stopped shaving and grew dreads but I did get back to a more real me. And then I got pregnant. I’ve experienced my body doing this amazing thing and doing it well. Suddenly my body seems like more than a pretty accessory that I need to beat into shape but a tool I can use to change the world, be healthy, and nurture my child. I hope that this feeling is lasting. No more body bashing for me – my body is amazing!
What are your goals/resolutions?