Big Problems for 2018

Oh dear.

I am in the vortex of New Year's Resolutions.

In years past, I have eschewed resolution-making easily, tossing aside the urge like so many flyers home from school, avoiding the pull of self-improvement without a care.

But this year is different.  This year, I want to change ALL THE THINGS.  I want to be better in ALL THE WAYS.   I feel the desire to be better and the temptation of resolve, and I strongly suspect that waiting for me on the other side is disappointment and failure.  As a woman who has increasingly lived by the mantra "The Secret to Happiness is Low Expectations," I am confused and concerned by this sudden urge to set the bar high and reach for the goddamn stars.

Let's put the devil in the details.  Let's list all the ways in which I seek to be a better human being in 2018.

  1. Pray more.
  2. Read more books.
  3. Exercise more.
  4. Write more.
  5. Eat better: includes eating more vegetables and fewer carbs, and drinking more water and less wine.
  6. FlyLady my house.
  7. Plan meals and grocery shopping consistently.  And execute on those plans.
  8. Keep up the family calendar (AKA: reduce scheduling chaos)
  9. Learn to play the violin.

And those are just the ones I thought of in the last 5 minutes; I'm pretty sure there are more.  Which means: this list is far too long for one woman.  Those are too many things to improve upon.  I can't decide what to cut! What to focus on!  What to shoot for!  

I think I know why I'm feeling the need for so many positive transformations.  2017 was terrible.  I need 2018 to be better, and I want to feel like I have some degree of control over making it so.  

On the one hand, I have this oh-so-strong urge to take charge and make everything better, and on the other, I have this knowledge that I am not in control, that I cannot force myself or the world around me to comply with my wishes.  I cannot bring Ann back, I cannot bring my mother back, I cannot turn back time and save my children from the particular pain of losing a beloved dog.

It is very likely that the best course of action for me is to resolve instead to breathe, be still, and practice mercy, patience and kindness, to myself and all around me, starting with my family.  I suspect the Pope is on to something here:

So, crazy unattainable plans on one side, the Pope on the other.  What to do...what to do...

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Ernie said…
I love your list. I think you can get most of it done. Violin? Hmmm. Do you have a teacher lined up? That one might be tough, but that might be me thinking how UNMUSICAL I am. Sorry for projecting. Sorry your 2017 was lousy. Hope your 2018 is good! Love that you include insight from the Pope.
Nice to hear from you again!
Matt Duckworth said…
I am thinking of taking a one-week fiddle course in a summer camp with Alastair Fraser this summer. Parallel resolutions.
RyanAnn said…
I so completely feel you on this! I was/still am feeling the same way. One of mine was to FlyLady my house, too. It has yet to happen... ugh! Lol

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