I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. I always make them, but generally find that while they’re well-intentioned, they’re often destined for failure. We want to do better and be better people, but the wholesale lifestyle shift we would need to effectuate in order to make long-lasting change in our lives often eludes us. So this year, instead of making a promise to myself that I have every intention of keeping, but will likely only focus on until the spring, I have decided to take a look back on 2015 to review the top lessons I learned and hope to remember in the new year so that, with any luck, I might become a better me:
- Don’t feel bad about making “me time”.
Me time? What me time?!? Even though I rarely get one day to myself a month, I tend to feel guilty when I’m out having fun without my kids. That’s absolutely crazy, I know, but it seems to be a common sentiment among mothers in our culture. If nothing else, I’ve learned that I’m a better person when I take time away, whether it be a vacation from work or a night out with friends. We all need down time to relax, blow off some steam and regroup. No one can be on and poppin all of the time.
- No matter how hard you try, your kids will literally drive you insane.
This is a tough one to accept. I think many of us parents start out as idealists. Before or shortly after our kids came into this world, some of us thought we were smarter than those other parents we see struggling with their kids. We truly believed we would be different and succeed in raising well-behaved and well-rounded children in a peaceful way, without too much stress or strife. Hahaha!! God bless my old self for being so delusional. My kids can be animals at times, even the sweet one, and I seriously wonder how the hell I haven’t yet had a nervous breakdown in the middle of one of the Target aisles. Accepting the fact that neither you nor anyone else is a perfect parent and that our kids will push us to our breaking point has helped me tremendously in relaxing a bit and laughing instead of crying when my girls act like jerks.
- Run more races.
I always regret registering for a race in the week leading up to it. I curse myself incessantly for making myself get up early on one of the only days of the week where I can usually get more than six hours of sleep. However, I never, ever regret running a race once it’s over. I always run my fastest times while beating out a couple of kids and old ladies and, regardless of my time, feel proud of myself for getting it done.
- Eating real food makes me feel better.
This is a no-brainer, but eating healthily definitely doesn’t come easy for me. I’m a single mom who works at least forty hours a week, and I rarely have time to cook a healthy meal. Processed food has been my friend for years. Even though I know it’s awful for me, it’s almost impossible to avoid. However, the less of it I eat, the better I feel. There’s no better motivation than that to set aside the extra time it takes in order to make this a priority.
- The more mindful I am, the less stuff I lose.
I’m constantly losing stuff. Constantly. In the past week, I’ve dropped my insurance card, my debit card and my cell phone, all of which very kind people have returned to me before I even knew they were gone. If I’m not dropping things unbeknownst to myself, I’m looking for something I can’t find. I know where I left it, but when I go there to get it, it’s not there anymore. This craziness has forced me to admit to the fact that I’m not mindful. Not At All. I’m lost in my own head, stressing about something that happened in the past or worrying about what’s coming next in the future. Because of this, I’m not paying attention to what I’m doing and that’s no way to live. I’ve got to do more living in the present moment. The more I practice this notion, the less I lose stuff and the happier everyone around me is.
Now if only I can remain mindful and keep these lessons at the forefront as I take on 2016. God luck to all of you who have made resolutions. I wish you the best in keeping them. May you and yours have a healthy and happy new year!!