2018 Resolutions: Appreciate More, Do Less, and Be Uncomfortable

Essentially the title of this blog gives away what my goals are for 2018 so if you’re still reading, thank you! Every year I write down my New Year’s resolutions like a big nerd and try hard to work towards them. Last year, I had the typical #basicbitch goals: get in shape, do more yoga, eat more kale, get that Director title, be a better mom/friend/daughter/sister, stay married.

Looking back on 2017, I didn’t exactly blow away my goals but I didn’t miserably fail either. I’m pretty much the same shape, which isn’t really a terrible one, but it didn’t get much better even though I ate a ridiculous amount of kale (what a waste!). I didn’t get that Director title I wanted, but I got a promotion (who-hoo!). My family still lets me live with them and friends still invite me to parties so I think I did OK there.  I’m still married (whew!) and most of the time we actually like each other. #winning Between work and kids and money and stress I’m amazed that anyone stays married anymore, frankly.  Sometimes we joke about getting an apartment and taking turns hiding there on the weekends. Sometimes I’m not joking!

This holiday season, surrounded by friends and family, there were several moments I was nearly brought to tears by the camaraderie, the fellowship, the connection you feel with people who share your name, who share your life and make it so much better. Simple moments like watching your kids snuggle with Grandpa or  laughing until you’re crying over the pasties and penis pump white elephant gift your pregnant friend got.

I was overcome with the surplus of goodness that  surrounded us. The food, the gifts, the decorations, the obscene number of decorated golf carts. Everywhere I turned, despite my jiggly ass, my title, the kale stuck in my teeth, my obnoxious habits, someone was handing me something. A plate, a drink, a kid, a strand of lights, a present, a hug.

I realized one of my goals for 2018 should be to appreciate all that I have, exactly the way it is because I was appreciated exactly the way I am.

My next resolution sounds harsh and lazy and in direct contrast to this first goal, I know. In some ways it is but it’s really just about protecting myself. I have this habit of wanting to ‘help’ everyone, wanting everything to be perfect, wanting everyone to get along, everyone to like me, everyone to be happy. This results me giving unsolicited advice, calling a friend out over something that is none of my business, being stressed over invite lists, making an effort for people who don’t deserve it, worrying about who might be annoyed with me, internalizing someone else’s issues. None of these things are good for me. None of these things help anyone. So I plan to do less. Less butting in, less offering solutions, less pushing people to do what I think they should, less going out of my way for people who’ve demonstrated they wouldn’t chose me again and again. Less putting myself out there for the world, and only offering my true self for the few who truly appreciate the effort.

At the end of 2017, we got a new family dog. This is significant for a few reasons, the main one being I am not a dog person. Don’t worry, I’m not a cat person either. I’m not really a pet person for goodness sake! I have allergies, I don’t like the hair, the mess, the drama. Pets are a lot of work. They are literally like having another child. A hairy, smelly, slobbering child. The second night we had this dog, she barfed all over my natural fiber, impossible-to-clean, practically white rug. To say I felt uncomfortable was the understatement of the century. I like a neat house, clean floors, fluffed pillows that have been karate chopped in the middle so the corners point perfectly. I had practically been walking behind this dog with a vacuum and a bottle of Frebreeze, but even though I sprinted to her as soon as I heard the retching, I was too late. I just about came out of my skin cleaning it up. And then midway through the scrubbing and cursing, the dog and my kids huddled on the couch waiting for my wrath to subside,  I stopped.

It was OK. This rug did not dictate my happiness. Dogs barf. They also love you unconditionally. Being uncomfortable was OK. It forces me to be flexible, to adapt, to step back and view the situation from a new perspective. To accept new joys that inevitably come with new consequences.  Being uncomfortable in life can often reward you.

I hope each of you takes a minute to your document your goals for this year, the ones that are truly most important, and you accomplish them in 2018.

Stay well, my friends!