I have a friend who as a younger, single woman, announced simply and unapologetically that she had a policy of not attending wedding or baby showers. She thought they were boring and a waste of time, and adopted this rule so that her automatic decline never became personal. Whether I agreed with this line of thinking or not, I envied the freedom with which she carved out a response that worked for her, eliminating agonizing and lame excuses. A policy like this provides a freedom to not have to revisit a complicated subject.
In a similar vein, I decided many years ago that I don’t make New Years resolutions. Those three words remind me of celery and a glass of tepid water; a response to holiday overindulgence followed by the grim and rigorous discipline of January’s dark and grey days. Rigidity, guilt and lots of “musts” is so not happening for me. The more resolute I am, the more determined I get and the less leeway I give myself. And oh so soon I’m bored with the whole affair and go off to have a cookie or whatever it is I’m trying not to do.
The organic approach works better for me – realizing in the moment what isn’t working and thinking that I want to make myself and others happier. With these past few weeks of socializing, I have been crabby from not writing enough. “Hmm, perhaps I would be happier if I wrote a little bit, it might be a good idea to try and do that.” So here I am. But were I to use another voice and say to myself “You need to be more disciplined about writing so that you don’t crab at everyone. Every day you need to blah blah blah….”, it just wouldn’t work.
In the spirit of global good intention, I have decided to have a resolution this year, no, that doesn’t sound gentle enough, how about a goal? I am going to try to decrease my complaining and negative comments (My family is busting a gut) I might not eliminate them, but if I can decrease them by even one a month, perhaps at some point to one a week to one a day etc. It will take as long as it takes, and I will do the best I can, and for today, I will concentrate on that first one.
Happy New Year