I’ve never really been big on New Year’s resolutions. To me, it has always seemed kind of arbitrary to designate January 1 as the day to make a major life change – finally start going to the gym, write a book, eat more vegetables, etc. Too much pressure! Which is why most people – including me – don’t stick with their resolutions. Or make them at all.
But this year, I decided to make one.
I resolved to be an underachiever in 2014. That’s right – I want to do LESS this year. I think I’m getting off to a good start by writing a post about New Year’s resolutions 24 days after the first of the year. Obviously, I’m super on top of things! Go me!
Once upon a time, I was a type A go-getter. I managed a successful career, spent lots of time with my family and friends, read actual books, ran regularly, cooked a lot, kept my house clean and organized, got regular manicures/pedicures/haircuts, and never forgot or missed a birthday or special event.
I really had my s**t together. Then I had a baby.
Now, to the untrained eye, I probably still seem pretty put together. But don’t be fooled! Many days, my life feels like a giant Jenga game – pull one precariously placed piece, and the whole pile comes tumbling down.
This became jarringly clear one night less than two weeks before Christmas. I was in the kitchen in constant motion – stirring our dinner on the stove, washing Isabelle’s bottles for daycare the next day, sorting the mail on the counter. And I was tired. Exhausted. Like totally, down to my bones, spent.
Isabelle was teething and had been sick, on and off, for weeks. The house was a mess. I had forgotten what it was like to wear makeup or put on something other than yoga pants. Our weekend calendar had started to fill up back on Halloween and was packed clear through New Year’s. I had virtually none of my Christmas shopping done. We didn’t even have our tree up yet. My “to dos” and “I shoulds” bounced around in my head like a bunch of ricocheting ping pong balls.
In my preoccupied state, I barely even noticed when Tim came into the kitchen after getting Isabelle ready for bed. He watched me for a few moments and then said, “What’s wrong, baby?”
The concern in his voice and my bubbling-over stress immediately brought tears to my eyes. So I just started blubbering. Tim, God bless him, patiently listened to me vent. And then he gently said: “The problem is that you’re trying to do everything you used to do before we had Isabelle. And you just can’t.”
Now, I really don’t like it when someone tells me I can’t do something. So, my first instinct was to blurt out, “Of course I can!”
But I realized pretty quickly that he was right. I needed to make a change, or I was going to make myself crazy (ok, crazier) and miserable.
So, I resolve to do less this year.
Less planning. More living in the moment.
Less committing every spare minute. More lazy weekends with Tim and Isabelle and doing things that make ME happy.
Less multitasking and rushing. More holding my daughter and just breathing her in.
Less pressure and perfectionism. More self-acceptance.
So far, it’s going pretty well. I’ve consciously loosened the chains of my own sky-high expectations, and the unfamiliar freedom feels good. I know myself – this will be a hard resolution to keep. But I am going to try, day by day, moment by moment, to hold it close – like a talisman in my pocket – to remember what’s important.