Eve of 2014. Are you as tired as I am of committing to some new form of to-do list that within 45 days will just fly out the window leaving behind more fuel we can use to beat ourselves up? I don't know about you, but I can assure you that I don't need more reasons to knock myself around. I'm pretty good at finding material within myself and I have the black and blue interior to prove it.
So this year, rather than soaring right into New Year and beyond with a list of "This year I will..." I am going to try to base my resolutions on "This year I will NOT..." Perhaps the assumed inaction in that declaration is just what is needed.
This year, 2014, I will NOT:
*I will NOT raise my voice when speaking to my teenaged children. Despite their frontal lobe-induced verbal assaults on me, I will take a lesson from the Queen of England and just grimace and wave. Passively.
*I will NOT be baited by those same children who, crafty little buggers that they are, will try to pit their father and me against each other in a bid to get what they want. I will not bite. Nope. No sir-ee
*I will NOT micromanage my beloved ex-husband in terms of parenting. Our styles may differ but he is a good father.
*I will NOT post photographs of my food or beverages on social media. Never have. Won't start now. I will not. Nobody needs to see my daily arugula, lentil, heart of palm and kitchen sink salad. It will not save the world or be beneficial in any way. As I am not a gourmet cook, the posting of those pictures would be a mere step above, or possibly even below, spam.
*I will NOT send spam of any kind. Not on the Internet, not in a can, no I won't do it, I will not send spam.
*I will NOT spend more time on social media than I do on my writing.
*I will NOT stop exercising. I like it. I'm good at it. It is healthy. I will not quit on that now. It is my belief that buns of steel are directly correlated to a steely resolve and a steel trap mind. I plan to rock all three this year.
*I will NOT start smoking. It is a filthy and unhealthy habit. Not only that, second hand smoke is unhealthy for all those around. I was a heavy smoker up until 25 years ago. Despite periodic dreams of sitting in a Parisian cafe with a glass of chablis, an omelette on my plate, fork in my right hand and a fag in my left hand I will not start smoking. (Yes, cigarettes are THAT addictive. 25 years later and still I have cravings).
*I will NOT be judgmental. Please can I qualify that though? This is a tricky one. Please at least let me be judgmental about shoes and perfume and personal adornments and furnishings. I will not be judgmental about the choices my frontally lobe challenged children might make periodically.
*I will NOT get upset about my muffin top. I am a woman of a certain age. Women of this age should all have muffin tops. We have earned them the good old fashioned way: Through growing then birthing numerous babies and through eating breaded chicken fingers and other beige foods off of their toddler dinner plates while washing it down with a decent pinot noir (one glass of wine for you to drink for each child per day. What? That was not prescribed to you by your doctor?)
*I will NOT obsess about my children getting in to the college of their choice. Nor shall I stress about the application process. From Poison Ivy League to Ivy League there is a good fit for everyone. It is their job to find it. I will not obsess about this. Kids are smart and they are mostly like cats -- they tend to land on their feet.
*I will NOT get a felony. No more tearing mattress tags for me. Nope. Not one. Good. Another resolution I can keep.
*I will NOT lose touch with my close friends. We are all busy, yet never too busy for friendship. Dear friends, you cannot escape. I will not let you go. If you try to sneak away I will be forced to break my resolution above and send you spam in a can and spam in material. If you are really bad I might start sending you photographs of my food as well. Please note, there are currently no friends on the "at risk" list. I have been fortunate in this regard.
*I will NOT read The National Enquirer or The Globe or the other newsprint tabs out there. Maybe in the checkout line at the market but I will not purchase them. I know, I know, bad habit.
*I will NOT forget the birthdays of my parents, siblings, my children, my ex husband and my friends.
*I will NOT forget what a blessing it is to have a strong and healthy body and a solid emotional constitution and children who seem to possess these gifts as well.
*I will NOT forget that people carry all sorts of sorrow and pain inside of them and on any given day might really benefit from a passing smile from a stranger. I will not forget that and I will endeavor to be that smiling stranger.
*I will NOT get another dog. My last two Jack Russell Terr(orrists) nearly drove me around the bend. I may have more squirrels and back yard vermin now that they are gone but my sofa is looking good and it has been a long time since anything or anyone was torn to shreds in my home.
*I will NOT eat okra. Or octopus.
*I will NOT spend money I don't have, on things I don't need, to impress people I don't like. That is what is called a "no brainer." Except it takes effort.
*I will NOT gloat or take secret pleasure on those occasions when I am right. Not only that, I will not let the words "I told you so" pass through my lips. (I think I may need some superglue on this one... recall that I have teens?)
For a gal who declared her 2014 resolutions would be based in INACTION this has certainly turned out to be a large list. A few have some action attached to them but generally that action is retaliatory in nature.
Happy New Year to you. I hope this year will bring abundance in all areas that feed each of our souls, sense of self, and belonging.
I will see you in 2014... I'll be the one smiling and waving with her mouth glued shut.