I am not much for resolutions. In the years I have even bothered to make them, I usually given them all up by January vowing that the following year will be “my year”. The concept reminds me of my brother’s first grade teacher, if you’ll indulge me a little tangent.
Keenan, two years my junior, had a very type A first grade teacher. Not a great match for my hyper, yet brilliant brother. (Much like my son and myself, but I will ponder that similarity later.) Mrs. Hark (the teacher) had a policy that if you managed good behavior all week long without having your name inscribed in the “sad book” you’d get a prize on Friday. Now little Meredith would have rocked this policy. Reward driven, I would never have seen the sad book. Keenan however, wise beyond his years, discovered that if you been entered into the book on Monday, what then was your incentive to behave the rest of the week? The motivation was gone! This made for a very long year for Mrs. Hark. And a lot of parent teacher conferences for my mother.
As an adult, I enter myself in the sad book constantly. Not waiting for January to roll around, but instead allowing guilt and shame to rule my self imposed sad book. This happens especially when I create lofty resolutions or goals with no quantifiable end point. Last year I had a list of ten. TEN. Resolutions. Most of them ended with immeasurable words like more, less, or better. So instead this year I am choosing one resolution with several measurable parts: to be healthy.
To be healthy, what does that even mean? Well, sure. I could stand to use my gym membership a little more and my credit card at Starbucks (Sonic) a little less. My yoga pants for more yoga and less athLEISURE. More water, less wine. You get the picture. And while all of these goals are important. I think I want to go a little bit deeper. I would like to take my goal of health and break it down into three parts: body, mind, and spirit.
For the Body
I want to learn to run and complete a race. I know this sounds silly, right? Isn’t it just moving your feet slightly faster than walking? Well, I’ve tried and the breathing thing that’s also supposed to come second nature becomes harder too. As women, especially women who have gone through the beautiful and incredibly difficult changes of bearing children, I think proving to oneself a physical goal that can be accomplished is a great step in loving our bodies again. At least that’s what I am hoping. I may never look like my twenty-two year old self again, but that’s ok. I would like my mind to catch up to the amazingness (is that a word??) that is the postpartum woman. If you need me, I will be in last place at the Memorial Marathon (running the 5k, please, baby steps) about to need CPR.
For the Mind
I want to make a commitment to writing every week. Having a passion project is important in all phases of life. It’s something that has been especially needed for me in this phase of motherhood. I cannot thank you, my readers, enough for the support. Occasionally (daily) by 5pm as a SAHM, I wonder if my intellect has been replaced by a chronology of Daniel Tiger episodes (Hey, I could do worse…Bubble Guppies *shudder*) I have beautiful mom friends who exercise their talents in traditional work environments, through creative outlets, home businesses, and everything under the sun. I was afraid to try for along time. I was so worried what others would think. I still am, if I am being honest. Which I should be honest, because that’s kind of the whole ‘brand’ I am trying to create. Maybe the future holds a writing class, a book, falling flat on my face (for sure it holds this because I have terrible balance), but as Elphaba in Wicked said
“I’m through accepting limits because someone says they’re so, somethings I cannot change, but ’til I try I’ll never know.”
For the Spirit
I want to pray daily this year, and not just with my kids or before meals. I am good at the bedtime prayers, the pre-dinner prayers, the checking the box prayers, even the “God, I need something from you prayers”, but not so much the forming a deeper relationship prayers. This past year was my first year in a bible study of any kind. We baptized our sweet Avery. I have learned a lot about my personal faith and how it differs from that of others. I have learned that sometimes an answer to a prayers comes like a hurricane, sometimes like a soft breeze and sometimes like a flat out No, that is not MY plan. If the rest of my life is going to fall into place, even if that place is a chaotic, beautiful mess, I have got to get this area in check.
I have but one resolution this year: to be healthy. Can I keep it? What are your goals or resolutions for this year?
A great article from a fellow blogger, fellow physicians spouse, and therapist (ie she knows her stuff) on resolutions: Resolutions Make Me Cringe: Here’s How to Finally Keep Them