New Year’s resolutions: do you have one? Will you lose weight, eat better, or land a spot in the audience on The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Rock on—especially if one of your resolutions is to meet Ellen. I love Ellen. Tell her I said hi and that she should come to San Antonio for a dance off. I’d lose, but she should still come on down.
I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions because I feel like they set me up for failure. Probably because I’m too ambitious in my goal-setting, such as the 2009 special known as “go to the gym every day at 5:00 A.M.”
It’s not that I don’t have room for improvement. I know I’m a work in progress. If I were the resolution-making sort, here are nine things I’d seriously consider:
1. No more eye-rolling.
I’m an expert eye roller. If there were trophies for eye-rolling, I’d have them all. All. The. Trophies. I’ve mastered everything from the super quick roll behind your back to the sweeping, dramatic roll-sigh combo that lets everyone in a five-mile radius know how put out I am.
I’ve gotten better at eye-rolling. Not in an “I’ve perfected eye-rolling” way (although that, too), but I’ve definitely gotten sneakier about it. I’ve also developed a little more tolerance for BS, and my threshold for raising my baby blues to the sky is a little higher.
2. No more blowing off friends.
“Let’s grab coffee” or “why don’t we meet for that drink?” are things said by me…well, not often enough. My intentions are sincere, but my follow-through needs work.
If I were a resolution-maker, I’d carve out some realistically manageable time each month to be a better friend. Like most people, I use the “so busy” excuse. While I am busy, I could probably benefit from a little re-prioritizing when it comes to the people in my life who have decided they find me tolerable. It’s a small but esteemed group.
3. No more using my b*tch voice with my husband.
No matter what words are being spoken, the b*tch voice instantly translates them to “you’re poop on my shoe and I can’t believe I’m even talking to you.” My b*tch voice can make “would you like some ice cream, darling?” sound like “shrivel and die, evil troll.”
Don’t get me wrong: having a b*tch voice is a useful skill that I suspect most women possess, but if I were making resolutions, I’d stop using it with my husband as frequently as I do. Yes, he does stuff that annoys me, but usually not on purpose, and talking to him in that snotty, bratty tone of voice is usually not warranted. Sometimes, but not usually.
4. Less yelling at my kids.
There’s not a lot I can say about this one. I do it. I wish I didn’t, and I really try not to…but I still do.
5. Less multi-tasking.
Most women wear multi-tasking like a badge of honor, but I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized that doing seven things at once means that I’m probably sucking at most of them. I can sure enough compose email, text, watch the news, and listen to my kid tell me about his day. This doesn’t make me Superwoman: it makes me the mom who made six typos, accidentally texted her kid’s teacher about a bikini wax horror story. and blew off her kid because she was on information overload.
6. Less judging my body.
I constantly look at my reflection and criticize what I see. My stomach is too pudgy, my nose too hooked, my hair too flat, and ohmygosh, why is there a zit in that wrinkle on my neck? (Seriously, why can’t I find something that fights wrinkles without giving me teenage acne? I really wanna know.)
While I take reasonably good care of myself, the fact is that my body and I are no longer 25. Beating myself up over imperfections that don’t matter isn’t going to turn back the clock. I wish I could learn to be a little more accepting of myself.
7. Less time on social media.
Social media is a blessing and a curse. It helps me keep up with what’s going on with people without having to talk to people, and as a freelance writer…well, social media is my bread and butter. Most things are fine in moderation, but have you ever said, “I’m just gonna check Facebook real quick,” and—poof!—three hours are sucked away and your kids are whining because they’re hungry? Yeah…me either. Ahem.
8. Stop comparing myself to other people.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was this: Run your own race, literally and figuratively.
I was struggling to finish a 10K a few years ago when a short, thick, older woman sailed past me, completely destroying my mental mojo. She didn’t look like a runner, and therefore, she should be slow. She certainly didn’t belong in front of me, but on that day, she kicked my butt. Maybe she was having her best day ever. Maybe looks are deceiving. Maybe I was too big for my britches.
This was a good reminder to keep my eyes on my own paper: To focus on my own goals and not try to keep up with the Joneses. Comparison is the thief of joy.
9. No more sanctimommy.
Are you a mom? I’m silently judging you. If your kids look a little chunky and your grocery cart is full of Hot Pockets and Little Debbies? I’m critiquing you for not taking time to plan better meals. Running errands in your Hello Kitty pajama bottoms? I’m calling you lazy. And so on…
Here’s the thing: I make snap judgments based on snippets of information. We don’t know what we don’t know. For instance, one of my friends is an Army widow. She lost her husband in a helicopter training accident just days before Christmas a few years ago. Someone gave her a dirty look as she ducked her head and walked by a gaggle of happy humans holding “welcome home” signs for service members at the airport the week before Christmas. To the casual observer, she was either unpatriotic or a “scrooge.” To someone who knew her, she was just trying to make it through the day without losing her crap.
We don’t know what we don’t know. My friend’s story had a huge impact on my mom judging. We only see a small slice of the picture, so why don’t we stop filling in the blanks? Although…when I see you in your Hello Kitty jammies at Wal-Mart, odds are I will still think you’re lazy.
Happy New Year, y’all! What New Year’s resolutions are you making…or not making? Sound off in the comments section!