My 2020 New Year’s Resolution Revelation
It has long been my practice to share my New Year's resolutions with my friends and readers. I make several every year in the categories you would expect: eating, fitness, romance, reading, writing. One year, I made 33 resolutions, including such gems as “start a denim undies company.” Thank God I didn’t fulfill that one.
But as I wrote a few weeks ago, I’ve been reconsidering the whole process of making New Year resolutions. So many have them been unattainable, or entitled lots of work and data collection. I give up on a lot of them quickly because I liked how the resolution sounded but didn’t care much whether I met my goal. I began to wonder why I make so many far-fetched and difficult resolutions.
My resolutions are about becoming The Perfect Me. The Perfect Me can quit drinking completely, finish and sell a novel in a year, run a half-marathon on a whim, rides her bike everywhere, has perfect teeth and hair and clothing that is all reused or sustainable and also incredibly flattering on a body that weighs at least 15 pounds less than I weigh. The Perfect Me eats a very balanced but also a veggie-and-fish-heavy diet that is prepared at home, by Me, in just under fifteen minutes. The Perfect Me has children who keep to their screen time limits, do their chores, act respectful and at least attempt to complete all their homework on time.
And every time I fail to fulfill a resolution, I can blame myself for failing to become The Perfect Me, for not working hard enough at Perfection, and can return to a comfortable place of being unhappy with myself and my totally lackluster and crappy ways.
But actually, I’m not crappy or lackluster. I have a successful business, a great marriage, awesome and unique children, lots of amazing friends and a ton of creative and interesting projects. If I want to write a book, I don’t need a complex resolution that entails tracking every word. I just need to write.
So my New Year’s Resolution this year is to say goodbye to The Perfect Me. She seems nice enough, but she’s also very uptight and complicated, and she’s not very forgiving. As I let go of The Perfect Me, I’m going to let Regular Me enjoy things and tackle things and even fail at things — things that I did because I wanted to do them, not because I thought I should.
Anyone who knows me knows that this doesn’t mean inaction or sloth in 2020. But instead of seeing everything as a failure to achieve perfection, I’m going to see my life as being perfect as it is and enjoy being Me.