It’s that time of year.
It seems a natural thing for me to do as I am a proficient and diligent list maker. I make lists to shop, lists to do, list of what to read, lists of what to write; I even make lists for my children and husband, which, someday I know they will actually appreciate.
This list, however, I always make grudgingly. In fact, I swear year after year that I will not get sucked into the process and then, when I think I’m not thinking about it, the list starts writing itself in my head. It’s that time of the year when I look deeply and critically at myself and start of laundry list of self-improvement projects; my New Year’s Resolutions!
I look at myself inside and out and methodically calculate every part of me that could be better and there are very few parts that don’t make the list.
As always, the number one top of the charts---I’ll lose weight. No matter the year, no matter my size, Old Faithful is in permanent #1 position. Of course number two is an exercise program beyond my usual walking; one that will shape and mold me into person that exists somewhere underneath the one I see in the mirror.
With those out of the way, I turn inward to examine the things I want to accomplish but haven’t, creating myself a ‘to do list’ that could take several lifetimes.
I’ll organize all of the closets and drawers.
I’ll file all of the papers.
I’ll print and catalogue the bazillion photos stored in my computer.
I’ll make each kid a scrapbook of their childhood.
I'll finish making that Oriental rug.
I’ll paint the trim on the house.
I’ll teach the bird to talk.
I’ll learn to sew…
From there it is a short sidestep over to eradicating bad habits:
I won’t swear.
I won’t lose my patience.
I won’t put things off.
I won’t stuff things in the ‘junk drawer’.
I’ll give up wine.
I’ll cut back on coffee….scratch that…
I’ll stop complaining….
By the time I am finished, I realize that once again I have written the description of June Cleaver!
“Who’s June Cleaver?” Cadence asks peering over my shoulder.
“She’s a mom from the 1950s who is perfect; her hair is always perfect and she is always perfectly dressed and her house is always spotless and her children are well behaved and she is always calm and patient and proper…”
Cadence scrunches her nose as if tasting something sour. “I would never want her for a mom,” she says, “I want a mom who is fun and who isn’t afraid to have flaws.”
A perfect match I think.
“I love you,” I answer, “and I’m rewriting my list”.
And so, this year’s list is about being flawed and being OK with that.
I will be fun. I will laugh at life’s funny moments, even if inappropriate.
I will write, even when the laundry piles up and the dishes need doing.
I will listen, even when I don’t want to hear what is being said.
I will forgive, even when I am right to be angry.
I will appreciate me, even when I do not accomplish the endless 'to do' list or say an off color word.
I will take care of me, even if it means a little exercise or making those doctor appointments...what the heck, throw in a pedicure!
I will appreciate the day to day; the moments that are ordinary.
I will love.
Bring it 2008; I am ready!