Thursday, January 8, 2009
When we operate under the impression that we have to bequeath a grandiose gift to the New Year™, our expectations for ourselves are, in my opinion, unrealistic. Just as we gain self-esteem by accomplishing goals, we lose self-esteem every time we fail. The loftier the goal (if it's for the New Year™, we have to make it count, right?) the harder the failure hits us. At least that’s true for me. The few times I tried to set New Year’s Resolutions and only kept them for a few weeks, I felt terrible. In retrospect, I see that the problem was that my expectations for myself were unreasonable, and I had set myself up for certain failure.
Instead of setting overarching goals for the New Year™, I propose that we instead set goals with a much more limited scope. Instead of resolving to make some great change over the course of a year, why not determine to do something differently tomorrow? Instead of “This year I resolve to lose 25 pounds,” let us say, “Tomorrow I will exercise and not overeat.” If we fail at keeping a daily goal, we can always renew the resolution the next day, and the sting of failure is not felt as keenly.
Seriously, how many of us, when we flub a New Year’s resolution say, “OK. I blew it today, but I can always pick back up tomorrow and keep my resolution for the majority of the year”? I bet none of us do. I think we say instead, “Great. I blew it again. Oh well. There’s always the next New Year™.” Then we proceed to hold on to our bad habits until there is another New Year™ worthy of our sacred resolutions.
This year. Wait. No. From now on, I resolve to do more introspection and set more short-term goals. Tomorrow I will be patient when my children forget to use their inside voice or interrupt me when I’m talking to Rebecca. They will go to sleep, completely secure in the knowledge that I love them with all my heart and think they’re the most special children to ever live. I have other resolutions for tomorrow, but I think I’ll keep them to myself :-)
Happy New Year and Happy Tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I wrote this for/about Rebecca before we met.
If ever an Angel mine eyes did behold
With snowy white wings and a halo of gold
Or if there a mermaid should somewhere be found
Whose voice flowed like honey, whose hair bathed the ground
Or should there a Siren's sweet song fill the air
Or spied I a rainbow, you'd not find me there
For these make but little impression on me
All pale in the face of the beauty in thee
Oh, I could adventure upon the high seas
And sail the world over however I pleased
Or I could climb mountains, ford river and stream
In search of my destiny, chasing a dream
Yea, many's the wonder I'm yearning to see
And places a plenty my heart longs to be
Though countless and sundry the things I could do
My soul lies content simply being with you