I was supposed to post my New Year’s resolutions agenda at the beginning of the year. I was supposed to do a lot of things. Yet, I didn’t. But that isn’t failure; it’s just a change. It seems that I’ve started the past few years with all the best intentions only to get sidetracked by uncontrollable events. Thus, my momentum wanes; I get angry at my imperfections; I beat myself up for not being all I can be. This year was about to start that way again, but SCREW THAT!
No, I am not giving up. I am just going to go about things a little differently. You might ask, “Why the change?” Well, it isn’t anything life altering, or even one of my famous (infamous) epiphanies. It is more of an observation of several events that led to a slow realization. I doubt you would want to read about all of these observations, so I will expand on one such event. Here’s how it went:
I came home to find my husband sitting in his office drinking a very potent vodka martini. When I walked in, he didn’t look up; he just sat there staring off into the corner with a strange look on his face. His handsome brow was crossed with anger, frustration, disappointment, and, dare I say – a faint touch of mirth.
“What happened to you?” I asked
“I didn’t get to yoga practice,” he scowled and took a long sip from his drink.
“I can see that,” I replied. After a pause he didn’t continue, so I asked, “So why didn’t you get to yoga?”
I was a little afraid of the answer, but I knew I had to ask (was expected to ask).
He didn’t answer right away. He took another sip from his drink and I saw the anger fade a little as he launched into the past events that led to his vodka martini pity party.
He sighed heavily and said “When I got home, I had plenty of time to change for yoga. I was getting everything together when I noticed that Cally had gotten sick all over the floor.”
Cally is the oldest of our three cats. She has been very ill lately and prone to vomiting and diarrhea. In this particular instance, it had been some pretty fierce projectile vomiting.
My husband continued. “By the time I cleaned it up, I really had to get going. I was loading my yoga gear into the trunk of the car and realized I forgot my towel. I went to run back inside the house, but the door was locked. So I reached into my pocket to get my keys, but they were not there. I figured they must be in the car. I looked in the driver’s seat, the ignition, and inside the trunk, which was still wide open from loading the yoga gear. Nothing!” He paused for another drink. I could tell his anger was dissipating by now and the tone of his voice foretold of his annoyance, not with what happened but his reaction to what had happened.
“Go on,” I prompted.
“Well, I couldn’t find the hidden spare key when I looked the first time. I was cussing so much I missed it. I finally found it and got into the house. My keys were nowhere to be found. I was so @!#$%!#* pissed. I knew I would never make it to yoga, so I went outside to retrieve my stuff. As I shut the trunk door, guess what I found?” he said with a slight upward glance in my direction. I could see a little shame flushing up his neck and his anger was entirely gone, replaced by a little self-loathing mixed with the kind of humor that comes from realizing he was acting irrationally.
“Your keys were in the trunk lock, weren’t they,” I stated rather than asking. Our old Honda is exhibiting some wear and tear; recently the auto locks have been fading in and out of working condition. Sometimes the key fob works, and other times, we have to use the actual key.
This is a funny story, but it is a good metaphor for the way my New Year’s resolutions tend to work out. I end up throwing my hands up and not doing what I really want to do.
I can’t stop the obstacles, but I can find ways around them. One way is to not make grand declarations at the beginning of the year. Instead, I am approaching this from a side angle. I am just going to improve a little each day. Nothing specific, just improve on one thing each day. In all likelihood, no one will notice except me. It doesn’t matter what it is either. It can be giving an extra effort to listen to someone, or giving the cashier at the grocery store a genuine smile instead of the obligatory one. If I keep improving the little things in my life, I am pretty sure it will transfer to the bigger things, like writing my novel or learning to play the guitar.
So far, it seems to be working out. The best part is, there are so many things to improve upon. I don’t think I will ever run out.
I kind of like this Cat Butt idea.