I, Heather Horrell, never ever make resolutions. I tend to disdain traditions that I don’t get and I admit freely that I hold an unnecessary grudge against New Year’s. Not once in my adult life have I celebrated NYE. I have never gotten the chance to dress up in my sequined and sparkly dress (that I apparently own in my imagination), go to a hoppin’ joint, or whatever else happens to ring in the New Year. Hell, I think I might have seen the Times Square ball drop via the television from my rural, countryside home as a young teen, but never in real life.
While I don’t regret the six little reasons none of those celebratory jaunts happened for me, I can’t help but harbor a smidgen of curiosity. I figured if I can’t do the whole shebang, then I certainly wouldn’t encumber myself with commitments that I ordinarily wouldn’t really like anyway and that which I would abandon without abandon by the second week of the New Year.
Except now, these past few months, I have noticed, as Erikson’s Psychosocial theory predicts, (albeit supposedly I have another ten years) that I am longing for some personal growth and a desire to become more active in the community. Granted, I went through intimacy vs isolation a little earlier than most folks, am firmly done having children, and have completed school, so…
A few commitments don’t seem so bad after all, especially if they help me to become a better mother, partner, citizen, and all-around person. I figure I can start small with things I want to do anyhow and I can track this last (hopefully) year in this godforsaken place with positive increments of measurement rather than my overall misery at having to live here. I can prepare myself intellectually, socially, physically, and mentally for when the time comes to be a more active citizen all the while presently improving my mothering and so forth.
Without further ado:
1.) Read more. This is easy. I love reading but have slacked in recent years. I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and voila, I have already completed one fluffy, but wildly entertaining book. Now, I have already started my second, the anthology of Sherlock Holmes. I’m hooked.
2.) Don’t back down. Inspired by Tom Petty, and my paralyzing inability to “stand my ground” at times, I have decided that when I don’t want to do something, or when I feel sad, or whatever it is, I will speak my truth. If I say “No”, I won’t relinquish without good reason. I won’t be a doormat.
3.) Walk. When we lived in Okinawa, we walked everywhere. Sometimes, we walked up to 15 miles a day. Some people hear this and automatically think it was merely out of necessity and that it is cruel. Well, we were super healthy. I had more energy. The kids were well-behaved. And it just felt good.
4.) Call representatives. I admit, I shouldn’t have waited until the situation was so dire. I should have been proactive and not reactive. Seeing as how virtually every freedom I hold valuable as a woman, an atheist, and a parent is under attack, I vow to call, write, and share with others why and how to protect our rights by speaking with our representatives. The situation is so much more crucial for my friends with disabilities, my friends of color, my LGBTQIA friends, my friends who are immigrants. Part of standing my ground is to affect change where I can.
5.) Be playful. I have sunken into some serious anxiety. While I can’t just turn that off, I can be reforming my perspective at times and also be modeling healthy coping techniques for my kids. I want to just be present and just play with them more. So, I resolve to be more playful.
I may falter, but at least I have put this out there!
Did you make any resolutions? Share in the comments.