Last year, I resolved to lose weight in 2011. And on 1/1/11 at 1:08 pm, I lost 6 pounds and 15 ounces. Plus the placenta (sorry). I kept that weight off. I think this means I win at New Year’s, achieving my goal on January 1st. Other than that, I am not big on resolutions. I like to make positive changes in my life, but I don’t like to set myself up for failure.
In the past few years, it has become fashionable to choose a word to focus on for the upcoming year. I am not sure that I can say that I have chosen a word, because it feels more like a word has chosen me. Since I saw those two lines, felt Atticus kick, experienced his birth, things started shifting. Imperceptibly at first, like those twinges of kicks I sensed in the beginning. Now things have come a little bit more clear.
If I have resolved anything for 2012 it is to accept what I have known for a long time about my inability to be someone that I am not. Motherhood has taken away my last illusions about being a good girl. I am not good at making nice. I can’t pretend that I feel differently, especially when sleep deprived. And so I get in trouble for saying things like, “I am not enjoying every minute,” on Facebook. (Where I should know better, but I just can’t seem to help myself.) It turns out that I am the mom who says, “You have seen enough of me already today,” when Atticus has been up at 3 and 4 and 5 am and is reaching for me when I leave him at his school. (That went over like a lead balloon in the room. But I was tired. And we had seen quite a lot of each other. And he got to sleep from 5-7 am, whereas I was awake for the day.) I told my 16-year-old self to stop trying to be good and to focus on being herself. The truth is that 32-year-old me is just learning that same thing.
Lest you think that the word that chose me for 2012 is “bad” (as in “bad” girl since I have given up on being good), I should clarify that the word that comes to mind is yes. Since I have begun letting go of the idea of myself I have held for so long, I have been able to see more clearly who I want to be. I am worrying less about what people think and opening myself up to more possibilities. Yes, I will go and see an author I like (even if it turns out I have to go by myself). Yes, I will take a writing workshop with an author I admire (even if it kind of makes me hyperventilate to think about it). Yes–and this one is hard for me–I will play with Atticus instead of unwinding once I get home. Yes, I will take pictures even though I am worried about looking like one of those parents. Yes, I will answer you honestly (and because I have said yes, I am able to do it more gently). I will do things that stretch me, things that I am afraid of, and things that grab my imagination and won’t let go until I say yes.
This year was difficult, stretching me to my very limits. The lows were some of the lowest I have ever experienced. I love Atticus, but that did not keep me from exhaustion or despair. Surviving taught me a lot about paying attention and listening to myself. Armed with those resources, with new confidence in my own abilities, I am ready to say yes to 2012.
Did you make any resolutions? Goals? Do you have a word for the year?