Following are my three resolutions and why I think they’re worthwhile.
Slowing Down & Saying No
So if I don’t like being busy, and it’s not good for my kid when we’re busy, how does it happen with such regularity that I feel like we’re always rushing? It turns out I’m still not very good at time management or saying no. Some days it’s like I still don’t understand that simple tasks take a hundred times longer with a kid. I think we’ll just pop out for a few quick errands, and three hours later I’m dragging myself back in the house like I'm returning from battle.
For my son’s sake and for my own well-being, I will focus more of my energy to doing less. In 2017 I will say no unless I genuinely need or want to say yes. And I will be more intentional, and more realistic, with what I hope to accomplish in a given day. I want to let my preschooler take his time on our walks around the neighborhood. I want to wake up in the morning knowing there’s no agenda for the day, that it’s a blank page waiting patiently to be written. Rather than being in perpetual motion, I want to practice just standing still.
Trying New Things Even When it’s Scary
When a new idea occurs to me, it’s immediately followed by paralyzing fear, “What if I make a thing and people hate it? What if they love it and then expect me to be able to do it again? If they do hate it, that means they must hate me. What it they hate the thing I made, me, and everything I do after the thing?”
My brain is an exhausting place to be. I can go around and around, and unless the thing I want to do absolutely won’t leave me alone, I find it very easy to push ideas to the back burner. I have lots of excuses why I shouldn’t try something new, all of them in the name of self-preservation.
This year I want to choose projects based on passion and not on fear. If I’m really excited about something, I want to try it despite the creeping panic I will inevitably experience. I know the people pleaser in me will still worry about what others will think (2017 is only 365 days long for heaven’s sake, that will take at least another decade to conquer), but I want to practice doing the thing anyway, fear be damned.
I love the metaphor Elizabeth Gilbert uses in Big Magic to describe fear. If she’s on a road trip with creativity, her fear will inevitably be along for the ride. However, it will be banished to the backseat, “You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio.” Fear has been changing the channel on my radio for too long, and this year I’ll work on being my own DJ.
With all three resolutions, I know what I need. It’s just a matter of making them a priority. That’s something I hope to do in 2017.