Five resolutions I did not make:
1. I do not resolve to get more sleep. For parents of small children, sleeping is less of a “resolution” and more of a “gift.” I’ll just take it when it’s offered, this year or any other year.
2. I don’t resolve to floss more. Yes, I probably should. No, I probably won’t.
3. Same goes for organizing, routine housecleaning, meal planning, and remembering to check the mail every day. I’m cool with where we are on all those fronts. No, really. We’re good.
4. I don’t resolve to “be more awesome,” either. This is all the awesome I have got, right here. There is not a trunk out in the garage with more awesome waiting to be unpacked. This is it.
5. And I don’t even resolve to get up earlier, no matter how many times I hear about someone else making that exact resolution. New Year’s Resolutions are not a team sport.
I have been told that early morning is the best time for writing (or reading, or painting, or yoga, or prayer, or insert your own activity here).
Early morning is not my best writing time. It’s not even my worst writing time. It is my zero writing time. Early in the morning is when I stare at the blurrily blinking cursor and drool a little until someone else wakes up and asks what’s for breakfast. This takes 46 seconds from the time I sit down.
Getting up earlier does not interest me. Getting up earlier is not my New Year’s Resolution.
In fact, I have no New Year’s Resolution.
I love new beginnings, fresh starts, empty notebooks and full pens. I love a good project. Planning is my happy place. So you’d think I would be all over the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. I should be driving the bandwagon. I should be leading the bandwagon parade!
And yet I do not. Every year I think I might, and then… I don’t. Maybe, in the first week of January, I am still focused on pine needles and packages, decorations to store and lights to take down. Maybe I don’t like the arbitrary January 1st date: EVERYONE MAKE GOALS NOW TODAY GO! Maybe I want to be intentional and resolute on my own timetable.
Maybe I just forgot.
The end result is the same. No resolutions, no grand plans, no particular goals.
Except that isn’t quite true. I have plenty of goals and plans and ideas. They’re just not inked into a calendar.
This is why: some days are goal-oriented, and then other days are spent soothing and cleaning up after the three-year-old who has, without warning, just thrown up right into his own shoes.
I never know, when I wake up in the morning, which kind of day it is going to be.
On sick-kids-and-temper-tantrums days, a calendar full of I’LL DO THIS! and NOW IT’S TIME FOR THAT! would amount to taunting. We don’t allow that in this house.
In some seasons, you take the days as they come, accept them for what they are. Keep looking toward the summit, yes. Keep leaning in toward your goals, sure. Make tiny changes, start new habits. Do small things with great intention.
But if they aren’t All Done This Year: ah well. All is forgiven. All is grace. So something more important stepped in front of the goal train. It happens. Just keep moving forward. Be honest about where you are. Be kind to yourself along the way. You’ll get there.
And you won’t even need a special square on the calendar to give you permission.