Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Note: I have a long list of blog posts to catch everyone up. Unfortunately, our week of break has turned into a week of specialist's appointments as we try to beat the Jan. 1 deadline when deductibles roll over. Now, back to the regularly scheduled post.

New year's resolutions are on the mind's of many as we approach January 1st. I typically have a list of things I would like to get done but they are by no means resolutions for the new year. It is the ongoing to-do list that typically encompasses my entire white board each week.

Once at a small group meeting (many years ago, while I was still in college) the question was for us to list our new year's resolutions. I didn't have any, but had read a truly insightful Garfield cartoon earlier that day.

The Garfield cartoon had Jon making his usual list of resolutions. Garfield snuggled in his bed, under his blanket says that his resolution is "to lower his expectations." I decided to announce that I was following the example of a cartoon cat who likes lasagna and lots of naps.

Despite my lack of resolutions, I have no lack of drive and no lack of plans for the future. I don't always reach those goals, but I work hard to at least give it a try.

As a mom, I have found that long-term goals often go unmet, and I can plan all I want and those plans fall through. I can have a to-do list the entire length of my whiteboard, and if it is a good day, check off one of those items. Typically, my expectations are to complete the whole list in one day and have the rest of the week free for the therapy appointments, playdates, park visits, etc. Typically, that never happens. I've really struggled with the fact that I just never accomplish what I want to anymore. The post-baby, new-mom world is a struggle for me. I've been really focusing on this struggle this past year and have come to this knowledge:

I need to lower my expectations!!

I expect so much of myself that I can't appreciate what was accomplished. I am focused on how I didn't reach my goal or fell short of completing my to-do list. I find myself falling into a bit of depression when plans fall through or don't go according to plan.

So, after reading some really great mommy advice books including, I WAS A REALLY GOOD MOM BEFORE I HAD KIDS and I'D TRADE MY HUSBAND FOR A HOUSEKEEPER, I am following the advice of a lasagna loving cat. I'm lowering my expectations. My new year's resolution is to let it go when plans don't work out, to "play it by ear" more. To not be depressed when goals aren't met, but to admit that that's part of life.

As a mom, my only goal should be to raise a godly son who loves the Lord. He can't see love if I am frustrated over not meeting my own expectations.

This doesn't mean I am putting away the whiteboard or the to-do list. The laundry still has to be done. Doctor's appointments must still be made and attended. Insurance paperwork must still be completed. The to-do list will never go away but my expectation of completing everything on the list in one day or even one week will go away.

Just to prove that I am following my new lower expectation resolution. Christmas cards will be in the mail today...hopefully (2 days before the new year.)


Lynn said...

I really enjoyed your blog entry. It made me smile and think of my former life. It doesn't matter if some things go undone. No one will notice but you anyway. I would never say that you would be lowing your expectations just coming to the reality that some things are not as important. Take care of what really matters and since you seem to be a list maker do a reverse list or check off a look what I did do today on your to-do list. Young children will and should take up more time for things that used to get done. I look back and think, "did it really matter that I dusted and cleaned or was the time I spent with my young children more important." Since my children are grown and gone, I wish I had not wasted any time with the cleaning and just gone with the fun. Okay, some cleaning is a must to keep the health department away from the door. I have not made a new year's resolution in years, but I think I shall join you and Garfield in one for this year. Of course, it will be in opposition to the one I've lived by for several years which is "Aim for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars." I think I'll go make some lasagna now.

Jennie said...

Cynda, I LOVED this post. I can truly relate. We are similar creatures; you and I. :) I too was thinking the same thing as a goal for the new year. Here's to hoping we succeed.

Araratacres said...

Hey Cynda,I have been wondering what my new New Year's resolution is for 2011. I am like you...and have a hard time celebrating the victories when the defeats (ie-the things that DIDN'T get done on my one day off)seem to outshine them. I was actually thinking (as I drove home from work tonite), that maybe my NYR this coming year should be to "try" to not be so hard on myself so much of the time. This may be a hard one.....(I do better with concrete goals!)