Wednesday, December 26, 2012

No New Year’s Resolutions For Me

I have always been a BIG fan of resolutions, New Year’s or otherwise.

I could never limit myself to just one resolution. I’d have so many, I’d need to categorize them, maybe color-code them, put them a notebook, draw up to-do lists.

I was also, you may not be surprised to hear, a big fan of “productivity porn,” those books and articles that promise to make you more efficient. While you read them, you can feel like you are doing something, even though you aren’t. When you finish, you feel like you’ve eaten too much cheap candy.

And it’s not like they tell you anything that you don’t already know.

However, I’ve finally figured out that resolutions and other such efforts at self improvement are misguided.

It took me a while. I should have seen it when my daughter was small. Her teacher pulled me aside at pick-up to tell me that my daughter had cried that day. The teacher had asked the kids to write down their New Year’s Resolutions and my daughter had taken that to mean that something was wrong with her. That hurt her feelings. Also, I bet there was some anger in those tears.

Because to think you need to have a resolution means you think there is something wrong with you.

It’s a tough habit to break. Go to the gym more often, organize my office: I’ve been beating back resolutions, thoughts about where I am lacking, but they keep popping up.

Rather than yearning to live in the land of “Once I do X” and “Once I achieve Y,” I am going to be happy now, in the here-and-now, as messy and imperfect as it is.

Oh, no. Is that a resolution too?

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