I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve set your sites on conquering P-90X, getting a degree or being in the audience on the Ellen Show, rock on, especially if one of your resolutions is to meet Ellen. I love Ellen. Tell her I said hi.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I feel like they set me up for failure. Probably because I’m too ambitious in my goal-setting, such as the 2009 special: “Ima go to the gym every day at 5:00 AM.” As if.
I don’t not make resolutions because I don’t have room for improvement. I’m a work in progress fo sho. Here’s ten things I’d think about cutting out if I were the resolution-making type.
1.) Eye rolling
I’m a grand-slam champion eye roller. If there were trophies for eye rolling, I’d have them all. All the trophies, people. I’ve mastered everything from the super-quick roll behind your back to the sweeping, dramatic roll-sigh combo that lets everyone in a five-mile radius know how put-out I am.
I’ve gotten better at eye-rolling. Not in an “I’ve perfected eye-rolling” way (although that, too) but I’ve definitely gotten sneakier about it. I’ve also developed a little more tolerance for BS and my threshold for raising my baby blues to the sky is a little higher.
2.) Blowing off friends
“Let’s grab coffee” or “why don’t we meet for that drink” are things said by me…well, let’s be real, people. Not often enough. And when I do suggest coffee, I don’t follow through. I’m sincere in my “hey let’s” but the meet-ups never pan out.
If I were a resolution-maker, I’d carve out some realistically manageable time each month to be a better friend. Like most people, I use the “so busy” excuse. While I ambusy, I could probably benefit from a little reprioritizing when it comes to the people in my life who have decided they find me tolerable. It’s a small but esteemed group.
3.) Using my bitch voice with my husband
No matter what words are being spoken the bitch voice instantly translates them to “you’re a dumbass and I can’t believe I’m even talking to you.” My bitch voice can make “would you like some ice cream, darling” sound like “die evil troll.”
Don’t get me wrong: having a bitch voice is a useful skill that I suspect most women possess but if I were making resolutions, I’d stop using it with my husband. Yes, he does stuff that annoys me but no, it’s usually not on purpose. Sometimes, using my bitch voice on my husband is justified, but not usually.
4.) Yelling at my kids
There’s not a lot I can say about this one. I do it. I wish I didn’t and I really try not to…but I still do.
Yes, really. Most women wear multi-tasking like a badge of honor, but I’ve come to the point in my life where I’ve realized that doing seven things at once means that I’m probably sucking at most of them. Sure, I can compose email, text, watch the news and listen to my kid tell me about his day. This doesn’t make me Superwoman: it makes me the mom who made six typos, inadvertently texted her boss instead of her bestie about a bikini wax gone wrong and blew off her kid because she was on information overload.
6.) Nail biting
I’m a sporadic nail biter. I don’t do it out of nervousness or boredom and every now and then, I’ll have a nice looking set of nails, but I’ll inevitably screw it up by chewing on one of them…and then I feel compelled to mess up the rest, too.
7.) Judging my body
I constantly look at myself and criticize what I see. My stomach is too pudgy, my nose too hooked, my hair too flat and omigosh is that really a zit in that wrinkle on my neck? Why the hell can’t I find something that fights wrinkles that doesn’t give me teenage acne? While I take reasonably good care of myself, the fact is that my body and I are no longer 25. Beating myself up over imperfections that don’t matter isn’t going to turn back the clock. I wish I could learn to be a little more accepting of myself.
8.) Spending too much time on social media
Like many people, I see social media as a blessing and a curse. It helps me keep up with people and events and helps me promote my writing. Most things are good in moderation, but have you ever said something like “I’m just gonna check Facebook real quick…” and poof, three hours are sucked away? Yeah…me either. Ahem.
9.) Comparing myself to other people
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was this: Run your own race, literally and figuratively.
I was struggling to finish a 10K a few years ago when a short, thick, older woman sailed past me, completely destroying my mental mojo. She didn’t look like a runner, therefore she should be slow. She certainly didn’t belong in front of me, but on that day, she kicked my ass. Maybe she was having her best day ever. Maybe looks are deceiving. Maybe I was too big for my britches.
This was a good reminder to keep my eyes on my own paper. To focus on my own goals and to not try and keep up with the Jones’.
10.) Being sanctimommy
Are you a mom? I’m judging you. If your kids look a little chunky and your grocery cart is full of Hot Pockets and Little Debbies? I’m critiquing you for not taking time to plan better meals. Running errands in your Hello Kitty pajama bottoms? I’m calling you lazy. And so on, you get the idea.
Here’s the thing…I make snap judgments based on a snippet of information. Maybe I’m usually right but sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know.
One of my friends is an Army widow. She lost her husband in a plane crash a few days before Christmas a few years ago. Someone gave her a dirty look as she ducked her head and walked through a contingent of happy humans holding “welcome home” signs for service members at the airport. To the casual observer, she was unpatriotic, or a “scrooge.” To someone who knew her, she was just trying to make it through the day without losing it.
We don’t know what we don’t know. My friend’s story had a huge impact on my mom judging. We only see a small slice of the picture, so why don’t we stop filling in the blanks? Although…odds are when I see you in your Hello Kitty jammies at Wal-Mart, Ima still gonna call you lazy.
This post was originally featured on Jill’s blog, Ripped Jeans And Bifocals.