It’s the first week of January, which means it’s the first week of a new year. “New year, new you.” “Another 365 chances to get it right.” “Out with the old, in with the new.”
While I appreciate the opportunity, why do I suddenly have to try to get it right? I’m sorry but did you see the year that I just lived through? Can I have a minute, please, before I have to become something that I’m not? Honestly, the whole new year’s thing is just a lot of pressure. A decade ago as a single woman on New Year’s Eve, I felt like I had to have the perfect date, wear the perfect outfit, get invited to the perfect party. Want to know what usually happened? There was no date. I wore pajamas. And, I ate take-out on my couch. Not much has changed since marrying and becoming a mom.
Let’s just say that New Year’s Eve and I have agreed to disagree for years.
But, New Year’s Day? Well, that’s the big pressure. Women everywhere – single, married, divorced, moms, not moms – make these grand declarations. This year I will keep the perfect house and raise the perfect child. This year I will get the perfect job. This year I will lose the weight and finally look perfect. This is the year I will make all of the resolutions and keep them. This year will be MY year.
Put the journal down (because I know you bought one) and let’s talk about this resolution nonsense.
Many of these resolutions that we happily force on ourselves each January become fast, flashy disappointments that wind up making us feel “less than” by the end of the month. I know that every post on your social media newsfeed this past week has been about making new year’s resolutions. But, why do we put that pressure on ourselves? Why does society make us think that we have to? What’s so wrong with taking a little time to breathe and embrace the old?
Look, I get it. New is exciting and shiny. I love new. I am showing up for new with bells on every single time. New things make us hope for something more. Something better. And, yes, more and better can be true. But, what about before? What about last year? Don’t throw away the old just because you’re hanging all of your hopes on the new.
Remember, the old year was shiny once, too.
Sure, that old year may have limped across the finish line in last place, but it made it. YOU made it. There’s a lot of wisdom in the years – and the you – that came before. We’re made to think that once something is old, once there’s a newer version to replace it, that it’s no longer valuable to us. It’s no longer needed or necessary. It can just be forgotten. But I don’t think that’s true at all. There’s no way I’m getting through this next year without every hard, beautiful thing I learned in the old one.
Listen, this isn’t a 365-day sprint. It’s life and it’s a marathon. Instead of making resolutions, ask yourself what you truly want out of this year and this life, and be honest with your answers. Spoiler alert: Honest won’t ever be perfect. And that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be shiny and perfect to YOUR year. Slow down. Take a breath. You don’t have to be something different. Something you’re not. Remember, Mamas, just because it’s new doesn’t mean you have to be.