2012; I hope you’ll stay

New Years Resolutions. Do you make them?

I do. But they aren’t really the kind you can measure with a stick. I don’t resolve to lose weight, to eat healthier, to quit smoking, to spend less money. (I’m skinny enough, I could give a crap about healthy eating, I don’t smoke, spending less money is smart but no fun.)

Instead, I vow to change something about the life I’m leading. I resolve to do something that I would write in an instructional book to my daughters. In years past they’ve been resolutions like: say no more often, put a budget together for the year, make a big deal out of birthdays, send thank you letters…some of them have stuck, some of them not. (If you’re wondering, I wrote about 3 thank you letters. Total.)

This year I’m doing the same. Only I’m thinking of going slightly more controversial.

In 2012 I think I’m going to be more selfish.

I don’t mean it in the “fuck you” sense. My selfish looks more like “my family of five is more important than…well…anything. So you can wait. We come first. When we’re all settled up with time/needs/desires/emotional well-being, I will give what I have left to you.”

I mean no ill-will with this. But, by nature, I am a people-pleaser. I say yes when I know I shouldn’t because of the contact high I get when you are thrilled that I’ve said it. And then I stress and self-loathe and panic and beat myself up until I finish what I promised. This is the opposite of helpful. It makes me bitter, which makes me retreat and that relationship I was trying to nurture by saying yes? Suffers. I start to resent the person who asked me for the favour, which is both destructive and unfair.

Do you ever feel like this? Am I the only neurotic one here? <taps mic>

I am so very flattered when someone asks for my advice, my ideas, my creativity. I don’t take these requests lightly; I put so much thought into each word I say, so much emotion into each photo I take, so much love into each thing that I create…it takes up much space in my brainparts. So I am Le Tired. And there have, admittedly, been some disappointments to my heartparts when it comes to repaying the favour. So I am Le Sad.

My hope is that by April I’ll start to figure out my priorities & where my heart really is. And that the people who know my intentions are pure and not malicious toward them will remain, and the periphery will start to slip away. Ryan and I constantly say shit like, “I wish we could see them more often” or “We really need to make time for THIS” and then it gets to this time next year and we haven’t done any of that. And the guilt consumes me. I’m not allowed to have more hours in the day, and I’m cranky when I don’t get enough sleep, so the only way to MAKE more time is to SPEND it better.

As a family, we are so close to those Higgisons I pictured when I thought about The Dream Life. We are so close. You can’t even know. And I want it. I want it so bad. So all those motivational posters? I HEAR YOU. I do.

I don’t really have bigger dreams than living the kind of life my Ladies can look back on and say, “Man, that was so good.” And while I’m busy figuring out what that looks like…I’d rather be doing it our way.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

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4 thoughts on “2012; I hope you’ll stay

  1. Love this.
    I gotta say, as much as having newborn twins SUCKED, it made us really prioritize our time from the get-go as parents. Family first, always. Things have been cray cray with starting a photography business in 2011 (while also working another job full time and Jon traveling) so it took me away from that and I remembered why it was more awesome the way we had it before.

    So I’ve got some big thinking to do on 2012.

    • It’s lovely to see it justified from someone else’s perspective, thanks Laura. I struggle a LOT with trying to please & I don’t know why that translates to “you must do it all or nothing”. But it does for me, so until I figure out the happy medium, I’m going with nothing:)

  2. Pingback: THIS Working Mom’s Resolutions | Life With Ladies

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