Originally published on The Huffington Post
New Year’s Day is almost here. The day we’re supposed to make resolutions that will help us spend next year becoming better versions of who we were this year.
But, honestly, I’m still exhausted from spending all of 2014 trying to top the 2013 me. There’s so much to strive for — being a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, writer, pop culture referencer, recycler, charitable giver, thank you note sender, flower arranger, toy organizer, indoor plant parent... I could easily list 500 things I wish I were better at.
I get incredibly tired of trying to do everything better than I currently do it. I’m not a prodigy at life. So what? I wish I could say that with an aggressive shoulder shrug and truly not care.
That’s why I’m shaking things up for myself this year. I’ve come up with one seemingly simple but probably impossible goal that I think will make 2015 my best year yet. If I can just follow through on this one resolution: My goal for 2015 is to have no goals at all.
I plan to strive like crazy to do no striving at all. I would like to spend one entire calendar year believing that if I never got better at a single thing, I would still be pretty lucky to be me. And since I respond well to lists, I jotted down a few specifics to help me really nail this whole not nailing it thing:
• No questioning my career choices. After all, I finally have an office with a door. Who cares if it’s the same door I use to enter my house.
• Don’t compare myself to moms who used to be first grade teachers or who know Spanish.
• Don’t compare myself to writers who are not moms or who know Spanish.
• Stop pretending like patience is something I might find in large quantities if I just look hard enough at Costco.
• No walking around my house mentally tallying all of the furniture that needs to be replaced to make it look less like a Targkea.
• Don’t lie in bed at the end of a long day of raising two young kids and wonder if I’m doing it right. Acknowledge that I’m not and turn on HBO.
• Don’t drive home from a social gathering wishing I had sounded cooler or smarter. Being a B+ at cool and smart should be enough for a jewelry party in someone’s living room.
• Absolutely no thinking about how much more money we’d have if I worked more. Somehow I’ve managed to spoil my kids with the money we do have. But don’t think about that, either.
• Stop looking for ways to smile without eye wrinkles. There are none.
• No looking at pictures and wishing I’d worn lipstick. Either learn to wear make up or stop expecting it to magically appear in pictures.
• There’s no way to un-eat the things that are in my belly or un-drink the wine that is going to make my face look red and puffy tomorrow. And staying up late regretting it will make me look even older.
• I can’t let myself avoid doing things I love just because I’m not great at them. Play the piano like a 9 year old, start crappy novels and host dinner parties where I don’t have enough forks.
These are easy to think of because self-acceptance requires much less research than self-improvement. And I don’t now if my crazy notion of resolving to be resolutionless is attractive to you at all. Maybe last year was a doozie and you’ve got some personal catching up to do.
But surely I’m not the only woman who is exhausted from the pressure to be more and do more. And just to be clear, I love the idea of challenging myself to become a better person. But sadly, I think I’ve warped that positive pursuit into a negative voice that isn’t letting me be my best me. Or even a pretty good me.
So here’s to 2015. I wish you health, happiness and the freedom to be as awesome as you currently are.