My New Year’s Resolutions are probably a lot like yours, more or less.
Trust (myself) more.
Doubt (myself) less.
Facebook (a little bit) less.
Shortly after making this list, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal called “To Stick to New Year’s Resolutions, Try Outsourcing Them.” The idea is to have someone else make resolutions for you because you might have better luck sticking to them. On one hand, I don’t believe a person can change unless they find it within themselves to do it. On the other hand, if someone you love and trust makes a suggestion, it could be the kick in the butt you need to make some positive changes in your life. The article suggests you use your resolution-maker as a source of help, encouragement and support throughout the year.
You know me. I loved this idea! Which loving and trusting resolution-makers did I choose? Mike and Dylan. I didn’t ask Riley because he’s only two, and, generally, when I ask him a question his response is “You’re Mommy Poopy Pants” or “Can I have more milk?” (FYI: Riley doesn’t know it, but in 2012, he WILL pee and poop in the potty.)
I had no trouble coming up with two resolutions for Mike and presented them several days before the New Year. Here they are:
1. Make time for exercise or some kind of physical activity for your well-being. (Between work and home, his life is stressful and chaotic. He needs to make time for himself for his sanity.)
2. Use more of your vacation days. (He’s a workaholic and needs to take advantage of the time off he’s earned and deserves.)
I’m happy to report my resolutions for Mike were well received. Mike, on the other hand, took a long while to come up with mine. As of Friday night, he told me he was still narrowing down his list because after hearing my thoughtful and heartfelt resolutions for him, he needed to consider his initial ideas, which included “get a boob job.” Nice. On Saturday afternoon, he revealed his resolutions. Sort of. Here
they are is one:
1. Take a nightoff once a week and do something for yourself – either alone or with friends.
Did you ever read “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron? (Whether you’re an artist or not, this is a personal/creative journey the Runaway Mama highly recommends!) This resolution is reminiscent of the weekly artist date recommended by the author. An artist date is a solo expedition that helps feed one’s creativity. This is a great resolution for me because one of my personal resolutions for 2012 is to write more (for the blog and otherwise). Nice job, Mike. Let me know when you’re ready to give me the other one.
Onto Dylan. I asked him what I could do to be a better Mommy in the year ahead, and his response was “play video games with me.” On the surface, this might sound like a response that has nothing to do with the question, but it’s actually a very thoughtful answer. Since Dylan turned five, he’s really been embracing his boyhood (i.e. playing video games, building customized Hot Wheels cars, getting into Star Wars, etc.). The result is that he’s more easily bonding with his Daddy (a boy) than his Mama (a girl). I love to see him connecting with his father, but I sense this is a crucial time for me. I can either step back (and admit I don’t really care for video games, building cars or Star Wars) or step up (and figure out a way to enjoy it all so I can continue to bond with my son as he grows). Obviously, I want the latter. Dylan, more or less, hit the nail on the head with his resolution for me.
My resolution for Dylan is for him to embrace his independence. His new thing is: “I’m five so I can [fill in the blank].” For instance, “Mommy, I’m five so I can cross the street by myself.” In the same breath, however, he’ll throw a fit if I don’t help him put on his socks. I’m determined to make this the year Dylan discovers all the things he’s capable of achieving ALL BY HIMSELF. We were getting in the car when I presented my resolution to him. His response was, “Mommy, will you buckle me in just for today?” We have our work cut out for us!
So there you have it. In 2012, I’ll be taking time off for me, begging Mike to do the same, learning how to play video games and pleading with Dylan to be more independent…more or less. What are your resolutions for the year ahead?