I had this great revelation this year: I decided to nix resolutions that had to do with eating or exercise. I never sustain those ones, and then I just feel like a failure. I don’t want to start the year off that way.
I also skipped the resolutions that I have no (or limited) control over. Recall this past December’s failed cancer-free month. (By the way, thanks for not telling me I have control over my cancer. I am firmly of the belief that I did not get cancer because I am a bad person, or it was God’s will, or I ate too much junk food as a teenager. The last thing I need is guilt about having cancer. I may be wrong on all counts, but I appreciate your respecting my beliefs.)
With all those exclusions, my resolution pool was narrowed significantly, but I still came up with something: I resolve to be more kind in 2015. Not to others, though, because I think I do a fairly good job of that already. (Tell me if I’m wrong.) I spend a lot of time obsessing over how to treat others and I try to do nice things for people. I don’t feel I really need to work on that part, although there’s always room for improvement so I’ll keep it in mind. Now, the fellow who picked an aggressive, unprovoked fight with J. at the park yesterday after his dog attacked Jelly, he might want to work on that one.
Rather, I am resolving to be kinder to me, since I’m not great at that. I’m pretty hard on myself at the best of times, and 2014 has not been the best of times. It’s been a tough year with a lot of challenges. I haven’t always coped all that well. I am especially hard on myself when I am not functioning at the level I feel I should be. If I’m not getting enough done in a day, if I haven’t put dinner on the table, if I skipped a few errands because I just wasn’t up to it…you get the idea.
I want to be compassionate with my many limitations and imperfections now. I’m doing the best I can. Every so often I need a morning nap, or a day at home, or a shortened dog walk (sorry, Jelly), and I need that to be okay. Or I need to go out for dinner and enjoy it, rather than beating up on myself for betraying my low-sodium regimen. J. believes I’ve become harder on myself since I’ve been sick, and she may be right.
Beyond that, I don’t really know how I’m going to measure kindness. I’m open to your input, though. I know my resolutions are supposed to be SMART, but I’m not sure how to make this one SMART. I’m simply going to try to catch myself when I’m chastising myself, for whatever reason, and shift to compassion mode. If I can be compassionate with other people, including my clients, I can be kind to myself, can’t I?
Happy New Year to all of you, and here’s to a great 2015. Let’s enjoy it together.