I don’t know about you, but in the past, New Year’s has always been about purging myself of all my terrible defects and becoming the perfect person I think that I am supposed to be. I feel like I have to get rid of these personality defects and extra pounds, because my present state is just so god-awful that I should be ashamed of myself. I mean, who could love someone with a higher than recommended body mass index and a tendency to leave clutter around the house? Who starts projects and doesn’t finish them? Who’s not a team player and is always right? How can anybody love someone that doesn’t live a life that came out of a magazine? Who has made so many errors in judgment her entire life and whose history is cluttered with colossal errors in thought, word and deed?
I don’t read enough books. I don’t read all the magazines that I subscribe to. I don’t have enough money. I don’t go to the gym. I don’t make my bed every day. I don’t post enough to social media. I have a dozen tasks in the yard that I need to do before I’m not ashamed to see the Amazon delivery guy at the door. I still don’t know everything I need to know for my business. I don’t sort the mail and it piles up on the dining room table. I hoard plastic containers from Chinese takeout and those little plastic thingies from delivery pizza. If only, if only, if only. If only I were better.
Pretty uncharitable, right? I’d actually be ashamed of myself if I said these things to someone I love — or even someone I don't love. No one deserves to be called a fat, lazy slob. But that’s pretty much what I do to myself every single day. Most of the time, I don’t even notice that I do this to myself. It’s just part of the background noise of my daily life.
The funny thing is that there have been times in my life when I did go to the gym and got down to a size 6 or 4 or 2. I looked awesome, by the way. But I didn’t feel any better about myself. The holes left on my Perfect Me to-do list by that herculean accomplishment got filled with other drastic changes that I needed to make before I was acceptable. I really just couldn’t win with myself.
I once heard a funny proverb that has always stuck with me. Wherever you go, there you are. Which means that you can move across the country, change your wardrobe or buy a new car, but at the end of the day, you are who you are and these external things can’t change that. Change has to come from within.
So that is my promise to myself this year. Whenever I remind myself of one of my many, many shortcomings, I am going to remind myself of one of my many, many strengths and accomplishments. We are already in the first week of January, and I can tell you that it is not as easy as it sounded on January 1. But it is a resolution that has no deadline, and no one but me can really tell when I fall short, which would be a great time to remind myself that my buttermilk biscuits are to die for.
P.S.: Those little plastic thingies from delivery pizza make great supports for narcissus bulbs when you force them indoors.