Monday, December 26, 2011

Post-Christmas and Pre-New Year

I hope all of you had a peaceful and joyful Christmas.
Some of you may relate to this: I had a Christmas holiday that included times of peace and joy. I appreciated those times and tried to remind myself that no one ever has the perfect Christmas like TV movies portray.
The peace and joy: time spent with my husband, talking and laughing together; opening gifts together; ringing bells for the Salvation Army together; going to church together; listening to Christmas music together; and just being together.
Peace and joy: going to church on Christmas Day and listening to the Christmas story and singing carols and wishing others Merry Christmas.
Peace and joy: time spent with my mother and mother-in-law and stepdaughter.
Peace and joy: remembering that Christmas is the “dawn of redeeming grace” and a reminder of how important it is to serve others.
And the not-so-joyous parts? Dealing with a mother and mother-in-law who seemed resistant to me being a vegetarian; being with a mother who never understood the word “boundaries”; being in crowded stores and restaurants; knowing there’s so much violence in the world (like the bombings in Nigeria during Christmas Mass); and knowing many people are not as fortunate as I am to have a warm home, plenty to eat and people who care about me.
It all goes together to make up life, doesn’t it? The good and the bad, the joyous and the sad, the hope and despair, what we can control and what we cannot.
I’m grateful that I had joy and peace during Christmas, much more than many people had.
Tomorrow it’s back to work, but only a three-day workweek. I’ll have Friday off for New Year’s. I hope remembering that will help me get out of bed!
As for the time leading up to the New Year, I’ll be thinking about resolutions. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with that. I tend to want to make resolutions, but I know from my own experience how so very hard it is to keep them.
I also tend to make too many resolutions that really represent a complete makeover of my life.
I want to set my focus on serving others. I want to make changes to help me do that. I need to make changes in dealing with my “issues”—OCD, anxiety and depression. I want to lose weight, exercise and get physically stronger. I want to spend my time more wisely, write more, have a better attitude, be more mindful, engage in meditation more, practice yoga more, etc.
Sounds rather obsessive, doesn’t it? One resolution is not enough, because there are so many things I need to change right now.
How do you go about making resolutions . . . and keeping them? Do you make just one? Do you write down your resolutions? Do you build in accountability? If so, how?
I’m looking for ideas and insight, so any you can provide will be appreciated!


  1. Yes, I like your resolutions! What I do is wait until after the first and then decide what I want to work on, it takes all of the pressure off of the actual list making, feeling like you have to have everything decided by midnight on the 31st. Also, try not to think of them as resolutions, but rather goals... Perfection is not required, only progress, so even if I take baby steps towards my goals, that is progress! This past year was filled with baby steps for me and I am proud of myself and the progress I've made.

  2. Deep breath... okay, I don't make resolutions much anymore beyond something like "trust God more" because.... eh hem... I have a major tendency to get OCD about them.

    Resolutions are very tempting for me because I love making lists and making plans and organizing.

    I have learned however, that it is better for me to just stay away from all that.

    At Christmas dinner, my family was going around and everyone was telling their New Year's resolutions and I was getting that old familiar feeling like I need to start my lists but then I took a deep breath and just told the family, I don't make them because it can get out of hand for me. Then I made them all laugh as I recounted the most excruciating experience I ever had making resolutions.... I spent HOURS on New Years Eve writing them all... there were hundreds and they all had sub points and bullet lists etc. Then I had to deal with the aftermath on New Year's Day when I failed half of them within the first hour of that new year.

    Overly scrupulous types like me do better when we stay away from resolutions altogether ;-)

  3. I don't do resolutions, I do goals. Goals for me are less OCD provoking than RESOLUTIONS, kind of what Elizabeth and Lolly said above.

    With respect to making them and keeping them, I like to do bite-sized goals that are CLEAR and accomplish-able. For example, I want to start getting up early. So, for me I would say that one of my goals in 2012 is to get up early - 6am. In order to accomplish that I need to go to bed earlier (around 9 or 10), and not hit snooze on the alarm. Husband knows, so he can help drag me out of bed in the mornings.

    We'll see how it goes!

  4. Thanks, ladies, for your insight. I like the idea of goals versus resolutions. I tend to make all kinds of resolutions--too many, as I wrote about above--and then feel greatly disappointed in myself. But I do want to have more focus in my life.


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