This is my goal for the next two months:
Be who I want to be.
I chose that date because it will be the most fabulous birthday of my lifetime:
I’ve waited my whole life for it to come around. It doesn’t coincide with a milestone year and there won’t be the fantastic party I dreamt of as a teenager, but it seems monumental anyway. What a special day!
All I want is something printed with the date on it and an amazing cake.
But, as always, vegetables must be eaten before cake.
Eating my veggies means imparting on a grand experiment of self-improvement. I had this idea on Max’s first New Years, back when Jack was a blastocyst unbeknownst to me.
The New Year rang in lonely. I was at my mom’s house; Andres had left early from our trip to go back to work. My mom was with the rest of my extended family down the street at my aunt’s house. Max was asleep in his crib. Ah, those early months of motherhood when being tethered to a child always took me by surprise!
I am a big resolver, so being alone with my journal on New Year’s Eve is actually pretty ideal. Poor Andres, I must not be a good date. I prefer to plan and start my new year fresh, so it was OK to be alone. Mostly. Isn’t there always a lingering image of grand parties from 80s movies that makes reality seem a little bit like a let-down?
It was that night that I got the idea of waking up and just being a 100% better version of myself. You see, each year I write a ridiculous number of resolutions, each with the intention of improving myself and my life. Why parcel it out like that, I wondered? Why be lesser version of myself when what needs work isn’t really a mystery? Why not live my best life possible?
The idea excited me so much that I didn’t sleep through the New Year’s countdown, like I had planned. Instead, I trembled with my eyes closed, my mind racing to possibilities.
And yet, I knew that wasn’t the right time for that kind of project. I wasn’t even at home. I was about to embark on a cross-country flight alone with an infant. A week later I would discover the existence of Jack forming life inside my body. My plate was full.
It’s full now too. But life has slowed to a manageable pace. My problems seem solvable. I am ready to eat this plate of vegetables.
I am going to be the person I want to be.
That means someone who:
- doesn’t squander her life and times.
- exercises self-control to be patient with disagreeable kiddos.
- exercises physically everyday.
- has a lot of energy.
- rests when she’s tired.
- pursues her big dreams (code for a writing project).
- nurtures her marriage.
- doesn’t let bad habits make her choices.
- is present when interacting with her children.
- lives and breathes her spiritual journey at all times.
- is bold, courageous and authentic.
- looks pulled together everyday.
- does what needs to be done.
- is beautiful.
I have no idea if I’ll succeed or not, but it’s good to have a go at it. One of the guiding principles in my life is to live without regret. The main thing I want to work on is the first thing on my list. I don’t want to waste my life being less than I could be. I don’t want to chuck away precious years zoning out on reality television. I don’t want my energy to be wasted on worry, when I could simply do what I know I should without any drama or procrastination. I would rather filter that energy into my creative and spiritual life. Most importantly, I don’t want to miss my children’s childhoods by allowing my mind to be elsewhere when I’m so lucky to be able to spend my days with them.
T0 tell you the truth, I don’t care what the results of this grand experiment turn out to be. I am old enough to know perfect isn’t possible. That’s not quite what I’m aiming for anyway. I want to be the best version of myself, not an idealized image of perfection. However close I get to my goal will show me who I am, the good and the bad. I already accept my failings. I just don’t want my life to be shaped by laziness or fear.
Wish me luck. Send me love.