In case you hadn’t noticed, it is now 2022. I saw on Twitter this morning that the release of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was closer to D-Day than it is to now, and that makes me feel decrepit. It is the 51st time I have celebrated New Year’s Eve in some form or fashion, and, guessing I started about age of 5, the 46th time I’m expected to make New Year’s Resolutions.
Expected to. But I’m not going to. Or rather, my New Year’s Resolution this year is to give myself a break. What are resolutions but a list of “Things I Should Be Doing But Am Not Currently Doing”? They’re a nag. They’re on your back. They’re one more obligation (that I’m failing to meet) on a long list of obligations.
So I’m on strike. My New Year’s Resolution for 2022 is to lower my expectations. I’m not a lazy person. I can’t even sit on the sofa and watch TV without some kind of yarn or needlework in my hands so that the time is productive. I work hard and I take care of a lot of people. I am the problem solver for enough people that I no longer have time to solve my own problems. Why would I add to the list of things to do when the bottom of the to-do list never even gets looked at?
I’m done with failure. I’m a good (enough) person. I try to be kind and helpful. I clean up other people’s messes more than they clean up mine. I’ve worked more or less non-stop since the early 80s when I started babysitting.
No one ever sent me an invoice saying what the dues are, exactly, but I’m making a stand here: my dues are paid in full.
New Year’s Resolutions are just one more set of dues you set yourself up to pay for a club you probably don’t really want to be in or you’d already be in it. I’m done. I am who I am, and I’m tired. If you don’t like me, too bad. I’m not taking anything off my list, just failing to add to it. And if you think I should, well, then, you can kiss my….
The point is this: yes, we should all constantly strive to be better people. None of us are perfect as is. But we don’t need to beat ourselves up for not living up to a set of goals. An actual list sets me up for failure if I don’t cross off all the items. So this year, my one and only item is to be nice to me, to give me a break, to be as kind and understanding to myself of my failures and flaws as I am of my dog’s failures and flaws.
And I’m a lot less likely to poop on the carpet.
I think that’s a New Year’s Resolution I can cross off my list.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.