New Year’s Resolutions for the Overwhelmed
I love New Year’s resolutions. I relish putting together long lists of ambitious goals every December 31st, and waking up on January 1, ready for my new, perfect, problem-free life! Needless to say, I never have quite found the resolution list that actually accomplishes all of that; in fact, I usually end up forgetting half of my New Year’s goals, and only partially hitting the others.
Nevertheless, I still find making resolutions to be a fruitful exercise: It’s a chance to take a high-level look at where my life is compared to where I’d like it to be. It’s a day to sit down and ask hard questions about whether or not my actual priorities are in line with my stated priorities. And, even when I fall short of my own goals, I find that even coming close to them makes things better. For example, there was that year that I said I’d lose 20 pounds and I only lost five — yet in the process I learned a ton about nutrition, discovered some food sensitivities I had, and paved the way for the next year when I actually would lose the weight.
But this year things are different. When a friend called to ask what resolutions I’d made, she expected for me to jump into action and zealously recite a mile-long list. Instead I said with a sigh, “I think I’m just going to try to survive this day.”
An undiagnosed issue with this pregnancy has left me fatigued to the point of barely functioning, and over the past few weeks the house has slid into chaos. Even with Joe helping as much as he can, mountains of unfolded laundry pile up in the bedroom, the sink always has at least a few dirty dishes sitting in it, and I’m sure that somewhere in the mess of papers on the inbox on my desk are bills that are about to be late. I’m sure this is my fatigue-induced pessimism talking, but sometimes it feels like I’m so behind on everything that I’ll never catch up again.
In a phase like this one, grand resolutions can feel pointless.
I had decided to scrap the entire concept and spend my New Year’s Eve wallowing in some extra-rich self-pity, but Joe encouraged me to find some small resolution I could make. He pointed out that it would probably make me feel better to accomplish one or two things, even if they were small. His idea sounded a little more inspiring than my current New Year’s Eve plans, so I decided to give it a shot.