Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't go changing...


Alas, it didn't pan out. But do visit this very cool resolution generator by Monica Velarde.
I totes (totes is a cool new way of saying "totally" for all you old-sters out there) get caught up in the resolution frenzy on an annual basis. Certainly there is nothing wrong with personal inventory, a quest for self improvement, and reflection (in fact that is sort of my MO) but the over-focus on change robs us of the moment, the "be here now" kind of life that is purportedly the whole bottle plus a drop.

At best resolutions help us change bad habits or adopt new, healthier ones. At worst they promote all or nothing thinking that gets us throwing out the proverbial baby with the metaphorical bathwater. I know you and, trust me, you are fabulous. So consider for a just a minute an un-resolution, one where we resolve only to celebrate what is.

Mayhaps focusing on what is good, beautiful, and perfect about my life (house, body, family) will lead to changes as I try to do more of what works and find myself more often in the state of grace that tends to promote true change and deeper satisfaction. I don't know about you but I haven't EVER had a single true and lasting change that began with a "I never", "I just can't seem to", "Something that sort of sucks about me is..." etc,. etc.

So in the spirit of cultivating gratitude...I resolve to bring more passion into my life, but not with replacements or make-overs, but by bringing into focus what is already present. 

While researching for this post the old "nothing new under the sun" adage was affirmed. It turns out someone already wrote about this topic (chagrin) over at Oprah's website (chagrin deux) but it is quite good and worth your time.
This year Oprah resolves to be on the cover of her magazine every month and make or break authors with her all powerful book club. Wait a minute....

Existential tie-in to over-arching theme of blog....wait for it.....Global acceptance of others starts super-duper local (from within--to your own self, yo). So 2011 will find me celebrating what I love just as it is, and one of those things, gentle reader, is you. Don't go changing to try and please me...I totes love you just the way you are. Thanks for reading friends! And please take a moment to let us know what you love about yourself and your life, what you wouldn't change for anything or anyone (even Billy Joel). Cheers!


  1. Oooh...mama likey this ideer. Actually me TOTES likey it. hee :)

    I am glad I read this blog before I made my resolutions--esp considering I have a post-baby body. um, big time. I love that your post has changes our from self-loathing to self-appreciating.

    I resolve to appreciate my body for the fact that it carried 2 babies and delivered them safely into my arms. And the fact that my body actually nourished those two babies is pretty mind-blowing too.

  2. My New Year's Resolution is to be the first to comment on all of your posts...oh crap, I'm not supposed to make resolutions. Well, let me list the things I love about me/my life:

    *My kid...she's developing a sense of humor (and sarcasm) and I love it!
    *My husband...he drives me crazy sometimes, but I do love him.
    *My friends...I have the best friends in the world. I have very few that are in close proximity (geographically) to me, but we are all so close emotionally. We can go a day or a year without talking, and pick up right where we left off.
    *My sense of humor...the kid gets it from somewhere
    *My commitment to using complete sentences and proper grammar in emails, as well as (mostly) real words in texts. (Is l8r really that much easier than later???????)
    *My intense feeling that something big is going to happen this year...I really FEEL like there will be some big (and much needed) changes for my family this year.

    Cheers to 2011

    I'm still going to try to be more tolerant of those not so close to me...I think that's a good resolution, even if you're content with where you are!

  3. Remember that time we were in Borders and we saw that book about the way water responds on a molecular level to hateful vs. loving talk? I think our bodies and whole lives are like that. Treat it like a friend, with lots of appreciation and loving compassion for it as is (total acceptance) without demands or put downs and it will respond accordingly. So I love your resolution and I second that emotion. I totes appreciate that your body brought my two beautiful nephies into the world, but tell your body not to get nervous--I won't be inappropriate.

  4. Shellody,
    I loved your list. Turns out I am huge fan of lists. Did you ever do that "List Yourself" book? F-ing awesome. I am committed to complete phrases and (mostly) proper grammar as well, I just shortened the F word because so many kids read this blog. I can't wait to see what 2011 brings to you and yours. I know it will bring lots of urgent phone calls from someone seeking free medical advice, but I mean, besides that.
    Have a wonderful New Year!!!

  5. Today, a friend's status on facebook was as follows:

    I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. - Douglas Adams

    Those who know me know I'm an extremely emotional person. Those who don't know me, but have ever seen me at even a slightly sad movie theater know this too. That begin said, this quote moved me to tears this morning. I don't know why...I mean yes, could be PMS and an overall hormonal imbalance, and it could be because it's SO F-ing true.

    I never would have guessed this is where I'd be. I never thought I'd move back to my home town, marry a guy that is completely the opposite of everything I thought I wanted, or have a wonderful daughter. I was going to be single, a physician, and far away. Perhaps even in that order...but I'm not.

    Sometimes I wonder 'what if'. I often reflect on how I got to where I am today. Sometimes I think of all the things I thought I'd do "better," and sometimes, I think of all the blessings I never could have imagined I'd be blessed with.

    I truly believe I am exactly where I need to be right now. This doesn't mean I'm less excited or motivated to make changes in the next year, but it does mean I recognize that my path has been my path for a reason. I used to be so angry that we were only able to have one child (of course, I consider the one I have to be a tremendous blessing, but darn it, *I* want to decide how many kids to have, not let Mother Nature do it for me), but now I believe the Universe (God, or whatever you choose to believe in) made that decision for a reason. I may only have one biological child, but I have hundreds of children whom I love dearly and get to work with on a daily basis.

    I always thought I'd be much more financially successful than I have been, but I chose a job that allows me to do two things that I couldn't do if I worked at a job that made significantly more money (in my chosen profession, anyway): 1) spend lots of time with my child; 2) spend time with the children in my community. I do volunteer a little, and I'm not sure I would be as aware of the need if I were working in a different capacity.

    So, my new list. What do I love about my life?
    1) The good.
    2) The bad.
    3) Even the Ugly.
    4) Everything.

    Whether it was planned or unplanned, good or bad, this journey is a great one! There's a reason I'm doing what I'm doing, even if I don't understand it. This year, I embrace all that has happened, is happening, and is going to happen.

  6. As often seems the case, you have presented my thoughts of the un-resolution beautifully... A less oh-snap! version of "I'm gonna be where I'm at." Are there things I'd like to change? Sure. And taking stock can be valuable. The trick is that we don't live in fear or unrealistic expectation of the future, nor regretting or glamorizing the past.

    I like the sound of 2011 and look forward to whatever it brings, which at this moment happens to be putting the laptop down to snuggle with a clingy, sick kid. Even in this, there is joy.

    Thanks for the great post and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with that beautiful family.

  7. Anj-yes! Unrealistic expectations (um, guilty!) and mis-remembering the past, both of those play such a huge role in not being where you are at. Shellody spoke to that so movingly and beautifully in her comment. There have been a million jillion times in my life when I realized some "obstacle" or "failure" was actually a piece of the puzzle, a step in the grand plan and felt enormous retroactive gratitude for [situation] because it put me where I am. My goal for 2011 is to (plagiarism alert) embrace the good the bad and the ugly in REAL TIME. Which I think takes a lot of trust and mindful practice. "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" My answer for 2011 is simply to accept and appreciate it. I am so very grateful for you guys, this was enormously helpful and moving. As my family prepares to shut down our laptops and prepare for our lazy snuggle fest, I just don't feel I could possibly be off to a more inspired start.

  8. Since flexibility is a sign of good mental health I am making an amendment, in addition to the whole gist of the previous post I am making a resolution to do more heartfelt and simple gestures. This is based on the beautiful and thoughtful b-day card I received my friend (THANKS Shellody). I honestly can't remember the last time I got a b-day card in the actual mail. It made my day. And the time she took to let me know she appreciates our friendship and my blog made my year. I just don't do enough of this kind of stuff and the reminder of how good it feels to be on the receiving end inspired me to do more on the giving end. It is so easy to underestimate how much our actions and words can mean to another. With that said, the next entry will be give-away time!

  9. I am either VERY mentally healthy or I have flexibility and indecisiveness confused :)

    Glad the card found you well :) I really should have sent a Word-a-day calendar, but I recently discovered a STRONG dislike for anything having to do with the postal service (sorry if that offends any readers) due to two bad experiences within a week.

    What are friends for if not to send you greetings on the big one--you know, the demographically significant one--particularly if said friend is 366 days younger than you :)

  10. Yes, you get to be in a younger-hipper demographic for another year. Do enjoy checking that box my friend.

    I am only sorry that my inspired resolution was too late to get a card in the mail to you. I hope that you have a WONDERFUL DAY, I will be thinking of you and wishing you the best.

    PS-I do the online word of the day calendar and I heart it. Today's word is dander which is a little lame as it is quite likely you already know it but there are some real Renz-worthy gems on there. If I forward it to you is that like I sent you a present?

  11. That's totally a gift...and you did send it to me, through email :)

    I'm totally stoked about a word of the day...I often find myself in a vocabulary quagmire, just searching and searching for the correct word. While dander is a word I am quite familiar with (as I am covered with pet dander most of the time), I look forward to some vocab-boosting, Renz-inspired words with eager anticipation :)

    Thanks for the gift, I'll treasure it. And, I promise to use the word of the day in every comment I's that for a resolution?


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