The raging perfectionist alive and kicking in me covets this time of year. Resolutions to change the small details and grand schemes of my own life form in long lists on my desk. Every year I write them down and every year, as most of us will, I fail to check any of them off as "completed". Expectedly, the list gets lost under piles of papers and magazines, only to be recycled after a frantic cleaning binge ensues some Tuesday morning. The idea of a clean slate and substantial life changes is so intoxicating to most people, including me. After all, we live in a society that rewards perfection and makes any television show about plastic surgery, weight loss or makeovers a surefire ratings hit. So every year I make my resolutions with the best of intentions and the worst sense of reality.
My own resolution list tends to be, well... excessive. I even have categories for my list: Shallow Goals, Respectable Goals and "Ridiculous-Never-Going-to-Happen" Goals. Falling under the "Shallow" category are things like finally getting toned Jennifer Aniston-ish arms, using my gym membership 5 times a week, becoming a devoted yogi and finally cutting off my hair for Locks of Love. That last one also holds a spot on the "respectable" list, seeing as it is actually a generous thing, but also has a side note of "shallow". I'm secretly hoping that in donating my hair that it will not only grant me a lifetime of good hair karma, but that my new style will change my life. Because haircuts can do that, right? Perhaps I should add "be less delusional" to my list somewhere.
The "Respectable" list is one I hope to tackle first since it tends to be more productive: being more "green", living on a tighter budget, working harder on my business, getting truly organized and being a more patient person. These are real, possible goals that would benefit me in ways I can only imagine. However, in order to get organized I will need tools. Pretty tools. Therefore I will inevitably make an inpatient trip to the Container Store to style my new, organized life and end up spending hundreds of dollars on designer file holders and pencil cups, in turn blowing my budget. This is how even my most productive resolutions end before they even begin.
Last but not least is the "Ridiculous" list. This is more of a collection of my dreams/hallucinations that are probably not going to happen, but are fun to write down: to move to sunny California and live on the beach, become a vegetarian, be more of an optimist and less of a drama queen. Those last two will send my husband into fits of laughter, seeing as last week I was rendered a teary, sobbing mess when it snowed for the third time in 10 days and I declared that this winter will be the "worst in the history of the world". And I just love a good cheeseburger too much.
So perhaps this should be the year of a solitary goal. One that should be on everyone's list. One that will probably enable you and me to actually tackle the other less important resolutions after some time. And that goal is to simply be more grateful.
Grateful for health, family, friends, sunny days and snowy ones. The fact that we wake up and breathe in and out every morning, that we have gyms to go to, jobs to work harder at, hair to donate and a planet we can help. It is not often enough that I sit back and consider all of the good things I have in my life as it is. How many of us truly live "in the moment" and see traffic as just a silly delay, a cancelled flight as an opportunity to spend more time in an unknown city and can lap up the deliciousness of a warm mug of coffee in our hands on a chilly day? The gift of true gratefulness would probably leave us all resolution-less because we'd just be too happy to care about changing the small things.
So this year, I will skip the list and take the time it took to write it to be grateful. Who knows, maybe by doing that I'm taking my first step towards California.