The start of the new year always brings a flurry of introspection and long lists of well meaning resolutions. We all start thinking about that 5 pounds (okay, maybe a little more than 5 pounds) that we want to lose, eating healthier, going to the gym more, and on and on…
Honestly, I hate resolutions! I can’t stand it when I don’t have the time or money to fulfill them, and then I’m just filled with shame and self-loathing. What’s the point of that!?
About two years ago, I resolved to simply stop making resolutions. Instead I think of the new year as an opportunity to refocus my life on what’s really important to me and on my goals. I embraced this Henry David Thoreau quote:
“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all of the marrow of life.
To put to rest all that was not life,
And not when I came to die,
Discover that I had not lived.”
In a moment standing there looking at my reflection, I felt as if my life was passing me by. How did I get to be this old? The average life expectancy is 74.6 years. That means my life is almost half over. I hadn’t achieved any of the great goals I had set for myself in my younger years. I’d never been to Italy, or learned to play guitar, or any number of other things on my “bucket list.”
And it broke my heart.
I knew that something needed to change. I needed to change. And I needed to do it now, before it was too late. I did not want to come to die only to discover that I had not lived.
First of all, I completely lacked confidence. If you had asked me two years ago what I was good at, I would have said, “Well, I can make good cookies, and I know the lyrics to all the Wiggles songs.”
But that felt so inadequate, and well worthless. Doubting my skills and my talents meant that I doubted myself – my very worth. I knew that needed to change.
I needed to chant to myself, “I am confident. I am confident.” And I needed to believe it.
I’ve been dreaming of going to culinary school to become a pastry chef for YEARS now, so being good at making cookies, pastries and desserts is a really good thing. And I’m not just good, I’m great at it. It’s been a long time since I wanted something this badly. I’m determined to have my Chef’s jacket, and in a few years, it will say Chef Matlock on it.
And while I highly doubt I’ll land my dream job for knowing all the hand motions to the Wiggly Hula, it is symbolic of all the time and energy I have put into raising my children. My children who are happy, healthy, successful, well-adjusted children. I am a great mom!
And now, after repeating that mantra to myself a few thousand times, I truly believe it. I am confident. At least most days… Nobody’s perfect!
As momentarily alarming as it was, I’m glad I caught sight of that old woman in the mirror. I’m glad that reflection scared me enough to change.
It’s today. Today is a new day. Now I know what I plan to do with mine. The question is what will you do with yours?