I’m still noodling over my New Year’s resolutions. Most years, I’ve either gone with the trite and inevitably unsuccessful (lose weight, get organized, blah blah blah) or the resigned and realistic (“Resolutions are pointless–I’m boycotting them this year!”)
Last year, I was four months pregnant at the New Year, so my resolution was to have my baby. Specific, achievable, and measurable. Check! Cassie was born in May, and I’m quite proud of my first-ever resolution that actually came to pass.
So it’s another New Year, and I’d like to go 2 for 2. But this year’s completely different. This is my first New Year as a working mom. While I’m tempted to resolve to drop some extra pounds, get a promotion at work, be the world’s best wife/mom/friend/etc., I know I’d be setting myself up for disappointment. I would try to make big changes all at once, get frustrated when exhaustion got in the way, and end up feeling guilty for failing. Who needs that?
I need something to shoot for that’s both achievable and worthwhile. Something that will effect real, meaningful change in my life. At the end of this new year, I want to be able to look back at the year and say, “I did it! Yay, me!”
So here’s my big revelatory resolution: Take care of me.
I know, it sounds pretty crazy, right? It’s right up there with running a marathon or getting out of debt. But seriously, we working moms have a horrible track record on this whole self-care thing. I habitually put myself last on the priority list. Everybody gets clothed, fed, cleaned up, hugged, listened to, encouraged, and soothed before me (I’m not just talking about my daughter, either).
But that’s not a sustainable model for ongoing success. I can’t be my best for others if I don’t take care of myself. If I don’t exercise regularly, I won’t be able to enjoy chasing after and playing with my daughter. If I don’t decompress on a daily basis, I can’t come up with killer ideas at work. If I don’t enjoy a nice evening out with my husband once in a while, I won’t be able to maintain the kind of relationship I want to have.
So I promise to do something each day (even if it’s only for 10 minutes) that’s all about taking care of Susan. No guilt allowed. It might be eating a frou-frou $9 salad for lunch instead of a Burger King value meal. Reading my Book Club book before bed instead of putting away the dishes. Going out for a Saturday afternoon all by myself.
All these little pro-me choices should add up to a happier, healthier, less guilty new year–not just for me, but for all the important people in my life, too.
What’s your resolution this year? Post it here–you’re more likely to follow through if you tell the world about your intentions. (And if you don’t follow through, WMAG will love you anyway, just for reading.) Happy New Year!