On this cold winter morning I am reading the blog posts of the bloggers I follow, many of which are mentioning resolutions – those things we seem to feel we need to promise to do at the beginning of each new year, and then whip ourselves for the rest of the year because we aren’t keeping them. I have enough of those “shoulds” that follow me around every day that I opted several years ago to make my resolution to never make a resolution.
There is that old WASP work ethic thing that is ingrained in our brains from our very young years – the thing that haunts us even after we have reached our retirement years, when truly there is no need to always be productive, to always be accomplishing, to always cross everything off our lists. The lists we make because if we don’t, we won’t remember what it is we felt we needed to do. Maybe that’s the problem – maybe we shouldn’t make those lists. Ahhh, that’s a dream – days without a lists. Until suddenly we realize we’re neck deep in laundry that hasn’t been folded, bills that haven’t been paid, dust on flat surfaces deep enough to write your name – you know how I feel about that one though – it just proves you’re literate.
So this year, I’m working on banishing the word “should” from my vocabulary. Many many years ago I was talking to my pastor about some issues that were vexing me in my life, and he wisely told me that word “should” took up too much space in my life – that it’s very judgmental, and needs to be used with caution. I listened then, and he was right, but it’s crept back into my vocabulary and I find it popping out far too often. I will substitute words – “I should mow the lawn” will become “the lawn could use a mowing – I’ll get to that soon”. Because I really will get to it, probably with less reluctance than if I’m telling myself I “should”.
This morning That Little Voice wrote about resolutions, and learning to “float” in her new life in San Miguel Allende, Mexico. She has recently moved there in her retirement, but has been a worker all her life, a person with goals, with “shoulds”, and is finding it somewhat difficult to learn to “float”.
So this year, I am joining those who adopt a word for the year instead of making a resolution – and my word will be “Gratitude”. Gratitude for the fact that I have a warm home, food to eat, my furry girl companion, my family, my friends, a life that has enough – enough love, enough everything truly. I will learn to float in my life, appreciating what I have, doing what I can, not worrying about what I can’t do, remembering that my goals do not need to be large. They can be as small as what to fix for dinner, taking my furry girl for a walk, buying that bottle of wine because wouldn’t the empty bottle look great with little fairy lights in it. I have spent my life accomplishing – time to float.