I am not a New Year’s resolutioner. New Year’s Eve is actually my least favorite holiday by a mile (hordes of people with the expectation of lots of midnight hugs and kisses is basically as bad as it gets for a tried and true introvert like myself). No, the start of a new year doesn’t foster in me a need to commit to planning for bigger, better, greater things … but shouldn’t it? Shouldn’t I list out five goals on a sheet of paper, so I can say that I, too, have big plans for 2016?
I could vow less screen time for our household, but since Nathan already watched an episode or two of Wild Kratts this morning while I thumbed through my Instagram and Facebook feeds … and my daughter is parked in front of the iPad as I type this, that one is already busted. I could strive to eat better or workout more, but then I’d feel guilty about the cheeseburger I had for lunch and probably the pajama pants that I’m still wearing well past noon, too. I could promise to write every day or return texts more quickly or travel more.
But I’m nothing if not honest, and I don’t like to make promises that won’t be kept. Being a better me is a lofty goal … maybe too lofty, for where I’m at right now. I think, for this year, I’ll settle for being MORE me. For embracing myself, with all my flaws. For making peace with my post-kids, post-3o body. For marveling at what I can still do and letting go of what I’ll never do (or wear) again. I think I’ll own my personality too, rather than wishing I was more outgoing, more gentle, more patient. I do quiet and serious quite well, and like to be a safe place for friends who need to talk and confide. My impatience ensures that the slower-moving members of my family aren’t too terribly late when it counts. And I may never be truly gentle and kind, but there’s no better teacher than tender hearts and minds.
The other day I was making pancakes, and Nathan came up and wrapped his arms around my legs and said in all seriousness, “You’re the best Mom I’ve ever had.” I chuckled and reminded him that I was also the only Mom he’s ever had … so didn’t that also make me the worst? But he just shook his head and said, “Nope … just the best.”
I’m under no illusions that I’ll ever be the best mom. I lose my temper and hide in the bathroom sneaking chocolates far too often for that. But maybe this is the year I own being THEIR best mom. Accepting that God gave them to me – and I to them – with a plan and a purpose in mind.
So no, 2016 won’t see a better me. There will be no new and improved; no list of goals to check my way through. But it will, God-willing, see me be myself. I’ll love my people and let myself be loved by them.
It will be a good year.