My New Year’s Resolution: The “Anti-Resolution” for 2018

It’s January 7th of 2018 and I’m finally getting around to my New Year’s Resolution. Yes, I know it’s a little late but my kids are still out of school, for some reason, and I haven’t had the head-space to consider it. My resolutions usually center around Diet & Exercise, so I was cruising the internet for “healthy options” (I was almost sold on the Whole 30 until I saw it forbade alcohol-Next) when I remembered a lecture I recently gave my daughters.
We were in a restaurant bathroom when they noticed an old advertisement on the wall. It was a picture of a voluptuous woman, who was thrilled about the eleven pounds she had just put on. The caption promised weight-gain for every woman, so “you too” could be so beautiful. My girls were flummoxed.
“So people WANTED to gain weight back then? WHY???
“Because,” I told them, “the world is constantly trying to sell us something. That’s why they’re always telling us that we need to fix things. They’re just trying to make money off of our insecurities.”
They both shrugged and we all walked out of the bathroom, as if I hadn’t just laid down a massive truth that should’ve changed how we felt about ourselves forever.
It’s true, though.
If you need proof, just take a stroll through your nearest art museum. You’ll find constantly changing images of beauty throughout the ages, including rolls of fat and tiny penises. If I keep focusing on changing my body, am I not just buying into that? Even worse, am I telling my daughters that they should, too?
That’s when I decided to focus my resolution on something that was less personal, like Making More Money. I started considering ways to redirect my time and build up the bank-account when I remembered another lecture I gave my girls, just last month.
We were driving through one of the exclusive neighborhoods in Dallas, and looking at the Christmas lights. My girls were picking out the houses they would live in, if they had that kind of money, when I decided to lay some wisdom on them.
“You know, every single one of these homes contains some kind of heartbreak. They might look beautiful on the outside, but life goes on like usual on in inside. There isn’t enough money in the world to protect you from sadness. Remember that. Money doesn’t change everything. There will always be dragons to slay.”
As a mother I’m always looking for those “Teaching Opportunities,” or as my kids would call them, “Ways to ruin the mood.”
It’s true, though.
Wealth can’t buy you happiness, so shouldn’t I focus my energy on something that’s more fulfilling? Shouldn’t I give my daughters a better example?
I started thinking about resolutions centered on Inner Peace, or some other form of Self-Actualization, when I remembered yet another lecture I gave the girls recently.
I think I was riffing on a line from the movie Parenthood when I told them:
“There will never be that moment in your life when you feel like everything is complete. You will never lose enough weight, earn enough money, or buy enough stuff to make you feel whole. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can come to peace with yourself and your life. Then you can focus on appreciating what you have, instead of constantly struggling for more.”
Yes, the 13-year-old rolled her eyes so hard at that one that she almost fell out of her chair. Continue reading →