The end of the year is upon us and as soon as the champagne glasses are put away, we all begin making grand promises in an effort to become a better person. A new year is all about a new you. Whether you resolve to lose weight, work less, eat healthier, work harder, be more patient or be less negative, we have all made at least one resolution to mark the fresh start. After reading this article on Zen Habits, I decided to quash the self improvement urge. In 2012, I resolve to not resolve.
Don't confuse my promise not to improve as a refusal to grow or change. It's just that after seven-and-a-half months as a first time mother, I'm tired of feeling like I could be doing more. Doing better. Slowing down. Enjoying the moment. All while anticipating the next milestone and celebrating accomplishments. And then, wishing time would slow down; because after all, they're growing up too fast.
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As the Zen Habits article explains, people are constantly trying to improve themselves, but where does it end? "When is anyone ever content with who they are? We are taught that we are not good enough yet, that we must improve, and so … we always feel a little inadequate."
I think every mother has days where she feels absolutely inadequate.
I am one of those crunchy, attached parents who does not believe in any type of expert prescribed training or the like. I respect my daughter and her unique personality. I have never expected her to conform to my lifestyle or regimen. We have routines, but not a strict schedule. While I admit this is challenging, I don't believe it's any more challenging than working on some step-by-step method for improving her sleep habits.
Dare I say that on most days, I am the best mother I can be? I'm charmed by this idea of being happy with things as they are. Taking each day as it comes, giving it my best and resting my head at night knowing that I’m doing just fine. Leo calls it: embracing the art of contentment.
This refreshing idea doesn't just apply to motherhood. With the added responsibility of raising a human being, I've become exhausted with trying to micromanage the household tasks. In the past several months, my house has been a bit messier, my clothes have been a little sloppier and my to-do lists have become extinct. The world won't end if my husband forgets to take out the trash, so why should I waste my energy trying to get him to remember that it gets picked up every Wednesday morning? 6 Tips For A More Compassionate Relationship
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For me and my family, 2011 was a year filled with tragedy. Aside from the birth of my daughter, it was without a doubt, the worst year of my life. Without going into detail, I'l just share that the untimely deaths of my 14-year-old cousin and my closest friend who was pregnant with her second child inspire me to move forward with this non-resolution.
If our time on earth is so precious, and can end at any moment, why spend it with our noses buried in self-help books?