It is fitting that this post would be late, given it’s content, unrealistic expectations. However, the reason for its tardiness is that my laptop crashed (yes, my less than 5-month-old laptop’s hard drive mangled itself with all my info on it, *sigh*), and try as I might, I couldn’t locate this file on January 1. Anyhoo, I found it today and I think it’s still worth sharing…
If you know me you know that I don’t do new year’s resolutions. I long ago resolved to be the best version of myself that I’m capable of being every day. Some days I shine like … something really, really shiny … and some days I suck the light right out of my space. But every day I try to be the best I can, to give every day all I have to give. And every day I go to the well (yes, the one for which this blog is named) and I refill. The well of living water. I live at that well. I can’t live apart from that well. If I stray from that well I quickly sink into the quicksand of despair, become toxic to myself and those around me, and claw my way back to the well as quickly as possible.
I set difficult, sometimes unrealistic goals for myself during the year, and I modify them as needed. I long ago decided to stop setting unattainable goals for myself on January 1 that would leave me feeling inadequate, inept, unworthy and often fat, ugly and stupid. People battle this type of thinking all year long – why set ourselves up on the first day of a brand spanking new year to flop horribly in, statistically speaking, approximately three weeks?!
No, you won’t find me declaring at 12:01 on January 1, 2018 that I resolve to lose 10, 20, 30, or 50 pounds in the coming 12 months. If it was that easy I wouldn’t need to declare such a thing. I would simply do it. Nor will you find me vowing to stop drinking, or eating sugar, or swearing on January 1. Instead, I try daily to learn more self-control with the help of the Lord (because without his help … well … you wouldn’t like me much and neither would I).
I openly decry the notion of new year’s resolutions, without shame or reservation. Because we beat ourselves up plenty 365 days every year; I think it’s a horrible idea to choose one day each year when we vow to achieve unrealistic goals and then bludgeon ourselves emotionally when we, predictably, cannot or do not achieve them.
I’d rather see us all make a commitment to ourselves and to God every day that we will strive to be present, that we will strive to be kind to ourselves and others, and that we will do our best that day to be more Christlike and to stretch ourselves to live fuller, richer lives that further the kingdom of God every day of every year, and then take positive steps to grow in those areas. We all have room for improvement and we can all take measurable steps to move into that improvement. One day at a time. Realistically.
That said, I have a delightful habit of keeping a monthly journal of major events and accomplishments and then reviewing them on December 31/January 1. It’s such a joy to see what I’ve accomplished, overcome, and celebrated throughout the year, with God’s good grace! I encourage everyone to spend their time reviewing the past year in a positive light instead of setting themselves up for disappointment and self-recrimination in the next!
May you have a fulfilling, joyful, blessed and peaceful 2018!