Friday, January 2, 2009

Turning Those Rants into Resolutions

This year I resolve to:

I resolve to "just say no" to the alluring drug of every holiday obligation: office parties, piano recitals, school programs, art fairs, and anything else that pulls me away from my family during the evening. Instead, I want to spend December singing carols, reading stories, sharing scriptures, and feeling home.

I resolve not to turn into a "wicked stepmother" of fairytale proportions on December 24, suddenly panicking over what's not done and taking it out on those nearest and dearest to me. I will not yell at anyone to help wrap, help assemble, help mail, help deliver, help organize, help clean, help cook, help decorate. I will not yell. Period. I will speak in reverent tones and spread nothing but joy on Christmas Eve. I commit now to a stress-free Christmas Eve, whatever the cost.

I will not allow my burgeoning to-do list to eclipse my morning workout. I will not eat a dozen of my own fresh-baked cookies on-the-run every day because I can't make time for a good lunch. I will not eat a steady stream of chocolate from 8 pm to midnight to help me stay awake. I will simply go to bed. And get up early enough to incorporate a workout into my day. I will take care of myself first.

Next year I will not have a cow when we bring up the Christmas china, only to discover that the contractors were not gentle when they moved the crate and the entire set is shattered. I will just be grateful we have food, and plates to eat it on. I will be grateful we had contractors work on our basement instead of doing it ourselves. I will be grateful Christmas is coming, with or without the special plates. I will not let anything so immaterial as a material loss get in the way of my holiday spirit.

While I love my innate flexibility and utter spontaneity, leaving too much to the last minute, or worse, to chance, is one of my biggest weaknesses. I will plan more and fret less. I will make a list and check it twice. I will make room for the most important things first.

Sure, we did the "giving tree," the donation to the food bank, the children's book drive, the open house benefiting Mothers Without Borders, and enjoyed participating in all of them. But I want to feel like we made a sacrifice as a family that made a significant difference. I resolve to set aside money all year long to do one significant act to bless someone else's life.

That was one of the most meaningful things I did last December, and I already have at least three more posts already written in my head. I'm going to prepare a few early, write a few more as they come to me, and be glad I have that time to reflect, and rejoice in those of you who take time to respond.

I'm actually glad this hit me this way this Christmas, because NOW I'm totally worked up, totally motivated to make changes, totally on board to start making progress NOW.
It feels good to turn those rants into resolutions, and hopefully by next December those rants will become raves. I'd love to hear your rants, and how you plan to turn them into raves this year.


Heather of the EO said...

Great idea, lady. I don't want to run around next year, trying to fit in every Christmas gathering. I want to put my family, our health, and the quality of our holiday first. (If that makes sense and doesn't sound too selfish :)

I hope things are calming down for you!

Heidi Ashworth said...

I feel bad about your dishes and think you have every right to rant, at least for a few minutes, about that but now I feel badly about how I yelled at everyone to GET OUTTA THE WAY and said things like "Can't you see I'm working here?!!" on Christmas Eve. I know better than to expect much help from the Big Guy or even the Little Guy (which makes it hard to ask for anything from the Middle Child) but I did think they could at least get out of my 3x5 foot kitchen whilst I attempted to turn out something actually decent for their Christmas Eve enjoyment. I resolve to plan better next year, too. This is why I'm not putting the Christmas cards I bought on sale Dec. 26th in the boxes of Christmas stuff. I will put them in a drawer where I can get to them Nov. 1st and get them all written out and addressed loonnnnngggggg before Dec. 27th (which is when they went out this year. just kidding. sort of)

Mrs4444 said...

I'm nominating you for a 2009 Bloggy Award (Best Writing of a Weblog). Thanks for sharing your gift :)

And thanks for the tips; I could do each of these as well!

Kazzy said...

Like I mentioned to you yesterday, I resolve to be more honest about my weaknesses and my feelings (which are often due to my weaknesses). I am determined to believe that I can be happy even if I have some issues which are visible. I am pretty good about net letting any holiday take over my psyche, so I have that one in order. But I do need to get that psyche more exercise throughout the year. Great post, and terrific resolutions!

Melanie J said...

I think this is a lovely list of resolutions.

Luisa Perkins said...

WOW, Charrette! Fantastic post. I love that you are taking action.

LisAway said...

I love the "making a list and checking it twice" :) I'm sorry about your Christmas china! :( And I just love all your thoughts here. I'd like to read them November of next year. . .

LisAway said...

I mean November of this year.

Kimberly said...

We are so, so similar. Or at least that's how it seems as I read through this post. Kindred spirits for certain. Remind me to read this post next November, okay?

Jessica said...

I love these. You are so right, now is the best time to plan for next Christmas and make it better. I'll have to read it again next year about Dec. 15th! I think I've been still trying to recover from Christmas- a good indication that I made it something it was not meant to be. And I've loved loved loved your 12 gifts posts! I haven't been commenting, but I've did savour every one of them and they stuck with me through all the craziness! Thanks!

Eowyn said...

I love that idea, turning the things I hated into resolutions. Will you re-post this in October?