This time of year there is a lot of talk about change. People resolve to change their bodies, change their habits and change their lives. It’s true. You can simply skim through the Target sale ad for proof. What’s on sale? Exercise equipment for those wanting to change their bodies. Monthly planners for those wanting to change their hectic schedules. And storage boxes, bins, and baskets for those wanting to change their closets. This time of year, it’s all about change.
I’m resistant to change.
I used to make resolutions but then sometime around Valentine’s Day of each year I’d notice that those aforementioned resolutions had vanished into thin air. So much for change. What really soured my taste for change, though, was my mother-in-law. Our relationship is far from pretty and really quite complicated so I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that she was the one who ultimately left me feeling as though change was a four letter word.
It happened when she came to visit for my son’s first birthday party. The day was a hectic mess, thrown off by an ill-planned sink replacement in my kitchen and a monsoon storm that threatened my outdoor decorations. My type-A personality was not to be deterred, though. My heart was set on the perfect party and the perfect party we would have. With plenty of help from my willing husband, the party was salvaged in the end, despite the fact that my mother-in-law stood defiantly by, hampering our efforts every step of the way. For reasons I’ll never understand, she wanted to see me fail. She held out hope for a flop of a party, most likely just so she could deliver a jab of an I told you so. And when the visit had come to an end and she said her goodbyes, she made sure to tell me that I’d have to change my perfectionist ways if I wanted to fit into her family.
You can imagine, then, that I was determined to do anything but.
This year, I did make a list of ways that I wanted to enhance, enrich and improve various aspects of my life. Suspiciously lacking, though, is the word change. My list of goals includes bullet points like:
• Cook with kale more often
• Take an online photography class
• Perfect a sangria recipe
Admittedly, I love that that last one thumbs its nose at my mother-in-law in its embrace of those perfectionist ways she’s so opposed to. In fact, I’m happy to report that nary a one of the twenty-five bullet points on my list (see it in its entirety on my blog at www.suchthespot.com) mentions the ‘c’ word.
I recognize that the New Year presents a great opportunity for a fresh start. But rather than focus solely on change, I prefer to acknowledge that which I’m getting right and build on that solid foundation. The opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come, after all, shouldn’t go ignored.