New Year’s Resolution? Hah!

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

Well, that could be the shortest blog ever.

It does raise an interesting question for me: If I never keep my resolutions, why do I keep making them? To answer that, I had to sit down and take a painfully honest look at the three big resolutions that keep popping up every year.

Lose weight. Yeah, that’s always on my list. So why don’t I do it? I like food. I hate exercise. Pretty simple equation. Every year, I have stronger incentive: it’s harder to lose as I get older, I have kids who need me to play with them, my sister had two heart attacks in her early forties, etc.

The past year and a half have given me more reasons to gain and even stronger reasons to lose. My new limited mobility makes it harder to exercise and easier to sit on my ever-increasing butt. But the heavier I get, the more difficulty I will have in continuing to recover. If I ever want to walk normally and live without constant pain, I absolutely must lose weight.

I refuse to be one of those fat ladies using the scooter at Wal-Mart.

Finish writing my novel. Another repeat offender. I haven’t followed through on this one because I’m a champion procrastinator. I’ve got a house to run, kids to raise, meals to cook, etc. I can always find something that has to be done, something that I give higher priority than my writing.

It probably has something to do with fear that I’m not as good as I like to think I am. If I never finish the novel, it can never be rejected by a publisher. If I never finish the first one, I never have to worry about following up with a second one. If I never finish, I can’t fail.

Wow, that’s really stupid.

I have to set this one again. Now that I am physically unable to go back to work, writing seems to be the only job I am qualified to do. And since our government says I am not disabled, I have to find a way to earn a paycheck before my lost-wages checks run out. This is my only employable skill.

My car accident took away so much, but it also gave me an incredible opportunity to focus on writing. I can’t waste a chance like this. It’s life’s way of forcing me to put a positive spin on a terrible event so I can haul my ass out of self-pity.

Be a better Mom. Don’t all parents make this resolution? We all should. In a way, I do keep this one, simply because I keep trying to improve. There is no perfect mother in this world (although the Big Guy will argue that his mother is perfect), but sometimes doing my best is just the best it’s going to get. My kids are clean and well-fed, and they know their mommy loves them. They may not get the best help with homework or the most consistent discipline; they eat far too many meals on TV trays instead of at the table and sometimes they wear the same pair of jeans two days in a row because I’m behind on the laundry.

But at the end of the day, the last thing any one of my kids hears from me is “I love you.” They look out for each other, and they treat others with respect. They know they are loved and they know that they matter, and there are days when that just has to be enough.

And that’s my resolution list for this year. I’m going to leave off most of the others that just aren’t going to happen: Keep a cleaner house. Read Anna Karenina. Learn Spanish.

Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

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