New Year’s is a time of hope. Wipe the slate clean. Begin again.
I was on a walk the other day, thinking about resolutions. Thinking about the word, resolve.
To re-solve. To solve something again–that it was once solved. So a resolution is a re-solution.
That means that once upon a time it wasn’t a problem.
We weren’t always overweight. We didn’t always drink too much, smoke, spend to much, or see our loved one’s too little.
So, a resolution is just getting back to that former state.
Think back, when was it that you weren’t overweight?
Perhaps your teens? Before kids? For some of us, we have to think back even younger.
But there was probably a time. You didn’t think about food all the time. You rode your bike. Played little league.
Your body remembers this. In sports, they call this muscle memory. If your body (or mind) has ever done it once, it remembers–and can do it again.
This works for more than just weight.
So I thought about it–I used to spend copious hours on my bike as a kid. I can bike now. I used to sing for the heck of it. I can sing in my car. I used to draw. I think I’ll go outside and draw that live oak tree in my back yard.
Sometimes we make things so big and so hard. Simple pleasures are deeply satisfying.
We buy too much, eat too much, smoke and gossip because we’re trying to fill a hole.
We have to (at least I know I have to, I have no right to speak for anyone else) learn how to be with ourselves–and be content.
To be content is to have content. (Sorry, I’m a word-nerd)
To have content is to have substance–something meaningful that fills up space.
I love the word contentment. To be deep in joy–to belong–to not want to be anywhere else or with anyone else.
According to GoalGuy.com, here are the top ten resolutions: (every site I researched had a similar list, so it’s pretty much a given)
Top Ten New Year Resolutions
1. Lose Weight and Get in Better Physical Shape
2. Stick to a Budget
3. Debt Reduction
4. Enjoy More Quality Time with Family & Friends
5. Find My Soul Mate
6. Quit Smoking
7. Find a Better Job
8. Learn Something New
9. Volunteer and Help Others
10. Get Organized
This list tells me we’re all pretty much alike. There’s things we need to stop doing–other things we need to start. Push and Pull.
So, just for fun, I propose a Top Ten Caregiver’s Resolution List:
1. Sleep. Sleep more. Sleep any where, any time, any how. Dream of uninterrupted sleep.
2. Not totally blow my top at any one–a nurse, my loved one, the pharmacist…this could be tough (especially when you’re dealing with Alzheimer’s)
3. Not eat my way into oblivion–food is not my best friend (repeat 10 times a day)
4. Remember where I’m driving–zoning out is dangerous–I may need a loud buzzer horn or taser. Stess causes zoning out, I’m sure.
5. Walk every day. Even if it’s just to the mailbox. Walking is good. Sun is good. I need this.
6. Get out and meet people. Normal people not in the health care/elder care profession. There’s a great big world out there and I need to see it once in a while.
7. To actually want sex and intimacy and do something about it. Sex drive? Is that like, four wheel drive? Yes, i remember….vaguely.
8. To get dressed in something other than a jogging suit–something NOT with an elastic waistband. This relates to not eating a whole frozen pizza and walking to the mailbox, doesn’t it?
9. Do something for me, just me. People do that? Lunch with a friend, getting my nails done, putzing through an antique shop–caring for me is actually part of caregiving…who knew?
10. Ask for help. Pray, cry, meditate, journal, scream, go to a support group, go to church, ask for respite care, pay for care for an afternoon off, try adult day care for my loved one. Ask, ask, ask–caregiving is not a lone sport. It takes a village.
Fear is a big woolly monster trying to gobble up your precious days. Turn around and face it–yell big and loud–“I’m not afriad. I can do this.”
12. Attitude of gratitude. Each night before I go to sleep, I ask myself, “what was the best part of the day? Usually, it’s a dragonfly who stopped right in front of me–or a neighbor who gives me a big smile when she sees me. It’s the small moments that stick. Being grateful in a time in your life when so much is beyond your control is a way of turning the tables in your favor. The more you’re grateful, the more you have to be grateful for–it’s like a fan that keeps expanding.
Just like the other list–things to stop doing, other things to start. Push. Pull.
New Years is a magical time. Resolutions represent hope. Hope for change. You already know how to do this. After all, it’s just a re-solution.