I think New Years resolutions are futile and stupid. For instance, it’s been 2008 for exactly six days and the crowd at the gym has already conspicuously thinned. Six Days. That’s embarrassingly ridiculous.

That said, there are things that I want to stop doing, and I concede the new year is as good a time as any. I don’t want to necessarily change because I feel guilty or have lofty self-betterment goals. I want to stop doing things because they irritate me, and my barely-dormant selfishness and both-sides-Irish temper don’t have the patience anymore.

Basically I am thinking this is a good way for me to be happier, because at best I replace negativity with positivity, and at worst I just got rid of excess negativity. Logical, no?

So here is a (partial) list of things I plan to knock off:

1. I will stop feeling badly that I sometimes have legit reasons to feel unhappy. I will stop comparing myself to those worse off in an attempt to guilt myself out of whatever I may be feeling.

2. I will stop assuming that everything I do, think, feel or want must be interwoven with Jon or the kids. I can have a self that can be its own because I am a different person, and it doesn’t have to reflect anything on my life. It can just be, with no inherent cause, consequence or weight.

3. I will stop letting everything I feel swing me so wildly, like I’m the last person in a skating game of whip-it.

4. I will stop feeling like my passionate personality equates immaturity or naivete. However, again, I will try to balance that with more equanimity and control. If I can get 2 and 3 down things would still bounce along excitingly, but without the feeling that I’m going to fall off soon.

5. I will stop trying to pretend I couldn’t benefit from some therapy. This should have been number one, that’s how indicative it is that I’m avoiding it. It’s disingenuous and tiring. Mostly it’s not fair to Jon and the kidlets. And since I don’t associate embarrassment with therapy, this is the dumbest one so far to have to write down.

6. I will stop over-reacting when the noise level gets too loud. I’ll buy some ear plugs, learn some coping skills, whatever. But my kids have the inherent right to be kids, and I can’t impose my sensory issues on them.

7. I will stop forgetting to videotape everyone more. I will surely regret someday when the little things I know I’ll remember.. inevitably fade. Pictures are great, but reliving the exact moment is incomparable.

8. I will stop forgetting that despite that this stage of parenting is least amenable to my hardwiring, it doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable and shouldn’t be revered. Live in the moment and all that.

9. I will stop letting my frustration show when the autism tests my patience. Period. It’s a double-standard with Lorelei and it’s number one in my parental self-flagellation.

10. I will stop feeling passive/aggressive. Well, let’s be honest, I doubt that will just stop. But I don’t like it, and I want to have more courage to confront things initially, so issues don’t build to the passive/aggressive stage. It’s a cop-out and weak.

11. I will stop eating only one small meal a day. Although it happened gradually, and surely has had something to do with the weight loss, I know it’s not good for my blood-sugar, much less my nutrition (thus health).

12. I will stop making sure everyone else has healthy food and vitamins, but then not take them myself. That’s just dumb and illogical.

13. I will stop not making it a priority to discover a new song or artist every week. Music carries me through life, and I lurve finding new things (so I can listen to them so many times in a row Jon threatens to stab himself in the ear).

14. I will stop procrastinating things I need to do – like oh, my Bradley studies or cleaning the bathroom – to write blog posts couched as lists that are helpful but not necessary at this exact moment.

15. I will stop under-appreciating my writing as catharsis whether I share it or not. Get a journal, Jen.

16. I will stop procrastinating about confronting my procrastination…Now.


Huzzah, I’m on my way. Happy 2008, all.