New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not buying into any more self-improvement resolutions. We are enough. How sick are we all of the easy answer / schmaltzy narcissistic self help books? Ch. 1 Me, Ch. 2 Me, Ch. 3 Me.

I’m not buying into any more self-improvement resolutions. We are enough. How sick are we all of the easy answer/schmaltzy narcissistic self-help books?

Ch. 1 Me

Ch. 2 Me

Ch. 3 Me

Maybe my New Year’s resolution will be to think less about myself?

In the end, it is an impossible dream to self-centeredly aspire to some point from which all of our friends love us/validate us more than we do ourselves; as the friends, too, have the same hopes more times than naught of being so validated. And eventually, as we grow older, it becomes more and more clear that reality is not about me and the only peace comes from focusing on the other, as that is something we can actually do until we are old and grey, with great success.

Of course, how to best help our neighbor and show compassion is what we debate and consider in politics and religion—which brings the focus back upon ME and what I think; which then blends EGO, which is attached to MY opinion or MY party/sect affiliation (since none of us know completely the infinitudes of our creator or our neighbor).

And once you call my progressive or conservative ideals daft, we’re back to ME, ME, ME as it is so very hard to hold loosely to the house of cards from which we hope.

Life is complicated enough to live 500 years if we got beyond ourselves, but as most of us don’t, myself included, it may perhaps truly be the gift of men, as Tolkien put it, that we don’t live as long as the Elves.

I asked my family this morning if they had thought about New Year’s resolutions.  My 10-year-old daughter said, “Yeah, I have a few for Ronan!” (her 7 year old brother).

And, I thought about how ’perfect’ our family is… finding fault in others and not in ourselves. No more self-improvement and I found myself thinking - YEAH!  By golly, she is on to something.

Do you vow to make radical changes in your life to become a better person?  Read more, lose weight, get more organized, quit being negative, drink less, master the wine-reduction sauce, look gorgeous. 

Many resolutions I consider a bit of a waste of time—not being thin enough, not being funny enough, not being smart enough, not being a better cook. All of those concerns just cut the joy out of life and I don’t intend to waste my time any more. 

My true friends do not assess my weaknesses and failures in a deal-breaker manner that ends friendships. But they WILL notice when I get overweight or spend money frivolously or raise brazen children.

Being selfless must also mean being a role model and leading the Christ-like or Budda life, etc. It cannot mean neglect of self. But, in the end; on my deathbed, my friends and family won’t secretly think, “ya know, we would all have loved you so much more if you had only become a Colonel in the Marines and married British royalty!”

My mother-in-law, my father-in-law and my mother died very young from cancer, I have friends that are dealing with the effects of chemotherapy treatments & other ailments currently—their New Year resolution list might be non-existent except, to survive. 

And, for any of you that are in the darkness, illnesses, I hope you will find the hope to survive & fight to live. I say, do your best, find a can-do attitude, and be happy to see the year through, keep it simple, and survive… this is enough. Achieving the above it very difficult.

I learn from you and if my weight fluctuates, if I mix up my possessive plural nouns with my singular, does it really matter?   Those of you that are suffering know more than anyone, that this is such a waste of time.

So go out and tell your children and their childrens' children… wait, children’s er wait a minute… Sugar!


Some of the titles that made me giggle.

  • Building Wealth through Pyramid Scheme
  • The Secrets to a Happy Marriage by Tiger Woods
  • One Minute Lover
  • Self-Help from Charlie Sheen
  • Awaken the Looser Within

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Mark Wackerfuss December 28, 2011 at 12:00 AM
Good post Margaret... I want to relate a story on New Year's resolutions to folks. My wife and I along with some freinds went to Wendy's in Woodbury for a late lunch over the holidays. While we were there a couple of older gentlemen were in the restaurant ordering food, questioning how much items cost and digging in their pockets for money. They didn't have enough money for their items so they did not get what they wanted. While we were seated near them to eat our food one of the men went up to grab a bunch of ketchup containers which we thought was odd since they only had a small vanilla shakes. They proceeded to eat the ketchup out of the containers to supplement their small vanilla shakes. After witnessing this we inconspiculously gave the gentlemen some money to puchase more food. Pretty soon we saw many people from the resaurant give the men more money for food and the gentlemen went around and thanked all of us in the restaurant for our generosity. I don't know who they were and they didn't seem like "regular folks" in the community, but I was proud of my community for helping these folks out there that didn't have anything to eat at the Woodbury Wendy's restaurant. I hope that in 2012 we will all remember that there are folks out there that are deserving in life, whether they made bad life choices or are "down on there luck" everyone deserves respect and an opportunity to succeed with a little bit of help.
Michelle Scheuermann December 29, 2011 at 12:30 AM
I've kind of given up on resolutions as well. I'd like to think I'll do what Chris Brogan of http://chrisbrogan.com suggests: think of 3 words to describe your 2012. These aren't flippant 3 words, you should dwell on them, let them come to you perhaps. The problem is I'm never quiet enough to listen.


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