January 13, 2010

You Give Change A Bad Name

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.
~Author Unknown

Here we are...two and a half weeks into the New Year. 20-10...WHERE oh where is my AMAZING Get Ready Machine as promised in the Jetsons??? Sigh...Can you imagine??? I actually CANNOT conceptualize what I would do with the endless hours that I spend getting myself, or someone else ready to go someplace. With ALL that time why,I could...I could...solve the energy crisis (laughably not likely) or...take up marathon running (prominently preposterous)...um...keep up with the Kardashians....hmm...yeah...just-no thank you. Regardless, I would figure SOMETHING out...something delicious. It is a VERY good thing both Hanna AND Barbera are gone. Otherwise, they would SO be getting sued by some crazy cake munching American tizzied over the delayed delivery of pretend said wonder machine-right...about...NOW! What?!? I didn't MEAN me...Anyway, I prefer taking my crazy juiced-not caked. So aside from feeling obliged to snag a pair of metallic go-go boots and act as a stand in Bond Girl(007-20-10)-um...cause THAT girl fantasy knocks Barbie out cold...and heeled knee high boots in a garden full of glorious shades? Kick plastic stiletto's lil glossy pink toosh...). What else can we do while waiting for our space cars to arrive? (I'll take mine in gun metal gray with a sparkly finish please.) You know the answer to that question as well as I do. We can toast the bubbly to a new year. We can resolve in this new year with its new chances to make promises to ourselves that we have no true intention of keeping. Like when we set our clocks ahead in the mad hope that we will miraculously shave eight minutes off our best time. Imagining that we will leap out of bed promptly and gracefully. That our coffee will perk three minutes and twenty six seconds quicker and somehow taste richer, and our right shoe won't hide out under the darkest corner of the bed on the day that our hair took extra time to not turn out exactly the way we'd hoped. Then and only then will we magically be prompt-early even because we have "tricked ourselves" into it. It doesn't work that way though, does it? Because even in our usual flurry of activity we are smarter than we give ourselves credit for. In that panicked moment, when we glance frantically at the clock-we breathe a mammoth sigh of relief because we know that we have twelve minutes to race to said undisclosed location...and we also know we STILL won't make it-that STILL won't be enough-because we have an internal aversion to precise promptness. Time is many things:sneaky, shifty, evil... A friend? It is not. Yet still, like the clock "trick",we resolve. Every year, we resolve. We maintain our relentless, often foolish optimism and when the clock strikes twelve on the new year-we vow to ourselves that we will tame our cravings, minimize our faults, fade our idiosyncrasies, be more patient,more productive, shop less, be less impulsive, less sensitive, more brave, and less well...you.

So why do resolutions generally fall flat on their ray of sunshine faces before we witness the passing of January 23rd? It's not because we all couldn't use a little touching up or a tweak here and there. Nor is it because we should in any way refrain from bettering ourselves-expanding our often limited horizons.If we stop learning, cease to experience, retreat from challenges-we grow stale. We stop living, and just exist.Blah! Who wants that? If your life role could be played adequately by an extra? You're doing it wrong-and we all slack periodically-but there is a difference between a phase and a practice...although the one, effortlessly grows into the other. There are a few sabotaging factors when it comes to setting resolutions and seeing them through.

1. First, we make unreasonable requests of ourselves. In order for a resolution to be do-able by you, it has to ACTUALLY be-well, do-able. You cannot lose twenty three pounds in a week, quash seventeen years of bad habits in a day, or fix your faulty relationships with a crinkle of your nose. Unless you have a super turbo, tres magnifique wand? If you do- can I borrow it?? Set fair expectations for yourself.

2. The second fail factor is that we often set not one resolution, but multiple resolutions. Rome wasn't built in a day...and your massive reconstruction could take years and will likely overwhelm you at times. It took you a llloooonnnggg time to take on the unsightly traits, habits, pounds, dead weight in the form of sketchy time, energy and emotion-suck...it will likely take a lllooonnnggg time to unload them. Give yourself sufficient time...and take your resolutions like you take your days-one at a time. P.S.- if you drop your cute resolution ball one day? Pick it up and try again the next, don't be in a rush to retire it.

3. The third reason resolutions are well, often less than resolute? We don't accent the positive. As creatures that often view change as a negative, we inexplicably tend to focus on the "don't", rather than the "do". Okay so maybe this is another Jedi Mind trick (Geek-Chic)-but this one may actually work. Instead of "don't drink soda" try "drink more water"...Focusing on the things you want to do-could prove to be the missing piece to the positive alteration puzzle. Maybe you were just waiting for you to ask yourself nicely.

4. Finally, not to get all Shrink-y on you- but seemingly the changes we often want to make are symptomatic of deeper issues. If the deeper issue is not addressed, the symptom will continue. Perhaps an uglier, far less pleasant one will take its place-while the real cause grows and festers...(gross word-fester).Would be a bit like having stomach cancer and rather than investigating that further, od-ing on Pepto and Prevacid in an attempt to alleviate your discomfort. May make you feel better, but the thing you aren't looking at could wrap around you, poisoning you and possibly lead to your emotional, mental or physical demise...dun-dun-dun...I apologize for the dark turn. Aka- Get to the root so you don't get weedy.

Whoop-there it is...Heading into this new year of 20-10 clad in mini-dress or tux take your pick (Bond-ref again)let's by all means, get a little shinier, smarter, smilier and wiser. But unless we want our resolutions to turn out like another sad lil season of the Bachelor (they're not finding happily ever after THAT way, any more than MAC is having a Free Fab Eye Shadow Day...not gonna'happen-never,EVER,never)let's just not get crazy-er with our hope for change. Hope and change-both noble endeavors the one aiding and abetting the other. But? we already possess the shiny, smart, smiley, wise...they were gifted, some earned through blood loss, sleep loss, tear loss. It is the "er" we are seeking. So toss, delete, burn your list of how not to be yous...and pull a redo. Try making a list of the things you want to see in yourself, those qualities that you see if you squint, and make a plan of how to do it better...hence the "er" list...Ready? let's get "er" done.

“For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice."-T.S. Eliot


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