In fact, I’m doing exactly that right now, for the third time today, as I attempt to craft a piece on resolutions.
This afternoon, it feels as if my resolution is to get through this post without further interruption from my energetic, engaging, five-year-old only child, who seems to love my undivided attention.
My days are defined by tiny resolutions like this. It’s taken me just about five years to be okay with it, too. Frustration and impatience sometimes help fuel a need to start over.
“Merriam-Webster” defines resolution as: something that is resolved.
My ways are perpetually in need of mending. They’ve needed mending since before I became a mother and had time to kill – those days when I had time to think about what my resolution would be, trivializing the entire point of making one in the first place.
Quit smoking (I was a social smoker for about 10 years), exercise more, eat better – all attainable goals, but ones that usually didn’t stick, probably because they were pre-determined or recycled from failures past.
In those days, I had nothing to prove to myself, no one to be a role model for. True, those days are not far behind me, but I am now a parent. I’ve wholly transformed into this behaviorally modified, upstanding citizen, a Type A proper parenting fanatic who I would have laughed at several years ago.
This former being, with whom I feel so scarily out of touch, this creative, reflective, lazy, carefree individual I knew for almost 37 years now floats above me, beside me, and underneath me. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her in the mirror very early in the morning or very late at night. She’s never that far out of reach, but the reach itself is such a struggle that I often give up.
Which brings me to my resolution for 2017 and hopefully beyond: to be in touch. Not just with my daughter, but with myself – the very person who created this amazingly carefree child who now defines my existence.
Be in touch.
Three words that pack a major zen punch. Looking at them right now, they speak volumes as a written sentence as much as they do as a mantra that needs repeating.
My daughter is completely in touch with herself, it sometimes feels like mockery, playful as it is. She has inherited a colorful (and sometimes disconcerting) imagination from her mother. She enjoys life. As cliché as it sounds, I can learn so much from her right now.
This kid produces the most incredibly entertaining one-woman shows using her creative mind and randomly selected household items. (I guess our decision to “buy minimal” has worked out, after all.) She’s happy. She wants for nothing. My work is done…for now.
It’s time for me. I step away from grading projects and papers. I leave the dishes in the sink. I return the vacuum to the hall closet. I look around. It’s winter, it’s quiet, and I’m tearing up as I write the final words to this unexpectedly cathartic essay.
I’ve got nothing but time, and maybe a few more magic markers, once again.