“Do you have any resolutions?” I asked my friend the day after New Year’s Eve.
“No,” he answered. “Why should I disappoint myself?”
My husband and I laughed along with him, but the truth is, I’m always on a self improvement mission. When I look at my old journal entries, I see the same list of goals over and over again:
- Lose that flap of skin hanging over my waistband.
- Eat more healthfully.
- Avoid carrying a credit card balance.
- Get a new job.
- Blog more often.
- Network more.
I’ve started throwing out old journals (sacrilegious, I know) because I’m embarrassed by all the promises I’ve broken to myself and also by the whininess of my voice. I’m a toddler in a 40-year-old woman’s body. I’m tired of not measuring up. I’m never firm enough, outgoing enough, organized enough, tough enough.
The articles spilling into my email box and the tweets on the web only reinforce the belief that I could and should be doing more. 5 Habits of Productive People. How to Write Better Emails. Why Your Kids Don’t Listen To You.
Here’s a blog post: Why I Feel Like Throwing Myself Off a Bridge Because of This Self Improvement Madness.
Then there are all the social sciencey books spawned by Malcolm Gladwell and Gretchen Rubin about success and creativity and happiness and how to develop the habits to get there.
This year, I’m aborting the mission. Improvement is a marathon I will not run. 2015 will not feature a Better! New! Improved! me. 2015 will simply feature me, a worn floor model piece of furniture with some scuffs on her.