On New Year’s eve I found myself sitting with family and friends feeling on the outside of a conversation about resolutions. We were sharing our resolutions for the year in some attempt to make them stick. We all knew it, but no one voiced it. Making them stick. Oh, the biggest challenge.
I’d read a few days prior that rather than create lengthy resolutions, pick a word and focus daily on its meaning. Activity – a gentle reminder to be more active could transcend into improved physical fitness. Patience. Creative. Health.
Discipline – the word jumped out at me. That’s it. The core of my frustration for so long now. I reminisced about how disciplined I used to be and the peace that it brought me. Then, cancer while raising children. Sounds like an excuse, but it’s really not. Cancer brings chaos. Raising children brings chaos. Doing the two simultaneously, well that’s borderline insanity making. An inability to plan follows chaos and exhaustion follows the two. Being disciplined takes focus, energy and an ability to plan. Yes, plan. With cancer to the degree we experienced it, relying on the ability to consistently make short and long-term plans left our lives long ago.
As I sat listening to everyone’s New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise regularly, eat gluten-free, count carbs, avoid white foods, and limit added sugars, I realized I felt so out of touch with the conversation. Then it was my turn. I had nothing to share. I couldn’t even borrow someone else’s idea because none of them spoke to me.
Sure, I’d like to lose the weight I gained during the past stressful year – but that will come with discipline. My choice word. Discipline. Pasted on my bathroom mirror, in my car and on the refrigerator. Done. No need for a lengthy resolution.
Then a friend texted me last night asking about my resolutions for the year. I recalled an article written by Rachel Zimmerman on resolutions and featured on NPR. My reply was simple. Read, sleep, play and love. I must have reread those words I had written ten times before replying. That’s it. Connection and joy. What those of us most wish for on the heels of the chaos infused by cancer care while raising children and the loss of your
spouse. Connection and joy.
Read, sleep, play and love. My resolutions. Oh, and welcome back discipline.