I regret nothing.

Happy New Year - What shall I resolve?One way I contemplated generating my New Year’s Resolutions was to look at what I regret.

The theory is simple.  If I regret not throwing a big birthday party for my kids last year, then I should resolve to throw one for them this year.

Hmm… sounds a little to simple.  There’s got to be a catch.  It can’t possibly be that easy.

So what is it I regret?

I really do regret not throwing that birthday party.

It’s not that I get a big thrill out of throwing parties (I don’t) or that I like to spend several hundred dollars for bad pizza and food coloring laden cupcakes.  I regret it because I promised I’d let him have a party.

I broke a promise to my son, and that stinks.

But it’s the WHY that stinks even more.  GoGo wanted to have the party at our house.  At the time, our home was still technically a construction site (it still is).  But it was also filthy and filled with boxes.  The boxes were because I’ve just been overwhelmed with the whole remodel thing.  And the filth is because it’s really hard to clean around boxes and construction.

But to a little boy, that means nothing.  All he knows is that I broke a promise.

On the positive side, the whole fiasco is exactly what it took to re-gain momentum on the remodel thing.

So how does that translate into a resolution?  Hmm… this is harder than I thought it would be.

(a)  I resolve not to make promises that I can’t keep.  I resolve not to say “yes” to my kids without counting the cost first.  I resolve not to let the house get messy like this again.  I resolve to de-clutter and finish unpacking. I resolve to invent a time machine and go back in time to change things so that the whole problem goes away.

or

(b)  I resolve to get the remodel finished and the house party ready.  When it gets there, I resolve to let my kids EACH throw a house warming party to show off their home to friends.

I regret the ten pounds I gained last year.

And to be honest, the ten pounds I gained the year before.   I also regret the days I haven’t spent at the gym, the jeans that are unwearable because they’re too tight, and at least SOME of the cheese enchiladas I’ve enjoyed.

I can’t change the past.  I can’t un-eat the cheese enchiladas (or the chocolate chip cookies).   But I can change the future.

My husband and I are negotiating an interesting wager on the subject.  He has a few pounds he regrets too.   We’ll see what develops.

I regret the waste.

I’ve spent a good portion of my time and energy the past few months de-cluttering.  After living out of boxes for most of the past two years, it has been a monumental task.

I’ve discovered that I own duplicates of a LOT of stuff.  Not just an extra set – more like THREE extra sets of measuring cups because the original set was packed away.  We won’t talk about the 42 extra pillow cases, the triple duplicate of a single copy of a book (it was on de-cluttering), or the twenty boxes of crayons.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

All those duplicates got donated to charity or given to friends or sold at resale prices.  I promise it didn’t hit the landfill.

But what a waste.  What a colossal waste of time and money.

There’s no telling how many HOURS I spent packing stuff into boxes, lugging the boxes from space to space, shoving the boxes around in my home… only to finally unpack the items, clean them, and donate them.

Pretty freaking stupid.

I resolve to learn from my mistakes and quit buying stuff I don’t need and plan my purchases more carefully.

I regret… … drifting.

I don’t know how else to put it.  I regret that there was a time when I quit setting goals.  I regret drifting through several years of life without a sense of purpose or accomplishment.

When my kids were born, life was so focused on raising babies that I just kind of stopped looking beyond surviving.  There were days when I felt like it was all I could do to hang on until the next nap.

What I didn’t understand what that surviving until nap-time was a valid goal.

There were other goals I could have sent when my babies were little.  They would have given me a sense of accomplishment, purpose and focus.  Stuff like resolving to get dressed in “real” clothes each day, resolving to have a face-to-face lunch with a friend each month, resolving to work a crossword puzzle every week, or even resolving to watch 30 minutes of non-animated television each day.

For a season, those would have represented a big challenge to accomplish.  They would have been good for me, and they would have kept me in the practice of setting (and achieving) goals.

Instead, I drifted.  I quit setting any sort of goal.

Long after I was done living from nap to nap, I was still thinking in survival mode.

I regret that.  Not because of the resulting chaos (although that’s yucky enough), but because of the loss of purpose and focus in my life.  I regret having a time where I questioned my own value and self-worth.  I regret that my drifting probably translated into a loss of respect from my kids and my husband.

Ouch.

(and that probably explains why i’m so adamant about setting goals these days.)

I resolve to set goals and be a big girl about it.  I resolve to not drift.

Is that all I regret?

No, but that’s enough.   I don’t want to beat myself up too much further.

I was right though, there WAS a catch to doing it this way.  Creating new resolutions out of old regrets isn’t easy at all.  But I don’t regret doing it.

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://thishappymom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/DSC_0036.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Houston Mom Blogger Susan Baker has a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood. She has two elementary school boys, one engineering husband, and one cat. She has a strange fascination  for eggs, socks, and books.  She spends far too much time on Social Media and at Target. She is crazy in love with her family.  She serves an amazing God.   She lives an ordinary life filled with wonder. [/author_info] [/author]

 

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. This is a hard post for me to read; I keep catching myself skimming, mentally going, “I know how THIS ends, because I could’ve written it.”

    Do you have a gym membership? If yes, and if it’s to the SAME gym I go to… we could maybe meet up there.

    I drifted a lot last year. Not this year. This year’s off to a rockin’ start.

    • I suspect many moms could have written this post, or one like it. All of us have regrets – we’re human and we screw things up without meaning to.

      To be honest, I’m not sure what our gym membership status is. I love the idea of meeting up, but the logistics may be complicated. Let’s chat and figure it out.

      Drifting… I’ve decided it’s the perfect word choice for what I was doing. This little series on resolutions has made me realize just how passionate I am about goal-setting (and more importantly goal achieving) these days!

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