Then I saw this quote in the Believing in Ourselves daily calendar:
I made no resolutions for the new year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning, and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.
—Anaïs Nin, novelist and diarist
Oh my god. Anaïs Nin (who I had never heard of before, so I'm learning something already today) totally clarified for me why I don't like New Years Resolutions.
I don't like New Years Resolutions because I'm already doing them every moment of every day for my entire life. I'm constantly judging myself based on the feedback I receive from the people around me: am I too loud, too introverted, too pushy, too big, too smile-y, not smile-y enough? I hold myself to an impossible standard of work ethic -- I need to be a more productive employee, a better wife, a kinder daughter, I need to blog more, write more, answer more emails, read more, review more. I need to take better care of my body, carve out more time for yoga and bike riding. I want to start another deconstruction, maybe two, maybe a dozen. My to-do list is easily a hundred items long. And when I stop and smell the roses and play video games instead or watch TV, it's always to the backdrop of a tiny little voice of blame: you should be doing something else right now.
This is normal for me, and -- I suspect -- normal for a lot of other people. There's a constant chatter in my brain of things-to-do, behavior-to-fix, changes-to-make. It's not debilitating for me in any sense; it's just the background noise of a socialization that asks for perfection. And because of this -- because I am already doing my darndest to be perfect -- New Years Resolutions seem like a laughable exercise. Make a decision to do something better? When am I not doing that??
So when someone asks you this year what YOUR New Years Resolution is going to be, feel free to give them this Anaïs Nin quote. And then tell them to go look her up on Wikipedia, because she is absolutely fascinating. Among other things, she is "hailed by many critics as one of the finest writers of female erotica". I'll bet you didn't know that, 'cause I didn't.
OPEN THREAD BELOW.