In the past, I made resolutions to be “better” — better daughter, better student, better blah blah blah…. Aspiring to be better is cool, but it’s also ambiguous. Be better how? By doing what? I’ve since learned that I should be more direct about what I want, and specific about how to get there. I still resolve to be a “better” person in 2012 because onward and upward is always the right move. So in that spirit, below are a few New Year’s Resolutions that I think will serve the cause.
I resolve to live right. This means I will work toward better physical and financial health. Every few weeks, I’m disgusted with myself because I can see clearly that I shouldn’t have had that extra chicken, or I shouldn’t have bought that second pair of shoes. Food and financial matters are the bain of my existence. As an unabashedly proud Aquarian, I celebrate autonomy in every imaginable way. I refuse to succumb to limitation; I can and should have whatever I want, when I want it. Just one more jacket? Suuuuure…it has elbow patches! Another chicken wing? Yep. Bag it up.
But the hedonist’s rhetoric is, at times, as empowering as it is impractical. Because two weeks later, when a double chin emerges and my bank account is light as a feather, the left- over excitement from those moments of superfluousness are long gone. And really, I just want my coins and my waistline back. They say when you know better, you do better. Thus, as much as I want it all now, life has made it quite clear that, for some shit, I’mma just have to wait.
And when it comes to decadent, sinfully delicious things, I’ll keep my indulgences few and far between. To paraphrase a friend, nothing tastes as good as a flat belly in a tight shirt feels.
I resolve to get a tailor. Here again, when you know better, you do better. It drives me crazy knowing that some of my shirt and jacket sleeves are too long. My garments would be well-served by a little love and tenderness, a nip here, and a tuck there. I resolve to be sharper, more crisp. I may not have a million bucks yet, but I’ll be damned if I won’t look like I do.
I resolve to let folks be accountable for themselves. I have a tendency to want to save my loved ones from destroying relationships and burning bridges. One of my mantras has been, “you don’t have to do that with me.” In other words, you don’t have to be conniving or guarded, irrational or petty, shady or shitty with me. I’m an Aquarius which means that, from jump, I respect your right to do or to not do the needful as you see fit. I get to compartmentalize you accordingly, of course, but the relationship itself can remain in tact.
I can affirm my proficiency with the five love languages — words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. My love isn’t marked by ambiguity; when I love you, I show it. And if you pay even the slightest bit of attention, then you can’t miss it. Thus, if one squanders my affection, then he or she has made a valiant effort do so. It’s only fitting that I reward such hard work by letting him or her live with that choice. The emotional roller coaster is so yesteryear.
As a corollary to the previous resolution, I resolve to seek some help for my mama situation. You can see here, here, and here that it’s been a struggle. When I think I’ve got it, I realize I don’t. And when I think I can manage the disappointment I feel with how my family now interacts, I realize that I’m not as good at it as I think I am. Although my friends have been incredibly supportive, and they give great advice, I’m open to professional reinforcement. I miss my mom and I miss my dad, and I miss the way things used to be. I know it gets better and easier in time, but I have trouble accepting that the strained relationship between my parents and me will become easier to deal with, and that I’ll get better at it. I don’t like the strain, and I have to admit that I need a little help getting through that part.
I resolve to graduate. I’ve been in graduate school for 7 years now. That’s 7 whole years after most folks got their degrees and went on about their way. And yet, I don’t regret the extra time I’ve spent in school. In fact, what I’ve learned and what I’m now able to share through teaching feels amazing; it feels worth the extra years. But still, it’s time to move on.
The PhD process is indeed a process — it’s littered with false starts, set backs, confusion, changes in direction, lack of direction. It is a mistress who expects and requires more time than you can give. And there’s no solace in giving your best. Because every day and every night, you know she’s there. Waiting ever-impatiently for your undivided attention.
In 2012, I’mma do right by her. I look forward to adding her name to mine — M.A.G., PhD.
I resolve to be more punctual. Time is precious, and people have things to do. It’s not cool to show up to their shit hella late. There’s “fashionably late” for acquaintances whose gatherings simply require you to make an appearance in an outstanding outfit. But for friends, if they’re doing the hosting (which includes the cooking), then the very least I can do is be on time.
Hey, at least it’s a start.
What about you? Any Resolutions? Any Resolutions ya got??