I’ve always made it a rule not to make any resolutions on January 1st. Times, though, they are a changing. For instance, since mid-November, I’ve lived by myself. This is a new and not entirely unpleasant development. I never, ever thought I’d be on my own – not even when The Man and I broke up in early 2018, likely because I immediately moved on to first one guy, then back to The Man, and then to another guy.
Lately, I’ve been making it a point, though, to do more things on my own. Me, the person who still won’t even eat at a restaurant alone. I’ve even gone to several parties now as a single person, even when I was the only single person present. When I mentioned to my friend and hostess that I’d bring a man next time, she laughed and said, “Why, so you can spend the night in the kitchen with us avoiding him like the rest of us are avoiding ours?”
Fair point. And I suppose in my longing to return to the state of couple-hood, I’d forgotten what a responsibility it is to be with a partner. I would never be able to take a new person to one of these things and then simply run off with the ladies for four hours leaving him to fend for himself. Come to think of it, every time The Man and I would go to a party he’d kept himself fairly attached at my hip, which worked out okay because he often was so drunk, I’d fear leaving him alone for the things he’d say to and about others in his overloud, deep voice. I was never sure if he thought no one could hear the things he said or if he just didn’t care. What made it particularly painful was that he was so charming when he was sober, but then he was so rarely sober.
At one of the parties I attended on New Years Eve, one of the menfolk asked, “So when do we get to meet the guy making you happy?” And that gave me pause. Here I was at the end of the 2018, involved with not one but two very nice, good-looking guys who I genuinely liked, and I had to admit to myself that neither of those people was making me happy. Or rather, being involved with them wasn’t making me happy because we are all of us responsible for our own happiness. More to the point, I wasn’t with either of them on New Years, which, frankly, seemed a little strange. There was just too much drama when it should have just been light and fun. I’m truly not pointing fingers at them. Well, not all my fingers, at least. So New Years Eve this year, with that fellow partygoer’s question, found me resolving to only spend time with people who make me happy.
Then I did a bad thing.
Right before midnight when everyone who’s awake is either drunk (me) and/or happy and optimistic about the new year (also me), I sent two texts. Then I deleted both conversations, blocked both numbers and deleted the contacts. Ack!
I’m such a lightweight; I really don’t remember what messages I sent, not exactly. My hope is that it was somewhat kind or, failing that, just not completely crazy. If I’m lucky, it was both. Was this selfish and infantile behavior? You betcha it was. But it’s what I needed to get closure and just, you know, let go. My reasoning was this: no one I’m dating who’s left me alone on the last night of the year gets to spend any of the next year with me. Granted one of the guys was in another state, but in both cases these guys had just worn me out with their drama and baggage. In the end, it’s better to be alone than to be unhappy. If I learned nothing else from my time with The Man, I learned this.
Thus unencumbered and, as my life is largely directed by the men in my life, rudderless for all intents and practical purposes, I’ve decided to make resolutions this year. A checklist person, I don’t do well without a general plan or framework within which to navigate my life. My overall theme for 2019 is that this is the “Year of Yes” because I think I’ve told myself “no” far too often in the past, which is terribly limiting and frankly, makes life a big snooze fest. So that’s number 1:
- Say Yes
As a people pleaser, this saying “yes” thing might get out of hand. Saying yes to everything is impractical, and I might end up resenting that I agreed to do something that I really don’t want to do. I really can only agree to do something once I’ve given thoughtful consideration to whether or not I can commit my time, energy and other resources. In other words, I need to pray on it BEFORE I say yes. We’ll call that number 2.
- Pray/meditate on the yes
I have so many interests and enjoy moving from one to another fairly regularly. It’s not that I lose interest in the thing I’ve been doing. Not at all. It’s more like I’m now interested in this other thing. I may go back to that other thing may even continue it, but it’s unlikely it will remain my focus. The problem with this is that you succeed at what you focus on. And if you’re familiar with Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success you know that it takes 10,000 hours to really master something. Following that train of thought, I’ve not been giving myself enough time to get really good at anything, never allowed myself to get deeper into a practice so that I’m gaining the full benefit. I’m not just talking about hobbies but about relationships with others and volunteer activities, too. I need to make a resolution that I’m going to commit to this new thing to which I’m saying yes. So that’s number 3:
- Commit to the yes.
Oh, and let’s not forget my resolution on New Years Eve. I may have been a touch out of it when I made that one, but I think it’s a good idea always:
- Only spend time with people who make you happy.
That’s it – my framework for the New Year. I hope you have come up with a great plan for your next year. Wishing love, peace and happiness to us all in 2019.
Now let’s get after it!