New Year, New Role

I have big plans for this year.  I’m a notorious list maker, so of course I would have a list of resolutions and plans for 2013.  In fact, I found this awesome website that I’m using to keep track of them ( and that I’ll be adding to over the next few days.  But as I’m starting this year as a mom, and as the mom of a daughter, I’ve got a few goals for the new year that don’t quite fit with the style of the website.  So I’m listing them here in the hopes that having them written down will keep me honest.

1. Care less about weight; care more about health.  Sure, one of my goals is to lose weight.  Everyone’s is.  But my goal is to think of it as getting healthy and agile for Olivia, rather than getting thin and svelte for everyone else.  I’m not trying to get to 120 pounds; that’s not realistic for me or my body type.  I’d like to lose 50 pounds to get down to an average weight, and stay there, so that I can be healthy and confident and fit.

2. Work on finding a permanent career that I’m happy doing.  I love teaching, but I don’t want it to consume my life, and it always, always does.  I love writing, but no one’s paying me to do that yet.  I enjoy my part-time/temporary work-from-home jobs, but no one’s offering a full time position doing that at present.  I want a job that I’m proud to do, and I was proud to work with kids who needed good teachers.  If I could find a way to combine all of the above, that would be ideal.  I want Olivia to grow up seeing her mom happy and fulfilled with what she’s doing, and I want her to grow up thinking her mom is smart and successful.

3. Try to be the best version of myself.  Obviously, I am cranky and sarcastic and have a wildly inappropriate sense of humor.  That’s who I am, and I can’t change that.  And honestly, I don’t want to.  I think that my sense of humor and Husband’s sense of humor are going to help shape Olivia into a smart, sassy, sarcastic girl.  But crankiness and sarcasm aside, I think I have some good qualities that I want to ensure shine through this year.  I’m a reader, and I need to read more so Olivia grows up seeing that as the ideal form of entertainment.  I’m soft-hearted, so I want Olivia to see me giving change to the homeless and holding the door for others and “paying it forward”.  I’m not perfect, and I won’t try to be.  But I do want to show Olivia as she grows up that there are many different ways to be a good person.

4.  Try to SEE the best version of myself.  My humor is self-deprecating by nature, but by and large I also don’t always think of myself in kind terms.  I think part of this is that I am a perfectionist, and a list maker, and I have never been to a point in my life where everything in my personal to-do list is checked off.  In short, I am never completely satisfied–with appearance, or financial standing, or personal achievements.  I think the other part of this is that it is an inherent part of most female brains to look in the mirror (either actual or metaphorical) and think, “Not enough.  Not good enough.”  I want Olivia to always look in the mirror (either actual or metaphorical) and think, “I am enough.  I am more than enough.”  I would like to break the cycle of wishing one were different or somehow better than reality.  It’s one thing to strive to be a better person; it’s quite enough to always feel like you are a less valuable person than you actually are.  I want Olivia to see herself exactly as she is, with no imagined flaws or perceived faults.  If she wants to improve herself, that’s fine, but not in order to “fix” things that aren’t broken.  And in order to help her be this way, I have to model it for her.

So in addition to the small goals, the goals that can be accomplished in a day, these are the overarching goals.  These won’t be accomplished this year or next.  They’ll be a process that I go through every day, reminding myself and pushing myself.  But it will be worth it, I hope, so that Olivia grows up with confidence in herself and confidence in me.


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