There is a fine line between contentment and self improvement. This is what the January's of our lives are meant to teach us. The rhetoric of resolutions is everywhere...you should...change this...commit to that...Bahumbug.
May long weekend of 2015 we were trying to take all 5 kids on a fun family outing, so naturally there was a whole lot of whinning, fighting, some minor injuires and overall feeling of discontent. I drove home pretty discouraged. I thought of my friend Kristin who seems to be able to elicit obedience from any mammal, in a hilarious, up beat kind of way. I made a firm commitment in my mind that she was the kind of person I was going to try and be. About a week later I was out with Kristin and another friend and I shared this story with her mostly meaning to be funny and pay her a compliment. She stopped and in all seriousness said, "that's so strange because just the other day I was thinking to myself. I need to be more like you and take my kids to the park and get outside more".
We both laughed but an eerie profoundness had changed the mood in the room. In the same week (maybe even the same day) we both had wished to be someone else. Lightbulb moment: I didn't really want to be Kristin, I want to be me. I have unique talents and skills to offer my kids and I don't need to pretend to be someone I'm not.
It was May, but I was inadvertently setting a "New Years resolution". I'm going to be the kind of person my children want to follow. That is, I was going to be more real and more authentic and more patient with the hard days. That's not a SMART goal and measuring that progress is going to be a bit hard, but the idea is a whole lot more inspiring that a to do list of stuff that really won't made a difference. So this month, I haven't set any lofty, progress driven goals. I've decided to just be me.