A fearless hunt for the joy in life

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Looking back, I’ve had roughly the same resolutions every year: lose weight, eat more vegetables, get the promotion, never yell at the kids and be a better wife. They all seem like perfectly normal goals at the time, but, now that I’m reflecting on why my previous years resolve withered away come spring-time, I realize that it’s because they are all focused on me trying to become a more perfect me.
Don’t get me wrong, the best of intentions are wrapped up in my annual aspirations. After all, being healthier is good, job recognition and ascension are also critical as the years go by and surely never yelling at the kids and amping up my wife-game would be a win-win for the family, right?
However, it wasn’t until this week did I realize I’ve been going about resolutions all wrong. Every year I look at myself in December (which is likely the worst time of year to do a self-evaluation because I’ve been over-spending, over-vacationing, and over-eating for weeks), pick myself apart and decide the top three or four things I hate most about myself and then “resolve” to change them.
No wonder I’m throwing caution to the wind by March! Despite my best (and worst) efforts, I have never been able to achieve perfection. Not ever, not even for a day, and 2019 will be no different.
So what’s a girl to do?
This year, rather than make an arbitrary list of unmeasurable, unachievable hopes and dreams, I decided to take a bit more stock in the process. I’ve been spending more time thinking about what I want to get out of 2019, rather than what I don’t like about the current state of affairs. When I look back at the day, any given day, in the next year, what I want most out of it is joy.
It's so simple to say, “I want to be joyous every day,” but, in reality, I’m going to have to work on a lot of other sub-categories to get there. Happy people don’t pick apart the things they don’t have: they accept what they do have and are grateful for it. Happy people also don’t wish their lives away: they live in the moment and take pleasure in what the day has brought them. To get more joy in my life, I’m going to have to start truly letting go of all the perfectionistic tendencies that flood my thought pattern and run riot in my brain … these thoughts are no longer allowed real estate in my mind.
Of course, I will always want to have a size-four figure, a top-notch job, and be the Mrs. Cleaver version of myself – who doesn’t want those things? However, the difference for the months ahead is that I am going to try (very hard) not to obsessively focus on them. Every day I want to fearlessly hunt down the joy – stop for flowers, sing while doing the laundry, walk the dogs to the park, kiss the hubs, tickle the kids, and smile at the daily blessings. I’m certain I won’t score a perfect 365 out of 365, but, hey, perfection isn’t possible anyway.

Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Fulshear area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.

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