Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

As wives and mothers, even "men" we sometimes get so busy with our responsibilities, our jobs, our many roles that we have to play everyday to so many people that we forget that we are valuable for so many other reasons.  We forget that we are individuals with needs, wants, dreams, etc...
We all think about our resolutions with the advent of the new year, but how many of us follow through?
We all have ideas about what is expected of us.  What neighbors, friends, and family expect of us, but sometimes we lose sight of what we should expect from ourselves. Are we being the best we can be?
We are miraculous, marvelous creatures who are capable of great things.
We are capable of learning, developing, and changing in such amazing ways.
We are individuals who have value, much more than we sometimes know.
However, we forget that our happiness is just as important as the happiness we try to provide for of those around us.
Now, I do not mean that we need to neglect our responsibilities, or roles, but we do need to remember that we have needs of our own.
We are talented.
We are smart.
We are industrious.
And some of you (like me) are a little mad with creativity waiting to burst out.
Not all of our talents and interests appeal to everyone, but who cares.
I learned very early in life that if no one understands you, or wants to play with you, it does not have to mean the end of the world has arrived.  It only means that you have to get creative, and you have to be yourself, and you have to (and this is important), you have to be okay with being alone.
I spent quite a bit of my childhood in the attic, up a tree, dreaming in the garden, or a small corner of the garage, or a closet that was just big enough to curl up with a notepad, pencil, crayons, and such.  In fact I still find myself longing for those quiet moments, without distraction, or onlookers.
But my point is, that you have to find what it is that defines you, and be okay with that.
You are an individual who is precious, talented, funny, wise, creative, loving, and full of a life, but we may be limited by your environment, the people you associate with and other things like not enough time in the day,  but what is worse is that we are limited the most by our own feelings of inadequacy.
Why would we try, if we don't feel like it matters, or that we matter?
I know that I have a truck load of issues of my own, but one of my goals, my resolutions, is to try to stop feeling that way.  It won't be easy, but if I want to feel better, I have to give it a try.  However, my husband reminds me all the time that "you can't try, you have to do".  He is good at that, but opposites do attract and I am not so good at that.
I have always struggled with my self-esteem.  I have never felt valued or valuable, but as I said I am working on it, and I guess that is what is important about resolutions.  We cannot put a time limit on "all" of them.  We cannot be too hard on ourselves for failing.  We cannot put too much pressure on ourselves.  We can involve others in our resolutions when it comes to the need for support, but change can only come from within.  We have to do the changing, and no one can do it for us.
So what do we do now.  What do we do with our resolutions?
Well, we think about what it is that "WE" need.  What is it that would help us to grow in those wonderful ways that God knows we can?  What is it that we have always wanted for ourselves?  I don't mean material things.  I am talking about what talent have you always wanted to develop, or was put aside for the responsibilities that have taken up our time?
What are you good at?
What have you suppressed, because you think that there is no time for it?
What are you wishing you could do that is positive and good for us?
That is the type of things that are most important to our growth.  It is not about the brand of clothing that you wear, what role you play in the PTA, what kind of trip you take, car you drive, or status you have in the community.  Those things may be important to you, and that is your choice, but what I am talking about is what it is that makes up your core self.  You are special, individual, unique, and loved by someone who knows what you are capable of, our Heavenly Father.  We just have to be willing to discover it ourselves, by whatever route you must take.
Of course I also have the goal of weight loss.  Of course I would love to find a great haircut, or hair dye that covers my grey really well, and of course getting out my p.j. pants and slouchy clothes, but one thing at a time.
My goals have to be met in baby steps.  I have to work on them slowly, and at MY pace.  I have to do it that way, to make it a part of my everyday life, or IT WILL NOT WORK!  I know that about myself.
I want to encourage you to make those changes and take those steps that will make your quality of self and life better, but try to be patient with yourself.  Change takes time, but there can be change.
Good luck and I'll let you know how I am coming along.  Wish me luck too.

"Dwelling in the world is part of our mortal test. The challenge is to live in the world yet not partake of the world's temptations which will lead us away from our spiritual goals."Robert D. Hales - Oct. Gen. Conf. 2002

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