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September Resolutions
Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a variety of newspapers. Here's today's!

New Year’s Resolutions are traditionally made, and broken, in January. My resolutions, though, tend to rear their ugly heads in September. That’s when I re-evaluate my life, figure out what I want to do differently, and attempt to craft our fall schedules so that these have a modicum of a chance of succeeding.

And every year my resolutions all have to do with the same thing: I’m going to make breakfast more of a priority, rather than being a free-for-all. I’m going to exercise more, and I’m going to stop eating out so much. I don’t know why I bother to plan all of this. I could just thumb through my journal from last year and say “ditto”.

Resolutions have a way of making us feel like pond scum because we never actually live up to them. Lately, though, I’ve been realizing that even if my resolutions sputter, I have come a long way.

If you look at a snapshot of your life from ten years ago, chances are you’ve improved in a lot of areas, too, even if your waistline isn’t one of them. Go back even further and it’s almost laughable.

When I first was married I was overwhelmed with how much my mother-in-law could do that I couldn’t. She could cook a turkey dinner that would serve a small country without the aid of a recipe book. She could keep her house spotless, and still have time to put her feet up at the end of the day. I had crumbs all over my counter and laundry that was never folded.

Over the last decade and a half, though, something miraculous has happened. Every night, those crumbs disappear. The laundry tends to reside in drawers rather than on floors. And I, too, can whip up a turkey dinner without a recipe book.

I used to think that some people were just gifted at doing “life”, and some were life-challenged, like me. But now I realize it’s not always about skills. Sometimes it’s just about practice. And when you’ve been living on your own for twenty years, you figure out how to pay the bills, and how to clean up so you can have company over, and how to dress so you look professional, and how to talk to department store repair people without feeling intimidated. It’s not anything magical. It’s just that you’ve been doing it for so long that you get good at it.

When my children were little the house resembled a tornado touch down. Today it does not. It’s partly because they’ve grown, but it’s also because I’ve learned how to clean. If I were to have babies today, I think the house would be neater (though probably not as fun). I’ve developed routines to get life under control so that it becomes second nature.

If you’re beating yourself up at the beginning of this new year because you feel disorganized, just pull out an old photo album and look at how far you’ve come! Even simple things like how awful that haircut looked back then and how ridiculous your fashion choices were can make you feel immensely better about yourself today. And just look at how frazzled you looked back then!

Maybe, though, you feel like you’re still in the middle of those frazzled years. Don’t fret it. Simply by living, life often gets easier. We get practice. Practice at making a decent meal. Practice at putting our toys away. Practice at sharing our lives and our hearts. Hopefully practice at keeping our wallets—and our mouths—closed when necessary. And most importantly, practice at showing others how much we love them. And practice does a lot more for you than an endless list of resolutions.


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To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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3 Comments:

At 12:22 PM , Blogger Tonia said…

Thank you so much for this post. I've been down right depressed about how frazzeled I've been lately, but your right. If I go back 10 years, I can see a lot of improvment. Now I just need to keep going forward and keep on learning.

 

At 2:49 PM , Anonymous Ann Dunagan said…

Great article Sheila! I gave you a link on twitter about this one! Blessing on your day! ~Ann

 

At 10:15 PM , Blogger Pedro Garcia Millan said…

ALERTA!

La estafa automotriz mas grande en el territorio Mexicano…

Para MAS informacion pinche:

http://pedromillan.blogspot.com/

Gracias

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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