January 2, 2013

Skip Some Things

Note to self: When tearing computer apart looking for document written in first half of January, look under previous year's date. I wonder how many 2012 files I saved with titles like "20110102 Post About Something," considering how many 2013 files I've already saved with titles like "20120102 Post About Something"?


Well! We were certainly ready for everyone to go back to school/work today! Or, I was. Do you know what is difficult to do with five children and a spouse in the house? EVERYTHING. But especially anything involving putting thoughts into a more solid form.


I didn't make any resolutions this year, even though I always do. I was getting a little agitated about that, and then I heard Temerity Jane in my head saying, "There's no rule." It would be another matter if I were agitated because I WANTED to make resolutions and hadn't---but in this case, I don't feel like it this year, and all I'm agitating about is that I don't feel like it. But that matters not one whit. So I won't do it this year! It is okay not to do all the same things all the same way every single year! It doesn't BREAK anything to not be utterly, persistently, relentlessly, unnecessarily consistent!

It is odd how difficult this can be to remember. If I were going to do one of those "pick a concept to meditate upon for the whole year" things, that would be my concept. It's okay not to make resolutions this year, even though I USUALLY want to. It was okay not to write in the Christmas cards this year, even though I USUALLY want to. It was okay not to get out the special dishes for Thanksgiving, even though I USUALLY want to. There is no need to think of it as starting over at square one after ruining an important unbroken record, or as the first year of a permanent new way of doing things; it is nothing more than "not doing it this year."

In fact, if I were going to make a resolution, it could be "Skip some things that have been allowed to build up into feeling like an important unbroken record, to alleviate the unnecessary pressure caused by such build-up." That's a little bulky for a resolution. "Skip some things." That's better.


Tess said...

I actually LOVE "skip some things" as a resolution. And also "there's no rule."

PLUS, maybe you WILL feel like it later in the year, when all of the New Year stuff has died down, and then it will be like a SPECIAL SURPRISE! WHEEE!

Happy New Year!!

Temerity Jane said...

The "there's no RULE" realization is possibly one of the best, most freeing, most OH I FEEL LIKE I KIND OF NEED TO DO A SMALL DANCE RIGHT NOW realizations in the world, and it's also one of the best ones because you get to have it over and over and over for your whole life.

Also, I have a lot of those "am I doing this because I WANT to, or because I feel like it SHOULD be important to me?" I actually find I KEEP a lot of items because I feel like they SHOULD be sentimental to me. When we move this spring, I'm forcing myself to do a lot of throwing away. Ruthless throwing away.

Amanda said...

"skip some things" and "there's no rule" = perfect. I think you've nailed it for a lot of us.

kate said...

"There's no rule" is a much better resolution than any of the ones I managed to make -- might have to change my mind and borrow it.

Erica said...

I always want to comment on your posts then I worry for dumb reasons and don't. Today I break the silence! So I love "skip some things." In fact, it has been a big focus of mine for years. I think I am on the other side of it now. Like I have untethered myself from so many traditions that I have nothing left to cling to. Which is okay I guess. This year I added Santa to Christmas one reason being we hardly have any traditions. I feel unmoored. Could also be because we just moved.
Anyway not trying to scare you into remembering to do all the things! In fact, I think it's a great and very zen process. I guess the next stp would be deciding which things to add/keep and that's where I am finding myself.
I love your blog. Your thoughts are so great - I love reading!
Happy new year!

G said...

I just want to say that my children and husband haven't gone back to school yet. And won't until NEXT WEEK.

I am skipping lots of things right now in order to not kill anybody.

el-e-e said...

Love it! There is no unbroken record we have to keep up! Best wishes for your 2013, Swistle.

artemisia said...

"Skip some things." = nirvana!

My resolution is to not make any. I am going to just let go and like who I am, as I am.

Nicole said...

YES. I have felt guilty every single winter break that I haven't been out ice skating with the kids, why aren't I teaching them to ice skate, I should go buy some goddamn skates...when I realized, why? Why am I obsessed and guilty over this? Am I insane (possibly yes).


CARRIE said...

I think "skip some things" is a genius way to live....not just as a resolution for a year for a mantra for life.

Bibliomama said...

You are SO SMART. I did get to the point in the last few years where I brought up the decoration boxes, put out as many decorations as I felt like and then just put the boxes back downstairs without feeling the pressure to put EVERYTHING out. Although I do really need to store the kids' stocking hangers together this year. That was not a smart one to let slide.

Gigi said...

"Skipping things" has been my MO for the past few years. Now that things are looking like they are tilting back to normal, you can be sure that I will be VERY careful about what creeps back in. Happy New Year!

HereWeGoAJen said...

I really like this. It's something that tends to be hard for me. Like I have been feeling guilty that I didn't make cutout sugar cookies this year and that I bought Elizabeth's birthday shirt instead of making it. But really? WHY am I feeling guilty over that? No one cares!

Trudee said...

That sums it up so well. I've been working on 'skip some things' for a few years myself. Also, I'm an editor and I often talk at work about having a 'consistency disease'. But I find, when the consistency stuff drags me down in my real life, I have to reframe it. So, for example, you're still being consistent if you do something the years you feel like it and don't the years you don't. That is still consistent. So it counts! This doesn't always work in every situation, but it's helped me a number of times.