Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Resolutions

I never make New Year’s resolutions. I mean, I often make new goals—they just don’t always coincide with January. This year, however, Lyndsay flattered me by including me in her Supermom Series and asked for some 2011 Super Resolutions. So, after much serious deliberation (a person has to take resolutions seriously, right? right???), I decided I’d make some New Year’s changes.

To be a better mom, I will savor, savor, savor. Sometimes the kids drive me crazy—especially when my 2 year old sends a plate of food flying across the kitchen; or when my mini-munchkin always seems to get her gas attacks at 2 AM. But savoring the good stuff and remembering to soak it all in without missing a moment is what I most want to do this year. I want to pause to smell my sweet baby’s smooth skin (even though there always seems to be a hint of puke). I want to close my eyes and stroke my big girl’s hair while we rock in the glider (even when she wiggles to get free). I want to tell my husband I had a GREAT day even when the girls were crabby. I want to love it all—even the whining—because time flies and my girls will be moms of their own before I know it. To make this goal concrete, I’ll list one thing I savored that day each time I post a blog entry.

To be a better wife, I will increase selfless service and decrease criticism. My husband, Matt, is a good guy. Actually, he’s a remarkable guy. And all things considered, we have a pretty good relationship. Our roles are complementary, our work ethics are on par, and our commitment to one another and the girls is 100%. But let’s face it, two words aptly describe our behind-the-scenes marriage: POLAR OPPOSITES. Have you ever read The Color Code book by Taylor Hartman? Matt is a predominant Red and I am an unflinching Blue. This is what the book titles the section on Red/Blue matches: “Blood, Sweat, and Tears.” It goes on to say, “No other combination of personalities must work as hard for successful compatibility,” after which the author lists zero pros of the relationship. As if being the most difficult personality opposites weren’t enough, we’re also opposites everywhere else, too. He’s a concrete-minded engineer. I’m a creative artist. He’s comfortable in a filthy pig sty. I’m a clean freak. He’s logical. I’m emotional. He likes safety nets. I like to take risks. He demands concrete results. I focus on motives and effort. He likes planning. I like spontaneity. He has a sweet tooth. I crave salty treats. He wants to go to sports events. I want to go to museums. He wants to watch movies. I want to play board games. He’s closed. I’m open. Shall I forget the basics—that he is a man and I am a woman? Heck, even the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, pinned us as complete opposites. His love language is “Acts of Service.” I scored dead last in caring about acts of service. My love language is “Words of Affirmation.” He scored dead last in caring about words of affirmation. Sometimes Matt asks me how we ended up together. Sometimes I wonder, too. Sometimes I laugh at the irony. And sometimes I cry. Sometimes I just shake my head, because I can manage to maintain a positive attitude through two months of hospital bed rest and four months of NICU, but I blow a gasket when he leaves his mail on the table. Sigh. So anyway, this year I am determined to be a better wife. I will attack the challenge of our polar opposite natures with the utmost knowledge that we will become the best people we can be because of, not in spite of, our opposite characteristics. So here’s my concrete, measurable goal for 2011: with each post on my blog, I will list some act of service I did for my hubby that day. Since that’s his love language, hopefully he’ll feel more loved in little daily doses. And, since he pretty much never reads my blog, it will kind of be like anonymous service for him! For me, I’ll list one thing I love about him—even why I love his opposites—since that will help to offset my ever-present temptation to criticize. Maybe the results will be great! If so, I’ll share them.

To be a better self, I will get started now. I have a life-long goal of creating a specific portfolio of religious works. I’d tell you about it, but then I’d blow the surprise—and maybe the market niche, too! Problem is, I feel like I have to “arrive” as an artist before I can work on it. But is that true? This year I’ve set a goal to paint three religious works. With my current ratio of tolerable paintings to garbage paintings, I’m guessing I will feel that at least one of these isn’t toooo embarrassing to be submitted to this competition. (Side note: even my artistic heroes, who sell for over $10k per painting, tend to dump anywhere from one third to one half of their work so I’m really not being overly pessimistic’s the lot of a true painter in my opinion). Anyway, if I want to chicken out, I will remind myself that putting one painting in one competition does not mean I have to have all my other artistic ducks in a row first.

So there you have it. My 2011 resolutions—with all of blogdom to hold me accountable. Thanks for inspiring me, Lyndsay!


Kirsten said...

I LOVE It! Nat--Mark and I are that too, except he's the blue and I'm the red. But, he's super logical, loves messes, HATES planning and the word "GOAL" and I am the complete opposite of that. I am going to take your resolution as inspiration and try harder to follow our opposite love languages as well.

Alyson said...

"I want to love it all—even the whining—because time flies..."

You hit the nail on the head. Savor!

These are all fantastic goals. I wish you the very best in all of them. :)

Kate said...

Inspiring, concrete goals. I am like Matt, and acts of service mean a lot to me as well. When Kyle does the dishes, makes our bed, watches Jason, washes the car, or cleans the bathroom, it means the world to me. My question is, do those same acts of service work for Matt, or not since he isn't the "homemaker"?