Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and a very Happy-The-Mayans-Were-Wrong to you all. I took a nice, long break over the past three weeks to visit with family and friends on the East Coast, but now I’m back in L.A. action with my new year’s resolutions in tow.
I, like many over-achieving over-planners with a mild to medium case of OCD LOVE New Year’s resolutions. When I was a little girl, we used to write them down and place them in a sealed envelope to be read on the following NYE. I loved that act of cataloging our intentions for the eventual judgement day. It really appealed to my love of shame-based self motivation!
Several years ago I retired the archaic paper and envelope method for the much more public blog post format. Higher stakes only increased my fear of failure thus increasing my motivation to succeed!
This year there a kink popped up in my generally solid “to do” plans…though, I think he’d prefer to think of himself as a welcome addition…
R wanted us to come up with our resolutions together. He suggested this to me while driving up the Taconic en route to his family’s country house in New York. It is a gorgeous drive to a gorgeous place. We were in great spirits after a fun morning spent playing this game with his two-year-old niece where you stuff dominoes down your shirt, laugh like Santa, then spill them all out on the floor and laugh your pants off. The smooth sounds of Simon and Garfunkle played over the radio. He knew just the moment to strike.
Talking about my personal resolutions wasn’t the issue. I willingly shared the list of intentions – to learn one song on the guitar; to start a light running routine; to Skype more often with my family; to complete a new play recapping the past years of 20-Nothings topics – and welcomed R’s compliments on their high likelihood of completion. I believe them to be among my finest resolutions to date, I told him, and he agreed. (Note: I purposefully leave off “lose the winter weight” every single year because it’s just a given at this point.)
R shared his, which were equally lovely but shall not be published here because one of us should maintain some sense of privacy.
And then he hit me with it.
- Him: Now, you’re not going to like this, but what if we each offer a resolution for the other person?
- Me: A. You’re right, I don’t.
- Him: It would just be something simple we’d like the other person to work on. Nice things.
- Me: Did you intentionally wait you had me trapped in a moving vehicle to broach this subject?
He did not respond.
My immediate reaction was extreme nervousness expressed as defensive anger: why do we need to do that? are you suggesting something is wrong? if something if wrong perhaps you shouldn’t have waited until now to bring it up?? And how ’bout you take these exit ramps with a liiiittle less gusto, huh?!?
But as Simon and/or Garfunkle crooned the last words of Homeward Bound, I came to my senses (read: remembered I’m almost 30).
Why not open up the conversation about self improvement to the person with whom I spend 95% of my self? So what if it gets a little too…direct? A little too…honest? If I can’t handle this guy I’ve chosen to live with offering a simple piece of advice about the way I live, what business do I have in this relationship? (These are things I said out loud to R after a few minutes of painfully awkward silence, just to be clear).
Much to my surprise, R didn’t make his resolution be for me to stop talking out every decision I make through a series of rhetorical questions, so I decided I’d forgo making mine be for him to stop suggesting I do things that he knows I’m not going to like. Instead we each picked things that the other has certainly heard before and appreciates…even if it’s a tad deeper down.
It’s just too bad there wasn’t a pen and paper in the car to write either of them down…and that it would be far too revealing to post them here online. I guess without any proper third party proof of what each of us said, we’ll just have to hope for the best 😉