I once read a quote by Albert Einstein that said something about defining insanity as doing the same actions over and over but expecting different results. It often comes to mind at the end of the year when I begin deciding on New Year resolutions.
Though, the resolution is always the same. My body isn’t good enough and this is the year I’m going to fix it. Sure, I mix it up a little. One year I’ll resolve to lose 10 lbs. Another year I may resolve to have a “bikini body” by May. The next, I’ll resolve to cut back on carbs. I have yet to achieve any of the resolutions I resolve to keep. I go in to the new year with the best of intentions but it ultimately ends in disappointment, a side of guilt and a year long scolding that continuously replays in my head until I do it all again next December.
Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s motherhood. Maybe Albert is right again; it’s just my insanity talking. Whatever the case may be, this year is different. This New Year I resolve to be enough, accepting and loving myself just as I am going in to it. I can always eat a little healthier or exercise a little more. If I do, I will accept and love myself as I am. And if I don’t I will accept and love myself as I am. At the end of the day, carrying 10 less pounds doesn’t give the memories I create with my loved ones any more meaning – but being fully present in them does.
My daughter deserves to look back to see me dashing through the sprinklers with her – not searching the sidelines to find her mother hidden beneath a cover-up. Families deserve to photograph happy occasions with everyone present and engaged in the spirit of the moment. Friends deserve to share a toast to their success or to share a piece of cake in celebration of another year wiser. No one needs to hear another self-deprecating joke about counting calories, subtly deflating the happy energy in the room as I speak it.
This is the year I’m not scolding myself for having not lost the extra weight I’ve carried since giving birth. This year, I’m praising my body for creating a miracle. This year I’m celebrating birthdays with a mouthful of birthday cake to stifle any declaration of counting calories I may feel tempted to share. I’m packing my camera for family events, respecting the fragility of life and giving thanks that I have the opportunity to capture these moments with loved ones. This year may be our last.
This year I’m giving the toast to us. With love for who we are, just as we are in this moment and in the years ahead. May we see the beauty in ourselves that we see in those around us.