Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Great Resolution Revolution- At Home TN December Article

The Great Resolution Revolution
Our At Home Tennessee columnist and fierce rebel, Mandi Gaskin, is taking no prisoners as she tells the New Year tradition who’s the boss.

It happens every year about this time. After all the presents have been opened and I am slowly coming down from the sugar high that I have been on for the last month, the dim reality of the New Year sets in. And the resolutions that I made from the previous year begin to mock me like a fat kid playing dodge ball as I come face to face with the broken promises of yesteryears. Last year I made a resolution not to worry so much, only to have to an anxiety attack two months later as a result of my cable going out and almost missed the Housewives Reunion. And then after making the I’m-going-to-work-out-more-to-become-the-next-Miss-Fitness-USA resolution for 10 straight years in a row, I am still sitting on 15 extra pounds and bribing myself with Snickers bars to take a walk around the block. But this year I am wising up and going rogue on the New Year’s traditions. Instead of making promises that will most likely last until St. Patrick’s Day, I am going to sit this year out- making no promises and setting myself free of grand expectations.
However, when talking to my best friend about this new state of mind she gave me a suggestion of a new spin on the tradition that she started two years ago. Instead of making specific negative goals for herself in the temporary (i.e. - no more cupcakes, Fatty!), she began creating positive themes for the coming year that she could stand behind the whole year through. In 2008, after being fed up with going along with whatever people suggested despite how she felt, she created the “Year of Truth” for herself. Throughout the year when someone would ask her to accompany them to an event she had no interest in or go to an obligatory dinner that she despised, she would remind herself of the “Year of Truth” and confidently tell them “no, thank you.” Coincidentally, that was also the year that I learned she hated my favorite boots as well as the casserole that I always prepared for her when she came to visit. “It’s about giving yourself back the power and the opportunity that enables you to differentiate the things you do for yourself and the things that you do for others. And it’s astounding how quickly that simple theme becomes a law in your life that allows you to prioritize yourself and what is important to you,” she says.
Intrigued by this notion, I began to inquire as to what my theme would be should I choose one. My first consideration was the “Year of Ambivalence”, prodded by my lack of motivation or general laziness to make any sort of change. But then I figured it should probably be something a little more positive so that I don’t spiral into an existence of all-around slacker with the excuse of my self-proclaimed theme. And so, dear readers, after careful deliberation I am declaring this next year to be the “Year of Acceptance;” for the acceptance of things that I cannot control, for flaws that I cannot correct, as a way of letting go to allow myself the freedom to breathe and grow without constantly fighting the reality of what is going on before me. Or in the words of Steve Winwood, I am going to “just roll with it baby.”
And so on this New Year’s Eve, as I am counting down one more year that has passed me by without meeting the ridiculous expectations that I set for myself; I know that I will be facing the year ahead with a willingness to just be me, and that is perfectly acceptable.

Mandi is a writer, a wife, and a mother; who keeps telling herself that she has it all figured out, but who is she kidding? You can follow her hilarious life lessons on or right here at At Home Tennessee.