Tuesday 31 December 2013

Realistic New Years Resolutions: the Eat/Pray/Love ideal

I have spent a fair amount of time the last few days trying to map out some New Year resolutions for myself; I found my plans becoming more wild and grandiose with each revision, and basically if I was truly successful in managing this ambitious list, I’d be some sort of zen’d out new age super rich philanthropist world traveller who also never failed to get her socks into the damned laundry bin. 

So then I tried narrowing it down into something more manageable, and found myself stymied by the actual context in which I live…you know, the part where I remember that I can’t hit Australia and Italy this year because I can’t take the time off, and oh yeah: money doesn’t grow on trees—at least, not until I complete my resolution to master the arts of both gardening and genetic science so that I can grow a real-life money tree. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the idea: my goals were pretty lofty. Anyway, when I mentally erased the chalkboard and tried to start over, I found myself thinking of that book/movie, Eat Pray Love. I thought to myself, “That’s what I want from myself this year! I want to be like the Eat Pray Love lady!”


Let me tell you something, people, because this is the truth of things: life doesn’t really go ‘eat, pray, love’. For most of us, the path looks more like this:
Love no more
Eat too much
Pray for weight loss
Love again
Pray for the other person to go away
Love anew
Pray for more to eat
Eat nothing but kale and beets for months, because someone tells us these are the new superfoods
Eat a half pound of chocolate chips from the baking cupboard at midnight
Pray for someone’s failing health
Pray for a new job
Pray for cute boots
Eat Chinese food at the mall and regret it
Love new cute boots

…You get the idea. For most of us, we get the eat-pray-love all out of order, and we do them all several times over and we often do them badly. Or in excess. Or not enough. Or at the wrong time, or with the wrong person, or with the worst intentions.

I’m here to tell you that that’s ok, and that while it may feel like you’re going in circles, you aren’t. You’re a smarter, better, stronger YOU with every turn of the wheel.

The point here is, don’t burn yourself out two weeks into January by attempting to fabricate a perfect Eat Pray Love year. Be realistic about how life works: it ignores all the colour-coded, numbered, and itemized plans you have, and it meanders and wobbles and gets distracted and falls apart.

It’s not going to go according to plan. Enjoy it. 

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