Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Leaf

I don't know how many New Year's Eves I vowed to change my ways starting the next day. I don't remember the resolutions I likely was compelled to make as a young child. I imagine they were ones meant to make my parents happy.

I'll keep my room cleaner.

I'll be nicer to my younger brother.

I won't complain about the girls having to do all the household work while the boys get a free ride.

Okay, the last one probably isn't accurate. At least, it's not accurate in the sense that I never would have promised to stop complaining about it.

In later teen years and into my 20s, I remember resolving to turn over a new leaf by quitting smoking. I must have quit -- or said I'd quit -- six or seven times over the course of 15 years or so. I would quit, for various lengths of time: a year here, nine months there, less than 21 hours over there. It never stuck. Until it eventually did, far too late in life for me to ever consider myself a non-smoker. I am forever a smoker. I'm just a smoker who doesn't smoke.

Turning over a new non-tobacco leaf nowadays, my resolutions all revolve around finding peace and patience within me to act with grace and good humor when my children, particularly that Youngest of mine, has my heart racing and head spinning and palms sweating. As if I've just smoked a cigarette.

Serenity now! Serenity now!


Frank Costanza's got nothing on me.



[Sunday Scribblings writers tackle a new leaf this week.] [Photo courtesy Wikipedia.com.]


[The 360° project update: 2° involved offering to pick up and deliver a child to my place for a playdate and not giving the parents any grief for not being home for more than an hour past the playdate.]


9 comments:

Shelly Quade said...

A "smoker who doesn't smoke" - I like that phrase. I think it sums up the difficulty in quitting for most people, akin to an alcoholic or someone with an eating disorder. Once you begin doing something like that, you tend to get to the point where it's a daily struggle not to do it.

I wish you the best of luck for this new year. Kids are a handful, but I know that you are strong enough to handle them, without buying a pack of cigarettes. :)

Thank you for sharing your story.

Tumblewords: said...

Somehow I believe you'll do it and do it well!

Beck said...

My new year's resolution is to count to ten when people say dumb stuff around me. Then I will get a reputation as a NICE person, which will be a plesant change.
It'll happen!

Janet said...

I spent New Year's Day with my folks and my brother's family celebrating a belated Christmas. I spent Jan 2 driving home from Nashville. I'm spending January 3 unpacking, doing laundry, putting away Christmas decorations, blogging, and trying to get my head around the fact that the Queen goes back to school tomorrow. And it's 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Somehow making my annual "stop procrastinating" resolution already seems like a moot point.

narasnook said...

It's interesting how the things we're least satisfied with in ourselves change with time.Just since Thanksgiving I've become a runner who doesn't run.

Good luck in the new year.

CrAzY Working Mom said...

I want to lose weight, exercise, drop the useless Facebook games, and blog more. So far I'm doing okay on the last two. Who'd have thought?? I'm joining the weight loss band wagon tomorrow. Wish me luck!

mayberry said...

We are 95% insane from togetherness over here. If school weren't starting tomorrow ... I shudder to think.

D... said...

Serenity Nowwwww is a mantra much often spoken in my house. I know you understand that.

Dee Martin said...

omg I've never heard that "Serenity NOW" yes I. need. that.
I too am a non smoking smoker. Only I occasionally fall off the wagon and light up a cigar. It makes my head spin in a satisfying kinda way and it keeps me from throttling the nearest human...
I think we may be soul sisters...

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