History won’t be repeating itself

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If history’s repeating itself, you probably have the car in reverse

    ~~ Pa Trails of history advertisement

I don’t know what it was about the quote above that reminded me of New Year’s Resolutions, but it did.

I used to make a resolution or 2 or 10 every January 1st when I was younger.  It just seemed to be expected. Everywhere I turned someone would ask me what my resolution was, so I made sure I was prepared.

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In my teens through my 30’s my resolutions were to lose weight, save more money, to find a second and most times third job, and to find a way to be nicer to the people who weren’t so kind to me, give more of myself in my relationships and so on.  Weight loss was a biggie then, and I took it to extremes that almost cost me my life.  Why?  I wanted acceptance.

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I no longer make New Year’s resolutions.  I found I just repeated the same ones year after year like a never ending circle.  I would also go on binges right before the New Year.  I’d spend money on things I felt I wouldn’t be able to have if I was going to save everything possible.   Saving money would bring me into good graces with my grandfather who was so tight with his money and thought everyone else should be…a symptom of growing up during the depression.

Weight loss, yep. Between Christmas and the New Year I would eat things that normally I wouldn’t, binging on chocolate and cookies, fast food, anything I thought I’d be depriving myself of shortly. Then I would have the perfect body, as I was supposed to according to the media.  If I held 3 jobs instead of 2 I would be recognized for my hard work ethic.  It was all about being accepted by those I felt I didn’t measure up to, whether real or imaginary.

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So now I take the time, now, before the new year to sit and reflect on where my life is, where I want it to go.  Rather than thinking about what others may believe I should be doing, I look into my heart.

So what do I want to see happen in 2013?

  • Finish the book I started for my family of my grandmother’s favorite recipes to share with them, little by little, no stress with a deadline.
  • Spend the time I can with friends and loved ones
  • Continue the path of living lighter which includes reducing my trash and recyclables,  continue to repurpose found objects for others, reducing my footprint and to make even better decisions with what purchases I do make.
  • Continue to work on my garden to produce even more of my own food
  • Continue to make my apartment feel more like my home

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Do I want to lose weight, of course, who doesn’t? 

But instead of making that a goal that I can take to an extreme and feel deprived, I will incorporate more of my homegrown foods to eat better and see what comes, this way it’s a positive goal not a punishment.

Do I want to save more money?

Of course, but I’m not going to stress about it. I did take on the January Money Diet to help me stop and think about where my money goes and set the tone for the year.   I am in a situation where my bills are very little and tend not to watch where my extra money goes each month.  More on that later.

We are coming up on a new calendar year, the key word is NEW.  Why would I want to repeat history and continue to follow the crowd with the same old resolutions I made in the past? I want to build on the past to make this a new and better year.

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What about you?  Do you make resolutions and are they different each year? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

26 thoughts on “History won’t be repeating itself

  1. Happy 2013 Lois! I think New Year’s resolutions are for people who think they need some extra motivation to get things done–and from what I can tell since knowing here on your blog–you don’t need any extra motivation at all. May your intentions for the new year unfold beautifully in every way….and I’m looking forward to your following your adventures in the coming months…..Kathy

    • I hope you have a great New Year’s I too am looking forward to reading more from you! Extra motivation, I think we can all use it from time to time, but for me resolutions have been a constraint in a negative way rather than the positive push I need.

  2. I love your idea of making a book of your Grandmother’s recipes, that would be such a special gift for your family. I’m too scared to share my resolutions because I think they are just wishes at the moment and if I put them into words and I can’t make them happen, then I’ll just feel sad. Good luck with your 2012 happenings and Happy New Year!

  3. Pingback: New Years Resolutions and Why We Make Them « To Breathe is to Write

  4. I have never struggled with eating or not eating as some have, but my non-resolution two years ago really helped me: to try to make as much as possible of my food “real food,” rather than packaged.

  5. I have never made resolutions. Even when I was younger. Too many demands on me as it is, without me doing it to myself also. I never did go with the flow so to speak. I am like the Salmon, always going against the stream. It makes life more interesting. I never saw the sense in resolutions, no one ever keeps them so why do it?

  6. I think the quote has everything to do with resolutions. People make the same resolutions year after year after stinking year. I always tell people when they ask, “Yes! I made only one resolution; to make no resolutions.” They think that’s lame, but I also never start a new lifestyle on a Monday. I prefer the unconventional. So I will make goals another month, and start my diet on a Thursday.

    Here is another way to look at it. There were so many demands I placed on myself in December, I use January to heal from that. It is a good month to be kind to myself and heal. If that includes eating an apple, good! But if I’m eating an apple because I promised myself I would do that instead of a chocolate bar, it’s just more demands I’m placing on myself.

    Happy NEW year!

  7. Whether or not you call them resolutions, January is a time that many of us reflect on our life and what we want different from it. And as with you, when we get older, we understand more what that is. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I am energized by the thought of focusing on what I want to accomplish, both small and big. On the material side of things, I want to get my paper work better under control.

    • I finally had to realize that I made resolutions that I didn’t want. They were always so negative and put too much pressure on me. I enjoy now taking a positive look at my life and where I want it to go but no hard fast rules to live by, maybe it’s just rules I don’t like. Good luck with your paperwork, paper seems to multiply like rabbits the minute you let any into your home.

  8. I too have struggled every year with the “lose weight” resolution, and it also led me far too close to the end of my life. I am so, so sorry you had to go through that because I understand exactly what it is like. My resolution this year is to graduate from the Renfrew eating disorder treatment program, and to come to be content in the body I’m in. Cleaning up my house and buying less crap wouldn’t hurt too!

    I wish you the best in the new year!

    • I wish you all the luck in the world, Joanna, on your quest to graduate and find peace with your body. For me, I finally had to see that if I didn’t get control of my “non-eating” my boys would be left without a mother. When the boys finally grew up and moved out they were so worried about me that they would call or stop by and the first thing they would ask was “what did you eat today” Friends too would worry and one in particular would stop by with dinner to share with me just to make sure I ate something that day, or simply go in my kitchen and open the fridge to see how much food was in there. I’m okay, I still struggle with feeling hungry, I don’t think I will ever feel a hunger pang as I ignored them for so long.

  9. I HATE resolutions! CatMan always says that when it comes right down to it, people always do what they want, so all of the promises and resolutions are really pointless. If you want to eat healthier, you will. If you want to change something in your life, you’ll change it. Trying to force yourself into a box that doesn’t fit (for whatever reason) is nothing more than a distraction and, in my opinion, a total waste of time.

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