New Year’s resolutions have never been my thing (basically because I pretty much resist anything that resembles a rule), but on January 1st this year, things changed: I turned into Shrek on my way to the Children’s Museum and knew something had to give.
In my defense, it was “that time of the month”, and my kids were STILL singing Rudolph at high volume in the back of the car. (Seriously, when does Rudolph end? March??? April????). But even still, my mood was sour green.
It got worse, too, when I pulled into my parking spot and my rule-following husband said to me: ” We can’t park here. It’s for compact cars only.” (Anyone else have #minivanproblems ??)
“What do you mean we can’t park here?” I argued. “We can obviously fit.” (And we could, I swear.)
“But you still can’t park there.”
Out came the longest sigh in ogre history. Why did I marry such a rule-follower?!?! I heaved. But he was right.
So I started hunting for another spot. Only there weren’t any — because every freaking car in Minnesota must be COMPACT! — and I ended up on the roof with Shrek in full bloom.
Luckily I (sort of) got over it — thanks to God’s grace prompting me to apologize quickly — but all the stank came back quickly when it was lunchtime.
I don’t know if anyone else rages when they’re hungry, but Lord have mercy I almost started turning tables over when I couldn’t find a place for us to sit.
“We can just walk down to the food court, sweet wife of mine,” my husband cajoled. (I assure you, sarcasm never helps when you’re already hungry and mad.) But I agreed, and we walked a bajillion miles to the food court (okay, it was only .10 miles)…and the food court was CLOSED!
This is when I literally lost touch with reality. I stomped right on past the multiple “Do not enter” signs (laughing maniacally) and pushed two tables together. Rules ain’t gonna stop me, I thought.
But then my older two girls said, “Mom…we can’t sit there.” And again I thought, WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY RULE FOLLOWERS?!?!?!?! (My 3-year old, however, was standing there eating her shirt, so it’s safe to say she got my end of the gene pool.)
“You guys, it’s fine,” I chided, flashing my husband a pleading look. But all he did was point at the sign…….so I lost it.
I stomped off like a tantruming toddler, thinking ALL the three-year old things: Why can’t Peter EVER back me up? Why doesn’t he care about me? And why can’t my family ever break one stinking rule with me!?!?! (You can see the error of my logic.)
But I just couldn’t think straight! My better self had been hijacked by this uglier and hungrier giant. (Which is why I need Jesus, people. Him, and lots and lots of snacks.)
Thankfully the holy spirit convicted me again, so I calmed down and proceeded to walk back to where my family was eating — on the FLOOR — to apologize.
My girls jumped up immediately and threw their arms around me. “Can we make you a tuna sandwich, mama?” (Have I mentioned how much I love my rule-following kids??)
“Yes, of course you can, my loves.” I hugged them, wiped away my guilty tears and sat down, feeling sanctified knowing that all was going to be well: I had apologized to my family, I was just about to eat, but then……..
“You can’t eat there.”
I looked up to see this short, puny little security guard man hovering above us.
“Is this a joke!?“ I blurted out. But it wasn’t. He made us leave and go back to where we started….in the Children’s Museum, with no place to sit and eat.
Sometimes life is like that. It takes you on a “do not enter” sign excursion, bringing you right back to where you first started — hungry, annoyed, and tired. I guess that’s really why I don’t like resolutions: I don’t want to fail. But that’s no reason to stop trying, right?
So this year I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m actually going to make a few rules instead of break them, and here they are (in no particular order):
- I WILL follow the rules (except for in parking ramps).
- I WILL control my emotions (except for in parking ramps).
- I WILL make snacks for myself (cause clearly I still need them…even though I’m no longer pregnant…or a toddler…which apparently are the same thing).
I’m sure I will struggle with one (or all) of these things, but I really want to be better. I want to be better for my husband and my kids, and for all the puny little security guards everywhere who are just trying to do their jobs.
I figure that if I challenge myself to get uncomfortable (because change IS uncomfortable) I’ll have a better shot at behaving less like Shrek and MORE like the person God designed me to be. (And that seems a whole lot better than breaking the rules, right?).
So here’s hoping, 2019! Be kind to me (or else I might eat you). #NewYearsResolutionsForTheWin !!