Saturday, January 30, 2010


Last year I didn't make resolutions; I just had themes. They were "simplicity" and "sincerity." I resolved to try and apply those two words to every area of my life in any way I could. I'm not sure how I did, but it made me think about all kinds of situations much differently than I would have if those words hadn't been at the forefront of my thought process.

This year I've decided on a couple goals.

1. Be attractive (or sexy, where applicable.)

2. Be intentional about living life offline.

If you have ever looked at me for longer than five minutes you are probably not surprised to learn that I have not really cared all that much about my appearance (clothes/hair/make-up) for the majority of my life. I come by this naturally as both my mother and grandmother will tell you they have better things to do than spend more time than necessary in front of a mirror. In fact, my grandma would quote this little poem:

My face, I don't mind it, Because I'm behind it; It's the folks out in front that I jar.

Just the thought of my mother or grandmother primping makes me snicker. It's not them. It's not me. The three of us are big fans of cleanliness (that Dutch heritage!) and functionality. If something is pretty in addition to being functional well then that's just a bonus.

However. Superman is less impressed with this perspective. I've always teased him that he fell in love with me when my wardrobe consisted largely of jeans and t-shirts so what's the big deal? Plus, I'm not all that interested in fashion, nor am I familiar with how to apply make-up and the most complex hairstyle I can do is a ponytail. Yet, the poor guy still complains that I'm just visually boring (well he doesn't say it like that but I can take a hint) and will even ask me to go shopping for skirts and dresses with him. So I go, trying not to grumble about it, and inevitably return with cute clothes that I never wear.

I have a list of excuses as long as my long arms as to why it makes no sense to put effort into how I look. Sleep being more important has topped that list pretty much since the day Val was born. Yet several of my friends manage to look put together and they have kids closer in age or more kids than I do. So obviously I can't get far with that one.

I've decided enough is enough. I'm doing it for me just as much as I'm doing it for him just as much as I'm doing it for my poor daughters who are bound to follow in whatever footsteps I leave. I've resisted being "pretty" in the past because I've seen it as a whole lot of work I didn't have time to do and why should I change who I am just to make my husband happy? It's so superficial. It's not like Superman thinks I'm unattractive. Clearly.

What really got my attention was when someone got me to think about it like this: I am a billboard for what Superman finds attractive (inside and out.) It doesn't matter who sees me or how well they know me - anyone looking at me can probably safely assume that Superman chose me to spend the rest of his life with because he was (IS!) attracted to me physically, emotionally, etc..

WELL. I can't have people thinking that Superman's a dummy can I? I can hear it now... what? That man thinks that unkempt, frazzled-looking mess of a woman is great and wonderful? Huh. I guess I just don't see it. Her personality must be pretty outstanding to make up for all THAT.

So that's goal number one.

The second goal has to do with a fresh realization that if I'm not careful the internet, email, online projects, RSS feeds, social networking - all of it - can pretty much entirely consume me. I've referred back to this article again and again because it's so true. Unfortunately it's pretty unrealistic for me to completely abstain from online life because part of it is very necessary. This is what makes my struggle to maintain balance so difficult and this is why it's my second goal.

I've made rule after rule after rule about my internet use and have found (mostly viable) reasons for breaking every single one. So I've concluded it's not going to be as easy as just making a rule. Or if it is then the rule is set appropriate priorities and practice them! There are times I'll have to jump online to get something and it's those times I will have to jump right back off.

Lately I've noticed a sense of entitlement surrounding my online time. If I go without it for all or most of the day, well then I HAVE to have it that night - I DESERVE it. That may be true, but again with appropriate priorities. Sleep would often be a better choice than sitting hunched over a screen until my eyes bleed. I find myself often getting grouchy when an over-tired child or attention-needing husband interrupts. That right there is just not healthy. Of course I need time for me just like anyone else, but perhaps I need to make the most of what time I get and not demand more. I'm not going to be able to get ALL my projects done and have time to waste on Facebook.

So that's what I resolve for 2010.

Be pretty on purpose.

Throw more of myself into living and enjoying life offline.

What's your stance on resolutions? Did you make any and how did you do last year?


  1. So much of you say here is so true of how I think of myself/my habits. You've given me a lot to think about, lady.

  2. Hi Becky, I'm reading Donald Miller's new book "A Million Miles in a Thousand years" and this is what I am gleaning from it for my resolutions:" A story involves a person that wants something and is willing to overcome conflict to get it. If you plan a story this year, instead of just simple goals, your life will be more exciting, more meaningful and more memorable. And you are much more likely to stick to your goals"