In my perusal of blogs during the early days of 2019, I came across an alternative to making New Year’s resolutions which I instantly latched onto. Mainly because I’m a sucker for new ways to make goals and better yourself, I decided this was something I was absolutely going to do. I have a hard time with resolutions, which probably makes me similar to about 95% of the human population. They always seem like a good idea at the time – you know, the very first day of the new year. But I needed a different approach this year, which is why a Word of the Year seemed like the perfect concept to adopt for 2019.
Your Word of the Year is a word that essentially guides your year. A theme, so to speak. I love this notion because I feel it can be applied to all areas of your life, not just one or two. After giving this some thought I chose my word: Unapologize.
Okay, yes, it’s a slightly made-up version of a word but it’s also a popular Carrie Underwood song so if you listen to country music you’ve probably heard it tossed around. But it perfectly encompasses my attitude because the moral of the story is…..I’m done apologizing for what doesn’t warrant an apology. Let me explain.
I’ve given so much thought lately to happiness – what I need to be happy, what doesn’t make me happy, and how other people affect my happiness. In the past, I’ve very much been a victim of sacrificing my happiness to please other people, to not seem like a burden or high maintenance, and also because my personality is not the type that allows me to put myself first without feeling some measure of guilt. As a side note, motherhood has definitely amplified this last point. But, (spoiler alert), life is short. And I’m kind of over the idea of feeling bad about doing things or not doing things that ultimately make me a happier person. Because when I’m happy, when I’m centered, when I’m in a good head space, I’m a much better mother, wife, friend, coworker, and person. I’m sure we all are.
I’m not naive enough to think that I won’t know a day of unhappiness by following this guideline. And because I’m an adult, I know that sometimes you simply have to do things that take you out of your happiness zone, or that you have to put other people ahead of you because, well, that’s life. When you’re a parent this is daily life and it’s not something to begrudge, but rather something to try and balance. And that’s what I need to get better at – the balancing act. I can’t feel bad for needing alone time to recharge my batteries. I can’t feel guilty for taking time off work to spend a few extra hours with my son, or kick myself for being honest about my feelings and opinions. I always strive to be middle of the road, non-controversial, and make light of just about everything. But sometimes you have to just present yourself unabridged, unedited, and not feel bad about it. I’d like to do more of that without feeling like I need to say I’m sorry.
This isn’t to say that I feel like I can do whatever the hell I want and not have to answer to anyone because my feelings and my happiness are the only things that matter. No, not at all. I live in the real world and understand the unrealistic nature of that mindset. What is not unrealistic is making my happiness and my family’s happiness a priority, and taking little steps every day to work toward maintaining and keeping it strong.