Present Tense

Note to myself: you don’t suck

At the beginning of 2010, I wrote a post and said that using the New Year as an excuse to work on yourself seems kind of lame; that we should be working on ourselves all year long.  I’ve had a slight change of perspective as we enter 2011.  That new perspective is: whatever works.

It seems that ALL of us believe that we need to work on bettering something in our lives, whether it’s personal or professional.  We need to eat better, exercise more, commit more fully to our partners/God/kids/friends/job, etc.  It’s never-ending and it’s always something.  So, how about this:  instead of telling yourself how much you have fallen short, or screwed something up or how much you suck, let’s look back at what was right in the last year.  What  did you accomplish, how did you grow, who did you inspire? I’ll bet if you looked, you could find just as many things about you that don’t suck, as do.  But, it takes time and introspection to turn off the negative voices in our heads.   We have our list of things to work on always pounding away in our brains.  “Don’t eat that…I feel foolish….I’m not a good parent/spouse/friend….I have to do better….I’m a failure….I’m jealous…blah, blah, blah”.   A drumbeat of how we fall short.

So, maybe slowly we could begin to intersperse our victories into that internal dialogue.  I’ll go first:  “I’m not a good spouse….I’m a better spouse than I was 3 months ago….I damaged my life and some of my relationships with some of my past behaviors…I can let go of my past and live in the present…I can be selfish….I’m more generous now.” Seems so simple, right?

It’s hard, I know.  I beat myself up everyday about things I’ve said or done or DIDN’T say or do.  It’s a constant, circulating inner dialogue that wears you down to an unhappy, paralyzed nub.  And let’s be honest, most of our inner dialogue is negative; it’s about how we fall short.  My plan is to start being a little nicer to myself. To stop telling me what an imperfect person I am.  If we’re honest with ourselves, we probably don’t even have an idea of a what a ‘perfect me’ looks or acts like.

So, if it takes the dawning of a new year to get you to push your re-set button, that’s just fine with me.  As you get older, there is definitely something about realizing that you’re another year closer to the end of your life, that focuses your mind and intention.  Here’s my resolution for 2011 and onward:  Jane, you’ll never be perfect, you can probably be better, but who you are is okay.

January 2, 2011 - Posted by | Musings | , , , ,


  1. Like it, but you don’t need the second part of the resolution, because it negates the third part. “Jane, you’ll never be perfect, but who you are is Okay”

    Comment by Karla | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. This is a good one so you are starting the new year off right!

    Comment by Jessi | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. Jane, right on! I read this, and then promptly set my husband down and read it to him. Thank you for that perspective. Its a good one. Everyone needs to read this!

    Comment by Ruth Brad | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  4. Love it! So true. So doable. Good stuff.
    Happy New Year to my imperfectly perfect sage!

    Comment by Margie | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  5. I think the key to becoming a better person is to focus on others and not yourself!!!

    Comment by Marsha | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  6. I enjoyed reading this a great deal and I could relate to all the negative self talk. This was a great reminder of how I can improve at speaking kinder to myself.

    Comment by Shell Hanselman | January 3, 2011 | Reply

  7. Love it! This was my exact resolution this year – to quit beating myself up so much because of my self-inflicted ‘imperfections’ and while I’m being kinder and gentler to everyone else, I need to do the same to myself! Thanks, I love your insightful posts.

    Comment by Kristin | January 5, 2011 | Reply

  8. Love this One!!!

    Comment by Marge Beem | January 20, 2011 | Reply

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