I am always one year away from a great life.
That’s not to say that my life right now isn’t wonderful. It’s just that by next year, it will be more wonderful.
“Next year, we’ll be debt-free.”
“Next year, I’ll be healthier/thinner/fitter/happier with how I look.”
“I know we never took a vacation this summer. Next year we’re going to take vacations.”
Not plan a birthday party for the kids as well as I wanted? No worries, there’s next year. Did Christmas sneak up on me, leaving me to frantically wrap presents four hours before Christmas morning? Next year I’ll do better, I swear. Eventually next year inevitably turns into this year and I find myself charging headfirst into the same mistakes and promising, yet again, next year things will be different.
I can relate to Scarlett “Tomorrow is another day” O’Hara like you don’t even know. I live by her mantra. I feel like if I died tomorrow my tombstone would say “Jerusha Howard – Next year she would have been amazing.”
Morbid? Maybe. But totally true.
Like many people, it turns out I’m ridiculously good at identifying the things that I want to change, but I’m not-so-awesome at actually creating and sticking to a tangible plan that brings about that change. Sometimes I’m so crazy ineffective that I don’t even get to the point where I abandon my genius plan to improve myself because (insert excuse related to being an overwhelmed mom/wife, too busy, too tired, etc. here).
It’s no wonder as the years roll on I’m still not the girl with a cushy savings account who finishes shopping for birthdays three months ahead of time with the gifts wrapped neatly in her closet, all done while planning for her trip to Japan while managing her vast and deeply fascinating social/business calendar. Instead, I’m still the same me that puts basic things off to the last minute and buys tons of tools that I really did intend to use in an effort to help myself out, but never actually did.
I’m Micheal Scott in that episode in “The Office” where he yells “I declare bankruptcy!” and expects that is all he has to do to fix his finances.
I do the same thing. I announce (to myself) “never again,” then act like that is enough to bring about change.
Well, if life has taught me anything, it’s that emotional promises with no tangible plan or concrete goal (paired with zero effort to keep that promise) doesn’t actually yield much of anything. Not next week, not next month, and certainly not next year.
Who knew, right? Apparently, you have to do stuff in order to make stuff happen.
Oh, I like that… Seriously, I literally just came up with it. I feel like I need to stick that on a shirt or something. Or how about this:
It’s not that I don’t know how to make these changes… I just make a ton of excuses. I’m super good at that. My excuses are all baloney, of course, because it’s not that these techniques won’t work… It’s that I won’t work. Doing stuff, making changes? That’s hard! Coasting along as I always have? That’s easy!
But is it really? Pretty sure I wasn’t marveling at how convenient it was to dig through emails from two weeks ago trying to remember what day was parent day is at the book fair. It for sure wasn’t any easier to put off looking for a recipe, buying ingredients, and staying up until midnight baking and frosting 45 cupcakes for a school party the next day. Actually, that sucked.
So today is the day I start building that “perfect,” “easy” life I always insist is a year away. I’ll see if it really is easier to live my status quo or invest the time to make a difference. A year from now, will things be better? Will I be a few steps closer to that dream life I keep promising myself?
Well, it probably won’t be a “dream life,” but something tells me that if I put in the work, life by next year will look pretty sweet and a lot less crazy.