What Have You Done This Year To Make You Feel Proud?
Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to write your New Year’s Resolutions . . .
Before you berate yourself for how much weight you didn’t lose, how much money you didn’t save, how many unnutritional meals your kids consumed this year, how much debt you amassed. . . .
Before you do any of this, ask yourself one thing:
What have you done this year to make you feel proud?
Yes, to borrow from the theme song from “The Biggest Loser,” (which, by the way, was a big hit in the U.K. before it became the theme song from “The Biggest Loser"), think about it. Surely you did something right this year. Surely you did one thing to make yourself proud, giving you pride to carry on into the next year.
Well, let’s get this party started right! Here’s my list:
1. I walked away from a toxic job with dysfunctional people.
2. I devised a real estate transaction that resulted in two of my family members moving out of the ghetto. And before you accuse me of being bourgie, which I cop to, let me tell you this: No one should live anywhere where they are not safe if they can afford to move. Especially if they have kids. My family members were no longer safe, and they needed to move.
3. I helped BMNB get a better, higher paying job close to home.
4. I joined Weight Watchers. Now, mind you, I didn’t say I stayed in Weight Watchers, but, like quitting smoking, weight loss is often a series of repeated efforts toward success. I prefer to think that I have one more effort notched on my belt toward success.
5. I won second place in a local short story contest. This was a BIG step for me because I had put away my creative writing a long, long time ago. I entered the contest on a wing and prayer, saying that if I won anything, it would be a sign to me from God that I was indeed meant to write. I still haven’t cashed the check for $75.00 I received – I’m keeping it as a reminder that somebody out there is actually willing to pay me for my writing.
6. I finished the National Novel Writing Month contest (NaNoWriMo.org). No small feat – 50,000 words, 30 days. Now I have complete almost one-third of the first draft of my novel.
7. I learned to say “no” to people and things that weren’t for me. And I’m still doing it. 2008 will definitely be the year of “No: Part Deux.”
8. I cut my hair. I don’t know what it is about black men (including BMNB), but when you mention cutting your shoulder length hair to them, it is nothing short of blasphemy to them. I even had a good black male friend quote The Bible, telling me that I was cutting my crowning glory. Well, my crowning glory was looking more like a crown of thorns. If your hair is wearing you instead of the other way around, you need to think about changing it. I did, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to having long hair again. My hairdresser, Gigi Mathews of Gigi Mathews Salon in San Francisco, can hook you up with a good cut. All I have to do now is pop two rollers in the top, wrap the rest, and tie it up with a scarf at night and I’m good to go in the morning.
9. I survived. Despite problems on my job, financial turmoil, family strife (Note: Don’t ever volunteer to organize a family reunion!), having to move twice in two years, death in the family, and other challenges, I’m still here. Here to greet another New Year. That’s more than a lot of people. And if you’re reading this, you survived, too. Give yourself a big hug on my behalf.
Sure, like many, I have some goals I’d like to accomplish next year. Like many, I’ve had multiple, multiple failures this year. Like many, I’ve been bingeing out on the things I’m cutting out of my diet next year (Potatoes Au Gratin, anyone? Talk about a heart attack on a plate! But they’re so, so good!). But for today, for the last twenty-four remaining hours in this year, you and I should simply celebrate the things we did in 2007 that made us feel proud.
Happy New Year!