I would be lying like the dirty pile of clothes in my closet that I resolved to not let happen this year if I said I wasn’t planning on making some sort of New Year’s resolution. Not that I truly believe that the flip of a calendar gives anyone the ability to change and conquer bad habits, but life is busy and sometimes a little inspiration or purpose is all we need to get us going. So when it comes to making self-promises I probably won’t keep, I’m totally ok with it.
Like most people, I usually make lofty and unachievable goals. “I’m going to get organized this year.” “I will never let my return air ducts collect dust.” “I will only eat healthy food.” And come February 1, I’m stuffing chips in my mouth while my desk mounds with paperwork out the wazoo and to procrastinate, I look around and notice how dusty my house has become.
But there’s one thing, one resolution, that I can actually get on board with keeping. It’s exercise and staying fit.
I was not raised by a family who hung out at the gym. Physical exercise came from gardening, shoveling, mowing, cleaning. But this was before the time of computers and dollar menus and 4,000 channels on the television, and to be honest, I don’t think I could tinker around in the yard as much as my grandparents ever did. If anyone felt like the pants were getting a little too tight, they didn’t plant more flowers, they ate less or tried some new fangled diet idea.
Fast forward to myself as an adult. While I have finally discovered my own love for exercise and learned the copious health benefits that go along with regular hours of sweating followed by a day of walking funny down the stairs and not being able to wash my hair without grimacing, I have a new purpose for all of the sweat and pain. My kids.
Let’s face it, children are freakish balls of energy, capable of powering the county for weeks if it could be bottled. They love and crave time spent burning off energy and I love and crave time spent burning off the hours and minutes I have with them. Roller or ice skating? I’m in. Skiing? Sledding? Tag? A jog? Headstand contests? I’ll be there. The purpose of my resolution of staying in good shape has less to do with the way my clothes fit and more to do with the way I feel being able to play along with our kids.
So when I get the chance, I’ll spend it moving and lifting and putting off the nap that would be the easier thing to do. They’ll be plenty of time for that someday, perhaps. But for now, I’ve got three growing resolutions to keep up with every single wonderful day.
Originally written 1.1.17