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New Year. Better me, not a new me.

My place to be is in today.

I remember my first grade teacher asking me what my name was on the first day of school. I opened my mouth to answer, but no sound came out. I remember other times that I fully intended to speak, to give input, but was met with only silence.

That is still me when I try to make a list or set goals or make big plans for the new me that is supposed to magically appear around January 1st. I open my mouth, or my notebook, and silence. I finally banned myself from buying a planner this year and I bought one for my oldest daughter instead, because she is not silent when it comes to lists and plans and bullet points and check marks. She did not get it from me.

“What are we doing on Friday?” or “What are we doing next week” are questions my kids ask me often and they are mostly answered with “I’m not sure yet.”
It’s not that I’m spontaneous, it’s just hidden in that part of me that is silent, that somehow doesn’t allow me to think ahead. I do what’s in front of me, today. I’d like to have planners full of words and well-marked calendars, I just haven’t figured out how. Is it pressure? Is it fear? Is it laziness and bad habits that are hard to break? There is that silence again.

I won’t go so far as to say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, because at 43 I resent that (mostly the old dog part). But I think I am learning something at 43 that I didn’t know at 33 or at 23, that it is ok to do things differently.

Have you ever stopped doing what you are good at because you thought you should be doing something different or better, and soon you were doing nothing at all?

That is the trap I fall into when I forget what I’m good at and remember everything that I am not. Where is it written that New Years equals new you and that it requires a resolution or a plan? What if my day-to-day plan is ok? What if your life is lived differently than you think you are supposed to and that is ok?

I absolutely want to grow in areas that I am not strong, but I guard myself in those areas where different feels like less-than. Why is it that the path to lack is so well traveled?

So what does this mean for my New Year? In this plan, I am not silent. I want to notice more and compliment more, to sing and to write more. I want to dance with my kids like I did when they were little more. I want to speak up more where it matters and speak up less where it doesn’t, and I probably don’t need a plan for any of that. I want to be a better me, but not a new me. Perhaps my place to be is in today, and I want to be fully there

Written by Rebekah Engebretson

Rebekah Engebretson

Rebekah lives in a little house on the prairie with her husband and 4 daughters near Watford City. She is a huge North Dakota fan and loves people and taking pictures and personality tests.

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