New Year’s Resolution


This January marks five years since Brian and I started living together. I moved in with him and his roommate after we’d made the decision to go off to school together and my lease ended with five months to go before our move. I had to leave my cat with my mom for those five months because there were two large dogs living in the house (one of whom later kowtowed to my kitty on a daily basis). At the time, I remember worrying that I was giving up too much. I feared I’d never get her back. I cried for a weekend straight.

Probably some of the crying was also apprehension. This was my first time living with a boyfriend and here we were, about to embark on what I think we both knew was something big. We’d only been dating about 11 months at the time, maybe a bit more but not yet a year.

Sitting around our friends’ table last night made me realize just how much living with Brian has changed me. How much it has mellowed me out. The one thing that continually surprises me about myself is how relaxed I have become. How type-B.

I asked our friends last night if they were going to make resolutions. They both said no. Somehow this led to me explaining that when I was a kid (and, I’ll admit now, right up until I lived with Brian) I used to make up to fifty resolutions. I’d take a few pages in my journal and practice writing the new year number – 2008 2008 2008 2008 – so that I wouldn’t write it incorrectly on my school papers (or checks, as I got older). Then I’d fill several pages with goals: save $1500 by the end of the year, read 75 books, maintain a weight equal to 100 plus 5 pounds for each inch I am over five feet (at 5’ 4” this meant 120 pounds), make a new friend, be nicer… Then, I’d turn back to the prior year’s goals and resolutions and I would score myself: what percentage had I accomplished? My last goal for the new year would be to make a higher percentage than that.

If it sounds complicated it’s because it sort of was. I won’t go into what I did when I partly accomplished a goal. There weren’t spreadsheets involved or anything, but there might as well have been.

What setting all these goals required was for me to track everything all year. I had lists of the books I’d read and notebooks filled with budget computations. I think of this now and just marvel – did I really have so much spare time that I needed to fill it with such endless tracking and counting? Such attention to detail? Such vigor for self-improvement?

Interestingly, this year’s resolution is distantly related to all that nonsense from my youth. More interestingly, I’ve decided to keep it private. Actually, the resolution is to keep a few more things to myself. To leave some things undocumented. Undisclosed.

The longer I live with Brian, the more I find I am able to open up. But at certain specific times, this feels more like a burden than a gift. I sometimes feel I’ve lost some of my mystery. Some of my intrigue. While I love it that I can share my fears, concerns, and even the smallest of joys with Brian, and while I wouldn’t want to give up sharing little secrets that you normally wouldn’t share (like that I really like it when Evan lies naked on his belly and his tiny baby balls hang out right underneath his big round baby butt), I also sort of long for a time when being a woman, a mother, and a wife was just a little bit more personal. Perhaps because we’re coming off a year of pregnancy and childbirth – a year in which I literally laid everything bare to my husband and depended on him to care for all of my needs, even personal ones like helping me in the hospital bathroom after Evan was born or cutting my toenails when I was so big I couldn’t reach them – I am craving just a few morsels of honest-to-god privacy. Maybe even modesty.


2 Responses to “New Year’s Resolution”

  1. Yeah I know that feeling. I’m afraid it continues to be a challenge—privacy. I missed most my own time and space, something sacred for me and then the same for our relationship. We had so many years together (really a dozenish) before kids so we got really used to that, without any challenges. So the last few years have held a lot of transition and right now it feels just a *little* like we’ve got a good stride for a moment.

    I just have to find my times.

    Using My Words

  2. This made me giggle a little, because when I was younger I kept track of resolutions, too. Including lists of books read. And now I’ve gone an entire year without reading a single fiction novel. Amazing how things change.

    Privacy is always hard when you live together. Aaron and I will tell each other nearly anything, at almost any time. We do have our own sacred times when we don’t want the other person to bother us. My time is in the bath. Obviously he’s seen me naked, so that isn’t the issue, but that time soaking in a bath is mine. My private moment without interruptions.

    And I have a moms’ night out with some other moms (some of them bloggers) once a month. I love that time away, too.

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