With the year coming to a close, I’ve been thinking about a list of resolutions for 2016. This is usually when I look back at my prior year’s list, realize I suck, and copy almost every item, still unresolved, into a new one. Particularly over the past decade since I’ve had kids, my resolutions have been piling up like rollover points – nice to have but rarely used. Let’s face it, I’m never really going to reduce all spending, run a marathon, sleep eight hours straight, and make Spanish my second language as long as I have a gaggle of needy young narcissists running loose in my home.

One of my kids has autism, so I know all about turning limitations into assets. And this new year I’ve decided to apply that talent to myself. While searching for inspiration this morning, I typed the word “resolution” into Google Dictionary, and here is what I read:

“A firm decision to do or not to do something.”

This is profound, the goal of not doing something. There’s a bit of reverse-psychology at work in the “not” that’s motivating and hopeful to me, as if a list of nots will be easier to accomplish than my usual action list.

Inspiration found. For 2016, my New Year’s resolutions are…

  • I resolve not to jog for more than twenty minutes in the morning after oversleeping a half hour. “Because I have no concept of time” is not a valid reason for the kids to be late for school. Or for me to be late for work.
  • I resolve not to be a coffee snob. What’s more important, my $4 latte habit or my son’s occupational therapy?
  • I resolve not to compare my stuff with the stuff other people have, because the perspective I’ve gained through my quirky family is priceless.
  • I resolve not to talk about autism on my next date night with my husband.
  • I resolve not to talk about autism on my next lunch date with my girlfriends.
  • I resolve not to fall asleep at my children’s bedtime on a regular basis, because it makes me feel very boring. My husband would agree.
  • I resolve not to get angry with my children’s doctor when he dismisses my gut instincts. Instead we will just move on and find a better fit.
  • I resolve not to skip my next check-up even though I hate needles. What am I, five?
  • I resolve not to skip my single friend’s birthday party even though it starts at 10:00pm. What am I, old?
  • I resolve not to bring my children on at least one weekend getaway this year.
  • I resolve not to talk about autism on said weekend getaway this year.
  • I resolve not to cancel the weekend getaway this year. What’s more important, our budget or my sanity?
  • I resolve not to attempt a conversation in Spanish with my neighbor’s gardener, about autism or anything else. I think my translation insults him. And he speaks English, anyway.
  • And finally, I resolve not to loath myself if I do not not do all of the things on this list.

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