Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
~ Hamlet, Act I Scene III
I would love to be all pretentious and say I typed that from memory, but . . . yeah, no. Much as I love Shakespeare that is so not happening.
I'm not really one to make New Year's Resolutions (and I'm beginning to think that might be a genetic thing, lol) per se, but the week after Christmas does strike me as a good time to take stock and maybe make changes since everyone else is talking about it. So I've been thinking all week about this year and what could be better next year.
And I have to admit, I've been having a bit of a hard time. That's not really normal, but I think it's a comparative thing. Everyone's been posting their end of the year blogs and talking about how glad they are to see 2010 go, but I have to admit we've had a pretty good year. Much better than '09 - by far!! So what to do, what to do?
I read "The Happiness Project" recently (side note - it's crazy how much non-fiction I've read this year . . . I almost never read it. And it's even crazier that I've liked it!!) and ever since I've liked the idea of doing my own, but again, I've been having a hard time deciding how to do it. Blargh!
And, inevitably, the thought occurs to me - the resolution that surfaces as predictably as giving up procrastination for Lent (next year). I touched on it a bit a few months ago, but I'm not sure how well I've done since then.
So. Here it is. I care way too much about what other people think of me. I've turned down invitations and been vague about the things I do and like out of the crippling fear that I will be laughed at, either in front of my face or behind my back. Honestly I've always known it, but it's gradually sinking in that there's really nothing I can do. Some people are just like that - they're going to find something to mock if it kills them. I cultivate a Pollyanna persona, and when it cracks for some reason that drives people away. I had some harsh awakenings this year with people I'd taken for friends - turns out they don't think that highly of me. That hurt, naturally. Still does.
But I think I'm finally starting to believe it doesn't matter. I can't be someone else. Clearly, I can't please everybody, even though I feel as if somewhere along the line my brain was programmed to think I have to. All I can be is me. And being me has brought me true, wonderful friends (like all of you), an amazing husband, and the adoration (if I do say so myself, haha) of some adorably sweet little kids.
So this is it for me. Not a happiness project exactly. Not a word of the year. Not a virtue to seek out. In 2011 I intend to do my best to live up to Polonius' words - to thine ownself be true. See also: embodying the spirit of this song. (ummm . . . Grandma and Grandpa - you probably want to skip that link.) Maybe some people want everything I blog about to be happy or perky or silly, but I'm not going to stop blogging about things that upset me. I'm not going to smile and nod when someone does or says something I don't think is right. I'm not going to be what other people tell me I'm supposed to be. You get one life to live, and I'm living mine my way. Everyone else can take me or leave me.
Anyway. Happy New Year! And all that jazz . . . you know, it's still 2010 here but in New Zealand it's practically almost the second day of 2011 already? How's that for trippy? (Also - I just had to add "Zealand" to my computer's dictionary . . . weird.) Best wishes to you and yours, and insert all those other standard empty phrases here (except I promise I mean them). :-)
P. ost S. cript
My favorite song changes pretty much daily - and sometimes more often than that. But this one will ALWAYS be in the top ten. We had a lot of this these last half a million minutes. Thanks for sharing in some of them. :-)