It’s mid-July. So … how are your New Year’s resolutions going?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this year is different — living in the time of the pandemic. The pressure is on. Now that you have all this “free” time, you can still learn Italian/French/Mandarin. It’s not too late to learn how to make those thumbprint cookies, or write the great American novel, or paint that masterpiece you’ve been dreaming of painting. Sure, the gyms are still closed, but walking outside is free. But we’ve all been forgetting something vital, something that we should remember, even if we didn’t have COVID-19 around — something important to remember, especially because it’s so COVIDy out there.
How about showing yourself some kindness? How about being just a little bit more patient with yourself?
As I’ve written before, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I make one or two goals every few years or so, and then work on them. That is how I started flossing my teeth daily — and it only took me two years to get there. This year, and the year before that, my goal has been to stop being late — stop being late to appointments, to lunches, to services, to anything that requires a deadline. During the days of COVID, it has been helpful that there aren’t that many appointments any more, but I can’t say I am even 80 percent successful, yet. Although I am getting noticeably better.
The funny part is, when I was younger, I used to never be late. I was never reprimanded at work for being late, when I worked outside the home. I was never late for my classes in high school nor college (not late as a student or as an adjunct professor). But, both suddenly and slowly, I began being tardy to a lot of things — work, appointments, shows, dinners, visits.
I have zero problems when someone I’m meeting is running late — I always have a book and a notebook with me. Nor do I take it personally. Life is busy, plus Denver’s traffic has gotten even worse than it was (and highly variable if there is an accident or construction), and now the rush hour doesn’t actually end between sun up and sun down. But as for me, I was raised better than that. My parents were never late, and I was always told that punctuality is the trait of royalty.
Like the rest of the humanity, I am a work in progress. Sometimes that progress is swift. Most of the time, that progress moves at glacial speed, if it moves at all. The thing to remember, then, is to show my inner lying scumbag some compassion. Kindness to self is the pathway of kindness to others. I should cut myself some slack. If I don’t expect anyone to change overnight, why should I expect different from myself?
Today, I was on time to my doctor appointment (and waited 20 minutes for the doctor). Slowly, slowly catchy monkey.