For years, my mom had a clipping stuck on her refrigerator with a magnet.
Although it was in a semi-public place, the clipping was a private message for her, not a directive for the family and friends who might see it.
Mom knew she’d be in and out of the refrigerator numerous times a day. She probably hoped that by putting the clipping right there she’d be forced to notice it. At least once a day, she’d really see the words and be reminded of her intentions. Every day, she could rededicate herself to the effort of becoming her best self.
As a visitor, I saw it often but never thought too hard about it. They were her goals, not mine, and Mom wasn’t in the habit of preaching about her values or goals.
But when the clipping turned up in a box of Mom’s things that my sister had saved, I realized how much her example has influenced me. I, too, regularly rededicate myself to the effort of being my better self.
I make New Year’s resolutions (often the same ones about health and writing – they’re still good, because I frequently stray from my goals). Throughout the year, I also take stock and evaluate whether or not I’m living the life I want to live. For example, I might ask myself: Am I too bizzy with household tasks that don’t matter? Am I letting other people’s agendas overtake my own? Can I be more tolerant and easygoing and let go of irritation faster? Am I pushing myself creatively? And more.
My refrigerator is bare. Unlike Mom, I keep my resolutions and inspirations in journals or in the Notes app on my phone where I see them often. When I reread my intentions, I’m pleased to see that I’ve followed through on some. Others, not so much. But I’m easy with myself – effort counts. I’m a work in progress and I just need to keep trying.
Mom’s clipping lists five goals. I love that she circled the two that were most meaningful to her. As her daughter, I can tell you that most days, she nailed them.