Happy New Year! I’m back. I know, I know … I am really late, but it is still January, so “Happy New Year” still works.
The old me would have freaked out about posting this piece 16 days after the start of the new year. The old me would have been a stressed-out, mean-to-those-around-her, grumpy lunatic who stayed up way too late in order to post on January 1. But this is the new me. The 2015 me … Calmer, happier, better. Meet Lauren Tarr, 2.0.
I see you rolling your eyes. Less than three weeks into the new year and I think I’m a reformed woman? Hardly. The old me — the grumpy, stressed, overreacting me — has made a few appearances, but you know what? I didn’t beat myself up for it. I caught myself. I apologized and moved on. See? Calmer, happier, better.
Last year, I publicly resolved to start a blog, learn to sew and stop cursing, yelling, complaining and planning. Putting my resolutions out for the world to see was supposed to make me accountable and therefore successful. It did, sort of. I started my blog and I was able to mend a few small things with the sewing machine. But that last one — to live in the moment more, to stop swearing and screaming, to quit complaining — was tough and I think I now know why. I wasn’t a very happy person. I was frustrated, bitter and even sad much of the time. I focused too much on the negative. I let daily stresses get the better of me. I made mountains out of mole hills and felt sorry for myself more often than I should have. Ridiculous, I know. The crazy thing is, it took a pile of dog crap for me to see this clearly.
While we were in California during the holidays, my oblivious 8-year-old son stepped in dog poop and dragged it throughout my friend, Caitlin’s, home. I was embarrassed, angry and belligerent. Caitlin was calm, sweet and understanding. She said, “It was an accident. As long as no one was hurt, everything else can be fixed, replaced or wasn’t necessary anyway. Shit happens. Literally, in this case.”
You know what? She’s right. (THANK YOU, CAITLIN!) Crappy things happen, but it’s not the end of the world. Let it go and move on.
So this year, I’m taking a different approach to my New Year’s Resolutions. The only pledge I am making is to be happy and cut myself some slack when I mess up (wait, is that one resolution or two?!). Yes, I have still some tangible goals (lose 10 pounds before the summer, revamp my blog, get published on a national site, stop swearing once and for all, et cetera, et cetera), but if they don’t happen in a year’s time, that’s okay. I’ll keep trying. For now, I am just going to focus on being happy … Whatever that means to me on any given day.