On My Terms
On My Terms is my 2021 New Year’s resolution. I do not usually make a year-end declaration. I am not a smoker, over-weight, nor do I have any heinous habits that need to be curbed. I have observed those who do make bold statements on January 1st tend to return to the same old habits by Groundhog Day.
But this year is different. In so many ways. In fact, I think there must be a fifty gallon drum of unprecedented paint somewhere that has coated most public actions and tainted a wide swath of humanity. For me, the overuse of the term unprecedented has dulled its impact.
Since I am a natural pleaser, it has been a challenge to stay true to myself. I don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. I am so willing to look at both sides of an issue that sometimes I slide into the middle gray area for safe haven. But, I have gotten stronger with age. Nevertheless, 2020 has bruised my fortitude. I have constantly been tested to stay true to my convictions and not cave. But curiously, those moments of temptation have given birth to new fibers of courage. These strong threads inspire me to march into 2021 on my terms.
My terms are not radical and boisterous. They are not designed to drown out the voices of others. I know that the only behavior I can control is my own, although I try to be an example to my children and grandchildren. My terms are pretty fundamental. They are based on kindness, respect, and facts. I am not looking to enlist an army of followers. I am just asking for the courtesy from others to be me.
Since March 29,2020 when I wrote my blog post Life Sweater https://kimkluxenmeredith.com/life-sweater/ the pandemic has intensified. The early days of this scourge were chaotic and frightening for me. But as the science of the virus evolved and more information became known, I have modified some of my protective behavior. I understand the lessened risk of surface contamination but I do not waiver from the high risk of airborne contaminants.
On occasion, my choices have left me standing on the outer circle. I admit it has been lonely there . But, the few times when I do acquiesce, a bitter taste of disappointment lingers on my tongue for hours.
I have been keeping a journal since March 2020. Each entry starts with “I am proud when…”. Last night I went back and read some of my scribbled notes. I noticed words of frustration, sadness, and disappointment. But I also observed a theme of determination and commitment. Even back then I was starting to formulate my own terms .
Currently, my life journey is rolling along at a slower pace. Now days, I take time to stop, reflect, and look for the purpose in each day. I don’t compare myself to others as much. I am comfortable in my 68 year-old skin. Although my epidermis has more lines and spots, precious, vibrant stories live beneath.
So on New Year’s Eve, I will proclaim my resolution loud and clear- On My Terms– and meet 2021 head-on!
I see light at the end of a tunnel that for months has muted my existence. I anticipate joy and relief when I can feel the warmth of human touch again. And I feel a sense of satisfaction that my future journey will be on my terms.
I wish for all of you a bushel of hope and joy in 2021 and may you be given the gift of your own terms. May they serve you well! Happy New Year!