Friday, January 4, 2013

Non-judgmental January

Hi friends!  I hope you’ve successfully made it four days into 2013 without crumbling under the pressure of your resolutions.  I’ve been close to the brink of insanity a couple of times but I’m proud to report that I’m still here, behaving myself and abiding by my resolutions so far.  (See?  I could’ve—and probably would’ve, in 2012—put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence.  Unnecessary.  Oddly enough, I still feel uneasy about it and think it needs a little ‘excitement.’) 

If you’ve already read my resolutions, you know that for the month of January I’m going to be talking a lot about breaking my terrible, judgmental ways.  If you haven’t read my post about my 2013 resolutions, go do it now.  Please?  Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Ok, so before we jump in, I want to talk about why this is so important to me.  Before deciding on my resolutions, I drew up a mental list of my strengths and weaknesses.  Yep, I can draw pretty magical mental pictures.  And it looked a heck of a lot better than the one you see below.  Put that one in my “pros” column.

At my best, I’m…
At my worst, I’m…
Good at drawing mental images
Snarky (yes, this is a positive trait where I come from)
Introverted/high need for alone time (even if it just means going to the bathroom with the door shut)
Supportive (I’m really bad at almost everything.  I seriously don’t do much of anything well, but I can love and support like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s my super power.)
Socially awkward (almost to the point of a handicap at times)

The life of the party

I can live with most of the weaknesses… I’ll be honest; being lazy, socially awkward, and indecisive really isn’t so bad.  The one word glaring at me off of this list was (you guessed it) “judgmental.”

I hate being judged.  I’m guessing you do too.  You know what it’s like, right?  You’re sitting at McDonalds with your toddler, watching that beautiful offspring of yours happily consuming his entire daily saturated fat and sodium intake, when a super-fit baby-wearing yoga mom walks in and gives you the “omg-I-can’t-believe-you’re-feeding-your-kid-that-crap” look (why is the super-fit yoga mom— who probably eats only organic—in McDonalds in the first place?  I don’t know.  First thing that came to my mind).  Doesn’t feel so good, does it?

Or what about that day you’re peacefully strolling through the grocery store when your angelic little girl starts begging for the newest (super) high sugar cereal?  You tell little Sally no and you try to keep shopping when her lower lip begins to tremble and her eyes fill with tears.  You see that look in her eye— you think to yourself, “Oh no, not here.  Please not here.”  Within seconds, she’s gone nuclear and everyone in the store knows it.  You panic.  You need to get out of the cereal aisle, stat.  “Here, Sally, play with Mommy’s ultra-expensive touch screen smart phone for a little bit.  Will that make you happy?”  Sally sniffs, and snatches the phone from your hand.  She glances at the screen, taps it a couple of times, and then begins to scream again.  Strangers are looking at you, shaking their heads.  You’re sure they must be asking themselves what kind of a mother you are and why your kid is such a brat.  Surely it's something you're doing wrong.  Letting a young child play with a smartphone?  Isn’t there some sort of a study out there about kids and screen time?  Does this lady know what she's doing to her child's mental and emotional development?  What a failure.  Someone call Child Protective Services.

(I know what you’re thinking.  No, not all of my insecurities are based on parenting.  Or food.  Just most of them.)

Because I don’t like to be judged, I know I need to knock off my own judgmental nonsense.  I've learned something about myself: the more I judge others, the more I fear judgment.  I’m not sure how or why.  I just know that there was a time in my life when I was a lot less judgmental and a lot more accepting altruistic apathetic.  I felt so free to be who I was and do what I wanted.  Now, I struggle daily with what to wear, how to style my hair, and whether I’m “good enough” for my environment.  Every morning is the same; "What will Roxanne say about these pants?  Are they dressy enough for work?  I think I might skip ironing the Downy Wrinkle Releaser today; wait, nope, better not.  I don’t want to end up looking too unprofessional."  (Side note: I don't actually work with a Roxanne.  She's an imaginary bitch who lives in my head and tells me how sloppy I am.)

Here’s another little gem of knowledge I’ve picked up in the last couple of years: if I surround myself with judgmental people, I become more judgmental.  Probably because I’m an easily influenced person and it doesn’t take much for me to begin seeing the world through the eyes of my peers.  But again, the more judgmental I become, the more paranoid I become.  See how this vicious cycle works?

So, in a (large) nutshell, that’s why this January resolution is so important to me.  I need to change my ways, not only to be a better person, but to be a happier person.  Hopefully you’re planning on tagging along for the next 27 days.  Happy Friday, everybody!  (Exclamation point totally acceptable there.)

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