Unlike many people, I'm not a maker of New Year's resolutions. Mainly because when I see the need for change or improvement, I resolve to fix it then, even if it's July 23 or Oct. 1. I don't wait until the first of the year.
But I have discovered the need for sweeping change in my life, so large that I have spent the past couple of months putting a strategic plan in place to accomplish it.
I'm tired of being stretched and stressed. It is rare to find an empty day on my calendar, and at least 50 percent of those days have me on the road. Usually, I'm traveling for speaking engagements or other business.
When I do have a rare day or two that finds me at home, I have a peculiar idea that I can get some work done. It even occurs to me that I could do what I get paid to do - write! Sometimes I treat my writing as though it's a hobby, not what pays my bills and puts food in Dixie Dew's bowl.
Don't ask me how and don't ask for particulars because I can't even remember, but days at home disappear quickly while nothing productive professionally has been done. Mainly, because I have said "yes" every time someone called and asked a favor or invited me somewhere. I just try to please everyone and make them happy. It's wearing me out. And, worse than that, I'm getting no work done.
It's important to be selfless, but sometimes you have to be selfish. That's why I'm proclaiming, at least in my household, that 2010 will be "The Year of Me."
Ask anyone who knows me well, especially those related to me, and they'll probably say, "What's new about that? Her life is always about her."
Not true. Sometimes it's about Dixie Dew.
When I decided to pass on a trip that several family members were taking, though they all begged me to join them, I tried to explain: I just didn't want to go. I had five solid reasons for making that decision.
"But we want you to go." They sweetly begged, pleaded and cajoled.
"Life is not always about you," someone said when it was evident that I wasn't changing my mind. "Sometimes it's about what other people want."
Ouch. I put forth much effort and stress trying to ascertain that others get everything they want from me. Why bother if others still think that my diligent effort is not enough?
"That's not fair," I responded in a level tone. "No one puts their family first more than I do. But sometimes, sometimes, I have earned the right for it to be about me."
That's when I got the bright idea to make a whole year about me. Not just a weekend. After all, if folks think that I make my life all about me anyway, why not comply? Why not get the pure joy out of it?
I'm starting to enjoy the thought of all this. For instance, the next time someone calls and asks me to attend a fundraiser that coincides with my hair appointment - which due to the limited amount of time my sweet Sandy works is hard to reschedule - I'll say, "I'm so sorry but I can't. Since this is the Year of Me, I can't possibly reschedule my hair appointment."
If any of you dear people would like to contribute to the Year of Me in some way, say sending flowers, a housekeeper or spa gift certificates, feel welcomed. Even though it's the Year of Me, I'll still send you a thank-you note.
Oh, this is sounding good. Real good. Come to think about it: this isn't a resolution. It's a promise. The Year of Me. I'm looking forward to it.Ronda Rich is the Gainesville-based author of the new book, "What Southern Women Know About Faith." Sign up for her newsletter.