Adding Another Resolution to 2012

Ever have one of those conversations that makes you stop and think? The kind that sticks with you hours, even days, after its conclusion? I had one of those conversations recently, with my husband and my friend, Dana.

Topic: The possible end of the world.
Question: If it all ended tomorrow, and you had a moment of knowledge that the end was coming, would you be ok? Happy? Satisfied?

When Dana posed this question to me, my gut reaction was NO. (Followed by my deepest hope that the end of the world doesn’t mean a zombie apocalypse. Because zombies creep me out.)

I have to much to do for my life to just end in a Too many things I haven’t accomplished yet. Too many dreams I haven’t fulfilled. Would I go into that moment kicking and screaming, shaking my fists at the universe? (Or the Mayans?)


Maybe the Mayans just had a warped sense of humor.

As Dana and my husband talked about how they felt about the (impossible) situation, I found myself listing all those things in my head. Those things that plague me everyday, just out of reach.

List of Things I Don’t Have Yet
(But still really want, thereby making the end of the world even more sucky.)

*A job I love
*My own house
*A second car
*A published book
*A million dollars (yes, I realize that’s a bit of a stretch)

The thought of not fulfilling these dreams makes me a little panicky. I’ve waited so long! I’ve been so patient! It’s almost within our grasp! With the conversation still going on around me, I focus on steadying my breathing, calming my rapid heart rate. It’s not going to happen, Abby, I tell myself. The Mayans just ran out of rock. We’ll be celebrating 2013 with Ryan Seacrest and the giant sparkly ball with everyone else on the planet come December 31st.
Moments later, I confess my answer to the question to Brian and Dana. I feel guilty saying it. Ungrateful.
I say that it’s not that I am not appreciative for what I do have, it’s just that I want more. “Everybody wants more, Abby,” Dana says wisely.
And that’s when Brian says it. The thing that I’ll mull over for hours, even days, far after the conversation has ended. The thing that, at first, hurts my feelings until I realize the truth behind the statement.
“Abby tends to focus more on what we don’t have. 
It makes it harder for her to see what we DO have.”
And yet, it’s true.
I lie awake at night, imagining what my life would be like if I could turn off that maternal desire to have a baby. How much happier I’d be if I could stop yearning. I pass by houses with “For Sale” signs in the yard and am bitter that I don’t have one of my own. I get up at the crack of dawn to schlep my husband to and from work, grumbling all the way about my own lack of transportation. I talk about the book I’m writing, and the other one I’ve got floating around in my head, with gusto (even though I haven’t touched my manuscript since Thanksgiving.)
With his words bouncing around in my head, I’ve spent the day berating myself for this flaw in my personality. Asking myself if I strive too much (or plan too much) for the future, thereby letting today pass me by. And I started listing all the things in my life that I DO have, (for my reference, and Brian’s.)
List of Things I Do Have
(Thereby making my life awesomely awesome)

*A steady, healthy relationship with a man I admire and trust.
*A family that supports me, loves me, and makes me laugh.
*Friends who appreciate me for me, no matter my flaws.
*Four cats who let me hug them, even when they don’t want to be hugged.
*A job that allows me to follow my true passion–writing.

It’s not as if I don’t know how blessed I am in life. I just want more. More, more, more.
Does that make me greedy? Selfish? Ungrateful?
Or does that make me normal?
Regardless, I’ve decided to add a new resolution for 2012. I’m going to stop focusing so much on the things we don’t have and spend more time in the moment, loving everything we DO have.
Including, but not limited to, my Twitter follow by Donnie Wahlberg.

Because that belongs on the list, too.

18 thoughts on “Adding Another Resolution to 2012

  1. danadominata

    I have re-written this comment atleast four times because I saw your gears start to turn when that conversation started. I have no knowledge or wisdom to offer. I guess I approach life with a prioritized list of 1. must do/haves 2. can waits and 3. nice to do/haves. The first is necessary to my overall happiness and well being either in the present, near future or future, the second is stuff that will eventually move to the first and the third is filled with things that I dream about but won’t really add to my quality of life but would be a nice story to tell. My motto is “a failure to plan is a plan to fail” so I very much live with the future in mind and not always in the present, but I feel that every moment I spend on working toward my goals is a moment in which I am fulfilled.

    I truly wish all the happiness in the world for you and for Brian, I <3 you both...and I hope that I can continue to go along for the ride.

  2. Stephanie

    I love this post, Abby. Once again you’ve made me think. I also spend a lot time thinking about the things that I want but don’t have. For the most part, I think that they’re attainable with hard work (I want a book deal and an organized house, in that order). The baby thing…well, that, I have to learn to let go of. Not to let go of the dream of a baby, but to let go of the idea that I can will myself into having a baby. I still want one so much that it aches sometimes, but I’m finally getting to a point where I can think “hey, yeah, my life is pretty good. And if I never have kids of my own…well, then, it’s still pretty good.” (Not to say, of course, that I don’t require copious amounts of chocolate once a month when my body makes it clear to me that a baby isn’t yet on its way.)

    I hope that 2012 brings us nothing but good things (ie. no zombies or massive cataclysmic weather shifts)!

  3. Life As Wife

    I’m no where near ready for “the end”! I want another baby and a home to call our own plus a lot o other superficial things. But mostly? I’m not done living and enjoying!

    Those Mayans better be wrong…

  4. Erica M

    I followed you here from Ryan’s Show Your Work feature on her blog. Ask Ryan about our community over at yeah write. We would love for you to share this post with us tomorrow. This was really good.

    I need to learn to forget what I don’t have as well. I’m surrounded by so many good things, yet something prevents me from fully appreciating them until they are gone. I’ll try to do better.

  5. Abby

    Erica, I’d be honored to share my work at yeah write! Just let me know what to do and I’ll take care of it this morning! :0) Thanks so much!

  6. Lenore Diane

    Abby this is great! The cartoon is hilarious. Can you imagine? Cracks me up.
    I am glad you heeded Erica’s advice and shared this post with the Yeah Write community. Your thoughts are not uncommon, and your husband shares the wise reminder. Thank you for this!

    1. Abby

      Thanks for stopping by! I got a good chuckle out of the cartoon, too. My husband will appreciate being called “wise.” 🙂

    1. Abby

      I’d much rather win the lottery than get hit by a bus. LOL. But you’re right…I’m learning that my grass is perfectly green on THIS side of the fence.

    1. Abby

      Thank you so much! I’m always honest, if nothing else, here on my blog. It holds me accountable on a daily basis. 🙂

    1. Abby

      I’m trying really hard to focus on that list instead of the list of things I don’t have yet!! It makes life WAY more fun. 🙂

  7. Jamie

    I had some heartfelt things to share but then I HAD to click on the Donnie post and now who the hell cares! I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED TO YOU AND I’M BEYOND JEALOUS!!! I want Jordan to love me forever.

    1. Abby

      LOL! Another fellow Blockhead. Glad to meet you! 🙂 And I’m thrilled that you clicked on that link. It really was one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me. I talk about my relationship with Donnie Wahlberg on this blog a TON, so don’t be surprised if you find many more posts on him in the future! 🙂

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