The word for 2013: Inch

So I’m super, duper good at full steam ahead onslaughts to the finish line.  I know when I get that determined, wild-eyed, crazy woman attitude because Big Friend visibly cringes, ducks, or otherwise tucks tail and runs for cover.  Who knows where I’ll need to move the couch, or what vacation I’ll need to plan within an inch of my life, or what closet will be taken apart to be re-organized down to the nails, nuts, and bolts?

So the whole New Years resolution thing, for me, is less of a carrot at the end of a stick, and more like a finish line stretching ahead of me in the mist–daunting, not for the faint of heart, but conquerable.  I don’t make resolutions.  I make Resolutions.  The kinds of Resolutions you can pin a flag on the top and call Mt. Everest.

This year, with great conscious restraint, I’m making a resolution.  A teeny, tiny, lower-case “r” resolution.

I almost can’t stand it.  It’s almost not enough.  It almost doesn’t count.  I really, really, really want to dress it up and make it more spectacular than it is.  My fingers itch to get at it and puff it up to a capital R.  Or at least half-way to a capital R.

And that’s why I need it.  My resolution.

Here it is in all its unassuming glory:

2013 is the year of the inch.

As in, no finish line in sight.  Just one inch’s progress from where I am now.  Doable?  Mmm hmm.  Conquerable?  Surely.  Liberating?  You betcha.

Instead of expecting a series of Mt. Everests of myself (52 organization projects in a year, 365 days of play for the kids, made-from-scratch cooking every night, seasonal wardrobe rotations of the perfect essential pieces, three fabulous blog posts a week), I’m going to celebrate each teeny, tiny step of progress.  I’m refusing to look at the finish line and instead giving myself credit for the square inch of real estate right in front of my toes.

In college, I relished “to do” lists.  Preferably color coded and arranged in appropriate columns in my planner.  There’s no feeling like the solid victory of drawing a line through a done item.  My 2013 Inch resolution is kinda like cheating at the end of a to-do list: “Make a to do list.”  Check!  Victory!

Because why shouldn’t we give ourselves small, daily victory parties?

Who says the house has to be perfectly cleaned, organized, spiffed up, and the kids have to be educationally and playfully handled all day long and I have to be personally enriched mind, body, and spirit every day of the year or else all my efforts add up to one big epic fail?  Who wants to face a failed resolution?  A summit left unconquered?  Instead, allow me to celebrate: I wiped down the kitchen counters today.  Inch.  Check.  A victorious 2013.

I’m finding great liberation in saying that today, what I got done (not what was left undone) is the story I’m going to tell.

It’s January 21.  Here’s how I’m already using my resolution to guide my decisions.  One of my “inches” for the year is reading.  I thought it would be a great idea to set a goal of reading 100 books in 2013.  That is, until Big Friend, catching a fleeting streak of the wild-eyed crazy woman, sagely (and bravely) pointed out that my goal would require reading a book every three days.  Mmm hmmm.  Sounds more like a Resolution to me.  I’ve backed off a bit and gone for 52 books in 2013.  One a week is more like an inch.

I’ve also stared down a travel Resolution.  Big Friend and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year, which we’ve always imagined  occasioning as a second honeymoon.  That’s one serious Vacation.  But this is the year of the inch.  We’re looking at inching forward toward some home improvement goals and some parenting goals and some financial goals, all of which will give us a stress-free, more productive year.  So instead of taking a Vacation, we’re going to take the year to brainstorm, dream, and save toward a Vacation that might actually come about in the eleventh year of marriage.  I’m excited, because I know I’ll be able to take my color-coded pen and slash a line through Plan a Vacation much more quickly and thoroughly than Take a Vacation.  I will inch forward.  One day, micro-goal, and celebration at a time.

And now, for one last inch….write one, just one, blog post (be it good, bad, or ugly) in the month of January.



  1. Jo said:

    A-h-h. Congratulations. You have truly “reclaimed the extraordinary”. Happy inching.

    January 21, 2013
  2. Big Friend said:

    Put a confident line through the resolution, this was a very good post! Happy 2013, the year if the inch.

    January 21, 2013
  3. Nancy Taylor said:

    Well done!

    January 21, 2013
  4. Megan said:

    you. are. awesome.

    January 22, 2013
  5. […] I’m resolved to read 52 books this year.  As a self-proclaimed avid reader, it’s a low number for me (and if you’re wondering what happens to people like me, people who love to read, write, talk, and breathe literature, we grow up and become English teachers, of course).  But in my current position of juggling full-time motherhood and a part-time job working from home, I have to intentionally and strategically carve reading time out of my day.  It doesn’t happen every day.  In fact, far too often, I devote the minutes I could invest in literature to a thorough survey of the doings in Facebookville.  And while I’m now totally up to date on silly kitten pictures, Instagram shots of meals I’d love to eat, and various opinions on the outcome of football games, I’m not necessarily enriched like I would be after reading a decent novel.  Yet still, early Saturday mornings come to me, and quiet moments of nursing while I stare at the hologram of an ebook on my iPhone, and vacation reprieves at the beach, and in these gifts of moments, I can escape into the solitary magic of books. […]

    January 23, 2013

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