While everybody is making resolutions and even picking a theme for the new year, I do my usual, which is not making resolutions, and generally live my life like I did before. Sometimes struggling, sometimes getting it right, having tons of fun and plenty of difficult moments. And with my whole might, refuse to do any of the following.

1) Be more mindful

I don’t need to be more mindful. First because I am clumsy and really need to focus on what I am doing, which means I am already mindful or else I drop things. It is not fun to drop things especially if they’re little and  have arms and legs. Just kidding. I have NEVER, ever dropped any of my children. Secondly, as an introvert, I live in my head a lot, and I love it. I take a lot of pleasure from my inner world. Being more mindful- paying more attention to the world around me, would rob me of this pleasure. No mindfulness for me, thank you very much.

2) Plan, organize and set goals.

It seems to me that if you have a problem or a question, the answer is always along the lines of planning and organizing, as if they offer magic answers to everything. The To Do List is the Bible of planning and organizing.Want something? Plan it! Want more time for yourself? Organize, and plan some more! Have a wish? Set your goal and make it come true!But I am a rather messy person which can be somewhat annoying if I didn’t get so much creativity out of it. If you want, you can plan your life to the last little minute, but I don’t want to. It is scary to realize that we don’t have control over everything, but then awesome things will happen to you if you do. As for goal setting, it puts unnecessary pressure on yourself, especially if the goal is a hard one. Me? I just try to reach my goals without actually setting them- I am much more likely to make the commitment if it isn’t really a commitment.

3) Simplify my life

I think people who say that life is simple don’t really understand it. This is the reason why I don’t like infographics- they look alluring but they’re often oversimplified and thus misleading. I rely a lot on technology and yes it makes my life simpler, so I find it funny when people who want to simplify their lives end up shunning it- which is totally incomprehensible to me. Maybe it will make their lives simpler, but I like life in all its glorious complexity to just happen.

4) Think positive thoughts

Let’s just put aside the simple fact that positive thinking got us into financial troubles in the first place (sure you can have the mortgage to buy your house. Oh you don’t have money? Well- let’s just think positive, shall we?) I like to think that I have quite a sweet, trusting nature and think that in most cases things will work out OK. But when I get on Facebook, I am bombarded with positive inspiring messages– and you already know what I think of them. I am in need of some balance. So I am going to help myself to heaps and heaps of irony. I will generously sprinkle skepticism on everything I see. I think that a world without a humour is a world not worth living in. The world is wonderfully absurd and that’s why I love life so much. But thinking that everything is going to be OK? I think that a lot of the times, it will. A lot of times, it won’t. Sometimes it will be just partly OK. But when I see positive messages or quotes, I am quite scared that I will get diabetes from all the sweetness.

5) Choose happiness

People say that happiness is a choice. Personally,  I don’t believe that but for the sake of the article let’s assume that it is. And if it is a choice, are there situations where we have to choose to be unhappy? I believe there are. Did you know that people who had less choices ended up being happier? In many ways, people living in oppressive systems are happier that the ones living in freedom. Choices make us unhappy. And yet they are  paramount. Because if you don’t have choices you can’t make good decisions. You can’t take control over your life if you don’t know what you want. And discovering yourself is a painful process and in the short-term it won’t make you happier. And, when we’re unhappy, we’re often more open to the suffering of others- and help instead of being so immersed in our own happiness that we don’t notice- or don’t care that other people need our help. So yes, even if we assume that it is our choice to be happy, I will continue to allow myself to be unhappy sometimes.

This list could go on. There are so many things people think we should do and I just refuse. Partly because I am not one to give in to the pressure. Partly because I don’t think that these things are always good or the answer to anything. Mostly because… I just don’t want to.


Olga is a Polish woman, living in the Netherlands with her German husband and three children. On her blog, she writes about the challenges and wonders of the expat life, but on BLUNTmoms, you will read her musings on parenting, people and life in general.

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