New Year’s Resolutions for the Overwhelmed

December 31, 2012 | 12 comments

I love New Year’s resolutions. I relish putting together long lists of ambitious goals every December 31st, and waking up on January 1, ready for my new, perfect, problem-free life! Needless to say, I never have quite found the resolution list that actually accomplishes all of that; in fact, I usually end up forgetting half of my New Year’s goals, and only partially hitting the others.

Nevertheless, I still find making resolutions to be a fruitful exercise: It’s a chance to take a high-level look at where my life is compared to where I’d like it to be. It’s a day to sit down and ask hard questions about whether or not my actual priorities are in line with my stated priorities. And, even when I fall short of my own goals, I find that even coming close to them makes things better. For example, there was that year that I said I’d lose 20 pounds and I only lost five — yet in the process I learned a ton about nutrition, discovered some food sensitivities I had, and paved the way for the next year when I actually would lose the weight.

But this year things are different. When a friend called to ask what resolutions I’d made, she expected for me to jump into action and zealously recite a mile-long list. Instead I said with a sigh, “I think I’m just going to try to survive this day.”

An undiagnosed issue with this pregnancy has left me fatigued to the point of barely functioning, and over the past few weeks the house has slid into chaos. Even with Joe helping as much as he can, mountains of unfolded laundry pile up in the bedroom, the sink always has at least a few dirty dishes sitting in it, and I’m sure that somewhere in the mess of papers on the inbox on my desk are bills that are about to be late. I’m sure this is my fatigue-induced pessimism talking, but sometimes it feels like I’m so behind on everything that I’ll never catch up again.

In a phase like this one, grand resolutions can feel pointless.

I had decided to scrap the entire concept and spend my New Year’s Eve wallowing in some extra-rich self-pity, but Joe  encouraged me to find some small resolution I could make. He pointed out that it would probably make me feel better to accomplish one or two things, even if they were small. His idea sounded a little more inspiring than my current New Year’s Eve plans, so I decided to give it a shot.

>> Read the rest at my NCR blog


  1. Considerer

    Cool stuff! My post is almost the opposite of yours, in a way, but I like the way you’ve thought about it. Useful to see how its done.

  2. Jen

    Oh wow, I don’t know what’s going on with the pregnancy, but I understand the fatigue part of it. Have you had your thyroid levels checked? I only ask because having thyroid disease myself now for close to ten years (and I’m preggo with #6), I find my thyroid levels, even if they are just a bit below my normal range (and I’m saying my non-symptomatic range), I’m out. As in, passing out on the couch, overwhelmed by everything, even when the hubby is catching all the slack ( the laundry is a beast that grows in the night, I’m convinced). If it’s something else entirely forgive me…I just know that even a small tweak (increase) in my meds has me feeling like a new woman. Prayers for you! And survival is a great resolution 😉

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks for that suggestion! I did have my thyroid levels checked recently and they were normal, but it couldn’t hurt to have them checked again.

  3. Connie Rossini

    Jen, I’m sure you’ve received this many times, but I’m giving you the blog of the year award. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Wow, Connie, I’m so honored! Thanks!

  4. Wendy from Zoom

    I’d like to second the thyroid recommendation. My thyroid registers in the “normal” range, even when it’s actually low and I show the symptoms of low thyroid. I’ve been on very low dose thyroxin for a year and the difference is unbelievable!

  5. Jen

    What Wendy said. For example, the endo just checked my TSH levels about three weeks ago (get them checked every six weeks in pregnancy). They were in the normal range, but in order for me to not present any symptoms, my “range” differs from the standard normal (it can be anywhere from .1 to .3. I would be laid out at a .3). Mine were at a mid level .2. In order to anticipate the need for adjustments as the pregnancy progresses, he tweaked my meds. I take 150mg daily, but on Sunday and Wednesdays I take a pill and a half, which equals 175mg twice a week. I can now get through the day without feeling like I need to go back to bed an hour after getting up.

  6. Camille

    I can sympathize. My husband refers to my first pregnancy as the time he got to watch more hockey than ever before because I would come home from work and pass out. Obviously, subsequent pregnancies forced me to actually pay attention to small children instead of being allowed to pass out, but let’s just say that an episode of the Backyardigans can also be a nap for mom… a 28 minute nap…
    At any rate, congrats on #6. My #3 was just born 7 short weeks ago and the time has flown. While I cannot say the same about my pregnancy (pregnancy always feels months too long… time does not fly then!), once this baby arrives these days you’re in will be just a blurry memory! Keep the prayer up and it will be over soon!

  7. Cynthia

    Hi Jen! Keeping you in prayer over here! I am pregnant with my 3rd…due in a couple months…and my heart goes out to all mamas who are bearing the small labors that go with pregnancy each and every day. Ugh. It’s a beautiful time in our lives, but also a tiring one-at least it can be… for me 😉

    Hoping all issues can be resolved soon!

  8. Bonnie

    Jen, I wish I could come over and help you out. I suck at laundry except for towels – which I would gladly wash, dry, and put away for you. I am, however, amazing at dishes. That I would do in a heartbeat.

    Only after I had scheduled it with your introverted self, of course.

  9. Jamie

    Gahhh pregnancy fatigue. The worst. You are in my prayers! I am not currently pregnant (…probably…) but totally relating to this. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Hevel

    I just read that you were hospitalized. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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