I’m Kathleen, and I’m a start-aholic
New beginnings are great – I ought to know
I’m writing this column before Thanksgiving because there is a lot of lead time involved in publishing a magazine. I suspect by the time you’re reading this, we will all already have fatigue at the overworking of “2020 hindsight” or “clarity of vision” or any other pedestrian analogies people will be trotting out, especially in an election year.
I also reckon by the time you’re reading this, I will have gone through my standard New Year’s ruminations, regrets and resolutions overthinking-palooza.
Being a solo parent adds to the list of things I beat myself up about. Whether I did something I shouldn’t have, or didn’t do something I should have, it’s ruefully amusing how the change between December and January somehow makes everything seem worse than if I was ruminating between July and August.
Our Gregorian calendar obsession sets us up for regret.
But it also feeds into my love affair with being a “start-aholic.” I am addicted to starting things. Whether it was preparing my tidy new Trapper Keeper with supplies for the new school year, or starting a diet on a Monday morning, or presenting myself as a completely new, calm, organized and capable person at a new job, there were always opportunities to enjoy my startaholism. And if any of those things synced up? Like a new month that starts on a Monday that I’m also starting a diet at a new job? Squeee!
I have started so many writing projects, so many diets, so many personality improvement endeavors. I have started campaigns to be a better mom to my kid. The starting is not the problem — the follow-through and the finishing are where I stumble.
The New Year is the mother of fresh starts for start-aholics — acknowledged ones or otherwise. We are all going to lose weight! And floss! And stop cursing! And we’re going to get that home improvement project done! And we’re going to go on date night with our spouse once a month! And we’re going to have a better relationship with our offspring! It’s all going to be wonderful!
We might do all those things — for a while. But for me, the thrill is unfortunately always in the start; the promise, the hopefulness, the fervent need for change for the better, and the prayer that this time it’s going to happen. Maybe it will, someday.
But every day is a new day, and every second a new opportunity. So keep starting, until you finish.
Hey, look! I finished my column. Good thing I started in November. Happy New Year.
Kathleen Palmer is an award-winning editor and journalist, marketing/communications content writer, and occasional comedic actress. Nothing makes her happier than making people laugh. She is a single mom to a teenager, so naturally she enjoys a glass of wine, or two.