Are you March-ing toward your New Year’s Resolution?


Just a few months ago, we were formulating our New Year’s Resolutions. I like to call them our highest hopes for our best selves, and by March, it’s high-time to assess where we’re at. Let me give you a little update on my own resolutions:

Watch a classic film once per month: check.

Make a complicated dish: not yet.

March-ing Ahead, or Limping?

Out of the most enthusiastic group of resolution makers, I doubt any of us are as gung-ho now about all of the things we were going to accomplish. For us, January is like a new pair of pants whose novelty wears off in mid-February. Other people never make resolutions, and so perhaps they avoid the buyer’s remorse associated with fresh starts and fresh slacks. Still others make themselves vague promises when the year turns, and have trouble measuring their progress. These may come to find that they already own what they just bought, and that they, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, make the same resolutions year after year as though it just occurred to them to lose weight or eat healthy.

What is March good for, then? Maybe we can use it to reckon with our real selves, just as we are, neither hot nor cold. Or maybe March can be the new January, when we double down our resolutions. It’s the end of the year’s first trimester, in which we can begin to get a peek at the blossoms of April. In the RGV, March seems like a pivotal month. It can be blah, or it can be a new beginning, a renewed commitment to happiness.

Spring is Right Around the Corner

The jacarandas are blooming, and I hope that means the bougainvilleas are not far behind. I’ve just planted some roses, tomatoes, and sage. I will soon trade my winter clothes for something lighter: not quite summer but no more sweaters. In the same way, March can reinvigorate us to get back to our resolutions, but with a more compelling reason: because in March we hold ourselves responsible for what we dreamt in January.

Maybe March is the litmus test for resolutions: whatever you are still doing now is the resolution you really cared about; let the others fade away. Save them for another year when you have more energy or let them go completely as someone else’s idea of a resolution, not yours.

Even if you’ve haven’t caught the Spring Cleaning bug, you can put away the blankets and coats. You can assess your Spring ten-item wardrobe, wash it and say hello to difference. It’s also easier to eat salads in March: the weather is not as cold and stewish. The cocoa will keep until next winter, and hopefully this brutal flu season is over. In March you can take daily walks, get into the sunshine, get some color back into your sallow face. The kids will help: they want to be outside on foot and on bikes. Even if you don’t get Spring Break, they do. And so you can use this time to start a new Spring tradition.

Maybe March is now homemade tortilla month.

Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin has thought a lot about year-round-happiness, and her books have helped people cultivate the good habits that make happiness more likely.

Maybe March is a good reading month.

Whatever March means to you, get inspired act on those passions.

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Mariana loves sandwiches best, although going 95% vegan two years ago means having traded in ham and swiss for eggplant and roasted red pepper. Her boys, Santiago (5) and Sebastian (3), agree that sliced bread is the greatest thing since sliced bread. The boys are native Spanish speakers despite the fact that neither of their parents is, which has made raising them in Spanish a labor of love. Her commitment to raising bilingual children was made possible by being a first-generation Chilean-American born and raised in New York City, and by having spent two pre-kid years living abroad in Mexico City and Salamanca, Spain. Mariana moved to the RGV in 2010 and never wants to live anywhere else. While the kids are at school, Mariana is a full-time Assistant Professor of Philosophy at UTRGV. She has written for the New York Times, Womankind Magazine, and Yahoo Parenting.


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