your pal, erin

Author & Psychic Superhero


Now is the time when the real New Year’s Resolutions begin. I’m not talking about those Patty LaBelle “New Attitude” declarations we make each January 1st but the internal work that we’re finally ready to do.

The whole idea reinventing yourself mere seconds after the ball drops is pretty unrealistic to begin with. There isn’t enough time to regain our momentum after a night of celebration, let alone an entire month of retail fueled mania and personal angst. We need at least thirty days to decompress from the holiday bends.

Then comes the February blues. Most years, Punxsatawney Phil takes one look at Old Man Winter and hollers “AMFYOYO!” before hightailing it back to his hovel.

Springtime is when our real resolutions take hold. Not only have we had enough perspective to identify pesky patterns that have followed us from previous years, we’re finally warm enough to clean out the mental attic and make way for new solutions.

This year, spring’s onset coincides with February 29th —Father Time’s equivalent of Platform 9 ¾ on the Hogwarts Express. I’ll be using this magic day to create lots of amazing new things in my life, but until then I’ll be doing some major clearing. Wanna join me? Here are two things you can do:

Be honest with yourself about things that are no longer working for you. Instead of setting a general goal like, “I want to exercise every day,” or “I am ready to quit smoking,” take a look at the situations in your life that cause you to feel this way.

In my case, this past calendar year has been riddled with business transactions where people have become verbally abusive the moment that negotiations head south. I’m not talking about a momentary loss of temper or a few unkind words, but severe verbal diarrhea with several return trips to the toilet, just in case I didn’t get the message first time around.

In the past, I’ve healed the wound by telling myself there’s never a justifiable reason for anyone to speak to me this way, ever. In doing so, I’ve denied the deeper, more painful truth that these people are merely reiterating the terrible things I say to myself about own unworthiness, especially when it comes to the subject of money.

Instead of resolving to stop taking other people’s crap or to make more money, I intend to be kinder and more loving of myself in the areas of my life where people mirror my own feelings of inadequacy.

Be on the lookout for mind games, namely yours. Whether you’re just now discovering the power of positive thinking or have practiced for years, our crafty monkey minds can trick us into old thought patters when we least expect it.

Although I’m pretty mindful about nipping negativity in the bud, those L’il Demon Bastards (mom’s pet name for them) come a callin’ whenever I play Sudoku. That’s right, Sudoku.

For some reason, whenever I convert the puzzle’s blank spaces into numeric sequences, my subconscious plunges into a dark space, reliving old arguments and awkward situations. Even silly memories —like that time the Editor-In-Chief I worked for sat down in the ladies room stall next to me and made small talk whist peeing — cause me to agonize over things I might have said and done to offend others.

Recently, I’ve taken a two-front approach to the Sudoku battle. First, I’ve vowed to say only positive mantras whenever I play. Thinking, “six goes here. I love you, Erin!” might be silly, but it feels so much better than remembering the girl who stole my class ring from my dorm room Freshman year after telling me to my face that I was stupid for trusting the people I live with.

Second, I’ve made a pact to either speak my mind or move on. If it’s not worth it to hunt down that little dorm harpy on social media and tell her off good and proper, then there’s definitely no room for her in my headspace. After all, she was just repeating her own variation of things I was secretly telling myself.

So there you have it, my go to guide for keeping this year’s resolutions. If you haven’t already, be sure to ask Mister Google the meaning of AMFYOYO. It’s about to become your new mantra.


Originally published in Connect Savannah