Four Simple Goals

12:02 PM

When I was younger, one of my very good friends had an eating disorder. I had no idea. 

I knew she stood in front of her bedroom mirror, lifting her shirt to stare at her belly, and always pronouncing herself fat. I knew she skipped breakfast and lunch and dinner. I knew I never once saw her eat. I knew she was meticulous about her clothes, pulling at them uncomfortably if they felt too tight.

But I didn't know that she had an eating disorder.

I knew she had expensive make up and wasn't opposed to sharing. I knew that she always had the latest book in the Gossip Girl series. I knew she was a great study partner in our Spanish class, because we were equally bad at memorizing. I knew she laughed at the same things I did and I knew that she was just rebellious enough to be fun without sparking the danger of any real mischief.

I didn't recognize that she had an eating disorder.

How? How did I classify her as such a good friend,yet I didn't notice the grapefruits in her purse.

I remember one day, in a nervous whisper, she cupped her hands around her mouth and said to me, "someone heard me doing something really embarrassing in the bathroom yesterday."
I kind of giggled, rolling my eyes while waiting for her to elaborate. But she didn't. She was silent.
"Okay _______," I said, filling the quiet void. "Did someone hear you pooping? Because it's really not that big of a deal."

She shook her head so nervously and awkwardly, it was like a twitch. The look she gave me then didn't resonate, but now, years later, I know it was a look that suggested that I should have known. That look told me that she couldn't believe I didn't know. "No, Jenn," she said, exasperated. "They heard me puking."

I concisely remember feeling bewildered. So? I still didn't get it and I wouldn't get it for a long time. Not until someone outright told me.

I was thinking about this a couple of days ago in the shower. Wondering how I could have been such a bad friend so as to not notice this giant problem she had. How did I spend every single day with her and not know? This was a decade ago and it remains unresolved because I cannot fix the past, but a few days ago, I figured I could change the future. Simply put, I need to be a better friend.

An interesting anomaly occurs annually as December turns into January and a brand new calendar year begins. We have made a cultural tradition out of starting fresh. Feasibly, being a better friend could be my New Year's resolution.

Here's the thing though, I am not prepared to go into another year this way. I've heard that it takes 21 days to change a habit and there are 62 habit changing days before 2014 begins. My resolutions will start now. I resolve to be different not only in 2014, but by 2014.

A strange coincidence, as I was considering a plan to make resolutions before the New Year, one of my new daily reads, a beautiful mess, just posted about their tradition called "Four Simple Goals." The idea is to create strategic, activity based goals that will make "life richer and happier on a daily basis."

And so, this is the beginning of my Four Simple Goals journey. I have committed to seeing through the following resolutions --

- Be a better friend. { Be a friend who listens. A friend with time to spare and share. A friend who pays attention.
- Read every day. { Books, blogs, magazines.  Read, discover, evolve.
- Release negativity and actively choose joy. { Everyone is entitled to create a personal plan to deal with negativity. This is mine.
- Think creatively. {In the kitchen. In my writing. In my job. At my desk.

You can see how others will be tackling Four Simple Goals by going here.
I encourage you to evaluate and find your own set of goals to achieve before 2014 -- and share!

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  1. Dear Jenn,

    I found your blog from your comment over on A Beautiful Mess. Thank you for sharing your simple goals. I think the irony here is that the simpler the goals seem, the harder they are to actually accomplish! At least, this is what I've discovered with my own list!

    All the best with your goals! I look forward to hearing how they go as the days go by!