I’ve been a terrible poo-poo’er of New Year’s Resolutions in the past. Every year, I have watched people on national television share their goal to lose 10 pounds, to find Mr. (or Miss) Right, to get out of debt or to learn to speak fluent Italian. I’ve seen friends fall apart as their will power crumbles after dieting for 3 weeks, when the realization that life eating only cabbage isn’t much fun. I’ve seen expensive pieces of home fitness equipment become relegated to awkward coat racks. I’ve noticed that those who decide to give up McDonald’s often have a secret stash of Twinkie’s and Cheeto’s in the back of their closets. New Year’s resolutions are hard. They are tough to maintain. Worse yet, most of the time we end up feeling worse about ourselves than we did on December 31st. Before midnight, we think everything and anything is possible. We believe we’ll have the strength and determination to create a new and better version of ourselves. We always have the idea that we can be thinner, more intellectual, more successful, wealthier and more interesting. In turn, we are confident that these miraculous changes will finally bring us the long sought after happiness we’ve always desired. It should come as no surprise that by Valentine’s Day, most of us have slipped back into the roles of “same old us”.
Therefore, this year I’d like to do something differently for my New Year’s resolutions: I’d like to set up as few changes as possible. In doing so, I hope that I will feel more confident in who I am, in what I stand for and in what direction my life will lead. I hope my readers will wish me luck in these endeavors. I have no doubt that, as simple as they are, I may well find them challenging.
I resolve to remain at my current weight, and not to lose a single ounce. I therefore resolve to look in the mirror and be thankful that I’m not fighting a debilitating, or life threatening, disease. I resolve to make peace with my reflection and refrain from criticizing the way I look, but rather to find the find the good in the woman looking at me. I promise to refrain from complaining about my thighs, my wrinkles and my outward self. I resolve to take good care of the body I’ve been given and to be thankful for every moment I am breathing, walking and spending time with those I love. My body may be far from perfect but it’s time we we made peace with one another.
I resolve to live within my means….and to refrain from drooling every time a new catalog comes in the mail. I promise to look at the beautiful clothes I own and the loved furniture, knowing that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the store. I resolve to take joy in what I’ve been blessed with instead the joy I’ll feel when I rely on something else to make me happy. I resolve to reuse, renew and just take stock in my current possessions…without giving a single thought to what the “Joneses” might be doing. I promise to take good care of the things I have, so that I won’t need new.
I resolve to spend more time being thankful and less time being envious.
I resolve to play with my dogs as much as possible.
I resolve to get rid of the words "would have", "could have" and "should have".
I resolve to let go of guilt and regret.
I resolve to look at my son’s graduation as a beginning, rather than an ending.
I resolve to see my friends more often, even if it means traveling on my own.
I resolve to smile when I’m grumpy and say a cheerful thank you when I’m annoyed with mediocre service.
I resolve to ignore my bad hair days.
I resolve to put things away when I take them out.
I resolve to let myself off the hook when I slip up.
I resolve not to judge other people.
I resolve to enjoy the films and books I like, without apology or embarrassment. If people think I’m foolish for watching movies in which the heroines all wear corsets, they simply don’t have to watch with me.
I resolve to be a kind, funny, literate middle aged woman, to live in today, instead of the past or the future.
I resolve to take these resolutions only as seriously as I feel like at any given moment.
I resolve to stop speaking when the only words coming out of my mouth are argumentative.
I resolve to put books down, or turn movies off, if I really don't like them. Sometimes, not finishing everything I begin is going to be okay.
I resolve to sleep in on days I'm able to, and to enjoy those peaceful few moments in cozy warmth.
I resolve to just give myself a year to be me….to work on living each day as it presents itself and to refrain from self-badgering.
Hopefully, I can accomplish this. But, if you hear me bemoaning the way I look in my jeans, feel free to call me on it.