The Best Day for Resolution Makers

Today has arrived. December 31. The eve of a better you: a more fit, healthier-eating, spiritually-renewed, organized, and independent you. Or … hear me out – maybe just “you.”

Every year I make these commitments to myself. And every year I fail at more than one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I am still making the commitment to changing these very things about myself. I don’t exercise; I’ve joined a committed fitness group with a committed coach. I will have the support to stay motivated. Plus I have a cute swim-suit I haven’t worn in two years. I’ve already programmed my alarm to get me up early to exercise.

I have been lackluster in my faith. I’ve blamed God, my church, the school, and even friends for that. It’s not on any of them. I own this, so I have to fix it. I will start with what I deem is the core for fixing it—God. My path is to include regular attendance to my church. I am fortunate that my priest has been routinely in touch with my angst without knowing it; so I trust God and the Holy Spirit that this will be true and my anger and hurt can be healed. But it can’t unless I make the effort, too.

I always consider myself unorganized. I have learned in the past year that is not the case; not at all. I am rather pleased that I don’t have to think about that this year. On the heels of that, though, is the sad realization that that resolve has been replaced by this realization: I am sloppy and lazy. I don’t mean that I am not neat and clean. I am. I mean that the pile of papers sitting on my desk, or that stack of mail sitting on my counter, just sits there (sloppy). I mean that those appointments I need to track (and request leave-time for) need to be entered in my calendar and acted on (lazy). My resolve is to actually use follow-through and do these things.

Now for my big reveal: these resolutions are daily/weekly/monthly, every year, all year. These are not reserved as new-year’s resolutions for me. This is who I am, who I want to be, and my constant goal. I am okay with that. In the last few weeks, while I was preparing for The Big Day to better myself, I finally released guilt and angst over being a little “less” than others.* I have decided that constantly wanting to better myself is not a bad thing. My active resolve will be my faith-walk. I have to fix that because for me that is the core of fixing/having will-power/being confident in all my other betterment goals.

Now for the last item mentioned in my first paragraph: independence. Overall, in supporting myself and my daughters, I am independent. I have fully grasped the day-to-day, self- and family-sufficient tasks needed to be independent and a provider. No, my independence for me is to be true to myself.

Therefore, this year I resolve to:

  • put God first and stop being faithfully-stubborn.
  • be true to myself; realize it’s good and healthy for me, and a great example to my daughters, to take care of my needs so I can be strong for myself and others. In that order.
  • forgive myself for not being everything for everybody; for not being who others want me to be, for being a gloriously-failing human, and letting others own their reactions to that.
  • say no. Unequivocally, clearly, and without explanation: No. (I am not going to explain why I want to say no. I don’t have to. No.)
  • to get my funny back. I miss my sense of humor and wit. I don’t even care if that’s arrogant to say. I am a funny person and I miss that about me.

 

* I do not truly think I am less than anyone, but do find myself wishing I had his will-power; her confidence, etc.

 

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Growing Old Gracefully

Hmm, maybe that title should be Growing Old Gracefully Medically?

I did warn you all that I am a middle-aged woman. I would love to say that life’s aches and pains are just a part of life and I try to not complain about them. But I do complain. It hurts. As part of my genetic make-up, I also find the humor in it. Like when my Cancer Friend Traci and I go off on the competitive “Who hurts more?” I do have to swallow my competitiveness because if we compare cancer battles, she wins hands down. I had Cancer Lite—the new and improved version. She had the old fashioned almost died, recovered, relapsed, damn-it-it’s-back, recovered, what-do-you-mean-this-ISN’T-“cancer”-if-she’s-still-so-sick?, relapsed, and (I think), remission. But she still has lots of battles due to all the treatments she has endured. But I digress—I was whining about my aches and pains. Let’s get back to that because this is my blog, I get to be selfish.

As young women, we all know menopause is coming and we can expect to gain weight, get some grey hair, actually lose track of tracking every 28 days, and get crow’s feet. What no one tells you is that it also uncomfortable. I imagine the same is true for men as they age.

I hurt. For no reason. Sometimes it feels like I just got done with a monstrous workout at a gym. Other times it is like the stiff muscles you have after a mild to moderate car accident. Sometimes the only time I don’t hurt is when I sleep.

So. There ya go. Whine whine whine.

Here’s the happy part (and no, it’s not the “just grateful I am alive” or “better than the alternative” stuff. Of course I am grateful. I am also a Christian, believing in the after-life, so I am okay with passing, too. I’d just prefer it later, rather than sooner)—the happy is because I think in my case, there might be a reprieve starting next summer.

Again, we women all know the aging is coming, but my not-even-to-Senior-Citizen age is not usually as painful and menopausal as I have been. My family all met for dinner last summer, and afterward three of us four daughters were talking. I complained about aging and feeling poorly, and the other two sisters both said they felt great and didn’t have the aches and pains I had. THEN I remembered—I am on medication that is “aging” me, as well as keeping me alive and cancer-free. Maybe, just maybe I will be given a few months’ or years’ break before all this sets in again.

This is my hope, and I am holding on to it. I am sure I’ll be sharing my post-medication pain-free life with you! Otherwise, grab some cheese—I’ll be whining.

The Gloriousness of Girlfriends, Part One

This is not a “girl power” post. Nor is it a post of how I couldn’t live without my girlfriends getting my back, standing beside me, and generally giving me my props. I feel any friend would do that, even in a small way. I have that over and over again with my all my friends.

Nope. This is a “thank God for the exact friends He put in my path” post. The ladies here are three of those friends for me—my twin, who has been a best friend from conception. Next in line is Natalie. We have been friends longer than Liza and I (last gal in this group, my best friend since Autumn of 1984). Natalie and her sisters would car pool with our family, and two others families, to get back and forth to C.C.D. (For non-Catholics, that’s Sunday school but on a weekday, after school.)

We try to get together at least once a year for dinner and drinks. Many, many of those years  are skipped due to work or family responsibilities that pull us away. Never, ever have we had a slip in conversation; never, ever have we missed out on keeping each other up to speed on our lives. In one way or another, one of the four is almost in constant contact with another. More times than not, it’s Liza and I with each other; Kathy and I with each other; Liza and Natalie with each other; or Natalie and Kathy with each other. I could go into the nitty-gritty of how that plays out, but the bottom line is that we all originate from the same community of small towns. It  just works.

We picked up our conversations from the last time we all got together (which, believe it or not, was within the last twelve months). We shared stories of how our families are doing, we insulted each other, we talked over each other, and we laughed with (or at) each other. We left with tentative plans to do this again in six months. No guarantee that it will work, but that’s fine, too. These ladies exist in my world, and that’s all I need to know – just that they are still here, in my circle of friends.

 

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(In this picture, top left is my sister Kathy next to me;
bottom left is Natalie, bottom right is Liza.)