A friend sent me a card some time ago that showed a woman standing at a store counter, a sign hanging above her that read Exchanges. She was requesting an exchange to get her old body back. I can totally relate.
The humor is especially fitting this time of year. It seems the national pastime between Christmas and the New Year is to do returns and exchanges of gifts, and to lament the amount of holiday food and beverage we have all consumed along with a lack of exercise.
This inevitably leads to the next popular activity of the season: the setting of New Year Resolutions. I’ve never been a big resolution setter. Primarily because I’m a classic one for stating my intentions, then promptly forgetting them. Just like I can’t tell you if any birthday cake wishes have ever come true, because I don’t remember what I wished for by the time I’m done with my ice cream. The other reason I’ve never been a big fan is because it seems a harsh way to set ourselves up to fail. The word Resolution carries such weight, it seems everyone feels compelled to make grandiose promises. Lose 20 pounds, learn a new language, run a marathon…. eeesh. That’s a whole lot of pressure, and when it doesn’t happen we end up feeling worse. Not a nice way to start “new”.
The other issue I have with this practice, is that by making resolutions, we are stating that we aren’t good enough, and need to make some sort of self-improvements. As if we haven’t just spent the past year busting our butts to stay healthy, pay the bills, take care of family, do our jobs, and overall be good people. Nope. That’s not enough. We must resolve to be better in some way. Geez, how depressing.
I think instead of promising to become the next Martha Stewart, Jackie Joyner-Kersee or Niki Taylor, we Real Women would be much better off first acknowledging how amazing we are (I mean, come on, we just finished up the year by pulling off Christmas again), then setting much more realistic, achievable daily goals. Little things that will give us a boost, feel good about ourselves and our lives, and give us moments of saying “yay me” instead of “oh, crap, I gained three pounds instead of losing ten.”
Here are a few RR’s (Realistic Resolutions) I’m pondering for this year:
- Stop sucking in my stomach every morning when looking in the mirror, trying to pretend it doesn’t exist.
- Donate every piece of clothing that not longer looks good on me. I can use the closet space a whole lot more than I can use the aggravation.
- Find at least three new recipes for dinners that take less than 30 minutes to prepare and use five ingredients or less.
- Do less yelling at other drivers. They can’t hear me from inside my car anyway, and it won’t stop them from being stupid.
- Start actually telling my husband when I need his help instead of grumbling under my breath because he’ll never figure it out on his own.
- Crank my tunes in my car and sing. More than I already do. Preferably when alone.
- Don’t sit for longer than two hours at a time without getting up and moving. This one may raise some eyebrows during work meetings, but hey, I gotta be me.
- Avoid the anxiety of finding new wrinkles or age spots. Face it, they are going to happen. Rather than purchase more expensive creams to try to make them go away, realize they are now part of my life. Heck, maybe even name them. The one at the top of my nose between my eyes I shall call Gladys.
- Seek out good news and entertainment more often to counteract all the negativity. Imagine heading out the door in the morning laughing instead of taking an antacid for the pit of worry in my stomach.
- Purchase one bright, fun, totally unnecessary article of clothing and wear it with pride and panache.
- Share a thought, idea, laugh, or vent with a BFF every day. Because she needs it as much as I do.
- Lastly, don’t sweat the small stuff. Because no one enjoys a sweaty R.W.
Will any of these make me a remarkably changed woman? No. Will any of these solve the issues of global warming or world poverty? Nope. Will I have added a new skill or talent to my list of abilities? Nada. But all of the above items are attainable. They are realistic. And they just might make me feel a bit better every day.
So who’s in with me on this? Let’s make some realistic adjustments for 2018.
Not that any of us need improving. We are perfectly real just the way we are.
Happy New Year.