Every time I turn on a news program or wade through my social media feeds, I’m bombarded by contradictory messages. The world is falling apart from politics, military threats, horrendous wild fires, and hate crimes. But woo-hoo, it’s a new year and a new decade, time to eat better, exercise more, get healthier, volunteer more, and be your best self (thanks Oprah).
It’s kind of schizophrenic and exhausting. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel. Horrified and scared? Strong and brave? Nervous and Exhausted? Hopeful and Determined? Eeesh… Oh, and while I’m at it, I should be setting my 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 candle 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’m not a huge fan of setting resolutions is that by doing so, we seem to be stating that we aren’t good enough, and need to make some sort of fairly substantial 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. You know, like by losing 20 pounds, run a marathon, solve global warming, and save all of the Koalas. So even if we do remember our solemn promises, we can then be depressed when we can’t complete our grandiose goals.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have goals, and we shouldn’t do our best to make the world a better place – because Lord knows there’s a lot of improvement needed. Some of us WILL make massive changes for ourselves and for the world. But for the rest of us, instead of promising to become the next Joanna Gaines, Greta Thunberg, or Christina Koch, 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 set much more realistic, achievable daily goals. Aren’t there smaller attainable steps we can take to actually 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:
- Get through winter. Some of you out there adore winter. Good for you. I tolerate it. Sure, some days of fluffy white snow are pretty. But overall winter is cold and dark and I spend most of it waiting for Spring. I vow to fight winter gloominess and grumpiness.
- Stop sucking in my stomach every morning when looking in the mirror, trying to pretend it doesn’t exist. It does. And it wants to be my forever friend.
- Find new recipes for dinners that take less than 30 minutes to prepare, use five ingredients or less, and beat back food prep boredom. (Oh, ok, I suppose I’ll make sure at least a couple of them are fairly healthy.)
- Be supportive and excited for my college freshman son and not dwell on the fact he is turning 20 and my little boy is gone. Stop sobbing.
- Crank my tunes in my car and sing. Out loud. More than I already do. Preferably when alone.
- Try harder to accept my aging body. Notice I didn’t say love, I’m not that far yet. I still wish my body was 25. But I’m getting there. Instead of being cranky that my arthritic knees hurt, I’ll be thankful I can still walk, bike and garden. Instead of counting my age spots, I’ll think of my mom every time I see my hands which now look like hers did. Instead of moaning about new wrinkles, I will try to greet them as signs of a life well-lived and maybe even name them. The one at the top of my nose between my eyes I shall call Gladys.
- Start picking up trash while on my walks with my dog. I remember doing this as a kid in the 70’s. Sadly, some things like filthy littering pig people don’t change.
- Don’t let scary sad news prevent me from being positive. Our world doesn’t need another cranky mean grump-ass. And it feels so much better to consistently believe that good will win over bad.
Will any of these make me a remarkably changed woman? No. Will any of these solve serious world issues? Nope. But all of the above are attainable. They are realistically positive. And they just might make me, and folks around me, feel a bit better every day.
Ok, your turn. Do tell some of your goals. Sky-diving? Or just cleaning out your basement. Becoming a super model? Or just finding an easy hair style you like. Let’s head into 2020 cheering each other on with simple positivity.
Not that any of us need improving. We are perfectly real just the way we are.