We talk to ourselves every day.
“Don’t eat that cookie.” We eat it anyway.
“I really need to make it to the gym after eating so much at the dinner buffet last night.” The gym is closed.
“I am going to spend less money on clothing.” Well, we don’t have any money to spend on clothing as it is and heck we’re already up to our eyeballs in debt.
And then before we know it, it’s the new year. Time to make our obligatory resolutions in our quest to be a better person.
Our behaviors, good and bad, have evolved from mores, habits or customs that have become so codified and ingrained that they take on the air of inevitability. It’s hard to make a change, as we all know. But having a set date to declare how we’re going to change, sounds good to ourselves and to our loved ones whether we proclaim: “I am going to cut down on glasses of wine with dinner or not eat chocolates for a month starting tomorrow or next Monday!”
We say, “Good luck.”
But in reality, are resolutions made to be broken sort of like some promises? However great they sound, sometimes they are so lofty and demanding we cannot live up to our own expectations. And then they start to feel like a noose tightening around our necks, metaphorically speaking, offering the perfect excuse for resistance.
At this time of year, we decided to take a closer look at our resolutions—we like to do this in the name of tradition. The message behind them all is quite simple; it’s a reminder of the transience and imperfections in all of us. Most important, don’t be too hard on yourself or on others; nobody is perfect…far from it.
Barbara’s 13 resolutions:
- Continue to spend time with my aging, now 97-year-old mom, despite the drive to see her, since who knows how much time she has left.
- Continue to spend as much time as they like and I can with my two grown daughters, my son in law, my other daughter’s beau, and my grandson. Nothing much is better in life.
- Don’t forget “Fixup,” my beau, who sometimes gets shortchanged with family demands, my workload, my house demands, and everything else. He’s gracious, doesn’t complain, so it’s so easy to give him short shrift.
- Continue to do my best work possible for current sources and always new ones, and move those two simmering book ideas to the front. Also, continue to share one legacy with Margaret of helping women who are also suddenly single after 50 and need our help in navigating this difficult journey.
- Go back to an old passion of painting, piano playing, bicycle riding, and more serious baking, including perfecting more my ruggelach. Take up a new passion, perhaps, tap dancing!
- Plan a major trip to a destination on my top 10 list—Vietnam, South Africa, Alaska, Iceland, Hong Kong, the major U.S. National parks, back to Napa and parts I haven’t yet visited, Stockholm, Dublin, and back to London.
- Do exercise daily to hit my 10,000 plus steps daily, from visits to the gym, Pilates, and running that 5K.
- Bake a wedding cake, which I’ve always wanted to do with at least four layers, sugar-spun flowers, great icing and other decorations.
- Read more each week for pleasure, and forgo some TV series I’ve gotten into such as The Affair, Billions, This is Us, Designated Survivor, Scandal.
- Take a trip alone, which I’ve never done and wanted to do—maybe, a bicycle trip or a hiking vacation, a cooking trip to Julia Child’s home in the South of France.
- Make one new friend every six months or when possible since friends are the glue that keeps us engaged, happy, laughing, and in our later years it becomes so much harder. And treasure my closest circle even more, including a writing partner of more than 30 years.
- Continue my volunteer work at my college, my way to pay back an institution I love and which continues to work magic with young, enthusiastic, smart women.
- Appreciate each day and be thankful for all I have and forget what I don’t; in the end it won’t matter.
Margaret’s 13 resolutions:
- Spend more time with people who make me feel good about myself and end relationships that are toxic, no matter how guilty I feel.
- Travel on my own more to other cities to visit my kids, my three siblings, friends, and just to see the world.
- Eat more veggies and fewer carbs to be healthier. I am a cookie monster and could live on good bread.
- Take lifelong learning classes at a nearby university to exercise my brain. Perhaps a language class, something political, or musical.
- Re-read the classics I haven’t read since college such as Austin, Thackery, Fitzgerald, the Brontes, and more. Watch fewer old movies late at night on T.V. and read more instead. It will help me sleep better too.
- Try to stop judging people so much, especially since I can’t control their actions and words. Worry less about them and focus on improving myself—something I can control.
- Do weight resistance exercise. As a rule, I don’t like gyms and using sweaty machines. I could try swimming but am worried about damaging my hair.
- Set up a legacy gift in my late husband’s name as one nod to doing charitable giving. Tie it to music somehow since he was a child musician and music has been a huge part of our lives.
- Check into redoing my bathroom. It needs a face lift, however, the very thought makes me break out in hives.
- Spend a little more time listening to music to help me relax and set up some type of good sound system in my condo.
- Increase my volunteer work. Tutor more kids and continue reading to pre-school kids in a disadvantaged area.
- Rent a place for a month in L.A., where my daughter lives, to spend more time with her. Invite my two sons to join as and just hang out as a family. Have asked Barbara to join us too so we can promote our latest book and have a California book signing.
- Be me whatever “me” means. Being true to my values and goals rather than trying to please others or to fit into their lives and losing sight of who I really am and what I want to do. And write what I really want to write and have that be my legacy to myself and my family.
Chances are we both will fail in fulfilling many if not all of our resolutions. Both of realize how lucky we are and live great lives regardless of our transgressions. So, we say, forget the resolutions and just agree to live a healthier and happier life. That covers everything, doesn’t it?
Read from linkedin:
10 Crucial Mistakes I want to Stop Making in 2017