Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy Holiday, You Bastard! Take Two.

I've never really been one to make New Year's resolutions.The way I see it, if I want to do something badly enough, waiting for January 1 to get it done is just silly. I understand the symbolism of endings and beginnings, but I also understand--and value--the importance of doing what has to be done when it's time to do it. That being said, understanding something and valuing it doesn't always translate into getting something done. So this year, I'm going to do what I've rarely done before. I'm going to resolve.*

*A note. While it's true that New Year's resolutions aren't really my thing, I'm no stranger to extreme behavior changes, key word being extreme (forget behavior changes. Extreme and me, we just go hand in hand. Extremely). For me, life has always pretty much been all or nothing. No dairy products. No white flour. X amount of running. 20 points a day and no more. And guess how successful I've been with those.


**This year, extreme won't be a problem. You are now reading the word of a kinder, gentler Kel.***

***This kinder gentler Kel is, not coincidentally, partially a product of my New Year's resolutions. It's also a part product of getting old. But we won't talk about that.

And so, without further ado, my kind, gentle New Year's resolutions.

1. Be happy. It's vague, I know. In the past, I'd have written something akin to, In an effort to be happy, do THIS. This year, I'll do no such thing. What I'll do is appreciate the things I have. A husband I really love who would, and does, do absolutely everything for me despite my not always being so deserving. Two sons who are super cute and pretty smart (though they're no me) and healthy and who, for the most part, I have unnaturally good mother-son relationships with.

2. Be beautiful. And soft. For this one, I must refer back to number 1. The people I know who are the most beautiful, at least to me, are happy. Or maybe not happy so much as...accepting? Content? At peace? I can't pinpoint the absolute cause, but I know it when I see it. When I think of the people I find most beautiful--Erin, Mary, Jessica, Fabiola, Dawn, North Star--the thing they have in common is a certain softness, a softness that I chalk up to the inner them rather than the outer. This beauty has nothing to do with convention or even with affection (in fact, I can think of a specific woman who I don't like AT ALL, a woman who I don't think is a good person AT ALL, but even she, despite being about 50 pounds overweight and having pockmarked skin like sandpaper and a host of other superficial atrocities, has that beautiful softness about her, and there's nothing I can attribute that to despite her being happy in her life, in her position, in her own skin); lots of other women I know may be more show-stoppingly beautiful, but they, in their beauty, don't have what I'm talking about...or what I'm looking for.

3. Understand change and accept it. Things don't stay the same. They can't. They shouldn't, even when we want them to. This has always been one of the most difficult things for me to accept, but it's time. It's time for me to let go of dying friendships and old ideals. Sitting home, looking at Facebook, and lamenting, yet again, my not being invited to someone's house or someone's "outing" is no longer for me.

4. Accept that some things are just the way they are. Yes, there are certain relationships in my life I wish were different, but as much as I hate the saying it is what it is, they are what they are. I know I'll never have the storybook relationships with certain people that I'd like to have. Now that I know it, it's time to accept it; to make the best of it; to be happy with what they are, not with what I want them to be.

5. Be healthy, and don't get fat(ter). Notice, for the first time in my life, I'm not saying, Be skinny. And, no, I haven't given up, and I'm not sour-graping it; I've just realized my goals were wrong, at least for me. I want to run more, walk more, eat less. Ride Pepper. Be more flexible. Take time, every single day, to move, and not just from the couch to the kitchen or doorway to the car. I tend to be such a lazy person, but there's absolutely no denying that the the more I move, the better I feel.

6. Be nervy. No more staying places that suck the life out of me (and everyone else) just because I feel comfortable. I need to understand that even if I make a mistake, which I surely will, I have the ability to fix it. If I move to Chicago and fail miserably, I can always move back. If I change schools and don't like the new one more than the old, well, you live and you learn. The important thing is, if I don't try, I'll never know.

7. Be nice(r). Let's face it. Nice isn't who I am, nor is it something I'm willing to fake. But I care about people. And animals. I'm compassionate. I'm empathetic. I believe life is better when people are good. And this year, I'm going to work on being even more of all the above.

And with that, I'll leave you to enjoy your New Year's Day. To you, and you, and you, and you--but no, not to you--I wish you a year filled with happiness and good fortune.

May all of your resolutions come true.

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