Monday, December 30, 2013

Here are your New Year's resolutions. You're welcome.

This year, my New Year’s resolution is to live. It’s a deceptively simple concept, one that is not easily accomplished. For me, living means cutting out the bullshit and focusing on what’s important: actually enjoying every day I am able to get out of bed and be with my family.
                Lately, I’ve also been feeling very generous, which is why I have taken it upon myself to make some New Year’s resolutions for you. You can thank me later, because I’m sure whatever your resolutions were, they were complete rubbish. So without further ado…

Heather’s top 5 resolutions for YOU

1.       Don’t say “next year.”
Epcot France is EXACTLY like France (EXACTLY!),
without the pesky euro.
As in, “Well, maybe we’ll do that next year.” Quite simply, because there may not be a next year.  Life is fleeting.
My husband, Sal, has always teased me about my desire to cram an insane amount of activities into an insanely small window of time. It’s just the way I’ve always been and happens to be a good fit for someone who has faced mortality at a young age.
            And don’t let money be a hindrance.  Can’t afford that dream vacation to France right now? Go to Quebec. Go to Epcot. Go to the local library’s “Amelie” movie night, for fuck’s sake. But don’t put off exploring new places and making new memories. Don’t put off living.

2.       Allow photos.
Crimped hair be damned!
Let the picture be taken!
No, you do not look a Victoria’s Secret model. 99.9999 percent of the population doesn’t. But don’t approach every picture as if it’s going to be posted on Facebook and viewed by your sworn enemies from high school.  Oh no, I can’t be in the picture. I haven’t lost the baby weight. Oh no, I didn’t have time to do my hair and make-up.
            Whatever. Just get in the God damn picture so your family has some photographic evidence that you existed. If you look like crap, TAKE THE PICTURE ANYWAY, just don’t post it on Facebook if you’re that sensitive. But if you have kids, I’m guaranteeing they don’t think you look like crap. No, you look like the lady who kisses their boo-boos, reads them their favorite bedtime story and watches “The Polar Express” with them for the 8,000th time.  
            I tend to be the picture-taker in my family, so I’m absent from a lot of shots. This probably also describes a lot of moms. Let go of your OCD about getting the perfect shot and hand the camera to your significant other or a technologically competent relative, if available (NOT Drunk Uncle).

3.       Lose weight for yourself and your health. No one else.
Don't you just love clip art of athletic women
measuring themselves?
And for the sake of everything that is good and holy, don’t fixate on a number. Yes, you were a size 4 through your 20s, but guess what? You got older, maybe created some humans, and your body changed.
 I remember this past spring fixating on losing those last few postpartum pounds. Obsessing over it, actually. Now I feel like an asshole; I just want to live, damn it! I was striving for some number I had determined I needed to get to, even though I was already a healthy weight.  Oh, but it wasn’t the same weight I was in high school and college. Back then, I was probably 110 pounds soaking wet, with about 10 pounds of that being the Rave hairspray holding up my bangs. Whatever. That is not a healthy weight for me now.
By the way, this is not a phenomenon reserved for women. I recall my days working at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where some guy would ask me if I had these Levi's in a 30 waist. He’d be wearing his current pants belted somewhere down around his upper thigh, the waistband forced into a U shape by his belly. It couldn’t be comfortable, trying to wear what appeared to be the same jeans he did back in 1987. I wanted to yell at these guys, “Fuck it! You’re older and you don’t wear the same size! It’s OK. You’ll actually look trimmer if you wear the size that fits you. Wear pants that haven’t seen all the original members of warrant on tour!” 
Yes, obesity is not good for your health. Yes, it’s been tied to a host of cancers, including breast cancer. But exercise and eat right for your betterment, not a lame attempt to squeeze your ass into your friggin’ high school pants.

4.       Schedule regular exams or doctor’s appointments for the year in January.  
Schedule regular checkups with your physician from the '80s.
You know there are certain annual appointments you have to make: the hoo-ha doctor, maybe a physical with your primary care doctor or eye exam with your ophthalmologist. Ahem, YOUR MAMMOGRAM. Schedule them. I am living proof that a regular ‘ol doctor’s visit can save your life.
And don’t say you’ll get around to it. You often won’t because life gets in the way and before you know it, everyone is singing all that "fa la la la la” crap again and Bam! It’s the end of the year, and you’re left scratching your head and your ass, wondering where the time went. Some doctors also have schedules that are booked far out, so get in there while the getting is good.
                Take care of yourself, please. Or I’ll come find you and beat the shit out of you. Then you really will need a doctor.

5.       Re-evaluate.
Just smile, a-hole.
Figure out what sucks in your life and find a way to make it better. Life is too short.
Call a truce with that co-worker you want to kill (rather than leaving a dead squirrel on his/her desk with a note that reads “This is you” stapled to its head), find a way to do more of the stuff you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from friends and relatives to help you accomplish the goal of getting more “me” time. Whatever the hell it is, you can make it work.
You know how I know? Because I had a dream last night and Oprah told me so. She also gave me a recipe for beef stroganoff then rode off into the sunset on an ostrich.  But getting back to my point, you can do it. Trust me.

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