Today is my birthday (yay me and all that). So this is my new year. My year to re-evaluate my life and set goals and make the changes that have just been lying around waiting for me to make them.
At (cough cough) forty-two, it is time for me to start taking better care of my body. I know what to do; intellectually, it is an easy choice. But something chemical takes over, and I crave the things that many people crave: salt, sugar, fat, additives with un-pronounceable names. It’s disgusting really, and while I am a happy atheist, I know that I need to be more respectful of the one temple that matters. I know that the rewards will be worthwhile: even with my bad habits I am able to maintain a size 8; if I can stop stuffing myself with garbage between 4 and 10 at night, I might actually be able to squeeze myself back into the Ally McBeal suits of my 20s (not that I would want to, but still).
I also need to stop drinking. When my friend Sal (yo! fake name) was discovering her husband’s emotional affair and the boatload of personal issues that went with it, she confessed that among other things they had fallen into a pattern of drinking too much. It was one of those statements that stayed with me. I don’t drink a lot, but I should probably to cut back. Although I want my children to understand that alcohol can be a part of a normal, healthy social life, I don’t think I want them to see me drinking every night, even if it is only a glass or two. I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with that, but for me, for my family, I think it’s excessive.
And while I’m at it, I need to stop drinking around other people. It sounds crazy, and contrary to popular wisdom: if you drink alone, it means you have a problem. In my case, most of my problems arise when I drink around other people. I don’t like myself drunk – not that I become melancholy, nor sloppily affectionate, nor (especially not) mean – instead, I am…chatty as hell. And honest. And in my family, honesty is not always the best policy.
And what are new year’s resolutions without a pledge to exercise more often?
And floss. Because flossing is important, and gum disease is icky.
Other than that, I think it’s time to get moving on my life-list. Sitting on that beach in Mexico with Gee, long before we knew we would be married or have a family together, I shared my list with him. At the time, I meant every word of it, and the effect it had on him (that of making him think I was the most interesting and ambitious woman EVAH), was pretty secondary. Now, nearly ten years later, I’m starting to question whether I was ever serious about that list. If I don’t start working on it now, I may find myself old and infirm, wondering what I ever accomplished with my life. Don’t they say that the longest journeys start with a single, diminutive step? It’s time to wiggle my toes a little.
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My life list:
Complete a marathon. I don’t care if it takes 8 hours; I want to haul my butt across that finish line.
Complete an Olympic distance triathlon.
Write a novel (no need to have it published…just write it).
Become fluent in French .
Take a safari in Africa.
Become an accomplished photographer.
Have a child .
Read War & Peace.
Learn to play the guitar.