I was with three girls yesterday. Two are in middle school, one in high school. It was a snow day, so they were bored and wanted to get out. Honored they’d pick me to spend time with [hey, I’m old!], I picked them up for a late lunch. We chatted along….music, school, what they received for Christmas….then one of them asked me,

Ms Debbie, what are your resolutions?

Okay, wow! Well I suppose I should have some, right? And I do, yes. Although sometimes I hesitate to label them as “resolutions”. Each of us ladies shared some of ours and it was quite nice. The fact that each of them, despite being young, had fairly mature and introspective goals.

Social media makes it more convenient to know what others think. Their opinions. Some, I’ve noticed, have let it be known they’re not so big on setting goals, listing resolutions, whatever you’d like to label such behavior. Others mock those who do. Then there are the folks who, for the world to see, let their hopes be known. I suppose we can get over analytical and critical. We should just let others be, right? Don’t mock people for trying to self improve. Even if you know the person well and know fairly factually he will never reach his said goal because it’s been his goal for the last 15 years and he’s yet to make any progress post March [I am not talking about anyone specific, mind you].

My resolutions? Or goals for the year. Or whatever the trendy term might currently be…..

Wear lipstick [yes, I know that seems minor and non-life altering]. Here’s the thing…I don’t wear very much makeup. And in the winter especially, I tend to be rather pale. And while my blog is certainly not an avenue for beauty tips, it seems this is an easy way to appear as if I have my life more together than I actually do, so why not? [I’m joking about the having my life more together…kind of] When I told the girls this yesterday, one remembered it was one of our friend’s goals last year to wear makeup, so I suppose I’m sort of stealing her 2016 resolution. Judge me if you will. Here’s an article, which in my opinion, shows how we over analyze EVERYTHING: Makeup makes women appear more competent, study says. I just want to look nice, okay?

After a quick hunt through multiple handbags, this is what I have to work with

I’ve become more of a lip balmer than a lipsticker…about to change in 2017 though

For the rest of my goals/resolutions, I want to back into them. Let me explain…Some people seem to be of the belief that if one wants to be happy or happier, one should simply BE happy or happier. In other words, think happy thoughts, all that jazz. Well, I’m not sure that’s a successful formula. Choosing happiness, is sure, kind of a thing. But it’s also impossible for some of us. And while no, I’m not a licensed therapist, simply telling someone to “get it together…choose to be happy…” is rather unhealthy, at least in my way of thinking. Sure, there are those of us who need to stop whining. Need to get our poop together. Organize ourselves. Buy some new shirts. But as a whole, across the board, a sweeping, trite comment doesn’t do much good. So I’ve decided to back in. What the #&*% am I talking about? Here we go….

If I feel I’d like to be happier, I should do things which make me happier. Instead of dwelling on my unhappiness, I should attempt to be a part of situations which naturally bring happiness. Obviously, as a [for the most part] competent adult, there are tasks I must participate in that do not bring joy. The mundane. The day to day grind type of responsibilities. But I must make time for the enjoyable. The things I like to do. Read books. Instead of looking at Facebook photos of some woman I knew twenty five years ago who seems to be living out all her dreams and has just posted photos of her beautiful family of four all wearing white shirts while posing on the beach even though they currently live in the midwest. You get the idea…. Take a hike. Run. Bake something. Shop for lipstick. Write a blog entry. Take photos. Listen to music. Etc.

An issue I dealt with more than I’d care to admit towards the end of 2016 was anxiety. Waking up in the middle of the night anxious about something. Worried. Stressed. Overwhelmed. To the point my kids noticed and commented and continue to ask about. So I decided I need to back in….participate in things which calm me. Practice habits which do not allow for as many freak out sessions. Natural supplements and lavender oil [my daughter refers to me as a witch doctor, but hey, I believe these methods are working]. The realization it is alright to not run three miles but attend a yoga class instead. That’s a sort of metaphor, right? Choosing the harder. Choosing the more painful. Those equal success. What overcomers and overachievers do. They run. A lot. The old….hey I just ran 5 miles!!! instead of the…okay, so I just did an hour long yoga class at the Y and now I’m going home and I hope no one [well nearly no one] contacts me until morning because I really need to just relax. Does this make sense? Yes, I enjoy running and it is good for me and helps me relieve anxiety. I’m not saying it doesn’t. I am saying I need to incorporate calming activities into my life as well. I’ve been lax on this front. Listen to music that relaxes, not that makes me bang my head. There’s a time and place for everything…..

I suppose what I’m trying to say is this. Figure out the cause and effect. Look at the answer to the problem, then work backwards. Didn’t we do that in math class once upon a time? My work often leads to discussions about “positive outcomes”. Why don’t I learn to apply this to my life? Because I’m busy doing one thousand other things, like everyone else. So that’s why it’s part of my Operation Resolution 2017. That’s a fancy title I just made up…on the spot. Which I’m sure is obvious because it’s not at all creative.

I am not of the opinion one must list out all goals for a year by January 1. Life is a process…a journey. So be kind to yourself [I am actually speaking to MYSELF]. Look into the benefits of lavender oil. And turmeric. Just a few tips…. [I was actually speaking to YOU, readers of my blog, just then]. Well, now that I’ve confessed my venture into anxiety induced solutions, I sincerely hope your 2017 is off to a terrific beginning.

I have more to say on my early 2017 thoughts, but they’re for another entry. Another day.

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