I started over with resolve in the fragrant spring, as grape-rich mountain laurels ushered in hope, new-beginnings. Then again in humid July, my mid-50s birthday and the fast passing of time was incentive enough. Resolve re-emerged again with the smell of new school supplies and clothes for the new school year and then again on many other Mondays in between last New Years and this. All I can do is try, try again. There is some comfort in knowing I am not alone in my struggle to lose weight, get healthy, slow down, get back to nature, sleep, keep a cleaner more organized home, write, exercise, make up my mind, or stop thinking so much; to grow.
I’ve been urged by friends to return to my little blog, to keep writing. It takes time, but if anything it’s an avenue to sanity, a place to sort out my thoughts and hopefully find others with the same sensibilities. But this tradition of making resolutions and beginning anew each New Year can be both hopeful and deflating. How much ‘trying’ can one do?
When it comes to little things, picking up the house regularly and remembering to go to bed at night, I must say I falter but keep giving it the old college try. But the bigger things, letting go of the ‘old ways’ like feeding my family rich, delicious food in the name of love and giving up my leanings to a sedentary, contemplative life for one of activity, well, that’s a giant leap. It could kill me! Most likely, it’s slow in coming because I don’t really WANT to let go of these tendencies, but wisdom says I have to.
So we journey, and I journal, into the familiar unknown; another year. I recall other eve’s standing confidently on the precipice of new beginnings. Tight skin, small-waist, wide-eyed; the world was my oyster, my stage, my magnificent possibility. Now the picture is a little different, and a whole palette of lovely colors couldn’t create the illusion of that young woman. I’d need at least a gallon of ‘tan’ just to cover-up the vericose veins! Everything is different. I can’t laugh without an empty bladder. A spontaneous dance around the kitchen to a little rock’n roll has me downing Advil the next day. One glass of wine and I’m out like a light, and each morning my face looks a little different. It takes work to glow, to jive, to keep up with the young professionals at work, to be both soft comfortable, reliable mom serving up a good meal and a slender, strong ageless modern woman. I think if we look at the lives of women who are perfectly one, the other is lacking. Something’s gotta give!
Like many of us, I am grateful to be alive, able to make intelligent healthy changes, and loved. Love is all I really need, but my resolutions and goals all require me to love myself…first. I’m a sensitive, attentive love to others, but not so much to myself. I think most of us, particularly women, have been taught to put ourselves on hold, dreams on the backburner, put the children’s needs first, support the husband, get that last load of laundry folded.
But, what good is any of that ‘denying” of self, if a woman isn’t her BEST self for others? A run-down, sleepless, no-time-for creative growth woman/mother/wife just fades out, flips from frantic to depressed, maybe even clips years from her own precious life, while busying herself tending to the needs of others. Add teaching all day to my own particular mix, and at the end of the day ‘serving others’ is all I do. There comes a time, at last, when reason must prevail. As my little Polish doctor likes to say, “Cynthia, it’s time.”
So, this, then (in a nutshell) should be my New Year’s resolution:
Love myself the way I love others, nurture my soulful meanderings, trust my insights, learn to say ‘no,’ move, and encourage my own growth and change.