It’s the New Year, and we’re supposed to bounce back to work, or life, with a renewed energy and resolve, complete with a list of resolutions of all the awesome things we’re going to do in 2014.
Me? I’ve had to drag my ass back to reality, even if my commute is only 200 feet downstairs to my home office. My list could fit on a post-it.
Because sandwiched between Christmas and New Year’s lurks my birthday, a reality check, of which I would love a rain-check, for each advancing year. So instead of starting the new year feeling “new”, I start the new year feeling “old.”
For example, I really want a Chillow. Not in an ironic or campy way, like coveting a Slanket or Chia Pet, but in the “I have menopause and a cold pillow seems so refreshing” way. I fucking NEED one.
But then I read this gem the other day from the Huffington Post, “40 Things I Can Do at 40 That I couldn’t do at 20” by writer Wendy Fontaine, and it made me snap out of my funk, at least momentarily. She turned the whole aging thing on it’s ear.
Here’s her list of things she’s grateful she can do as an older, wiser woman. I’ve highlighted some of my favorites:
1. Cook a decent meal.
2. Make a killer cup of coffee.
3. Tell the truth.
4. Have a healthy relationship.
5. Look past a person’s flaws.
6. Look past my own flaws.
7. Stay home on New Years Eve.
8. Pay my bills.
9. Go out without makeup on. (Sorry Stacy!)
10. Go to the gynecologist without being embarrassed.
11. Go to a therapist without feeling ashamed.
12. Speak to a group of strangers.
13. Buy the good wine.
14. Handle rejection.
15. Read Didion instead of Cosmo.
16. Be happy for other people, instead of jealous.
17. Ignore the trends (skinny jeans included) and wear what looks good on my body.
18. Ignore the Kardashians, Rihanna and every other celebrity du jour.
19. Ignore people’s nasty comments.
20. Ignore my ex.
21. Stand up for myself.
22. Stand up for people I love.
23. Sit at a concert.
24. Take a cab home instead of insisting I’m OK to drive.
25. Wear a hat when it’s cold.
26. Stop worrying about whether people like me or think I’m pretty.
27. Be my kid’s hero.
28. Show her what independence looks like.
29. Show her what real beauty is.
30. Drive the speed limit.
31. Drop that toxic friend.
32. Avoid the drama.
33. Swear in front of my mom.
34. Swap the tanning lotion for eye cream.
35. Focus on the smart guy instead of the handsome guy.
36. Say “no” to stuff.
37. Skip the gym and go for a walk outside.
38. Stop trying to be perfect.
39. Let go of expectation.
40. Adjust to changes.
I found this list so liberating. And perhaps “liberating” is the key. Because what I got out of this list is this: We don’t have to try so hard to prove anything, we can just be. We’ve earned the right, put in the time, and know more than we give ourselves credit for. Time to Chillax on the Chillow.
And those hot flashes? What a great excuse to buy some new tank tops.
Happy New Year.