Never in my life have I managed to stick to a New Years resolution. One reason is that I usually forget what they are by about the 7th! This year, however, is the first year I have to be a better person for someone else. I have to be a role model and a teacher and the best mother I can be. So instead of the usual- easily forgettable- resolutions I make every year, I am going to make resolutions that I can stick to, remember and that will hopefully make me into the person I want to be for my daughter. Someone she can look up to and be proud to have as her mommy.
1. I resolve to love myself for who I am.
I resolve to shift my focus from how much I weigh to how I feel. I resolve to focus on healthy living rather than being a certain weight purely because it is what I feel society expects me to be. I never want Lily to feel that she has to be thinner, tanner, taller, shorter or anything that she is not because that is what she sees in magazines and on TV. My goal this year is to banish the words FAT, DIET, THIN, WEIGHT. I will stop complaining about the way I look because this is not how I want my daughter to think. I know that she is perfect and will always be perfect no matter what. How can I know that about her but not think the same way about myself? I will not spend hours obsessing over my hips that wont ever fit into a size 8, because they carried my beautiful daughter. I’ll stop despising my boobs for being so huge, because they nurse my baby and give her the best start to life. This year I will learn to love myself for who I am, not who I think I should be. For the sake of my daughter, because its what I want for her.
2. I resolve to try new recipes from the millions of recipe books I own.
I love to cook, but I always make the same things despite having a million recipe books. This year I will widen my range of things I can make and become more adventurous in the things I try. I’ll also stick to on meat free day a week and one meat free week every few months.
3. I resolve to nourish my soul by learning and helping others
After studying solidly for 5 years straight out of school I was so desperate for a break that the last few years I havent done anything to nourish my mind. This year, although I wont be going back to varsity (its Shauns turn to study now) I WILL finish reading the Bible, Qur’an, Bhagavad Gita, Dhammapada and the Gnostic gospels. I also will continue sitting on the Management Committee for Richards Bay Family Center and hopefully will be able to get more involved in the community through it. We have a lot of things we need to do to help the community in Richards Bay and hopefully this year Ill be able to help us get some of them.
4. I’ll stop destroying my body for vanity
This is probably a continuation of resolution number 1, but is important enough to warrant its own number. I will stop going into the sun! I’ve always been very good at wearing a hat and sunscreen on my face but not everywhere else. This year I will not get sun burnt once!
I think those four are enough to keep me going for a while, here’s to a happy, healthy and soulful new year. Now, Shoulders back, head held high, today, I conquer the world!
in fact, all my resolutions can be summed up by this :
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.