Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Every year I list them. At times I’m tempted to give up the exercise as futile, but the truth is that once in a while, they work. Every year I resolve to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight. And you know what? Last year I did. What made the difference? I suspect it was the discovery the week before Christmas that a first cousin just two years my senior had stage three ovarian cancer. I looked up preventing cancer, and there it was: exercise, stay lean, eat well. Suddenly it was no longer just about vanity; it was about my health and being here for my girls (yes, I know they’re grown, but they still need their mother) and for Steve. As a result, my resolution this year is simply “keep exercising and eating well.” And by the way, my incredible cousin is still alive—in fact, she hosted the family’s Christmas Eve party.

So what else is on my list this year? Number One: Stop Procrastinating. I’m a terrible procrastinator. ‘Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow’ could be my motto. This was actually a late addition to my list, but when I realized that doing this one thing would probably help me accomplish most of the other things on the list, I gave it top billing.

Number Two: Get More Sleep. Since I’m a terrible insomniac, I’m still trying to figure out HOW to do this, but it’s my second priority.

Number Three: Keep a Cleaner House. Living first as a refugeee, then in a building zone after Katrina, I learned I could either tolerate mess or go insane. But what was once adaptive has become habitual. Enough is enough. Notice it does not say, “Keep a Clean House.” That’s asking too much for a writer with two book contracts. But cleaner would be, well, an improvement.

Number Four: Cook More. Pre-Katrina, Steve and I sat down to a proper home-cooked dinner most nights. Now, it’s rare. Typically, he’ll open a can of beans and I’ll have a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Yes, our nest is usually empty these days, but the occasional fish and veggie meal would be nice. I married a great cook, so this is really a joint resolution. He just doesn’t know it yet!

I thought about putting “Finish rebuilding the house” on the list, but I decided that would only raise my stress levels and work against #2, so I left it off. Hopefully #1 will help motivate me to at least paint the trim in my office. I realize that Numbers One, Three and Four will probably also work against Number Two. Ah, well. I’ll let you know at the end of the year how I did.

Thanks to all who wished me well. I'm feeling much better. Happy New Year to all!

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