This item first appeared on Life Out Loud for Charleston Grit, December 30, 2014. How fun to revist now as we near the end of another year.
As night falls on one of the last days of the year, I’m thinking about the one ahead and how I’d like it to go down. Because, as sure as I’m sitting here now, it will go by in a flash, and I want to make the best of it. I’ve compiled a list of non-negotiables to help me in this endeavor.
Rules for 2015
1. When in doubt, get the salad.
Too many times this year, I ogled a menu item at a hot new spot feeling oh so tempted by its delectable sounding, not-so-healthy ingredients. The few extra pounds I’m carrying into the next one are proof positive that I should’ve gone for the greens. Note to self: The dish only tastes good in the restaurant. Not at home, after the fact, wracked with guilt over the choice. My plan for 2015 is to get the salad. Every. Single. Time.
2. Plan more time for self-improvement.
I know what you’re thinking. We could all use some enlightenment when it comes to self-help books and soul-searching therapy. Screw that. Not what I had in mind. Sure, the inside is important. But I’m talking about the outside and next year’s plan to take a toll on it. With age comes wisdom and the realization that time is tough on the exterior. I’d like to say I welcome gray hair if it didn’t try to rebel against every other strand on my head. And what’s with the wiry texture? Game on. My plan next year involves more time with a stylist covering roots.
3. Accept imperfection.
I realize the first two are pretty vain, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. New Year’s Resolutions are a bitch to keep, and I’d like to have a built-in out, per se, if I find myself slipping or getting discouraged. I mean, what the heck, towards the middle of 2015, I’ll actually be another year older, and I think I like pretty darn good, considering.
4. Repeat No. 3 often.
No explanation needed, really. Food choices, extra pounds, beauty regimens—it can all be too much. When I can’t resist the creamy pasta, or have to postpone that hair appointment because it’s too expensive, No. 3 will come in handy.
5. Be more thankful.
Nothing really snarky here. I truly need to appreciate my life in the coming year, and those who are in it. I am blessed beyond measure and need to get my head out of my ass and stop pining away for what is or isn’t. Because what is or isn’t is pretty damn good and I need to be more aware of that next year.
6. Treat my spouse better.
You know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life.” Well, that’s all well and good when there’s one, but what about two? Sure, I like to get my way (who doesn’t?), but I what I really need to concentrate on next year is being nicer, more loving, more caring and considerate to better contribute to our happy home. Maybe I’ll show her this list and convince her to get her on board with it, too. Happy x 2 = Look out 2015!
7. Embrace my inner homebody.
Too often I think about what I should be doing while secretly scolding myself for not getting out and doing it. When what I’m learning is that I harbor a secret homebody. Inside of me is a hermit dying to come out (and never leave the house.) Truth is, I like being alone—nesting, reading, listening to music, surrounding myself with thoughts and beautiful things. My goal next year is to embrace my inner desire to stay in, light candles, and listen to Carol King. And Carly Simon. Both of whom rock. Way past time to let myself off the hook for this one. 2015 is the year I will do it.
8. Buy a lottery ticket.
I mean, why not. The last time I tried my luck was on a birthday with three 7's in it. I won $6, which covered the cost of the scratch-off ticket. Maybe it’s time to test my odds again—with Mega Millions or Powerball. Go big or go home. And just think, if I win, you can claim you know me. But you may have to get in line behind others coming out of the woodwork. I have a lot of relatives—some distant, some very distant. That’s typical of the South. But patience is a virtue that pays off, too. Just like the lottery from time to time.
9. Work on my tan.
I realize this is not healthy, but with my genetic makeup, I get pretty dark and look better with a sun-kissed glow. Plus, I thought I was venturing too far off track from the beginning of this list and wanted to right the vanity ship, so to speak. My best chances for soaking up the sunshine are likely after March and April, but consider 2015 my brownest year yet.
To be combined heavily with No. 1. I have got to start moving more if I expect be in a position to make resolutions for years to come. Salads alone won’t cut it—nor will it combat the cellulite that is intent on creeping into my life with a vengeance. And, let’s face it, 2, 3, and 9 will only carry me so far. So, it’s up to 10 to bring it home.
There you have it. My guide for next year. Here’s to life, love, and the pursuit of our best selves in 2015. Happy New Year, Everyone!