I’m getting too old to make New Year’s resolutions. I can’t take the shame anymore when I don’t do what I announced to the world was so important and life-changing.
Drop ten pounds; Dry January; Clean house and organize the clutter; Exercise more; Call family every week; and start a yoga practice. I might as well add inspire world peace and write a New York Times bestseller.
Lately, I’ve been mesmerized by the people on Tik Tok videos. My children are chagrined that I have watched these and think they are cute and funny. (mostly ridiculous)
There are actually people who have pre-made a delicious no-carb salad and are eating it on the fly while they carpool or run errands. One lady bragged that if you didn’t have a fork, just take a bite out of the whole cucumber you packed and make a scoop to eat with. Who packs a pre-made salad for running errands? We’re all in the Chick Fil A line fighting for nuggets and talking ourselves out of French fries.
I’ve made resolutions to organize my house and even asked one of my daughters to help. Not that I was embarrassed, but I did feel ‘some kind of way’ the third time she held up a plastic bag and asked, “Why is this in here?” or gift bags and totes… “Mother, why are you saving these? Do you need all of these tote bags? You should just pick three you like and donate the rest.”
Really? Have I taught her nothing?? You never know when you will need the perfect size, shape, and appropriate holiday gift bag or need to schlep something from here to there. In my book, you can never have too many.
Is that reason for a resolution or an intervention? It’s a close call either way.
“This year I’m only going to eat whole foods.” I can’t even say that without laughing. I’ve professed that one too many years to even count. Are Sugar-free Hazelnut creamer and Nature Valley Protein bars whole foods? Of course not! Therefore, I rarely make it past breakfast the next day.
“This year I’m going to do sit-ups/crunches every day for 365 days.” Except when I don’t feel like it or I ate too much the night before or I’m too busy watching Tik Tok videos. I have to admit, this one gets me every year and every year I start out strong, hoping to make it past that dreaded two-week mark. Something always gets in my way, like procrastination or apathy.
“This year I’m going to write one heart-felt letter to each person I love and appreciate.” Just one letter a week for fifty-two weeks. My dear friend Ginger inspired me, but as I rounded week five I stopped remembering what I loved and appreciated about certain people and came to a stall. I was having to force myself to find enough redeeming qualities to complete the letter, and wasn’t that like missing the point?
Years ago, when Boo and I first got our Fitbits, we made a resolution to walk twenty-one miles a week. Then Boo got carried away and vowed to walk four miles a day, twenty-eight miles a week or the equivalent of walking to Baltimore, Maryland (1560 miles) in one year. Because I didn’t want to be outdone, I agreed to his revised resolution, too. Every day we trekked along, at first happy and positive, until I finally had a meltdown. I started to feel angry at Boo and dreaded our daily outings, cursing under my breath.
“You never talk. You won’t hold my hand and you’re just not sweet when we walk,” I announced. “I thought this was our thing!”
Clearly, what we had was a failure to communicate. I envisioned our walks as time to connect emotionally. Our special time together getting to know each other on a deeper level.
Boo envisioned our walks as time to log four miles a day, twenty-eight miles a week.
“I’m trying to strengthen our marriage and make connections on a deeper level,” I cried.
“I’m trying to walk fifteen hundred miles in a year. That’s as deep as I can get.”
I finally let go of my walking to connect dream and eventually I went to the gym, and he kept walking. Yet another of my resolutions that bit the dust.
One year I vowed to become a weightlifter. I began a woman’s weightlifting class at the YMCA and went diligently for six months. I loved it and felt so strong. I would come home and flex my muscles and bought sleeveless tops to accentuate my biceps. The problem was my age. I was the oldest woman in the group. I tried to keep up as best I could. I never moaned or complained unless I had to, and I tried to stay positive even though some days it hurt to breathe. I was among young mothers who had recently given birth, and forty-something divorcees trying to get their mojo back. The comments started to get to me.
“I wish my mother would exercise like you do.”
“I hope I look as good as you when I’m your age.”
“Wow, you’re really doing good for being a grandma.”
As the class got more difficult, I started to slow down. Arthritic hands and knees can only do so much. Eventually, even Jack LaLanne had to tone it down, or did he just up and die? Either way, I did complete this resolution and although it was not always pretty, I still refer to it as my glory days.
So, here it is, two weeks into 2023 and I really don’t have a resolution for the new year. Whatever I do, I know I want to be creative, like maybe making a TikTok video. If Lisa Rinna can just dance around her house in sweatpants and have billions of followers, surely I can find a geriatric niche that draws in the same size of viewers. My 2023 resolution could be to post something we older folks would like to see on TikTok or Instagram. A video about incorporating pre and probiotics into your healthy diet, brewing the perfect cup of Matcha tea, or dancing to the oldies remix.
Even though it’s not January 1, I think there’s still time to make my resolution proclamation.
I will ‘dance like no one is watching,’ and make my TikTok video. And I will remember the quintessential words of wisdom and inspiration: ‘today is the first day of the rest of my life.’ I think that’s a good start!