Relationships

16 New Year's Resolutions for a Midlife Woman (Me)

Next year's going to be different—I promise!

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1. I will not ask my adult children if they are dating, hooking up, sexting, texting, swiping left, swiping right or anything else remotely related to their love lives. When there's something I need to know, they will tell me.

2. I will stop looking in the mirror to search for the young girl who used to be there, dewy and clear-eyed and firm. That girl still exists, but only inside of me. On the outside, despite my best—or second best—efforts, she's looking a little wrinkly, tired and squishy.

3. For once and for all, I will stop expecting my husband to change the habits of his that drive me crazy. I'm not changing mine, so why should he? We live together quite comfortably most of the time. That's enough.

4. I will continue with my decision to put down a book after 50 pages if it doesn't interest me. Life is too short to read books you don't enjoy.

5. I will attempt to see more movies in the theater instead of waiting for them to be available on demand or on Netflix. Even though the last time I went to a movie in the theater, the couple sitting next to me seemed to be under the misconception that they were still at home in their living room, so chatting, texting and drinking out of a bottle of something alcoholic and clearly not purchased at the theater bar (yes, there's a bar) was acceptable behavior.

6. I will try marijuana extract balm that was recommended to me by one of my daughter's friends to relieve the pain of my headaches, even though the last time I used marijuana was in 1981 and I ate an entire pot brownie and was convinced I was going to die, naked, with my college boyfriend laughing at me because I was so ridiculously stoned. I hear they've really refined the growing process and quality. Now that it will be legal in my state, I'm ready to give it another go.

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7. I will stop shopping for clothes, shoes and bags more than absolutely necessary. (No, I won't.)

8. For the sake of my mental health, I will cut back on watching news reports or reading articles about that man who lives at the White House. There is nothing I can learn about him that can make me feel any better or change my opinion. Maybe that will help my headaches, along with the marijuana balm.

9. I will walk at least 10,000 steps a day, whatever the weather, in my quest to live the rest of my days healthy, strong and filled with energy. (No, I won't).

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10. Starting sentences with "I used to," "I remember when I," "It used to be that" and other forlorn or nostalgia-tinged introductions to whatever it is I want to say will be reduced to a minimum. I resolve to look forward to what is coming next and try to not dwell too much in the past—whether the victories or the defeats.

11. I will call my mother at least 5 times a week. It's the least I can do and will make me feel good each time I hear her voice. I only have one mother and she's a keeper.

12. I will go somewhere I have never been before, whether it's up the road or around the world. Seeing new places is invigorating and doesn't have to be a major journey, but can be a short drive.

13. I will continue to donate books to the local free library on the corner because it makes me feel so damn good.

14. I will not buy another blank journal with the intent of recording my daily thoughts and activities. Ditto the pretty pens to go with the journal. I am never going to do this. Never.

15. I will attempt to minimize feelings of guilt about things I didn't do when I was raising my children that still bother me. Seriously, there is nothing to be done about short tempers, bad choices or fast food meals. They turned out OK and I did the best I could.

16. Finally, I will remember, every single day, how fortunate I am, in so many ways. I will remember this when I start to resent aging, looking older, moving slower or feeling less than perfect. I will remember that getting older is a gift, not a curse.

   
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