I don’t make resolutions because I am fifty. The absurdity and function of being fifty is that I know myself. What is the point of growing old if you can’t get comfortable with yourself? I am not saying that I am incapable of change or finished. Heck I could live another few decades and I am bound to totally surprise myself in those coming years. But resolutions are not my thing. I may regret this but I’m going to give some advice.
Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make
- Dieting. It is stupid and sets you up to fail. Nobody keeps the weight off. Nobody. Accept your body. Love your fat. Stop being scared of being fat. Love who you are. (Click the link -highlighted sentence- for science and reality about weight and bodies and health.)
- I don’t even know if there is a number 2. The number 1. is so all encompassing that I find myself stuck. The article I read in Slate is triggering because it reminds me of how weird I am. I am so counterculture. What do Americans value? Alcohol, competition, skinny, money and youth. According to this list of values. I am nothing. A big fat zero. Emphasis on the fat.
I do not drink alcohol. I think it is stupid to ingest alcohol. I think alcohol is the cause of many deaths drunk driving, alcohol poisoning, suicide, and diseases caused by longterm exposure. And many broken families.
I am not competitive. I do love to play a 7 letter word in Scrabble. And I like having less gray hair than my ex-husband. But nothing about my life needs to compete with yours. Living in the world of Disability with a capital D takes all the air out of a competitive nature. Who cares when your child walked or got their first 100% on a spelling test? We are on our own timeline and an individual unpredictable schedule. The light that each of us glows is undeniable and beautiful and if someone else can’t see that they are ignorant or hateful- and missing out on a richer more complicated and diverse life experience.
I am not skinny. I do not count calories or refuse carbs. I do not wear a fitbit or a step counter. I do not exercise for the purpose of being skinnier. The next line should read, I am a freak of nature- just living in my body and praising this body for carrying me through life despite the undeniable judgements of this society.
Money- I do not have enough. I would like to find a hidden money tree. But, I do not put enough time and intensity into making more or spending less or finding coupons. I work a job that I usually love and it pays less than jobs that also require college or advanced degrees but do not focus on children. Jobs that focus on people make less than jobs that focus on money or business.
Getting older is the best- it is freeing to escape the need for competition, the expectation of socializing with alcohol, the pressure to wearing matching bikinis on a spring break trip, and the scrambling to make a life when I barely know what life I want to make. Being young is hard. Being a grandmother is delicious. Becoming an older woman is strange in that it can feel like one is invisible to society, and yet who hasn’t wished to become invisible once in a while. To live however I want without insecurity. This part of my life is just beginning- I will think about that more later.
Beauty Hack- buy vintage mirrors and use glowing pinkish warm lighbulbs – no LED. NO LED! Look for your reflection in your friends and loved ones faces when they see you coming into a room. The mirror isn’t for judging yourself it is for adding depth and light to a room.