Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm a little slow out of the starting gate wishing you all a Happy New Year! I've been deliberately away from blogging since December 23, though I have been very busy otherwise. With Christmas and everything that goes with it, Meghan moving to California, my nephew Adam's wedding on New Year's Eve, and spending time with family and friends, I chose to leave blogging to the New Year.

But I'm back!

Like many people, I've been bouncing around resolutions in my head -- the standards -- and I could benefit from taking a few seriously. I must say that I HATE being bombarded by diet commercials. There's nothing worse than sitting with my zero-percent-body-fat-boyfriend and a Victoria's Secret commercial comes on followed by Marie Osmond touting her Jenny Craig success. When YOU need to go on a diet, or start exercising to be healthier, no one needs to tell you. You know better than anyone that it's time to get those chubby ducks in a row before they sink to the bottom of the pond. It takes a perfect storm of awareness, discomfort, self-deprication, embarrassment, fed-up-ness and motivation, all converging in unison, to be ready. It doesn't just happen. Finally, I'm there. I woke up in the middle of the night last night wondering if any of the few channels on my digital TV might have a 6 a.m. exercise program I could start following. Then I went back to sleep until 8 a.m. I have to be at work at 8:30 and live 20 minutes away. (By the way, Marie Osmond should get rid of the extensions and cut her hair, don't you think?) Rather than succumbing to the advertisements and catapulting myself into an impossible regimen of restrictive dieting and overly ambitious exercise, I'm going to my favorite Food Network chef/nutritionist Ellie Krieger for sensible, steady guidance. I already love her cookbook and my friend Diane is following her on-line program. We're buddying up to provide each other support.

This morning on NPR I heard a discussion about happiness. It was basically about the power of positive thinking, something that's been reshaped and packaged in many forms over the years. The bottom line is, if you're unhappy, start incorportating more positive thinking and soon the unhappiness will give way to a less-burdened you. Of course, there are life situations that we wish could be overcome just by switching our thought patterns, and that's not always possible, say in the case of a severe illness or a natural disaster. But maybe we can adjust the way we process the difficult information and learn to go forward with better-case-scenarios in mind. As an eternal optimist, I used to be disappointed, alot, when the world didn't go my way. Now, at age 55 and 3/4, I've learned to envision a plan B, C, D and maybe all the way to Z in order to realize a good outcome.

All this musing about resolutions and better selves and coping with life seems timely - it's everywhere around us as a new year begins. As this new year grows older and resolutions inevitably fade, optimism wanes, and coping becomes challenging, I'll try to remember the purpose of such proclomations: to get more out of this one life we're given, to enjoy it more, to realize some abundance, to have better relationships. It's not just about losing weight and having more money. It's about the quality of our lives.

Here's hoping 2010 is a wonderful year for you, in every way.

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