with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: New Years

2016: The year that was…sucky…and great…and a good set-up for something better

by SweetMidlife
Keep on rocking in the new year!

Keep on rocking in the new year!

This is Leslie, who does not write nearly as much as she should on this blog. My previous excuse has been that I write full-time as a newspaper columnist so I don’t always want to sit down and write some more, but time is money, and as a single mother I can tell you that making money is worth my time. So even though we don’t really make any money on this labor of love because we don’t write enough, we certainly won’t make any if we don’t write. Synergy and stuff.

So this is why I’m up at 1-ish a.m. on the last day of 2016, briefly writing about how even though this year sucked for so many reasons, it was OK or even transcendent in some cases. Yes, yes, I’m talking about the same year that killed Prince, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, Glenn Frey and George Michael, among others. (Hide, Betty White!) And then there’s the fact of some major nastiness, racism and ugliness that seems to be bolder about showing itself. It was always there,  but now it’s just braver and not hiding (and if you’re attempting to blame racism on people who note that there is racism, this blog is not for you and you can go now, seriously. Get out of here with that mess.)

But bad and good things happen in every year – 2015 was the year I lost my husband, and 2016 was the year that the adoption of our son became final. So I’m a bigger fan of 2016. I am sure that in all of your lives, there are highs and lows in any 12-month period. I can’t speak for you, but here is a list of the reasons that 2017 might be better than 2016:

1) If 2016 did not kill you, you can make 2017 better.

Yep, that’s it. That’s my list. If you are still breathing, you have the opportunity to find something about 2017 to like. I am not attempting to downplay the very real pain that you may have about politics, or that rise in nastiness and sharp drop in courtesy and civility. It sucks. It’s real. And it might get worse before it gets better. (Again, go hide somewhere, Betty White, until the smoke clears.)

But let me lay something real on you – in 2015 I got the wind kicked out of me. In an instant I was a widow, a single mom, the primary breadwinner and a matriarch. Stuff got real. I was doubled over. And then I crawled to my feet and kept moving. I am not a hero. I am not special. I am not Beyonce. I’m a person who had to keep breathing, broken heart and all. For a while, I was just treading water. But now I’m doing something approximating thriving. It’s not the way I would have defined that before, but I now have some joy. And a new beginning. 2016 was a new beginning for my family – actually, everything that came after my husband’s death in July 2015 was a new beginning. And this year represents another one.

It is another year to fight the injustice we see, to slap down ignorance and buffalo racism, sexism, homophobia and other isms and phobias till they run screaming. It’s another year to lick our wounds, to regroup, It’s another year to hug your babies, to kiss your partner, to fall in love. To love on your mama and your grandma, or, if you don’t have one of those, to hold close whoever you have. It is a year to be better.

Because we are still here. Which is better than the alternative. Happy 2017, guys. It might not be the most awesome new year, but it’s awesome because it’s a new year we have.


You Can’t Do Anything If You Are Passed Out On the Floor

by SweetMidlife

Happy First Monday in January! Lynne here.

I won’t keep you long because I know you have a whole bunch to do. This is the first non-vacation day in a little bit for a bunch of you. Your kids are going back to school, you are going back to work, and if your work is at home, well, nothing has really changed. I just know that we are busy with the tasks that we have to do today, and if you are like a lot of folks, you are also armed with resolutions and changes that you are going to make this year and you are ready and you are going to be organized and pick up after yourself and eat healthy and workout and I am already tired after just writing that list. Because even though all of these changes are designed to make your life better, in the rush to get it all done, we forget that we’re supposed to feel better.

Like this morning, I was running around trying to get the kitchen clean and take laundry downstairs because I am pledging to keep up with housework, and our tree is still up, and my husband wasn’t feeling well so I made him breakfast, and I read my Bible devotional because I need to ground myself spiritually, and then the toddler woke up and I brought him his firetruck so he could play while the oatmeal for my husband was finishing, and I drank some water, because hydration and whatnot. But I remembered that I had been up for hours and I hadn’t eaten anything myself.

Taking these down is another thing I am supposed to do. Yeah.

Taking these down is another thing I am supposed to do. Yeah.

And if you are passed out on the floor from all of the changing, well, that’s no good, is it?

The point of all of this discipline is supposed to be a better you, right? And you need a you for you to be better. So give yourself a break. Tackle a few things, get those square, then start on something else. By all means, have goals and stick to them. But we need you around in the process, okay? Do your thing, but feel good doing it. Take care of yourself.

Smooches.

Here’s some happy music as you go through your day.

 


Fabulous ’15! Five resolutions you can keep!

by SweetMidlife
It's a blank slate. You might as well fill it well.

It’s a blank slate. You might as well fill it well.

 

Leslie here! I greet you on this fine New Year’s Day from the Sweet Midlife’s southern headquarters, over a green smoothie and an episode from Season 4 of “The Wire.” My husband is sitting on the couch next to me under an afghan knitted by my Great-Aunt Martha. Many of those details figure into my New Year’s Resolutions…stop rolling your eyes. Yes, yes, I like you have been super stoked about all the stuff I was gonna do on Jan. 1, involving diet, exercise, job, you name it.

And Jan. 27 I, like you, was like “Screw it. Ice cream and couches rule.”

My sister wrote recently about her resolution to be more loving, and that’s an amazing thing to promise. That’s certainly on my list, but here are five more things I think I can stick to. For real. Stop side-eyeing me. You haven’t read them yet!

1) Be specific about my health goals while being realistic and non-sadistic. That rhymes. Almost like a Johnnie Cochran situation. But there are no gloves to fit into this one, just a middle-aged woman trying to fit into the clothes she was trying to be too skinny to fit into last year (and ain’t that a pip?). Last year I had a very mapped-out goal, to dive into a clean eating program, to work out a specific amount of time, and lose a specific amount of weight. This worked out quite well until a kid came to live with us in March, and to paraphrase Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody have time for making tomato soup from scratch. I beat myself up for my failure to fit my previous resolve into our new life, and got fatter for it. This year, I have decided to be proactive about my eating and working out and not use my fatigue as an excuse, because either I’m gonna do it or I’m not. Won’t get done for me. But I also refuse to use a timeline, and to beat myself up if that arbitrary deadline doesn’t pan out. Instead it’s day by day – I’ve got this smoothie, already told the guys at the gym they’ll see me today, and am going to hit my ab work the minute I get finished typing this. If we get lunch I get a salad or something not fried. I keep that up. I feel good about it. I go to bed and don’t tie my self worth into the choices I made. And then start over tomorrow.

Let's do this! Sweaty and set on change!

Let’s do this! Sweaty and set on change!

2) Call my grandmother more: And my aunties and my uncles, and my goddaughter and cousins and all the people I wonder about but don’t always pick up a phone and talk to.

3) Write everything down – I am not the most organized person in the world (understatement understatement understatement) and making myself write stuff down – my grocery list, the errands I have to run, my blogging and work interview schedule my work out goals – keeps me honest and accountable and not slapping myself in the forehead and going “Acck! I was supposed to blah blah blah!”

4) Finish what I started – meaning the novel I’ve been hovering around for three years in various incarnations. This year. For real. Been too long.

5) Be better to my skin: My consistent skin care regimen for the last 43 years, between a Grand Canyon’s worth of products, has basically been “Black don’t crack.” (Ahem) But my family’s excellent genes don’t mean I shouldn’t wear sunscreen, or daily wash my face with….something, and drink lots of water. I need to not be the first woman in my family to look her age.

I think these are all do-able. Sometimes stuff is hard, the stuff we need to do to survive. But it doesn’t have to be awful, or unpleasant. Let’s do it! Who’s with me?


Older Lang Syne

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

 

Happy January 3! We are having a wonderful year so far. We hosted our family’s annual New Years Day family celebration ,which was always at my Granddaddy’s house until he passed away, and I ate things NOT on the clean eating plan I am starting. My Mommy went home yesterday. which is boo. And today we are all home looking at the pretty snow. See, good start. I wanted to share some observations I’ve made the last few days about New Years Eve and New Years Day and such.

7:30 fireworks are a good idea for little ones.

Watching your little one watching those fireworks was amazing.

I am glad that I chose flat boots to wear out because they are cute and comfortable, and these feet can’t do cute and hurtful.

Cute and hurtful is also a bad combination for spouses too. Glad mine is cute AND sweet.

Having your mom in town is good for your heart.

Having your mom in town is also good for babysitting when she takes your son back home so you and your husband can stay out.

When you get up at 5:30 a.m. with a toddler, naps are in order for you if you are expected to be standing up in public at midnight.

Leaving the house with a headache and taking an ibuprofen means you can’t drink for another four hours.

You know your husband is being gracious when he doesn’t mention you falling asleep at the table at 9:30 pm.

“Fake Flowers, Real Dirt”, is not only a cool name for a band, it’s a cool band.

At 42, when I see drunk girls falling on the dance floor and stumbling down steps, I don’t shake my head at you and scoff at you. I want you to know that drunk and stumbling is not a good time. And it embarrasses your friends. And it takes away from how cute you look. Moderation, ladies. Being able to remember the night before is sexy. Falling is not.

This is a good observation.

Chairs are a good thing. I like them.

Sometimes when you are at a restaurant that has dancing and drinking and music on the top 3 floors, it is okay to go to the restaurant part where it’s quiet at like 11pm so you can drink coffee. So you know you will be awake for the midnight buffet that was part of $15 ticket price.

I will walk up and down several flights of stairs looking for said buffet.

It is disappointing when the buffet was a small table of crab dip, chips, and bowls of macaroni and cheese.

More sad drunk people. I saw a guy do something unspeakable to a giant ceramic bird and I can never un-see it.

Elio’s forzen pizza and tater tots are a good thing to eat at 2 am with your mommy and your husband when you get home.

You realize you didn’t have any alcohol at all that night. Darn it. But I realize that this is okay!!

Having your son wake up at 8 am when you went to bed at 3 is a gift from Jesus, because he could have gotten up at 5. Again, thanks, Jesus.

Sometimes you have to take your son out in public when he is wearing Batman pajamas with feet in them to go pick up the chicken for the family thing.

I found out that my same-aged cousins weren’t coming, and I thought, “Wow, it will be mostly adults there.” Then I remembered that I was 42. This makes me feel safe, though, because although I am an adult, my family always makes me feel protected AND respected, and I am so blessed to have relatives in their 80’s still here. It makes my 60 year-old relatives feel young, too.

My grandmother “put her foot in” the sweet potato pie she made. This is a good thing.

Leftovers are wonderful and foil and Ziploc bags are your friends, so people can take stuff home.

My family is amazing, and watching them accept the friend I invited as one of their own confirms that they are pretty cool.

I feel steeped and grounded in love as this year starts. Looking forward to sharing it with all of you.

 


Resolutions and Whatnot

by SweetMidlife

Our friends are brilliant. Today we have a guest post from Brother Sam. He is married to our Best Friend Nikki, so he is ours now. And he is okay with that.  It’s about resolutions and such.

 

A slightly different take on resolutions from Leslie… I realize I am mixing holiday traditions, but I have just gotten very Scrooge-ish about New Years resolutions. I grant you, I’ve never been particularly big on them, mostly because nobody, starting with me, follows through long term on them with any great success. This year, though, I am personally boycotting the resolution process with malice aforethought. Don’t get me wrong, the list of things I need to improve about myself is long and exhaustive, and the list of things I’m trying to improve, were I to itemize, includes a lot of that first list. There are also any number of people perfectly happy to
flesh out that list were I to forget anything…

Resolutions, though, are invariably about the future; “this coming year I will …” “I won’t…””No more…” “More and better…” . The problem is, the future is always a comfortable distance away. If it’s important enough to make a resolution, it’s important enough to just do, and do right now. The bigger and more fundamental the resolution, the more solidly in the future it gets, too.  “I’ll lose 20 pounds this year” is not a thing that’s gonna happen today, we all know this.

My moment of Zen came yesterday, and it involved diet. I am not an especially healthy eater at the best of times, and this holiday season is NOT the best of times. I have had the advantage all my life of being able to shed weight and put on muscle pretty easily if I buckle down and do the work, so I tend to take advantage of that and eat like a pig when I feel like it. So I was eating a doughnut yesterday and thought to myself,  “Self, this is not good. I am going to eat better and exercise in the New Year, no matter what.” And then I took another bite of the doughnut. Somewhere in mid swallow it struck me what a profoundly idiotic combination of
thoughts and actions I was having. I gave the rest of the doughnut to the dogs. I took the rest of the box to the neighbor a few doors down who is having low blood sugar issues, then walked around the neighborhood a few times. Today, I ate a healthy breakfast, a healthy lunch, and am thawing fish to broil for dinner. I don’t know how long or how well I’ll stick to it, but if I had made the resolution, I would already have missed a day and a half of being a smidge healthier.

So as we start the New Year, don’t just think of all the stuff you want to do this year, think of what you can do this very second, and then, just do it.


Happy 2014: Our Sweet Midlife resolutions to you!

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here! It’s so weird how fast 2013 went – I swear I just got used to not writing “2012” some time around September, and now I have to get used to a whole new year (#firstworldliteracyproblems). It’s been a year of some change for us, including a move, some family deaths and births, some scary times in various industries that affect our families, and the disturbing cuteness of Lynne’s son. I mean, it should be illegal. Like, Cuteness Jail.

Since we’re still alive and we have no choice but to swing into the new year, we’ve decided to just say “Screw it” and greet that sucker with open arms. That means, hopefully, some great changes for this blog, for us, and hopefully for you:

– We resolve to be more consistent in this blog, meaning that unless something really nutty is going on (and we’re sending threatening glares at our family to not do anything nutty) we’re going to post every day. That means we’re going to have to find new ways to express our worldview, which is people who aren’t as young as we used to be, not as old as we hope to be, and not as fabulous as we can be but trying to get there every day. That also means some occasional chiming-in of our friends and writers we admire as guest bloggers. If you like us, tell some friends about us, so they can like us too!

– We resolve to stop calling ourselves fat and generally give ourselves a break. We got some stuff we’re working on. But how can we teach the little ones to love themselves if we can’t do it?

– We resolve to finish what we’ve started, no matter what. For Leslie, that’s her novel. Foe Lynne, that’s a play and some other creative projects. Yell at us until we do it, y’all.

– We resolve to call our grandmother more.

– We resolve to be present in the moment, to stop texting while talking to people, to be present in each bite we take, to make eye contact and not make people feel like we’re wasting our time talking to them.

We enjoy sharing our weirdness, enlightenment and crankiness with you, and we look forward to keeping it up. Have a lovely New Year’s Eve, and many lovely days to follow.


Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell, “modesty”, representing God and giving each other a freaking break

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here, still simply having a wonderful holiday time in the Sweet Midlife northern offices, watching our office assistant eat cereal with his hands. He’s not that good at typing but he’s got the hand cereal thing down.

Like a lot of people facing the end of the year with some changes they’d like to make in the next one, I’ve been seeing a lot of photos of famous folk who have made some changes too, including in the poundage department. One of those folk is Erica Campbell of the gospel duo Mary Mary, a beautiful lady who was introduced to the public when she was younger and heavier, but is now a more svelte, albeit curvy, married adult. She has written publicly about her struggles with weight, and specifically said that her quest to be more fit was not about her public image but to honor and protect the health God gave her, for herself and her family.

Campbell put some photos on Instagram promoting her upcoming solo album, and Sister looks gorgeous. She could also not be any more covered up – She’s wearing a form-fitting white dress with a turtleneck that covers, you know, her neck, with sleeves to her wrist and a hemline falling below her knees, with only her lovely shins, hands and face showing. Yes, the dress shows her curves, because why shouldn’t it? She’s grown. She’s married. She’s beautiful. They’re not sexual. They’re “Here’s me looking my best.”

You would think that the Christian community would clap their hands and celebrate not only her continued success in the business, but also hold Campbell up as an example of how to be healthy and beautiful while upholding recognized standards of appropriateness. (I hesitate to use the word “modesty,” because its modern connotation too often puts the onus on young women to be the bastions of propriety, giving them the responsibility to keep young men honest and blaming the girls and not the guys if things get out of hand. That also negates the girls’ own sexual identities and just focuses on them as tools of the devil or something backwards like that.)

But that applause, if it was there, has been overshadowed by what Bob Geldof might call the clanging chimes of doom, or, as we in the church community call it, much shade.

And I wish I was surprised.

Stacey Woods, a pastor with a large Internet presence, wrote a very public indictment of the photos that I imagine is supposed to be convicting but which seems to be shaming this woman for having a body while claiming to be in the body of Christ. She writes  “This is not ok. Yes, you are a beautiful, curvy woman but no ma’am you are singing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We compel men to come through our love for Jesus, but when we wear things that are distracting, the message is somehow lost and it becomes about us and not about Him.”

Oh, for Pete’s sake. To quote the esteemed “Field of Dreams”‘ James Earl Jones’ Terence Mann reacting to Kevin Costner’s Ray’s indictment of his writing as a wedge in the generation gap between him and his late dad, “It’s not my fault you didn’t play catch with your father!” That means, of course, that whatever stirrings of rebellion and dissent existed between them were already there when Ray read Mann’s work, and wasn’t his fault. And if a man is struggling with his focus on spirituality and a well-shaped woman causes him to stray from an Instagram photo, that’s not her fault. Erica Campbell’s sole purpose in the world is not to stop been from thinking bad thoughts. Her witness as a Christian, and as a person trying to make money as an artist, is also for women who might want to be healthier but still be vibrant, and for her and God. She said herself that being healthier was part of her way to honor God, and if she chooses to show that in a TURTLENECK DRESS DOWN PAST HER KNEES, then your struggle is between you and God. Don’t put that on her.

Lynne writes about her spirituality more than I do on this page, but my relationship with God is something I take very seriously, while still understanding that it is MY RELATIONSHIP. I understand that Erica Campbell chose at an early age, and still chooses, to make her relationship with God public, and to use it to inform others. She is a public person and therefore subject to scrutiny. But…and I’m gonna be real here, because I think we can be, right?…women can be so hard on each other. And it doesn’t change when it’s under the auspices of religion, or race, or national pride. I am sure that Pastor Woods thinks she’s making a statement that will instruct and protect, but by going to that ‘Your job is to not distract men from God” space, she’s negating Sister Campbell’s autonomy as a Christian and as a woman. She also questions her Christian sincerity, which is neither her place or her business.

There’s another thing – people in the black community, and in parts of the black Christian community, are all about telling you your skirt’s too tight but not addressing the obesity that is killing us. Why aren’t we saying “In the name of God, take care of your bodies?” Ruben Studdard, the famously fluffy “American Idol” winner and recent “Biggest Loser” contestant, told me a couple of weeks ago that sometimes we in our community don’t support each other, maybe out of jealousy, and because we project our own struggles onto other people. He recalled hearing people audibly prefer Luther Vandross when he was heavier – “‘So what you’re saying is you like Luther unhealthy,'” Studdard told me.

I want to believe that the admonishment of Pastor Woods, and of others, is about what they believe is a Biblical and cultural duty. And they are entitled to their opinion. Campbell, for her part, has said that she’s sorry she offended people but that she thought the photos were cute and appropriate, and other people, including singer (and Christian attractive person) Yolanda Adams, have given her their support.

As humans, we have complicated reasons for the things that we champion or demonize, and because I don’t know Pastor Woods I can’t get into her head. I do wish that she’d maybe addressed her statements to Campbell personally, or not hung her out as a bad witness to men. This reminds me of the Miley Cyrus “slut-shaming” situation, where women, including me, addressed concerns about what appeared to be her publicly losing her mind in a Twerky, humping, naked flourish. A lot of people were like “What will your young fans think? It’s your responsibility to always be a role model for them and not make them be slutty!” I think that’s stupid – if Miley is the fragile gateway between you and a life of shameful Twerkitude, maybe you need to examine your own soul (and your own butt.) My issue was more that I wasn’t sure this was going to lay a foundation to be taken seriously as a older artist once this stage was over.

But that’s on her, just as Erica Campbell’s career is on her. It’s not on you. And your struggles are not on her. She can be a beacon, but if a stranger is causing you to struggle, don’t look at the pictures. But don’t make their existence your excuse. It’s not their job, and it’s not hers.

What do you think?


What a dog taught me about gratitude, or “Yay! Grass!”

by SweetMidlife
Stop and smell the grass. Or rub in it like a sweet crazy dog.

Leslie here! I don’t have a dog, but I have become close to two of them, Kira and Doubleday, the canine children of my friends Libby and Adam. My husband and I had the pleasure of sitting for them while their human parents went to Key West for New Year’s weekend. The time with them clued me on not only on the world of doggie drama – brief squabbles over who gets the best floor pillow and Kira clocking Doubleday’s extra food – but how it’s possible to stop, drop and literally roll into life’s simple pleasures without the world stopping in its tracks. In other words, nobody’s gonna die if you take a minute and smell some flowers.

Or some grass.

Enter Doubleday.

Libby and I took a walk with the doggies on the Intracoastal Waterway yesterday, on one of those delicious Florida winter mornings that feels like a temperate spring that make people want to move here. Kira, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, was on my arm, and is a pretty chill walker. Pit bull mix Doubleday, on the other hand, always runs outside as if she has never seen outside before – she glances every which way, smelling the air, feeling the ground under her and getting so overwhelmed by all the exotic wonder that she sees every single day that she can barely stop her little doggie head from exploding.

It’s hilarious. And it was especially awesome yesterday, when, mid-walk, Doubleday just dropped to her back and started rubbing herself from side to side in the grass, like a little gray fur-covered pendulum, her tongue hanging out dramatically and her ecstatic panting seeming to say “OH MY GOSH! IT’S GRASS! DO YOU KNOW GRASS? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THIS BEFORE? WHERE DO THEY MAKE THIS STUFF?”

This dog gets walked every day, in the same place. Nothing here is completely new to her. But Libby says that at least once a walk, her sheer puppy joy at the simple pleasure of rubbing in the grass takes over and she just cannot help herself.

I’m about to sound like an Afterschool Special here, but don’t you think we can learn something from this goofy lovely dog, who doesn’t care what’s happening as long as she can lose herself in the wonderfulness of a moment? Of course we can. I’m going to start posting Doubledays of the Day, small ways in which we can shut down our day for a few minutes, without hurting anybody, and let life in.

Today, I took five minutes between writing stories to make a cup of tea. Tea is underrated. And it’s the most chill time of my day, even if I have to get up to make it.

Do you guys have suggestions? Bring them on! And go smell some grass!


Resolutions, Pt.2

by SweetMidlife

Hi! It’s Lynne.

So Leslie shared her resolutions for 2012, and I wanted to add mine. As I started listing them out in my head, what I realized is that most of them boiled down to a basic principle: getting rid of yuckiness.  Life is too short to spend with people or things or food that upset you.  We encounter enough unpleasantness in our days that we can’t avoid (the boss you really don’t respect at the job you can’t afford to quit, traffic, bran. Only slightly kidding about the last one), so why should we deal with it in our off-hours? So, I resolve to….

  • Stop watching TV shows with characters that make me want to throw things at the screen, foam at the mouth or that bore me.  I lurve TV, but there are some shows that I have had to let go, including most of the Real Housewives series and The Braxtons, because even though I might like them in real life, I don’t like them on the show, and giving them my 60 minutes is like going to a party full of insufferable people. I also think that I have given up on “Grimm”. Liked it, but can’t stay into it, so I think it has to go.
  • Stop watching things that vex my soul. I love true crime stories on the ID:Investigation Discovery station, especially when they get the bad guy and you see them in jail at the end.  But over the years, several dear friends of mine have gone through things that COULD be featured on these shows, and I start to think about how they and their families have been judged by outsiders who only know parts of their stories, and I start to think that we really need to watch how we view other people’s misery as entertainment that we can simply turn off when the show is over in an hour.
  • On that note, I am also gonna stop reading things that do nothing but make me want to punch people.  To go with my TV habit, I also read a lot ABOUT TV in the Internet.  For example, if I am excited about who got kicked off on a reality show the night before, I will read comments on websites like EW.com and Televisionwithoutpity.com to see if other people agree with me.  And sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t, which is fine.  but what happens often is that people turn what they think about that singer or dancer or chef into personal diatribes about that person’s weight, or ethnic background, or sexuality, and it just becomes about people either trying to find a place to release all of their ugliness, or it becomes a place where people only say things to get a rise out of people.  Whatever the reason, it’s bad, and I find myself upset, when I could just stop reading.  I think that I want people to validate my reasons for liking a certain singer on a show, or for me being upset that this person said that to the other person, and that’s why I look for like-minded people.  But that’s not worth me getting upset over a comment that someone took too far.  And if you liked that singer that got eliminated and no one else does? That’s alright! You don’t need other people to define what YOU like for you. You already know.

Like I said earlier, you WILL encounter some unpleasant things and people in your life, and have to deal with things you don’t always want to. So this is my last resolution…

  • When I can’t avoid yuckiness, and I will try to counteract it with my raygun full of anti-yuck, and try to handle it with a good outlook, patience, and, when nothing else works, knowing when to speak and when not to and the effects that has on the situation.  Let go and let God, the old folks say.

I am sure that you have your own personal list of yuck and yuck-removers, and I hope that you will resolve to have the most pleasant, happiest, love-spreading year you can, as you spread love to other people. Which sometimes we can only do if we first surround OURSELVES, inside and out with good things.  Happy New Year!


Bride at 35 Challenge New Year’s resolutions: What are yours?

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here! I’ve been on vacation all week, which has given me some time to catch up on movies and TV I haven’t seen – “The Adjustment Bureau!” Who knew? – and think a lot about things I need to do better next year. Some of those things are obvious – this gut, and not sleeping in my makeup – and others are things I don’t always think about because I don’t have the time. But I’m on it now. Here are a few things I’m dedicated to being concerned with in 2012. Of course, resolutions get broken all the time. But I want to be a better wife, daughter, friend, employee and caretaker of my body.

So I promise, publicly, to be about these things. And I want accountability! How about you?

I resolve to:

– Not use my job as a professional eater and drinker as an excuse to be fat. I can eat healthily, and stick to my workouts, on those days I’m not work-sipping.

– To get regular facials. I have great genes, and everyone in my family looks like they’ve got ugly old photos hanging in their closets, because they’re 10 years older than their skin. But I can’t take that for granted. Can’t be the only Hagatha in my family!

– To stop over-scheduling. One of the reasons my life is so hectic is because I overbook myself, and because I forget that I did and then try to make everything. Pastor David Pinckney once told me that it’s Godly to say “no.” God doesn’t want you stressed and crazy, and certainly not in his name. Can’t argue with that.

– To shut up sometime. Ever have one of those conversations with your significant other where you can mentally see the giant Stop sign floating in your head, telling you to let whatever they just said go and walk away? Me too! But I can’t drive 55, and I can’t stop that tongue from flapping! And then it just gets stupid. I can’t control every misunderstanding. But I certainly can take a beat, and I can stop myself from proving I’m right all the time. Even if I am. Which I am. Ha ha.

– To call my grandmother every other day. This is a no-brainer.

– To not leave dishes in the sink.

– To put my shoes away so I’m not tripping over them, and to put my laundry away as soon as it’s folded.

– To finally schedule that dinner with my pastor, who is busier than me!

– To get serious about saving.

I’m sure I have more. But that’s what I feel is important right now. How about you?


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