with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: commitment

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?

Solid, Solid as a Rock

by SweetMidlife

Nick Ashford passed away yesterday at the age of 70. He was a prolific songwriter, singer, sometime actor (New Jack City, y’all!!), and all around handsome guy (my mom and aunt went to see him in the early 90’s and said that women. were. losing. their. minds).  But it is hard to mention Nick Ashford without mentioning his wife Valerie Simpson, who he started writing music with in the 60’s and married in the 70’s. Together, they penned some of the swooniest, loveliest odes to togetherness ever, like


and anthems like this (if you watch the video, you see Valerie make a cameo)…..


Their biggest hit as singers, though, was their 80’s hit, “Solid”. It was a great love song that you probably sing along to when you hear it.  But it’s more than just a pretty song. If you listen to it, you hear the testimony of two people who have been together for awhile (this song came out about 20 years after they met, and 10 years into their marriage) and who have weathered ups and downs and made it through.  Read some of the lyrics below as you sing along. You know you’re gonna…


You didn’t turn away
When the sky went gray
Somehow we managed
We had to stick together (Ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…)

You didn’t bat an eye
When I made you cry
We knew down the line
We would make it better (Ooh…ooh…ooh…ooh…)

And for love’s sake, each mistake, ah, you forgave
And soon both of us learned to trust
Not run away, it was no time to play
We build it up and build it up and build it up

Now it’s solid
Solid as a rock [Ooh]
That’s what this love is (Oh…oh…)
That’s what we’ve got [Oh…oh…] (Yes, it is)

Solid as a rock
And nothing’s changed it [Oh…]
The thrill is still hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, hot

Shoot, forget what we said about them just making it through. They were thriving (note the EIGHT hots above). 

So, today, we’re thinking about Nick and Valerie together as an example of people who seemed to have gotten it right.  Because while being a bride is cool, being the kind of partners who could write those words about each other is what we’re going for. Our prayers are with Valerie and her family.

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