Deep Thoughts,  Spines & Livers & Bones, Oh My!,  Suffering for Beauty

Resolutions, Deep and Shallow

I’m mystified as to why it’s suddenly unfashionable to make New Year’s Resolutions under the theory that they’re impossible to keep. I’m a huge fan of resolutions, but there’s an art to making them.

I discovered this the year I resolved to make more salads. I can take them or leave them, but my husband salivates over a well-made salad, and theoretically, they would have been a healthy addition to our dinners.

The dilemma was that my husband was raised by a salad-maker extraordinaire, and the other Mrs. Glamore doesn’t merely plop some greens and a chopped carrot on a plate and top it with Italian dressing. One of her signature salads involves candying walnuts (cooking the walnuts in butter and sugar until the walnuts have a sweet, crunchy coating), locating Craisins (are they a fruit? a snack?), crumbling funky cheese, such as feta or Stilton, slicing a red onion into tiny dice, or a scallion into fragile rings, and mounding all of the above on top of some beautiful mixed greens.

Next she creates a homemade vinaigrette, with balsamic vinegar, garlic, onion juice (you haven’t lived until you’ve squeezed an onion) and so forth. Each salad requires its own plate, which takes up twice the dishwasher space, and once you’ve gotten all the salad ingredients prepped and ready to go, it’s time to make the real dinner.

That same year, my sister’s resolution was to drink more champagne. I’d call Aunt Su around 6, bitching about the onion juice, she’d muse dreamily about the champagne she was drinking for no reason at all, and I’d slam down the phone in disgust.

Although it was a resolution I made with loving intentions, I didn’t keep it. Now I make simple resolutions I can’t screw up.

The most important resolution I make each year is to hug all three of my sons every day. Those of you without children may think this is an easy assignment, but in fact it’s quite challenging, and grows more demanding each year.

When children are toddlers, they are easy to locate and hug. That changes.

Drew, always so quiet, can easily be overlooked in all the excitement, and before you know it the day is over and he’s nowhere to be found. After a brief hunt around the house I’ll find him in his bed, asleep, and I’ll hug him then, but I feel a twinge of guilt when that happens, as a hug is supposed to be a bilateral event. In fact, Drew was the reason I made this resolution in the first place.
I’ve had to interpret “hug” loosely. Porter’s recently been going through a phase where he doesn’t like to be touched, and most hugging requires a minimal amount of touching, unless you resort to the imaginary force-field hug, which will have to do for now.

And last week I was doling out hugs when I located Finn in the basement, drumming. He was way into some Led Zeppelin, so I resorted to sort of scritching him behind the ears like a puppy. He leaned his head against me, indicating he liked it, and never missed a beat, literally.

I’ve also resolved to wake up earlier. This has been easily accomplished by setting my alarm earlier. I purposely planned to “wake up,” not “get up.” Porter and I snuggle in the morning, so while I haven’t been getting more laundry done as a result of this change, we’ve both been listening to more NPR and we’re fully versed on current events.

There’s no law I know of against making purely superficial resolutions. The older I get, the more I see a need to make minor changes that aren’t earth shattering to others, but make me feel better about myself.

This explanation carries with it the risk of TMI*, but I shall plunge ahead. Since last summer I’d been having uncomfortable symptoms which were extremely vague, suggesting a number of conditions, including ovarian cancer, which killed my mom. I’m conscientious about screening; I feel like every week someone’s probing my lady parts and examining my blood. I hied it to the doctor, and was delighted to find that I was not dying, but mortified to learn that I was afflicted with a common condition that rhymes with “Irritable Vowel Syndrome” whch wld b mch mr plsnt.

(Holy Hell! What is it about turning forty that causes everything to begin to break down? Faithful readers will recall that I’d already been advised of my need for bifocals this year, and rejected that suggestion outright.)

In the hopes that the following steps will help me keep my spirits up while the rest of my body continues to break down, I resolved:

to wear more eyeliner

eye

it’s difficult to photograph your own eye

to keep my nails manicured with a bright color

bubble bath

Bubble Bath
the color for debutantes and Republicans!

waitress

I’m Not Really A Waitress
less Tiny Kingdom; more me

nails

Bonus points for readers who spy a depressing product in the background

to wear my nice clothes more often

to commit to my haircolor

color

(Loreal Coleur Experte 6.3 Light Golden Brown)

My theory for the first three resolutions was that drawing attention to healthy parts would divert attention from my less attractive features. Also, life is short, you only live once, etc etc, so what am I saving the dry clean only shirt for? If not now, when?

As to the hair color, at some point a woman should pick one and stick with it. I’ve experimented with everything from platinum to bright red to brunette and all shades in between for thirteen years, which is more time than many drug companies spend developing new drugs. Choosing one shade will simplify my life and I can throw out the other hues I’d still been considering– my work on the outside of my head is done.

*********************************

What resolutions have you made, or not, and why?

*********************************

*For women, is there such a thing as Too Much Information? I think not. Why don’t we tell pregnant moms that the first three weeks after the baby comes home will suck donkey balls, and that some moms not only don’t love their infants at first, but are often tempted to throw them out the window because they’re so much damn trouble, and you realize you’re stuck with them for eighteen years, (God willing)?

Why don’t we tell each other that when you’re around forty the shit hits the fan– the affairs start, friends get sick and die, people divorce, and others discover how dysfunctional their families of origin really are?

This might be a whole post in itself, yes?

Anyone want to reveal their dirty laundry? Really– you go first…

32 Comments

  • Hillary

    You know a very nice OPI color is “I’m a Princess, and you’re not” it is a light light color like bubble bath but since it has such a sassy name I feel bitchy wearing it. Very much like the name of the polish!

    Yay for those wonderful resolutions….I have resolved like Aunt Su to drink more champagne or wine (whatever is handy) and keep my nails painted. I will wash my face before bed and try to get up earlier (also solved by setting the alarm earlier). And my serious resolution is to cleanse my life of toxic people. I know I can’t kick out co-workers and customers who are toxic but I can kick out the people I have control over. **wish me luck**

    Happy 2008! I have lots of dirty laundry to unload – but today isn’t the day! 🙂

    Well I guess I will say – to all my friends who are getting married this year – Marriage ain’t easy. Believe me. It is hard hard work.

    Hillary’s last blog post..0105081627.jpg

  • Pammyshep

    I want to eat better. Rather than saying the usual “I vow to lose 20 lbs this year” I’m going to eat better. This will be difficult for me to keep since I have a slight addiction to chocolate, sugar, and Dr Pepper. I will cut back, except right before my period (and maybe if I’m really depressed or stressed out). And I’ll still be putting ketchup on my chicken sandwiches.

    I’m all for saving the planet and going green, but I’m not a fan of crapping myself for 5 hours because I ate something at a restaurant that’s supposed to cleanse my colon. If I wanted to do that, I’d pay someone $1,500 to stick a tube up my butt. I refuse to eat tofu or any other gelatinous mass because someone says it takes just like hamburger. I like my dairy products and won’t give them up no matter what the vegans in my family say. Freaks.

    I’ve got to be more social but I can’t fall into the trap of picking assholes as friends. This goes double for dating. Actually, I’m really good at choosing amazing people as my friends but always and always go out with losers (or freaks). I need help.

    Pammyshep’s last blog post..Who Ate My Cheese?

  • Catherine

    This year I vowed to make healthful changes in my life that will make turning 35 in 14 months more bearable. I told a friend this, and she said, “well good, then you’ll be ready for 36 when your body changes.” Uhm, I thought I’d coast 35-40 – wth? At least she warned me. I guess.

  • Joy East of theKingdom

    First let me tell you, I almost had to stop reading because your salad description made me so hungry!

    (BTW…Doesn’t onion juice come in a bottle at Brunos? You know, over with the clam juice & the aloe juice. They have all sorts of weird juices…but I guess bottled wouldn’t be the same as juice from a lovingly squeeze onion, huh?)

    No resolutions here…I’m calling them GOALS. Goals seem more attainable some how.

    Now that I’m 40 I’m taking better care of myself.

    My first big goal is loosing the 15lbs that Dr Foster my cardio dr keeps mentioning.

    Along with this goal I plan to do my Pilates no less than 4 days a week. (My abs are over joyed at this news…I may need some of the distress item too)

    Weird, I thought I was the only one with the “keep a manicure” goal. We can hold each other accountable. Currently my nails are done in a little number ironically called “Oh to be 25 again” but its a little too brown for my taste. I just havent had the opportunity to change it.

    Hair color is on my list too. My goal is to make it thru the year without any roots or gray showing. I have a 19 year old, a 14 year old and a 12 year old…so I may actually accomplish this goal….by pulling my hair out..LOL!

    Keeping my office organized. Saturday I plan to come into the office just to tackle this task…that is if we don’t get the rumored 5 inches of snow here.

    My girls ( 19 & 12) are very huggable, but my son, who turned 14 last month has started this weird quasi-hug thing where he kind of leans his shoulder into you for a second and that’s it. No arms, just shoulder. I can grab him and hug him but he keeps his hands in his pockets. I hang on a little longer, just to aggrivate him.

    Your footnote on the TMI comment reminds me of one of my blogs. I’ll send you the link with my “how do your nails look today” email…>LOL!

    One of my friends informed me that now that I was 40 I was no longer a kitten, now I was a COUGAR. Reminded me of the car commercial from when we were kids.
    Nothing like being on top of the mountain!

  • Tina

    I resolved to eat at least the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables a day. I have not agreed to give up my choolate, cookies, caffine or anthing else I like – nor even to moderate my intake of them. just that I will cram in the appropriate amount of healthy stuff too. Sure would be easier if you would come make me some of those tasty salads!!!

    Tina’s last blog post..!@#$#@$@#$! Doctors

  • MammaLoves

    I so wanted one of your MIL’s salads after that description.

    I do agree that making smaller changes are easier to keep, though curing the IBS would be a good one to accomplish. Is that box in the background helping with that? I couldn’t decipher the words.

    Oh and thanks for the warning. I turn 38 this year. I’ll enjoy these last two years before everything starts breaking even more now. Appreciate the warning.

    MammaLoves’s last blog post..Gone Fishin’

  • Wondermom

    Until recently, I was using the exact same haircolor, but it was getting a bit brassy, so I switched to the light ash brown, which looks almost exactly the same, only without the brass. Might come in handy in the future.

  • Andrea

    My resolution this year, inspired by my lovely boyfriend, is not to yell at other drivers. Yes, I realize that this reveals some poor breeding on my part (the yelling at other drivers, not the resolution to stop doing it.)

    Per the eating better: I’m only responsible for me, not for feeding anyone else, but I find that Not Eating Crap goes really far in improving how I feel. My philosophy is that the fewer steps between its death and my mouth, the better it is for me. Eat whatever you want, just don’t eat so much of it.

    And my question about turning 40: I’m 32 this year, and I have yet to get a real job or a husband, so I’ll just be starting my “life” shortly before I’m forty–does that mean that I get to skip all that stuff?

  • Mary Frances

    I got the IBS diagnosis too, but at 26 instead of 40. It turned out to be celiac and a dairy allergy, so I’m all better without the gluten and dairy in my diet. Of course my gastro never reached that conclusion, so I won’t be going back to him.
    I’m trying to stay off my personal soapbox, but I think the IBS diagnosis is usually just BS. I’d encourage you to dig further.

    Mary Frances’s last blog post..Vegetable Gumbo Recipe

  • Kathy

    I recently replaced my 2 liter-a-day Pepsi habit with the diet version. Not the greatest, I know, but I feel good that I got rid of all that sugar! So, the only real resolution I have is to be more FUN. I haven’t felt fun in a while. I feel like I am always the one saying, “We can’t do that right now because of _____” or something like that. I’m going to say heck with it more often and just go with the flow. (Which is very hard for us control freaks!)

    I buy my haircolor and developer seperate at Sally’s. The drug store stuff wasn’t holding up well and wasn’t covering the greys well at all. This is MUCH better. The color is $3 a bottle and the $4 eveloper will last thru probably 30 colorings.

  • Katrina

    I love your hugging resolution. There should be more hugging all around–kids, husband, UPS guy. And there should be more marital make-out sessions, and hand holding. And more singing and dancing. In public, even.

    In short, I think I want to live a little louder this year.

    (And maybe eat more salad–the description of your MIL’s salad made me salivate on my keyboard.)

    Katrina’s last blog post..You Make My Day

  • Lynda

    I’ve resolved to read more blogs. It’s going pretty well. And I DO tell pregnant women that the first three months are a bit crappy. I told my brother and his wife that at some point in the first three months, if he was presented with adoption papers, he would sign them in a heartbeat. He phoned me to thank me for this 2 days after they got home from hosptial – he was just happy to know it wasn’t just them!!

    Lynda’s last blog post..No longer unclean

  • Charlie on PA Tpk

    About 5 years ago I made a New Year’s Resolution that remains the first and only one I’ve ever held indefinitely.

    I resolved, then, never to make another New Year’s Resolution. The act of waiting until 1-January to make resolutions is, in my opinion, a recipe for failure as evidenced by the numbers of people who routinely fail at them.

    Case in point: how many people are now depressed because their pledges to give up smoking/drinking/HFCS or other ‘sin’ have already been broken? But why does this make them depressed? Because by the nature of their New Year’s Resolution, they have to wait 11 months to make their promises again.

    Nonsense.

    If it’s worth resolving to do (or not do), it’s worth doing ANY day of the year, and not only in January. So if you resolve to do something to make yourself a better person on April 19th, do it! And should you stumble, pick yourself up, brush off any regret, and start again tomorrow, and not the day after New Year’s Eve.

    Charlie on PA Tpk’s last blog post..Paul Sorvino shops where we shop

  • Amanda

    I don’t do resolutions because I seem to not have the attention span. Plus I’ve noticed my pattern of losing interest in something as soon as I’ve made the official announcement that I’m going to do it (hence why not nearly enough pictures get posted to my blog). If I decide to make any changes with the new year, I do it very quietly otherwise I’d abandon ship.

    LOVE “I’m Not Really A Waitress” from OPI. My aunt actually saw a waitress wearing it once. Hehe.

    Something else no one tells you…that “honeymoon stage” when you’re first married isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why the heck to people keep looking at me funny when they ask how married life is and I say “fine.” Apparently because it’s only been a month I’m supposed to gush about how wonderful it is. Sorry folks, just being honest. I’m happy and I love him, but it’s really just fine.

    Amanda’s last blog post..122nd Annual

  • Katie

    I “resolved” to throw myself into my kids, my business and my schooling. So far so good on all three of those.

    I also “resolved” to quit being a chicken when it comes to my health. They found some tumors on my thyroid in October and I was supposed to go back this month to check for growth. I have yet to make my appointment. I keep saying I’m too busy, when really, I’m just a chicken. At the age of 20 I had a HUGE tumor removed from my neck (not cancer) and I have no desire to go through that kind of surgery again. As I type this, I realize that I’m being silly. I am going to go right now and make my follow up appointment to get things checked out!

  • baseballmom

    Bah…I’m turning forty in a couple weeks 🙁 the future sounds grim. I’ve resolved to be a more fun mom, stop being so crabby and stressing out about little stupid things, and to take a ‘me’ day at least once a month while the kids are at school, just to treat myself to a pedicure or something simple, and a latte. I think I’ll need the ‘me’ day after trying to be a fun, non-crabby, non-stressed out mom. Heh.

    baseballmom’s last blog post..Couple more things…

  • Jeni

    Ha! I’m a ways from 40, but my body defnitely seems to be breaking down ever since I had Hosea. My hair’s falling out, I’m gassy all the time, the sex drive is pretty much nonexistent…

    TMI? Did you mention something about that? 🙂 I’ve also lost all sense of propriety in the last 4.5 months.

    Jeni’s last blog post..Hello Out There!

  • heatherw

    The divorces, the career disappointments and the general family crap starts after forty.

    This is why I have always loved hanging out with “older” people and why I go to the widows Sunday school class instead of the couples…

    The older people are so much nicer because they tend to be less judgemental about things that don’t matter and have better judgement about the things that do.

    And if they are incurable jerks then everyone already knows it and takes that into account when they say something.

    I’ve still got 3 years to go, but to me YOU are on the right side of 40.

    Thanks for brightening my day here in the tiny kingdom so many days

    And keep wearing the bright polish. I bought sparkly blue and green this year and I wear them together. I have always been a rebel.

  • Karin

    My resolution is to get rid of all the extras to simplify my life and make each room in my house a useful room. Out goes all useless furniture and other “cute” items, antique or not. That includes the inherited silver plated bowls, and chipped pieces of crystal.

  • childsplay

    I’ve known my family’s dysfunctional for YEARS now. 🙂 One less thing to spring up on me as I near my 40’s.

    I view resolutions kind of like throwing noodles at the wall…I hurl out a whole bunch of things I’d like to change and see what sticks. So far I’ve been able to maintain my goal of eating a handful of chocolate chips a day! Yeah!

    childsplay’s last blog post..Grief and the Holidays.

  • BamaGirlinNC

    I resolve to worry less, even though I come from a long line of established worriers. I resolve to have more manicures, pedicures, facials and massages and not worry about the money or time costs. I resolve to not dress my six year old daughter like an Amsterdam prostitute although that’s all you see in the stores these days. I resolve not to freak out over middle school, which is where my son is heading next year. I resolve not to say the “s” word in front of my children anymore, even if one of them or the dog has just done something heinously awful.

  • Karyn

    First, I’m glad you’re not dying.
    Second, holy crap, candied walnuts?
    Third, I am with you on hugging the spawn as much as I can because I know the day will come when they won’t let me.

    And the last part of the post – I got an early start, at 36, with the dysfunction junction exploding in a cacophany of spectacularly grown up, unlovely, complicated and altogether kind of scary crap. I don’t know why people don’t come out and TELL you this stuff… but if anyone had, I’d still be under my duvet, shaking and having rrtbl bwl sndrm right along with you.

    Okay, I’m kind of like that now anyway, but you know what I mean. I do like that post a lot, there, Glamore.

    Karyn’s last blog post..Weird Science

  • Karyn

    Oh, right. I gave up on the nails and I don’t make resolutions because I am just as good on January 1st as I was on December 31st, and no arbitrary flip of the calendar page is going to pressure me into panicky thoughts of all my shortcomings. Because that would take up way too much time. Like, until September.

    TMI my foot. Forewarned is forearmed, they say.

    Karyn’s last blog post..Weird Science

  • Mishka

    Great post….such an eye opener.

    I resolved this year to be more fit, and to be more limber (flexible). I don’t stretch enough and I should. These are things I should be able to accomplish with less television watching (which is not on my list but should be).

    Mishka’s last blog post..Project Update

  • Candy

    Ahh Mrs. Glamore, you’re preaching to the 40something choir here. I have a friend exactly 10 years older than me, who has warned me that at 50, it’s time to get a license for a hand gun and end things.

    I have quite a bit of experience with I”V”S, have run into a bit of a snag trying to hug my 15 year old boy, and I, too, need to stop changing my hair color every 3 weeks (3 weeks, yes, because the gray grows in so DAMNED FAST).

    They told me it would be like this someday, and I didn’t believe them. Sigh…

    Candy’s last blog post..One Day!

  • Kim

    Hi Anne – I have to say, my resolution is working really well so far for me. And as I have been telling everyone who will listen to me, I am not the type to make resolutions.

    But this year, I resolved to be more grateful. Just overall grateful – grateful for my kids and their health, grateful for a husband whom I love, who supports me, who loves me. Grateful for family and friends, for the house I live in, for my life, basically. And I realize this may sound all preachy, but it is coming from the heart. My children and I have been praying for months for three small children who all, coincidentally, have brain cancer (one of whom actually just passed away this weekend at the tender age of 4).

    I actually closed our Christmas letter this year with the following: At this time of the year, when we remember our Savior’s coming to earth as a baby, may His love and peace flood our lives and inspire us to care more for one another, pray for those less fortunate than we, and appreciate all of our blessings more fully. Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be. To take each moment and live each moment in peace, eternally. Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me. -Jill Jackson and Sy Miller

    Not that I haven’t fallen off the wagon here and there, but it is making a difference in my life.

    Peace!
    Kim