Thank you Facebook for reminding me of where I have been

Like most other Facebook users, I get these “On this Day” notifications almost daily with the things I posted previous years on this date.  It’s actually kind of fun to look back and see how things have changed over the years.

Eight years ago, I posted something about making a bazillion heart shaped cookies on this day.  And I then I thought about everything that had happened in the last eight years.  This time, 8 years ago, I hadn’t even met Steve yet.  I had literally just lost my lost my job and was about to find out my mom had breast cancer.  I was two months away from turning 35 and looking back, I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted from life.

I remember feeling a little bit like the world was crashing down on me and feeling lost.  I was sad, lonely, scared and sick.  The stress of everything actually caused me to get mono for the second time.  ( it can happen- google it and I had blood work to prove it)  I think I literally slept through a few months.

And then things started to look up again – I started dating, I started a new job, things with my mom started to look like they would be okay.  Did things end up with Steve the way I hoped so many years ago when I met him and fell in love? Nope. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I still have the same job and it is just as perfect for me now as it was then and my mom is doing great.

But here’s the thing – there is actually two things.  Number one, I wish could I go back 8 years and tell my younger self that everything turns out OK and really, you have no control over life, so try not to worry yourself into mono.  Try not to waste time and energy on controlling things that are going to happen the way they will no matter how much you to control the outcome. And number 2 – just take it all in and live your life. Over the last 8 years, I have done a lot of living and wouldn’t trade almost any of it, because each thing leads to something else.  If I hadn’t met Steve, I wouldn’t have met Bailey and wouldn’t have had him in my life and got to watch such a cool kid grow up.  If Steve and I wouldn’t have broken up, I would have never had the courage to take my big trip and rediscover how kick ass I am.

At the time, we can’t ever know why things happen and let’s face it, that’s probably for the best.  So here’s what I know today.  I am happy and looking forward to what the next 8 years can bring.

So on another note – the other day, my friend was all like,what’s up with Andy?  I feel like I finished the first season on a TV show and am now waiting for the second to come out.  Here’s the latest-  quite simply, I like him.  I without thinking, referred to him as my boyfriend the other night when we were talking and he seemed to like it so I guess that’s kind of where we are at. I said, though, I don’t think we need to put anything on Facebook yet- to which he agreed and stated he hasn’t told his mother about me yet. I told him my mom did know because there is a rat.  We’re in that glorious phase at the beginning where everyone is on their best behavior and completely in like with each other and everything is still cute and sweet and not-annoying yet.  I’m just going with it and we’ll see what happens.  Besides – at this point – the relationship agreement has a six month expiration date giving us a clear point of re-evaluation.

I do worry about getting involved again.  I was really finding my stride alone and definitely don’t want to give any of that independence that I struggled to be comfortable with again, away.  I have made it very clear, that it will be a very long time before we even discuss needing a roommate agreement.

 

It’s ok to delete stuff – what I really wanted to say

So even after all this time, I find myself censoring my words as to not say anything that might be hurtful to other people who didn’t give me the same courtesy.  With that in mind, here is what I really wanted to say:

So, Hi.  My name is Jennifer and I’m a digital pack rat.  I keep like every picture I’ve ever taken – like even the ones I took in burst mode and have 17 identical copies of the same blurry picture because I think that I’m going to find something magical hiding in them and I don’t want to miss it.  Truth, there is not much magical in the side of the road. 

Tonight, I did something very scary.  I deleted pictures that I took when I was with Steve.  The duplicates, the blurry ones, the ones of him sleeping with the cat, dog, Bailey, you get the point, the ones I took and meant to do something with from all those trips I took like 5 and 6 years ago in the semi that now just remind me of what is gone and kind of make me angry.  All gone.  I know that reading this might be causing you great panic, but take a deep breath – it’s ok.  I checked with my friend Jenny first because I didn’t want to wake up 5 years from now and regret deleting all those pictures, so I checked with someone who had let go before as well.

The majority of the pictures I took were not only of different places, but of a different time and they don’t hold great memories anymore because they were all from when we first started dated and I thought I was going to love him forever and we were seeing the World together so that made each place special at the time but now, they are just taking up room on a memory card now and remind me of something that is over.  They no longer hold the same nostalgic spell over me they once did because the spell has been long broken and to be honest, most of them were crap anyways.  I kept copies of the pictures I really loved, my nephew as a baby, Jonas as a 4 year old trying on my frog slippers with a goofy grin, the Gulf of Mexico, my solo trip, my friends – I think you get the point.

But here’s the thing, the pictures are just one of the many of the things that I think we hold on to longer than we should “just in case” – “Just in case” he really had a brain tumor all this time and wakes up one day and isn’t an ass and I’m stupid enough to take him back.  Which we all know, is NEVER going to happen. In my deleting I found a picture of myself from about 6/7 years ago, that at the time, I’m positive I hated it.  But I looked at it today, with kinder eyes and actually thought I looked pretty.  I think it’s really easy for us to get trapped in ideas, memories, they way things were, they would we would like them to be and forget to be here today.  I’m not going to lie, those pictures have been taunting me forever – I should do something with them, clean them up and make them meaningful, but really, you can only put so much lipstick on a pig – I mean, how many different angles do you really want to see flat Oklahoma landscape from? Here’s a secret – although it was a little bit hard to look at them all as I sorted and deleted last night, I woke up this morning feeling lighter.  It’s so funny how all this crap actually weighs you down.  Each thing I get rid of or let go of, is freeing and each thing is no more of less significant than each other.  Each step in letting go, is actually getting you back a piece of yourself.

So here’s you bi-weekly reminder, to live in the now, enjoy today and create meaningful moments and memories instead of just taking pictures of your life racing past your window at 70 miles an hour. Some of the best things happen in quiet moments, spontaneously and privately and there is no way to capture those in a picture. And for Pete’s sake, when there is a chance for a picture – take it, your kids will thank you when you’re gone –say nice things to yourself when you see your pictures – complement your hair, your smile, that shirt you really liked.  See yourself the way others do – beautiful and fun and smart and capable and worth loving.

 

 

It’s ok to delete stuff

So, Hi.  My name is Jennifer and I’m a digital pack rat.  I keep like every picture I’ve ever taken – like even the ones I took in burst mode and have 17 identical copies of the same blurry picture.

Tonight, I did something very scary.  I deleted pictures.  The duplicates, the blurry ones, the ones I took and meant to do something with from all those trips I took like 5 and 6 years ago in the semi.  All gone.  I know that reading this might be causing you great panic, but take a deep breath – it’s ok.  I checked with my friend Jenny first.

The majority of the pictures I took were not only of a different place, but of a different time and they don’t hold great memories, they are just taking up room on a memory card now and remind me of something that is over.  They no longer hold the same nostalgic spell over me they once did.  I kept copies of the ones I really loved, my nephew as a baby, Jonas as a 4 year old trying on my frog slippers with a goofy grin, the Gulf of Mexico – I think you get the point.

But here’s the thing, the pictures are just one of the many of the things that I think we hold on to longer than we should “just in case”.  In my deleting I found a picture of myself from about 6/7 years ago, that I time I’m positive I hated.  But I looked at it today, with kinder eyes and actually thought I looked pretty.  I think it’s really easy for us to get trapped in ideas, memories, they way things were, they would we would like them to be and forget to be here today.  I’m not going to lie, those pictures have been taunting me forever – I should do something with them, clean them up and make them meaningful, but really, you can only put so much lipstick on a pig – I mean, how many different angles do you really want to see flat Oklahoma landscape from?

So here’s you bi-weekly reminder, to live in the now, enjoy today and create meaningful moments and memories instead of just taking pictures of your life racing past your window at 70 miles an hour.  And for Pete’s sake, say nice things to yourself when you see your pictures – complement your hair, your smile, that shirt you really liked.  See yourself the way others do – beautiful and fun and smart and capable and worth loving.

 

 

We’re all afraid of the deep end in our own way

So I went to the pool at the gym this morning about 9 am, which is something I don’t normally do.  I tend to go after 8pm when it’s mostly only quiet adults and the occasional super annoying pair of teenagers.  But I hadn’t been there in some time and I was done making excuses.  WOW! It’s like a another world at that time of day.  While there weren’t a lot of people there, there were enough.  They were mostly kids, and by kids, I mean kids too young to be in school so probably like 3 and 4 years old.  ( quick side note – if you have a little boy who is old enough to say “I’ll be right here if you need help ( referring to his little brother)” – for the love of all that is holy, take him the to the family locker room.  He was a little to focused on my pink bra. I’m not going to lie, it got kind of creepy.

There were these two little kids, a boy and a girl, getting private swim lessons in the pool. The girl was maybe 3 years old and the poor little thing was so scared of the water and cried and clung to her teacher the whole time she was in the pool.  Her brother (probably about 4) couldn’t have cared less about what was happening- he had his googles on and swam with his kick board fearlessly not paying any attention to his sister in distress until it was his time for his lesson.

I wanted to tell the little girl that there was nothing to be afraid of, look at me floating like a mermaid, you’re safe, but who was I to explain that to a crying 3 year old? I mean, I could stand in the pool, with my feet firmly and securely planted on the bottom and still have my head many inches safely above the water.  What did I know about her fear?

Little did she know, although I enjoyed hot tubs and shallow pools, for years, like most of my life, I have been paralyzingly afraid of water over my head.  It has taken me years of panic attacks, coaxing and even some ridicule to even consider visits to the deeper end of the pool – I mean even a 5 foot deep end could make me nervous.  It has been a slow process of learning to trust that if my feet weren’t on the bottom, I could still float and trusting that I could expertly tread water to get back to where I could put my feet on the bottom.  I mean , don’t get me wrong, I’m not jumping off any boats and swimming in the ocean like they on TV anytime soon and I will definitely NEVER be a scuba diver.  (that’s mostly because I don’t want to eat raw octopus with the nationals in Japan, but that’s a story for another day)

And really, isn’t this how most of us conquer things that scare us – new jobs, new places, new relationships – through the slow process of learning to trust that even if you can’t quite get your footing right now, you can keep your head about water and get yourself back to the place where your feet can reach the bottom and you can be on safe ground with time, patience and a little treading water.  But if we don’t take those leaps into the deep end – what is life?  The knowing what you can conquer and achieve is exhilarating.  Knowing that you are powerful and strong is grounding.  The knowing that you are not stuck in the shallow end forever is what living is all about.

Today’s reward for reading: 7 dates  and I need to know which one of you ratted me out to my mother.  She is denying that there was an informant, but I highly suspect one of you told her.  Did I tell you we’re Facebook friends now?

 

The low down on dating in 2018

So I know that I have an important responsibility to all you hitched up people and that is to give you the exciting details of my adventures of a single lady.  With that said, I will now bring you up to speed on the latest.

There has been a man I have be seeing for a few weeks already (weeks? I know, time goes so fast) and since our first date was New Year’s Eve, we joke we’ve been dating since last year.  In that time, I have seen him 6 times already because we just kind of click and it’s nice and it’s fun and it’s easy to be around him.  It’s been pretty low key.  For example, he was over last night, I made him watch Dirty Dancing as his punishment for forgetting to get a movie on the way over.  He’s a clever one because he may have actually fallen asleep during said movie, even though he is really trying hard to down play how long it was for.  I just hope he understands that he will watch it from start to finish, because there is no escaping it, and  how else will we learn our moves for the dance off I challenged Jenny and her husband to.  ( There probably will not be any actual dance -off but there will be a lot of quality smack talk about it!  LOL)

If you know me at all, you know that I am one for making regular boring stuff a little bit fancy and exciting.  We had talked one day about places we would like to travel and he mentioned that he would like to go to Japan and he didn’t have a specific reason why, and didn’t know much about it, it was just interesting to him.  So, me being me, I went on Pinterest, right clicked a bunch of info graphics and made a PowerPoint presentation all about Japan that I saved as an MP4 and uploaded to You Tube so we could watch it on the TV – while eating Chinese food that I tried to pass off as Japanese ( I got sweet and sour chicken and shrimp and told him to pretend the batter was tempura), a cup of noodles ( you know, the 69 cent one in the Styrofoam cup) I made and then poured into bowl and called fancy Japanese style Ramen, and actual Japanese sweets I purchased at an Asian Market. ( On a side note – if you are familiar with the stereotypes of how Asians drive – picture the parking lot at an Asian market.  I was the best parker there!)

here is the link to a sweet Japan introduction: https://youtu.be/LGVcK9TGxm4

The best part about it was – I got to do something I enjoy and he seemed actually surprised and pleased and was like, “you did this for me?” and It was nice because for so long, I didn’t do any of that kind of stuff, except with my girlfriends, because it wasn’t appreciated.  Also, when I send him silly emails like an invitation to a top-secret screening of Captain America only for undercover super heroes or from the legal department regarding a relationship agreement, he replies appropriately 🙂

I’m enjoying just having fun and getting to know Andy better but I would be lying if I didn’t say there was also a part of me that is really uncomfortable with this. We both watch The Big Bang Theory and so we keep joking about extensions to the relationship agreement ( his request) because I originally told him I was only keeping him around 6 weeks to get through Valentines’ day ( Jokingly, of course, well, kind of, LOL).  I don’t know how to trust him completely after everything that happened last time.  ( I know, he’s not hewho’snamewedon’tmention , I know it just may take time, I know I just need to give him chance -I do know it all, but knowing something and working it into your thought processes are two completely separate things)  He hasn’t given me a reason not to trust him, but after being so foolishly trusting last time, I’m hyper vigilant now.

So since I’m also, pretty certain, my mom doesn’t read this, I will also share the following.  We are taking things slow in EVERY aspect, and I don’t normally do that and it’s actually, pretty awesome because it seems to take off a certain amount of pressure and in a weird way, it confirms that when we spend time together it’s about being together and getting to know each other and not just, well, you know.  He’s also pretty bashful and would probably turn 47 shades of red if he knew, I just told you, he’s a pretty good kisser.

If you are sitting there reading this and you’re all jealous because you miss the beginning – just bear this in mind.  I accidentally ate mayonnaise yesterday.  I should have buns of steel from how hard I had to clench last night to make sure there were no pressure releases.  I bet you don’t miss those days.

Food doesn’t have morals

So, somehow, I accidentally became part of a Facebook group for women who follow an eating plan called IIFYM – aka – If It Fits Your Macros, and tend to be pretty committed to exercising.  If you have known me for any length of time at all, you might kind give me that one eyebrow up look like, huh?

But truth be told – they are pretty much my favorite Facebook people ever and here is why-

  1.  Whereas the women in my other Facebook group ( the travel one) can quickly turn catty and very judgey, these women are ridiculously nice and supportive of one another.
  2. They actually post things that sound like they are trying to help one another or even just be part of the conversation.  There are so many laughing and smiley emojis.  And they talk about stuff that most women never talk about but would probably feel better if they did.
  3. The whole group is based on what is called Flexible Eating – hence the If It Fits Your Macros.  The idea is that you try to eat about 80% clean healthy food and allow about 20% for the fun stuff.  But it’s all based on science and math – basically, if you operate at a calorie deficit, you’ll lose weight.  However within those calories, you shoot for certain percentages of macros – fat, carbs, and protein. So no one is shoving highly processed “low point” bars down your throat or specialized spoons to measure things – it’s all about eating what you like, in healthy portions and giving your body the nutrients it needs to operate efficiently.
  4. The other night a woman said she ate “bad” because, if I remember correctly, it was processed – aka- delicious.  Someone else reminded her, that if it fit her macros, it’s fine, you just adjust somewhere else. But my favorite comment was by another group member who said “foods don’t have morals”

Think about the power in that statement.  There are no bad foods, no good food.  Are some foods healthier?  Sure.  Are some foods more decadent and maybe shouldn’t be consumed everyday?  Sure.  But she was right, foods don’t have morals.  I can not think of single friend that I have, male or female, who I have not had some conversation with in the last year about them waiting to lose weight or eat better and so on – Wait, I have one male friend who is an avid mountain biker that I have never had that talk with.

So this makes me think – like everything in our lives, whether we admit it or know it or not, we are in control of the choices we make and let’s get some prospective – eating a chocolate doughnut with cream filling isn’t like blowing up the Death Star – it just probably has a little higher fat and carb value and if you are aware of that, you can adjust as the day goes on to make sure you still have a balanced day.

I know that everyone believes some different version of science about food and the body that they think they know – remember the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, Atkins, Jenny Craig, keto and so on.  But I like this holistic approach to things because it is adaptable for everyone – those who are allergic to eggs, dairy, nuts, gluten – you just eat what fits for you.

By now, you’re probably thinking, oh crap, what is she trying to butter us up to buy?  I’m not selling anything but I wanted to explain this because I am super excited because I actually connected with one of the coaches for this group, got some info and we worked out some numbers for me.  In case you were wondering, I don’t live in a bubble, I know that I might benefit from a few tiny life style tweaks.  But I tell you all this because, once I do, then you’re all wondering how things are going and I kind of have my own personal cheering squad/audience.  My hope is that by saying this out loud, it solidifies my commitment and I can start to make some changes.

Also, as your reward for reading all of this -I will also tell you that I successfully completed 4 dates with my undercover superhero with negotiations underway for a 5th.  🙂

PS – I still haven’t told my mom.

 

If the earth were flat, how could we have seasons?

So, I have a few friends ( ok, 2 specifically – you know who you are) who spend a lot of time watching conspiracy videos and are almost convinced that the earth is in fact, flat.  My question is, if the earth is actually flat, how do we have seasons?  Is the sun in fact actually swinging on a pendulum or maybe earth is because there is no time when we go a very long time without sun?  Just something to blow your mind today.

What I really wanted to talk about are seasons.  We all go through these seasons of lives where like, spring, we get a chance to start something new with a clean slate, like summer, when we get a change to nurture something important and watch it grow, like fall, when we know it’s time to say good bye or prepare to rest and like winter, while although it might seem like we are sitting still and bleak, we are gaining strength and just waiting until the time is right to bloom again.

Now that I have made it through my own winter and I am feeling back to myself, I am noticing more things around me and able to give attention to them and have the energy and ability to offer sympathy, empathy, joy, concern and happiness for my people that I couldn’t while I was sitting still and gaining strength.

In my life, I have so many wonderful people who I have a relationship that I would define as a mutual admiration society.   I know they’re great, they know I’m great – it transcends your normal friendship.   I believe Anne of Green Gables would have referred to us as “kindred spirits”. All of these people are in different places in the seasons as well and I have one in particular who thoughts of are weighing heavily on my heart right now.  She is in the middle of losing a friend, who we will call Mary, who she has known for probably 30 years or more. Mary has been in poor health for sometime but in the last weeks has given up on living.  She stopped eating, stopped participating in therapy, started refusing meds.  She is laying in a hospital tonight, not opening her eyes and will probably pass on soon.  I tangentially met her a few times and don’t know her well at all, except through the stories my friend has told me, but still I feel sadness about this.  I’m sad for my friend who wanted so badly to help Mary rally, I’m sad for her grandchildren and even her son who, from the looks of things on Facebook, is too busy to care what is happening to his mom.  Whenever people pass, there is a hole left where they once were there to love the people in their lives.  Although, only time and grace can help to heal that, I’m praying tonight that she passes soon and peacefully and that those who love her find peace knowing that she will be with her God and no longer in pain.

The point of sharing this with you is not to be your bring-you-down moment of the day, but to remind us all that life is not infinite.  It is so very finite.  And although you may feel like you need a moment now to regroup, it’s OK,  take that time, sit still and find your strength because we all so much living to do in the short time we are here.  And after some time, like a crocus poking up from under the dirt, you will find your way back into the sunshine and flourish once more.  I just think that sometimes we get stuck in the day to day and we forget to take a moment and enjoy all the wonder and joy and love that is around us.  So since it’s only the 9th day of this new year, you still have time to make some resolutions.  Let’s resolve that will cherish each day, that will take care of ourselves and do what is best for us so that even when it’s -9 degrees outside, your spirit knows it’s summer and time to flourish.

 

Lori said dating would be fun

So, my well meaning friends suggested a few months ago that it was time to start dating again.  You may remember reading about this and if you drank every time I used the word gross, I’m sure you were drunk by the end of the post.

Truth be told, I have been interacting in a social way with some of the fellas.  You make remember me telling you about one I was optimistic about named Kyle.  That was a bust.  He had an incredible inability to communicate except via text message or when he was in the car.  ( I know, sounds super fishy right??)  Although he denied he was, in fact still married, however, my super sharp research team could not find his “divorce” anywhere on the internet, obviously because there wasn’t one, and the butterfly wind chime in his front yard all pretty much confirmed he was lying.  (You don’t really want to know how I know about the wind chime and all I will say is that I wasn’t driving)  He is now dead to me.

There was this other guy who was fun enough to talk and message with although I didn’t think he was most attractive, some people just don’t photograph well so I thought I’m not going to judge.  Met him in real life.  Aggressively tried to kiss me and then proceeded to lick my neck.  Enough time spent talking about him.  GROSS

One night Jenny was over and we were being silly and messaged a guy who was cute enough.  Actual conversation:

ME:  How you doin?  ( read in Joey Tribianni’s voice)

Him:  Good ( that was it, no how are you, nothing trying to engage further in conversation)

ME: ( with the encouragement of some “juice” and Jenny): Just checking

Him: Staying warm

Seriously????  Can you toss me a bone?  I’m trying here. Basic small talk.  Am I asking too much?

Seriously people, enjoy your spouses and current romantic entanglements because dating is not as fun as Lori promised it would be.

Oh but wait, there is more ( and since my mom can’t be bothered to read this her own self, DO NOT TELL HER ABOUT THIS – she can wait until I’m sure to tell her about this)  I actually met a nice guy!!!!  Long story short – he is punctual, adorable, funny, sweet, eats cheese and generally, terrific.  It’s just the beginning where everything seems perfect, but it’s easy and fun and when my phone dings with a sweet text, I get a shit eating grin.  And I got to kiss him at midnight on New Year’s Eve and he met Jenny and her husband ( actually before he met me, but that’s a story for a different day) and they gave him their seal of approval.  Here’s how I know he likes me as much as I like him – he’s willing to sit through Dirty Dancing with me, in all fairness, I did say I would watch those awful Lord of the Rings movies with him but still, this might get good…

Oh for the love of butter…

As we’re all aware, time is marching on, whether we like it or not.  It’s now just a few days into the new year and that magic time of year where people normally make declarations about things they are going to change – aka resolutions.

Here’s the thing, some camps believe new year’s resolutions are crap because you can’t really make new habits, routines etc, unless you are really ready to and that can happen at any time through out the year.  Others believe that the fresh calendar and new year are the perfect time for changes.  I fall somewhere in the middle.

I have 5 female friends I communicate with pretty regularly ( I have more than 5 friends, it’s just that there are 5 that I communicate with almost daily) and in the last week or so, each one has revealed to me their plan for weight loss in the New Year – Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers, Weird restrictive plan where you “enjoy” a chia bowl hot or cold in the morning, complicated medical thing and carb counting.

While I admire their determination, it made me a little sad. ( now before I go any further, I will own up to having my own fancy new eating plan)  Food is one of life’s simplest pleasures and they all have decided that foods are either “good” or “bad”.  I don’t share in this view.  Food all offers different nutrients and components our bodies need to run, some are just packaged more efficiently than others.  And like anything else, we just need to find the balance between crap dip and salads; ice cream and fruit; red meat and fish.

So tonight, I was awake in the middle of the night for no good reason and was hungry and made myself toast out of french bread.  I had sliced it thick so that it was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  After it was properly toasted, I used a decent amount of real – in a stick- butter on it.  I sat down with a glass of buttermilk to have my toast and the first bite was amazing – the warm, salty butter had melted against the crusty bread and quite frankly, was amazing.  And it was so simple and that brings me to my point.  If we all have the overwhelming need for change this year, lets focus on balance and finding the joy everywhere we can in life.  Balancing our need to do chores, vacuuming, laundry against taking time to relax; balancing idle time with on the go time; balancing the need to be so task focused with “free time” and avoiding a situation where we can’t even take a minute to enjoy how amazing warm melted butter can be on a simple piece of toast.

Last year was a rough year but in the end, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  I found myself again and completely fell back in love with her.  She’s pretty awesome, kind, sassy and inappropriately humorous.

Every January, I have big plans to stay on top of laundry, do my dishes in a timely manner and all that other crap and by February, I’m back to working in my flannel nightgown because it’s the only thing I have left clean and I have to dip into the plastic silverware I keep for parties because, well you know. But this year, I’m not gonna kid myself.  At 42.75 years old, I am who I am and instead of fighting it, I’m going to embrace me and not worry about clean underwear as much but take time to plan and prepare for things I want to do.  I want to take more pictures, read more books, watch horrible TV that entertains me, take time to make myself nutritious foods not because it’s on some diet plan, but because they are good and provide me with the building blocks I need to use my body for life, say yes to spending time with people I care about and generally putting joy first. I’m also, going to give you permission to serve your family pizza for dinner tonight instead of cooking so you have an extra 20 minutes to read a second book at bedtime or ask about science class or show your kids the wonders of mixing vinegar, food coloring and baking soda in the kitchen sink or hide and have time to polish your toenails.

Really my friends, if you are going to make an resolutions this year, focus on joy and being kind to yourself because once you can do that, it gives you so much more energy to more easily be able to be the person you want to be.