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My best advice for the new year.

If there’s one thing I KNOW after all these years of living life, it’s this. Determine NOW that no one. NO ONE is responsible for your happiness. In your own mind, relieve every human being from the responsibility to make you happy, content, loved, adored, etc. Your future is not determined by other’s choices. You are not the victim-EVER. Ponder the ramifications of this principle. I believe you’ll find freedom. Less drama. Peace and joy. #irefusetolivesmall #noexpectationsfromhumans #happy2017

Here’s to 2017. Realz.

 

Scrolling through my Facebook feed on this New Year’s weekend, glimpsing all the festive toasts with grinning people, claiming bliss, holding bubbling champagne, partying, hugging, kissing – from Mexico to Australia to South Africa to the East and West Coasts of the U.S. was a kick!
I went to bed at 9, so I missed the champagne and fireworks. Dang. #midlife

“Happy New Year” ad nauseam! What exactly is a ‘Happy New Year’?! Shouldn’t we know what we are proposing, wishing, longing for? Is it perfection? excitement? adventure? money? progress? pleasure? peace? joy? love? All with zero pain, loss, struggle, lack? Hmmmm. That would be ideal. That would be a fantasy.

 

Just consider the tabloids. Everyone you thought had achieved ‘perfect’ suddenly not-so-much. Crazy. (I thought I wanted what they had, right?!?!) We all love perfection, don’t we? Glossy pics. Blinding smiles with pearly whites lined up straight. No wrinkles for goodness’ sake. Wedded bliss. Fashionable dress, coordinated – as in HauteLook.com Yep. All agree these are a definitive thumbs up? Umhuh.

I just had a photo shoot yesterday. #awkwardsmile — Funny how we sense our desperate insecurities welling up at times. I wasn’t really looking forward to getting these pics taken as much as I love my photographer. She’s watched me age over decades…ahhh. I recently chopped off all my hair from very long, luscious looking locks to boy-cut pixie. I am fully embracing my new-do. But…I didn’t realize how much I could hide behind that hair. It took up a lot of space and could camouflage some serious crap. Goldilocks, Rapunzel, Barbie, Victoria’s Secret.

Obviously, hair matters. I didn’t realize it, really, until it was time to present it to a REAL camera. Most of my waking hours are spent in a much less public format…prepping food, cooking, scrubbing toilets, planning, answering emails, paying bills, organizing, discoursing with hubby, babysitting, poopy diapers, arguing with Comcast, meeting wth people, writing, jogging, playing tennis, diffusing essential oils, ordering supplements, making green smoothies, feeding the lonely, serving the HOA Board, setting mouse traps in the garage. You know. The stuff of life.

So…when I got a peek at the the first sample pics I was – UGH – squeamish. I was painfully naked without that hair. Sigh. This is real. This is me. Yep, she captured exactly who I am

I don’t think we like the real ‘me.’ I think we prefer the airbrushed life. Botox on those wrinkles. Photoshop on that shadow….sigh. But REAL is exactly what my life is.

My marriage, my kids, my grands, my career, my pain…not always perfect but absolutely real is what I promise you. No apologies. Some tears. Lots of self-questioning. Confession.

It’s not always pretty, but it’s honest. Hope you’ll join me on the ride.
2017 here we come! (Any leftover champagne?!)