I’ve always had a beef with New Year’s. Not the actual Eve or Day, exactly. But all the other hoopla that surrounds it. There’s that depressing song for starters. It’s so bittersweet. As if you’re supposed to reflect on the could have beens, instead of the thank God there was’s. And then the expectations. Oh, the expectations!
My normal new year routine is to go to the mall when the holidays die down and shop for bargains with the other 2 billion people out there looking for bargains. I bundle up in a lightweight outfit (because lord knows the malls are steaming hot and between that and my menopause, I tend to sweat ) and fight the traffic and the weather and head out.
Because I usually get all kinds of nifty kitchen gadgets and candles and lotions from Clark and the kids, (which I LOVE!) I tend to veer towards the women’s clothing department. Last year (and the year before that and the year before that) I learned a valuable lesson.
I went to the mall (surprise, surprise!). I didn’t need anything, but of course that wasn’t the point. One of my favorite stores was having a “70% off everything in the store!” sale. I shopped myself silly and avoiding the glare of other shoppers waiting in the dressing room line behind me, I stepped in with loads of bargains piled high in my arms.
It wasn’t long before I realized that none of the clothes I chose, fit. I tried on a red dress two sizes too small and stared in the mirror.
Wow, my mom was right! Red really IS my color!! I guess it’s kind of tight, but, it’s still a great price. I could wear this, Yeah! …Or maybe…maybe in May for Mother’s Day it’ll fit…
I closed my eyes.
Stop. Just, Stop.
There’s some insistent force that tells us buying our goal weight outfit will make us feel better, when in fact all it does is make us feel like a pile of crumbled up rice cakes and diet seltzer.
I was 50-something years old, and there was a lesson I needed to finally take to heart.
Dress for the body you have today.
I carefully lined up the five tops, one dress, and two pairs of pants that didn’t fit. In another pile, I placed the one top and one dress that did. I took a deep breath and headed for the register. With only two items.
And yet, in 2016, I want to learn to finally and forever learn to live a healthy lifestyle. I want to lose 20 pounds, instead of celebrating the thousand (this might be a slight exaggeration) I’ve already lost. In 2016, I want to celebrate all of the blessings I’ve been graced with in my life. In 2016 I want to remember that beauty is skin deep and that it’s what’s inside that truly counts.
So I’ve got this fab idea! Maybe instead of focusing on our shortcomings in 2016, why not stand on the mountain top and send echos off into the distance that we are fabulous – Just.The.Way.We.Are. Sound good?