Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I have mixed feelings, since, despite decades of resolving not to, I still bite my nails. But I also like the idea of adding fun things, like “always carry a book in your bag” or “send your best friend flowers to celebrate her achievements.” Here are five I’m hoping to do in 2022…
1. Working vocab words into conversation. The other day, my mom was hanging out on the sofa telling a story, when she suddenly busted out the word “concatenation.” Go, Mom! It’s weirdly exciting to find words that express exactly what you want to say — like “soporific” and “postprandial” — and to use big words with little dudes.
2. Taking podcast walks. Last year, I did a walking challenge with some friends where we did 12,000 steps a day for a few weeks. It felt so good. Like, crazily, wildly good. And I’m not a person who generally loves exercise. But stretching your legs, feeling fresh air on your skin, and laughing along to a podcast is the best pick-me-up. I’m going to shoot for 10,000 steps a day this year and see how it goes.
3. Getting a dozen new pairs of black underwear. It makes mornings so much easier! On that note, one of the nicest things I did recently was get a new pillow. It’s one of those items that’s so rarely replaced, but you spend 1/3 of your day cuddling your face against it. I love this one and this one, fwiw.
4. Spending one-on-one time with the boys. When Anton was a newborn, I would take toddler Toby on dates, but we haven’t done that in ages. I’d love to spend some solo time with them, even if it’s just making hot chocolate at home or staring at the ceiling.
5. Just easing up. In my thirties, I was so anxious, but as I’ve gotten older, I just… don’t care as much? (Also, anti-anxiety medication has changed my life, but more on that later.) I’ve heard other women say the same thing, and I’m curious, have you felt similar? Maybe it’s a matter of noticing how time passes — for example, if something is not great now, it will change later; if someone is grouchy to you, they’re probably having a hard day, so try to feel empathy (‘We should send them a fruit basket,’ joked my friend Nora, when someone was snippy over the phone); when I lie awake fretting about my kids, I reassure myself that they know they are deeply loved and that’s what really matters. I’m still trying to figure things out, but somehow the passage of time has shown me that ups and downs are constant, so we can feel free to ride the wave.
Will you be making resolutions? In the past, a reader named Alice said, “To listen. More carefully, thoughtfully and actively.” Alexandra wrote: “Always ask before taking fries off my boyfriend’s plate.” And Kelly’s? “Embrace who I really am.” Please share below, if you’d like…
P.S. Wise words, and how to be present.