New Year’s resolutions don’t hold the same glamour for me they once did. In days of yore, when I was relatively fresh and naïve, I was certain that losing ten pounds, ridding myself of cellulite and maintaining my hair color were the magic bullets of fulfillment. Ten years ago I made my living as a plus-size model and budding television personality. Ten years ago things like ten pounds, cellulite and hair maintenance actually mattered to me. In that relatively carefree time, my life and career were on track for wild success. I had no idea what was looming in my future.
I was one of those thirty-somethings that put off motherhood until the perfect time. When I hit my late thirties, it was clear no such animal existed. In order to have my two children, I became pregnant six times, resulting in a hormonal thrill ride akin to Space Mountain on steroids. Once I was rewarded with my sweet angels, I suffered from mind boggling postpartum depression that lasted a full year each time. No piddling little baby blues for me, either. I went off the wall nuts and started prepping for a Martian invasion.
After coming out of my second bout of postpartum, my husband of nearly twenty-five years was diagnosed with stage-four tonsil cancer. He was given a forty percent chance of surviving. The doctor who diagnosed him suggested prayer in addition to treatment. Gulp.
This decade became the equivalent of The Book of Revelations in my life. There were fires (most notably for us, the San Gabriel fires which threatened our home), death of loved ones, a major move (goodbye L.A., hello rural Oregon!) and a complete reinvention of myself.
The last decade has made me grateful that I still draw breath. The ten pounds has grown to twenty, the cellulite is on the move and the hair color is $2.99 on sale at Target. Every day I wake up and feel new little twinges in my body and I’ve grown a bunion. I am glamorous no more. What I am is grateful. Grateful to be alive, grateful my husband is alive and grateful my children have hit the planet in one piece, no thanks to my poor timing.
I tell you all of this, so when you sit down to make a list of resolutions, resolutions you are sure are going to make your life worth living, don’t. Your life is worth living. Against all the odds, you are alive and full of potential. If life throws you a curve ball, knock that sucker out of the ballpark! If things don’t go as planned, make new plans. Don’t place your happiness in the hands of some ridiculous resolutions that you may or may not achieve.
Happiness and fulfillment are about perspective. At forty-seven, I have now lived long enough to embrace the extra poundage as making me more cuddly, cellulite is behind me (literally, it’s on my butt and if I don’t look back, I won’t see it) and thank goodness, granny chic is a real fashion thing now.
So when someone asks me what my New Year’s Resolution is, I’m going to tell them that I resolve not to put happiness off until I accomplish certain things. I resolve to be happy today because tomorrow is not certain.