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Every year I sit down and write a list of how I’ll become a better person in the coming 365 days. I somehow convince myself that I’ll become a completely different person than the previous 33 years has shaped me into. So far, in all these years, not one has stuck. This year, however, I was given a gift before setting out: the gift of rejection and rage by someone who I loved, and who I thought loved me. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named (did J.K. Rowling copyright that?) met with me on December 30th and proceeded to shatter my heart and the final, lingering thread of hope that there is someone out there for me. Maybe there is, but it clearly was not the last one and I see no cowboys on the horizon, waiting to take on this big bag of nonsense. Also I’m not really a cowboy fan. And the sun gives me hives and it’s hard to see the horizon at night. And I’m usually inside watching Netflix, anyway, so that would take away from the romanticism of the moment and just make me weirded out that someone came to my door to hit on me…
Ok, I got a little off track there. The point of all that (see what I mean about nonsense?) is that it takes so many days to make a habit and, in between my bursts of sobbing and wondering if it’s possible to become a nun if I’m not catholic and also not too keen on being quiet and praying for 11 hours a day, I have enough rage fueling me to make a habit that will stick well into the healthy-brained Meredith. Fingers crossed, anyway. Ok, here goes:
- Eat better: Notice I didn’t say less or diet. I need to do both of those things, of course, but I’ve set myself up to fail nearly every year with that food trap. This year I’m focusing on whole, healthy foods, limited refined sugar (which makes me sleepy and queasy anyway now that I’m old), and planning my meals ahead (i.e. no excuse for fast food). Will I make mistakes? Absolutely. Will I cheat more than I intend to? Almost definitely. However, I’m making myself aware of it and maybe that’s the biggest difference. Or maybe the biggest difference is being afraid of running into Satan’s Butthole (aka the dreaded fella) and that I want to look good. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
- Exercise more: Same reasons as above. I NEED to do it, but I would like to rub a certain someone’s nose in it should I ever happen upon him again. Also, I tweaked my back the other day by turning over in bed, so I’m thinking that I could stand to put my body through some dreaded exercise if it means that I’m not going to be bedridden with stabbing back spasms because I do something as foolish as sneeze in the future.
- Write a Little Each Day: I want to be a writer. I talk about it constantly. When it comes down to me doing something about it, however, I tend to fall asleep while watching Bob’s Burgers and eating whatever I can scrounge in my kitchen. This might mean leaving my house and going somewhere they frown upon a person taking a nap with a bag of dill pickle potato chips as my pillow. This brings me to number four…
- GO OUT MORE: Seriously, Meredith. Get out of your house. Yes, it’ll fully suck at first (and maybe at second and third and fourteenth), but it’s worth it. Maybe I’ll meet someone. Maybe I’ll get inspiration for a novel. Maybe I’ll sit in a corner of a coffee shop by myself, typing on my laptop and being a full-on stereotype. It doesn’t matter. As long as I leave the comfort of my couch, it counts.
- Start Dating: Ugh.
- Go Adventuring: Start saying yes to life. Go for a walk. Take a day trip to Vermont. Visit a museum. Start living.
- Be Happy With Who I Am: My family is awesome. My friends are amazing. The support system I’ve managed to cultivate around my is unbelievable. So why, if I believe all these things to be truths (which I absolutely do), why would they waste their time with a waste of space, as I have so often felt like in the past. They wouldn’t. I’m not one. If they’re as great as I think they are (they are), then I must be better than I think I am. It’s time to embrace it. It’s time to embrace my too-loud laugh and my extra-large waist. It’s time to embrace my hippie tendencies and my (slight) fear of the dark and the quiet of sleep. It’s time to stop being so worried about what other people think about me, and spend more time wondering why I’m spending time with people who would judge the radiant explosion of noise and creativity I can be, when I’m not stifling it for mass approval. This year I will be myself, and that ain’t bad.
- Read More: I love love love to read. Books have been my constant friends throughout my struggles with depression, rejection, and my own self-consciousness. As I’ve gotten older, like everyone else, my responsibilities have become greater and my downtime is spent falling asleep prematurely, no matter how good the book. This year, I’m hoping to read (minimum) one book every two weeks. And I’m hoping that it won’t just be me re-reading Harry Potter for the six hundredth time.
- Better Myself All Around: Get a new job. Save more money. Make connections. Start running again. Keep a cleaner house. Spend more time with family and friends. Volunteer more. Basically, I need to start being the person who I dream of being. I’m not expecting miracles here, I’m willing to accept that it could even take up to THREE MONTHS to accomplish all this (kidding!), but I’m willing to start working toward being who I want to be.
Basically, it all boils down to me being happier, healthier, and more comfortable in my skin, and in my dreams. Original, right? It’s ok, there’s a reason the classics are classics. I’m hoping for a better year than 2016, but really, it would have to work pretty hard to be worse. Cheers to a new year and, hopefully, a new me.