Please welcome Tara from DoTheseKidsMakeMeLookCrazy. She let me write out her New Year’s Resolutions for her, which was way fun because I enjoy telling people what to do. Then I let her write out mine.
Now she thinks she’s the boss of me.
But that might be ok.
Mer and I have been friends for 23 years.
That’s longer than twice the length of my marriage.
It’s nearly four times the age of my youngest child.
It’s over five times the amount of time I’ve lived in my current home.
I totally wrote all those statistical-sounding facts because math confuses Mer and I want to remind her that I’m smarter than her.
Why is it important that I appear to be smarter?
So she’ll let me control her, err, make decisions for her.
Kind of like how Britney Spears’ dad gets to spend all of Britney’s money because she shaves her head and drinks a lot of alcohol when she gets sad.
But Mer, regrettably, does not have a lot of money. And she has a freakish amount of hair that she only rarely brushes, let alone shaves.
Therefore, I have to assert my influence over her via less, um, dramatic ways.
I’m writing her New Year’s resolutions.
Me. Divorced, broke, questionably employed, chronically hungry, mother of two.
Don’t worry, I’ve totally got this.
I learned it from watching her.
Are you ready, Mer? Listen up, girl.
▪ Find and make a home. A real home. Whether it’s by yourself or with your man or with a cute little kitten named Rhett. Find a place you adore and want to stay in for a long time. A place that feels like yours. It has to hold all your important stuff, like your shoes and your books and your random photos. I’d really like to add a caveat about keeping it orderly and clean-ish, but I feel that might make your place less yours, which entirely defeats the purpose.
▪ Do not text and drive. Ever. As your mom says, you need to “concentrate”.
▪ Continue to stay in touch with your body. Exercise, nourish, and strengthen it in the best way you know how. I want you to feel and be healthy for a very long time. It’s not impossible that we’ll be in the same nursing home someday and I want you to stay cute enough to rock a colostomy bag.
▪ Decorate your own Christmas tree. Like a real one, where you go and pick out at least 75% of the decorations and put a lopsided star on top. May I suggest candy canes as decoration?
▪ Get moving on this book we’re supposed to be writing. I look to you to be the leader on this project. Lead by writing, as I’m greatly influenced by peer pressure.
▪ Keep your standards high when it comes to your romantic partnership. I know this whole “grown-up relationship” thing is kind of new to you, but I really think you’re getting the hang of it. I would like to shake you really hard to ensure that you learn from all of my mistakes, but I think this long, drawn-out, whiny way that I communicate about my failed relationship seems pretty effective.
▪ On a somewhat related note; don’t be afraid that you’re going to screw up this whole love story that you and Chris have going on. You’re not. If it gets screwed up, both of you will be able to take a bow. So just . . . be present in your relationship. Recognize where you are emotionally. And please, don’t be afraid to plan ahead for the life you want to have together.
▪ Keep storytelling. It’s a gift you have and it should be shared. Most importantly, make sure to post it on youtube. If I can’t be there, then I need to be able to access it later.
▪ Consider getting a kitten. Like, one you’ve picked out yourself and named after some random fictional character or a TV star from an 80s sitcom.
▪ Self-host your blog. Get legit, girl.
▪ Tap into your insight when it comes to your own emotions. Listen to yourself. Listen for that little tingly noise that sounds when your comfort level has been surpassed. Once you hear it, do something about it. Talk to someone, write it out, sing in the car in your loudest voice. Just don’t stuff it down until it erupts in a flood of tears and incoherence. You’ve got a bunch of people who’ve got your back but we’re only useful when you communicate, even if it’s initially in a series of bumps and false starts.
▪ Leave the country at least once in the year 2012. You’re the type of person who may very well get old and become a homebody who doesn’t drive and eats ¼ cup of raisins for breakfast every morning. You need to travel while you’re still spry and can figure out how to use a bidet and tolerate people with weird accents.
▪ Make a three-year plan for your career. Map out something long-term and realistic, but challenging. It could be writing a novel. Officially becoming a freelancer. Searching the want ads until you find something that you’ll really love. I can’t pretend to guess what would be the absolutely perfect job for you, but I want you to focus on figuring it out. You are so talented and I would like you to be emotionally and financially satisfied by the work you do.
▪ Attend BlogHer’12 with me. I promise you, you will be inspired.
▪ Challenge yourself physically at least once this year. Like, run a 5K. Swim across a small lake by yourself. Go camping without the benefit of an electrical hookup. Something outside of your comfort zone that requires the use of your body.
▪ Acknowledge the fact that you are not some sort of grouchy curmudgeon who believes the worst in people. Yes, you had Drew pegged long before I did. Yes, you are better than me at ejecting people from your life who are toxic. But at the end of the day, you are this loving, positive force to the people around you. Own it. Own it enough to direct it toward yourself.
▪ And lastly, I’m going to save the best for last,and quote your very words back to you. They’re brilliant. Never waste a second of your time or energy on anyone who doesn’t immediately find you hilarious, brilliant, talented, loving and perfect just the way you are.
I love you. Now go kick 2012’s ass.