resolving

I’m not a big fan of traditional New Year’s resolutions. Too often, I see friends commit to punishing life changes and ascetic regimes. This kind of self-denial is designed to fail, which only erodes morale.

I’m especially resistant to weight-loss resolutions. I’m frankly tired of hearing people deplore their bodies, and I’m sick and tired of them assuming that I feel the same way about mine. As I’ve mentioned before, my own relationship with my body is complicated, but it’s mostly a mixture of appreciation and tender protectiveness. I try not to deride my body despite the messages of inadequacy that bombard us all, and I try to take positive steps, not negative ones. When I exercise, I focus on getting stronger and feeling good, not on losing weight or looking different.

When it comes to resolutions, I focus on pleasure and self-care, not punishment and self-abnegation. Some of my oft-repeated resolutions from previous years: drink more champagne*; sing more; eat more eclairs.

I think I will make a resolution this New Year, and it’s one of celebration, not denial: dance more.

* I’m doing verrrrrrry well with this one.

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little things

A few small pleasures on this gray rainy day:
– new boots, bought in the last days of spring and packed away for a rainy day;
– sugar cubes, bought for champagne cocktails but distinctly pleasant to watch them melting in a cup of tea;
– a whole basket of fresh tomatoes, bursting with juice and scent, too gorgeous to cook or gussy up;
– a brand new sketchpad and an excellent pen;
– a few minutes stolen with The Fella, bundled up in bed with blankets and books.

For the moment, I’m directing my writing energy elsewhere, but I’ll continue to check in with little things — and little things can be good.

little things

At not-quite-the-end of a long week of work and deadlines, The Fella came home from work around midnight and sat down with a blank look on his face, getting ready to write the weekly newsletter.

“You look a little beat, hon,” I said. “Did you have dinner?”

“Not really.”

It took me all of three minutes to whip up something simple for him to eat. As I gave him the plate and a beer, The Fella took my hand and quietly, earnestly said, “Thank you. Thank you for marrying me.”

Today is our second anniversary, and The Fella’s hatched some secret plans. (Nothing big, he assures me. Just secret.) The first item on the agenda: he got me an enormous coffee. Number two on the agenda: he’s doing laundry.

This guy gets me.

* [The Fella, don’t hover over the links!] update Now that I’ve given The Fella his gift, I can describe it here. We’re going to have a mid-year variation on our Valentine’s day tradition of staying in with cheesy horror movies and pizza.

For the cotton anniversary, I gave The Fella the abominable-looking Lady Frankenstein, starring Joseph Cotten. Yeah.

Because it’s too hot to heat the oven, I’ll be picking up fantastic take-out pizza from Otto.

Wait for it… cotton.

I toyed with plenty of other gift ideas. For example, I thought about getting a really luxurious set of sheets, which we kinda need. Or towels, ditto. But I dismissed those as gifts for me, not for The Fella.

What did The Fella give me? A really luxurious set of sheets. And a really luxurious towel. Did I mention: this guy gets me.

gratitude

Things, little and big, to be grateful for this week:

One Step Beyond! I’d never even heard of this Twilight Zone carbon copy, and now I have four DVDs of it, with its original Alcoa promos intact. Thanks to The Fella!

– Pajamas and pearls! (I ordered new pajamas, then made myself a new double-length string of pearls. Obviously, I’m going to wear them both right away.)

– Surprise bacon!

– Graduating from mooshy food to semi-soft food!

– Passover Coca-Cola!

small good things, big good things

Good things make life good. Some of the good things are small, some of the good things are big, and all of the good things are good.

– fresh-baked anadama bread, fragrant with molasses, chewy with oats and whole wheat, and hot from the oven. I love the way it fills the whole apartment with its rich, wholesome scent.

– wrapping Christmas presents, which gives me a marvelous calm feeling of accomplishment. And the penguin wrapping paper I picked up at Local Surplus & Salvage Shop is pretty darned cheery.

– snow! Granted, by the time I got outside in it, it was just lashings of cold and wet, but still: SNOW!

– hot tea with milk and the faintest lacing of sugar.

– anadama bread again, because it’s just that good. Also, because I’m making a second batch already.

– bright red coarse-weave fabric (also from Local Surplus & Salvage Shop) for reupholstering the Danish modern chairs Gaoo gave me. (She rescued them from the junk pile at our parents’ old house, so they’re endearingly familiar, too.)

– Nick Hornby’s About A Boy.

– The sweetest husband in the world, who knows me inside out and upside-down and who loves me with all my flaws.

toast

I’ve been chiming in pretty regularly on Maggie’s Champagne and Chocolate Wednesdays lately, and I’m going to start keeping track of the toasts here — just as a reminder that there’s plenty to toast, in good times and bad. Breaking away from my recent streak of bubbly-drinking, tonight I’m toasting with fizzy lemonade with a dash of homemade strawberry liqueur.

So here’s to homemade strawberry liqueur, rich fuschia, fragrant, and sweet.

Here’s to almost empty matinee theaters, and walking out into the bright light all swimmy and disoriented.

Here’s to bright days and cool evenings.

Here’s to nieces and nephews who spend an afternoon making pretty platters of snacks in anticipation of your visit, and who crow and crowd around for hugs when you get there.

Here’s to a farmstand tomato on toast for breakfast, and a farmstand tomato on toast for lunch. (If we hadn’t run out, I’d be toasting a farmstand tomato for dinner.)

Here’s to a quiet Wednesday night date with the guy who knows you better than anyone ever has, and who makes you happier than anything ever did, and who wants to keep on doing that forever.

reminder

Too often, I do something long overdue and, reeling in the simple pleasure afterwards, I wonder “How did it take you so long?” or “Why don’t you do that more often?” So, here’s a little list of little things to remember.

– go to the movies on a hothothot day. Really luxuriate in the air conditioning that chills you to the bone.

– spend more time with your niece. She’s full of surprises in the nicest way.

– get a haircut. You can’t keep your hands out of your hair because it feels so silky.

– file your nails. Look, you have hands just like a grown-up lady! (For about 12 hours before you snag a nail again, but whatever.)

– grapes. It turns out you like ’em!

– open a bottle of wine just for yourself. That’s right, don’t wait for someone to share it with you. Pop the cork, drink a glass or two, and don’t worry whether you’re wasting it. Scandalous!

– kiss your husband. HARD. Make the most of the time you have together.