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Reparations, 2009

In January I made an actual New Year's Resolution. Well, okay; it wasn't exactly "specific" or "measurable," the way real, adult, professional goals are supposed to be. It was more of a theme, but not one that could be adequately described with words. My new year's resolution was more like the artist formerly known as prince's symbol - elusive, non-descript, cartoonish, even. My life by mid-year was going to epitomize peacefulness, genuineness, gratefulness, graciousness, any -ness I could think of that was consistent with my ever-forming "values." At the time this seemed perfectly reasonable and realistic. By not placing specifics around the resolution formerly known as Fix My Life, it seemed somehow doable, maybe probable, and even enticing. I would simply know when a choice presented itself to me to prove my commitment to The Resolution. You see, the past few years have taken quite a toll, and not necessarily in the way you might assume -- not in all bad ways. Good news in the way of a beautiful home, healthy kids, career recognition, and little joys like the barn kitten we brought home from a Thanksgiving visit to my dad's charmed Kentucky life have been probably appropriately (or at least not surprisingly) balanced by bad news in the form of health scares, horrific family strife, near-fatal accidents, and the stress that accompanied the "career recognition" I just mentioned. The Resolution was going to be my awakening from the comatose survival mode of simply reacting to the chaos around me. I was going to consciously choose everything from my tone of voice when I'm saying, "we use napkins in this house" and "stop licking the seatbelt" to my breathing patterns during mind-numbing, politically charged meetings at work.

Yeah, well, that didn't work for long. The tangible results I was looking for would have shown up first in the mirror, when I would glance there without cringing at the reflection of the dozens of extra pounds that the chaos and resulting coping mechanisms of these past years have cruelly deposited. They would have certainly shown up in my closet, where I would have been able to wear 90% of what hangs there limply instead of the mere 10% that is faded and worn and soon to be stretched to oblivion. While I haven't forgone the possibility of achieving the resolution formerly known as Fix My Life, I have woken up to the reality that the vague, artistic symbol communicating The Resolution needs to be shaped more like a treadmill than a cup of frozen custard and Oreos, or a margarita, or a couch. I know losing weight won't achieve all the "-ness"es I strive for, but I'm awake enough to recognize that I have to start somewhere, and the ability to recognize my own face in the mirror and fit into my own clothes would be a refreshing start.

So, at 5:00 a.m. on June 15th, picture me cursing January and my stupid, stupid, undying theme of a 2009 resolution to Fix My Life. I will be heaving and frowning in an attempt to exercise after only sitting and coping for two years, and wishing I'd picked a "SMART" goal per Corporate America's instructions, one that by now I could have failed to achieve and simply look back and sigh over, like, "oh well, that didn't work out - it was just too darned specific!"