Resolve [ 2003-12-31, 7:20 p.m. ]

I didn’t make any resolutions on New Year’s Eve last year. I was drunk and stressed out and consumed with our wedding, which was in February. Kent and I had dinner at our favorite restaurant with Mr. and Mrs. BritGirl, then stumbled home. I woke up on January 1st and realized that, “Holy shit, I’m getting married this year.”

This year, however, I am cool, calm, collected and composed. Or, at least, I’m not the wild-eyed terror I was last year. Kent and I are having dinner tonight with 10 other couples, including my parents and my brother M and his girlfriend. The relief of not having any impending nuptials, career changes or apartment moves is palpable. Which leaves me free to reflect and resolve.

I used to make laundry lists of resolutions. Lose weight, cook more, eat better, exercise more, save money, read more, write more, keep in better touch with friends, shop less, take a class, take a trip, take a break.

A few years ago, however, I made just one resolution – drink more water. And you know what? I drank more water. And I felt healthier and my skin looked better and I didn’t get sick as much. And I kept my resolution – still. And then it dawned on me that if I really wanted to make resolutions – really change something – I should be specific and small-scale. Simply listing all the things about myself that I wished were different was no help, and did nothing but make me feel bad. So since then I’ve made one or two small but specific resolutions on New Year’s…save for last year, when I think I just wanted to make it to February without a total meltdown.

So as 2004 waits in the wings, I am resolving the following: to dress more femininely. It probably sounds silly and insignificant, but I am a firm believer in the power of suggestion, and I want to elevate myself to a more adult and sophisticated place. Does what I wear really change who I am, at heart? No, but I think it has a lot to do with how I act and how I present myself, which, in turn, determines a lot about what life I will live. And I have been living a jeans-and-chapstick life for too long. As flattering as it may be to pass for a 24-year old, I am done with college, done with those years, and I want to embrace my adult self and stand proudly in my high heels.

Fashion may be on the surface, but it is not inconsequential. We have total freedom over our appearances, and so how one presents him or herself says a lot about that person. I am no longer a kid, no longer trying to find myself, nor trying to find a partner. I am ready to stop looking and start living, and I am proud of having lived 28 years in my body. I look forward to every decade that lies ahead, and I choose to face the future with a more polished wardrobe, to match the more polished woman I hope to become.

So that’s it – my New Year’s resolution. I suppose a fringe benefit is that I can now justify more of my shopping, but really, it’s about a change in attitude.

And with that, I wish all of you a very happy New Year. When 2003 dawned, I had no idea that online journals and forums even existed; now they are a much-loved part of my life. Thank you to all of my (4? 5?!) readers – be safe, happy and warm this New Year’s Eve.

Oh, and if I were to do the laundry list resolutions, here’s a sampling…start running, take more yoga classes, cook 4 nights a week, shop less, write more, do laundry twice a week, clean out the closets, be more patient, learn HTML, get old clothes tailored, floss regularly, try self-tanner, and learn how to straighten hair.

PS - I plan on bringing my camera to dinner tonight, so hopefully I will have lots of fun pics to post soon, potentially of me in a low-cut top. (Ha! Me...cleavage...ha!)

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