Happy New Year, people. It's crunch time.
I've spent a long December thinking about the way I want this year to be - the way I want to live, the way I want to feel, the way I want to act, the way I want to look. Like I said, this is the Year of Me. I know that sounds all kinds of selfish and whatnot, but it is what it is.
Let me be perfectly honest. I feel like if I put this out there, it will galvanize my New Year's efforts.
I weigh 168 pounds.
There. I said it. One hundred sixty-eight pounds. Holy crap. That is ridiculous. There are some people on whom that would look absolutely delightful - voluptuous, fit, sexy. I am not one of those people. Those people are about six inches taller than me. I look dumpy. Chubby. Pudgy. Squishy. It's uncool.
To that end, I have joined the ranks of the People who Watch their Weight. You know who I'm talking about. The Watchers. I'm one of them now. I have thirty-three pounds to lose to hit my goal - 135 - which is what I weighed pre-babies. That's my goal. Today was Day One on the Core Plan. It's going okay, for now. It's a little tough at times, though. Bread is Not a Core Food. That's all I'm saying. No bread.
I've also been taking advantage of the holiday season to think about the things I truly believe. It's been hard - I'm one of those people who hates to disappoint, and I can't hardly stomach the thought of disappointing my parents by repudiating their value system, but the older I get, the less I can buy into it.
I was raised as a Lutheran. I never particularly had a problem with it. I was properly indoctrinated as a child - Baptists are holy rollers, Catholics are Papists, wine really does turn into blood, and Jesus was both the son of god and a human man. I was always a little peeved that they relegated women to the second chair, but I was willing to overlook that. It's the family religion, and I'm part of the family. That's fine.
But as I get older, I have a harder time swallowing mainstream Christianity. Every culture on the planet has its own creation myth, their own explanation for the things they can't understand, their own deity, no matter what it's called. Who's to say that ours is the "right" one? What if it's not? Who are we to say everyone else is wrong? I just can't buy into that.
What I do believe is that we all live on the Earth, that we have all come from the Earth, and that we will all return to the Earth. I celebrate the turning of the seasons, the endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth and constitutes the year. I celebrate the elements that surround us all - earth, which provides for us and sustains us, our beginning and end. Water, which cleanses and purifies, always changing, never still. Fire, which can both destroy and renew. The air we breathe, which fills us and surrounds us. I think that "god" exists in each and every one of us. We all have the capacity for good and for evil. This duality exists everywhere in nature - dark/light, sun/moon, hot/cold, death/life - and in all of us.
I don't know what I call that. Humanist? Naturist? Dualist? I just want to *be*. I don't want to be ascribed a label - Christian, Jew, Muslim, Pagan. I just want to be free to follow my heart, to explore these beliefs, to celebrate them in my own way. I want to share the beauty of the world with my daughters, without worrying that they'll tell Grandma that Mommy's a pagan or a witch or a satanist.
I can't disappoint my parents. I just can't do it. I don't want to have to pretend to believe something I don't, and I don't want to raise my children to follow blindly, and I don't want to be cast out. I can't figure out how to reconcile those things in any harmonious way. I am stumped.
I also want to work on being a better wife. I don't want to turn into a Dr. Laura disciple, perfecting the care and feeding of my husband, but at the same time, I know that I'm not always giving 100% to our relationship. Neither is he, obviously, and I think I'm going to have to get him on board with this one as well. But if we want to salvage our marriage and have any kind of love left, we need to focus on each other and how to relate. Just one more thing to work on, I suppose. It goes along with working to be a better mom. Maybe next year? (That was a joke. Kind of.)
Mostly, I just want to work on being happy. I'm not quite sure what it is that makes me happy, exactly, but I want to figure it out, and I would like to do it, whatever it is. That might be the most important thing of all.
So. One day down. A lifetime to go. Happy New Year.