He’s making a list and checking it twice. Children, naughty or nice, steadied their hands and licked their chops, fisted a Crayola to share their deepest wishes and wants in their finest penmanship. Dear Santa. Parents added, "Mail Dear Santa letter" to their holiday task list. Come December everyone has a list. We still do, even the day after The Big Day.
The magazines had give good gift lists from the fantasy to the frugal. Mere mortals drafted to-do lists filled with busy. And now the lists have changed to returns, picking up dry cleaning, and something to wear for amateur night (aka New Year’s Eve). "New thighs" someone might add, already thinking of her resolution list for the new year. The "lose weight" and "get in shape" commercials begin to air now, urging us to change for the better. Add it to your list. It’s no wonder people get depressed over the holidays. I wish the commercials sold you something else: something about contentment. Emphasizing how we should be thankful for all we already have, and most importantly, all we already are. Not, "lose the love-handles" but "learn to fucking love your love-handles. He clearly does, or he wouldn’t have married you." Or at least, "learn to care less about the things you really shouldn’t care so much about."
Your health is important. If your doctor says you’re at a healthy weight, that should be enough. It just should. It shouldn’t be about joining Weight Watchers. It should be about getting more life out of your life. If my days feel more free, or somehow give me a greater sense of clarity and accomplishment when I begin early, when I get to Town Lake for a walk with the double-jogger, then do it for that. For living freer, for feeling better, for feeling like you’re making choices that matter. And on days you choose not to, on days you’re too tired, or it’s too cold, or you’re just not motivated: here’s a novel concept: say "good for you!" Because life’s too short to regret things like that. It’s too short to feel sorry about being too tired or lazy to move. Which seems strange, embracing not embracing everything life has to offer. But there’s something to be said for the smaller moments, when we don’t do much of anything. I think in a way it’s what we all most have in common. Sweatpants living.
My list of wants is still silly, but it’s mine. I want more time to play with photographs, to scrapbook and make baby food. I want more time to read, to decorate, to learn new automator techniques to make my love of Mac all the more. Sure, I’d like to fit into smaller jeans, but really, at the end of the day, I’d rather use my free time learning, reading, pasting things and playing with buttons–not the ones on my clothes. Sewing them onto things. Sewing, in general. Learning to make a proper quilt (two actually) from their special baby clothes, something they’ll always have, maybe even incorporating photos, like in the movie Stepmom. Learning more about the Nikon D300 I’m about to purchase because my Nikon D100 shutter has officially crapped out (fixing it costs upward of $300, so I’m upgrading). I cannot wait to study the manual and learn even more fun ways to digitally process my life. See, I’d rather be creating keepsakes and new memories to keep than keeping up with the past. Life’s too short for long lists.