I got a new 2024 planner for Christmas (a present from myself) and dove in like always do about "all the things," new year new me would be doing. Best.year.yet.
But the last couple of days I have also been listening to the funny Wendi Aarons "I'm wearing tunics now" and realized a few things that I hope to bring with me this year.
1.) I am middle age at 41. True, I am on the "young end," but alas, I am here.
2.) While I am in this land, I still do carry a baggage of fucks. Wendi Aarons is in her 50s and she stated that by the time she reached that milestone, she had zero fucks to give. I'm still burdened by what some people think of me and I'm trying to let go of that. I've been a people pleaser, and I don't like that about myself, and I've been working through not apologizing that while I am a rule follower and people pleaser, there are just a list of things I cannot stand by but I'm still too afraid to say it out loud.
3.) while I've never cared about my appearance (Catholic upbringing and vanity being a sin) I am running out of time about my health and while it does correlate to a change in appearance, gluttony is just as bad as vanity and sloth. I'd like to be HERE in my 50s and as a preeclampsia survivor I have stroke and heart risks and boy, is time really ticking.
I need to change that perspective that my health - at (can't believe I'm writing this here but here's to zero fucks) 182 pounds for my *almost 5 foot frame is incredibly unhealthy. I got here stress eating (and not moving) and I need to channel that nervousness energy into one where I'm moving around and grounding myself versus hiding in the pantry and doom thinking.
4.) That being said, however, I'm not going to say no to late night brownie making and eating whenever my tween requests it.
5.) I gave myself a goal of sending a poetry collection to a couple of publishers and after a year, go through the self pub route. I was long listed for one before the inevitable disappointment of being passed; offered a chance to publish but then realized, it was from a vanity press and a slew of rejections dotted 2022.
I stopped writing this year and this fact written down, increased in font size is a major slap for a writer.
I didn't write a single poem; I wrote 3 blog posts over the year and I didn't self publish the collection even though that was the goal.
So for 2024, I'd like to be more authentic to myself. Be the kind of friend I am to myself - the one who is honest, supportive, and encouraging.
Ahem, Dear Leila,
You are going to die of heart disease or hypertensive disorder because of your lifestyle. I know you do not want to die because you want more memories of you, your husband and children.
You are going to start over because there is not such thing as being too old to dream and pursue those dreams. Writing has always given you joy and has helped you stress eat less and have given you clarity in the past.
I do believe in that little girl who still wants to be an author when she grows up. One day we will get there. The dream has been to find "you" in a stack of books at a giant bookstore. What do you say, friend?
This coming year, let us let go of a little less fucks. One day, we will be too tired and too forgetful to care.
Sincerely, a slightly enlightened 2023 Leila.
Wherever you are, Wendi Aarons, thank you so much. This book has been a fun read and as a SAHM the first 6 years of my babies lives, could relate to the loneliness and pettiness of all the mom proms. I cannot wait until I have reached the age of "wisdom" and go unfiltered and unapologetic. I love that motherhood made me an advocate but truly admire that it made you angry enough to push for change and bravely speak on those at womens right marches and conventions. I will use whatever voice I have to speak out and continue to share my motherhood, preeclampsia and postpartum depression stories. Change starts with me.
I drink too much coffee, read too many books, and in between raising miracle babies, I find time to write.
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