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I Resolve to Get Rid of Stains

If you’re reading this column, chances are your New Year’s Eve hangover has subsided and your resolutions got packed away the same day you boxed up your Elf on the Shelf.  I’ve never really been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions – “I resolve to give up [fill in the blank],” has just always felt so negative.  Why am I going to start off a brand new year depriving myself of something?  I prefer to use my Resolve to remove stains and not carbs and alcohol, but hey – that’s just me.  Of course, like everyone else, I’ve made my NY lists in years past.  I resolve to give up eating dessert during the week. I resolve to hit the gym a minimum of four times a week. I resolve to lose 10 pounds by Easter.  What I managed to do was eat dessert four times a week, never hit the gym, and gain 10 pounds by Valentine’s Day because I’m an overachiever apparently.

This year, instead of removing things – other than stains – from my life, I’ve decided to add things – so I’m making my NY’s additions list.  In 2014 I’ll be adding…

    • More downtime
    • More yoga
    • More laughter
    • More lightness
    • More acceptance of others and myself
    • More gratitude
    • More LOVE

Adding downtime has always been a challenge for me – I’m a doer.  If I’m lying on the couch, I’m thinking about what needs to be done, what I should be doing, and what ain’t getting done while I’m lying there.  It’s not very relaxing.  Prior to Thanksgiving, I had developed the habit of pulling out my yoga mat every morning and getting a little practice in – even if only for 15-20 minutes. It was starting to transform my life as well as my upper arms, but then I went away on a trip and…well, you know how that goes.  My virtuous morning routine took a flying leap once I got back home. I now look at my yoga mat rolled up in the sunroom and wonder when I’ll find the time, but I’m gonna. Some day.  XXL makes me laugh on most days, but it’s the days when I haven’t allowed myself any downtime or yoga that the laughter is hardest to come by – and the lightness too.  Coincidence?  I think not. Laughter is truly the best medicine, but it’s hard to come by if you’re walking around taking life and yourself a tad too seriously – which we are all likely guilty of on most days. I like to think that God meant life to be fun and enjoyed and not so arduous and soul sucking. Smile a little. Laugh a little. Let a little sunshine into your life. Where there is light, laughter will follow.

Interestingly enough, my lack of yoga produced a Buddha belly.  I think about it constantly – muffin top is a good reminder. I say a lot of negative things about it to myself all day every day. “You shouldn’t eat that. How is that going to make you feel? That is such a cute top – if you ever worked out, maybe you would stand a chance of looking good in it. Why did you eat that chocolate chip cookie the size of Texas if you want to lose weight, loser?”  Ugh.  That is what one of my favorite writers, Anne Lamott, refers to as radio station KFKD, or K-Fu#*ed radio.  The sounds that play in your head 24/7.

Out of the right speaker in your inner ear will come the endless stream of
self-aggrandizement, the recitation of one’s specialness, of how much
more open, and gifted and brilliant and knowing and misunderstood and
humble one is.


Out of the left speaker will be the rap songs of self-loathing, the lists
of all the things one doesn’t do well, of all the mistakes one has made
today and over an entire lifetime, the doubt, the assertion that
everything one touches turns to sh*#, that one doesn’t do relationships
well, that one is in every way a fraud, incapable of selfless love, that
one has no talent or insight, and on and on and on.

When KFKD starts playing in your head, remember you can change the station – you have the power. If you said the things you say to yourself to other people, you likely wouldn’t have any friends and/or everyone would think you were crazy.  Acceptance – I better add that to the list twice.

Gratitude is a tricky beast – when everything is going our way, we sometimes forget how blessed we are in the moment.  When things head south, then the prayers flow easily and freely and we begin to realize how blessed we were yesterday – before the car wouldn’t start or you didn’t notice the change in the freckle. Or – we save up our gratitude for Thanksgiving.  Facebook was blowing up with “Today I am thankful for…” posts back in November.  For my own personal practice, Santa brought me a gratitude journal so I can log my bounty daily. I have a lot to be grateful for starting with XXL, an abundance of family and friends, a wonderful home and a job that I love and people I love working for.  My cup doth overflow.

If you want to add instant love into your life, rescue a pound puppy or kitten. We did both in December and our home is exploding with love.  XXL proclaimed when we first met that he wasn’t a cat person – he was a dog guy.  We blended our families and joined his best friend aka Buck the golden retriever with my baby girl aka moody tabby, Safari.  Our hearts broke in a million pieces when they each got sick (Buck in March; Safari in November) and we had to say goodbye.  If you’ve never had to do that, feel blessed – it’s a really tough thing.  Anyhow, during their time together, Safari grew on XXL, and they found a mutual respect.  Seeing how heartbroken I was over losing Safari, XXL begrudgingly agreed to welcome a new kitty into our home, and we decided to add a puppy as well so they could grow up together and keep each other company.  The kitty, Macey, came home first and XXL was immediately smitten.  You haven’t seen love until you’ve seen a grown arse 6’2” man kiss all over a three pound kitten.  I didn’t think I could love anything more than that little adorable gray ball of fur, but I think once our puppy arrives (we just passed the adoption approval process), I’m sure my heart will expand even more.

I don’t know what 2014 holds in store, but speaking of store, I probably better get some Resolve.  I’m pretty sure that the addition of puppy and kitty are going to mean I need to add some Resolve into my life for all those stains.

Cheers to a blessed and bountiful 2014.

Written by: Lori Welch

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