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Happy New Year, More or Less

By Lori Welch Brown

new-yearsI haven’t been a fun person to be around lately. I’ve been whiny, moody, impatient, scattered, exhausted, manic, indecisive, FEEL FREE TO STOP ME ANY TIME. Okay—so I’m a horrible, evil person and I should probably be hanged in Market Square. Or—maybe instead I should work out, cut back on the sugar and wine and get a good night’s sleep. In a nutshell, I’m fried. My brain is tapioca, I’m tapped out. My gas tank is on empty. It’s not a great way to start the New Year by any stretch, but I have no one to blame but myself. I’m a people pleasing, ‘never say no’, multi-tasker of the worst kind. If I ever set a professional boundary, it’s been long forgotten. My ego rarely lets me say no—“sure I’ll take that on. I can do it. I’m super woman.” It’s all an elaborate guise to get you to like me. How do you like me now? I’m going to guess the answer is no—at least in this moment because I’m not really liking much of anyone or anything. Those happy Christmas family video people are irritating. My cheerful workmate (size 2, perfectly straight blonde hair) is beyond annoying (eat a cookie for God’s sake), and that baby’s nose is too big—not ALL babies are cute. And, while we are at it, puppies are useless, needy little fur balls. Okay—I haven’t crossed the line over to baby and puppy evildom yet, but it could happen at any minute. And you thought ‘bah humbug’ was reserved for senile ghosts during the month of December? ‘Fraid not. It’s also reserved for over-holiday stimulated middle-aged women apparently. Somebody pass me some fudge, stat.

If you can’t relate at all—well, aren’t you little Miss Sunshine. If you can relate, I’ll meet you at Walmart where we can stand at the entry and make fun of shoppers. We can talk about how that last dozen sugar cookies did us in and how 5 hours sleep a night is just right—especially when you have all that espresso to help. But alas, you and I know it has nothing to do with the holidays—it was a slow roll to get to the sugar-induced zombie state we are currently in. If we’re truthful, it probably started back in 1998, but if you don’t want to travel in the way, way back machine, we can trace it back to Thanksgiving when we started obsessing over Black Friday deals and cyber Monday steals. We worked ourselves into a frenzy over festive fall décor—no more just running over to Pier One for some gold tone napkins and placemats when everyone else you know is making placemats out of magnolia leaves and carving dinner plates out of fallen trees. DIY, people. Lenox is out; roof slate is in. Then we flew right into holiday decorating (live trees only and this year, let’s do TWO), holiday shopping (gift cards are out; hand milled soap is in). What time are you putting that organic bird (of course you hunted yourself—thank you, Duck Dynasty) in the oven? While you were busy walking around the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, I was busy tilling my backyard garden. Did you miss my harvest pictures on Instagram? No worries—you can still buy my corn husk dolls on Etsy. If you want to make them yourself, check out my Garden Craft board on Pinterest. Mashed potatoes, anyone? Message me later and I’ll give you the recipe.

For 2016, I’m going to do a better job of balancing, more or less. I’m committing to more naps and less commitments. More use of the word ‘no’ and less ‘yes’. More quality time and less running around doing stuff. More gym time and less couch time. More letting go and less obsessing. More positive praises and less negative gossip. More conversations and less Facebook. More water and less alcohol. More gratitude and less coveting (sorry, Tory Burch). More being present and less worrying. More pursuing passions and less fearing failure. More volunteering and less shopping. More crayons and less keypads. More kale chips and less potato chips. More fresh air and less desk sitting. More walking and less driving. More cooking and less ordering. More flexibility and less controlling. More Super Soul Sunday and less Dateline.

Of course, in some areas, I’ll need to tighten up the belt. Less stuff and more closet space. Less TV and more reading. Less spending and more saving. Less debt and more financial security. Less stress and more wellness. Less sugar and more energy. Less complaining and more appreciation. Less venting and more yoga. Less whirling dervish and more stillness. Less nagging and more loving. Less talking and more breathing. Less me and more others. Less crying and more celebrating. Less ordinary plates and more good china. Less cheap wine and more good champagne. Less sweat pants and more cocktail dresses. Less sitting and more dancing. Less account balancing and more star gazing. Less chaos and more peace.

Happy New Year to you and yours, more or less.

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