I welcomed the new year in my sweats from 1985. They still fit, but only because the elastic exploded in 2005.
There is a hole around the upper right thigh, and the white string was sucked into the waistband five years ago and I haven’t seen it since.
I also have a pair of jeans that I love just as much. In fact, I’m wearing them right now, even though I once washed them with a highlighter in the pocket and they are fifty percent yellow.
I wore them the other night when we had friends over, and my daughter walked by and whispered in my ear, “Nice. Wore your good jeans, I see.”
And they ARE my good jeans.
Because I don’t have to break them in. I don’t have to keep taking Tums because the tight waist has given me heartburn. I don’t have to get up and down because the feeling in my thighs left fifteen minutes earlier.
My old clothes know what they are, and they are unapologetic about it.
In 2017, I want to be more like my old pants. . .
While I might work to be more disciplined, more prolific with my writing, and better known as a speaker, I also want to be comfortable with who I am.
When I become more like my sweatpants, I will:
- Stop worrying about pleasing people. I have had people critique my writing and call me names I refuse to print here. I have had colleagues who found me too opinionated. I have had coaches who told me to stop being funny and show my heart. Well, being funny IS my heart. It’s how I make people (including myself) feel better. My gifts were given to me at birth, and like my sweatpants, I’m going to wear those gifts out.
- Stop being uncomfortable. I have a habit of trying to choose topics that interest people around me, but aren’t always intriguing to me. I have chosen work opportunities that tighten my emotional waistband and give me gas. I am often careful about what I share with people, worried that they might not like me. That comes from being a preacher’s kid, where there is a 90% chance you will upset someone every single Sunday. The only thing more uncomfortable than paying attention to what you say is not saying what you mean. So, watch out 2017.
- Let myself have gaps and focus on the strengths. My sweatpants have more holes than material, but I love the automatic air conditioning those gaps provide. I have discovered that flaws aren’t a problem, they are a part of the solution. I am the whole package, and the flaws provide a chance to breathe between accomplishments.
I know that these resolutions sound great on paper, and that by the end of the day I will be deleting a social media comment because I’m worried that I’ve upset somebody. I realize that tomorrow, somebody will find me too opinionated, and I will keep my husband up until 2:00 a.m. trying to figure it all out.
But I’m not backing off. Why? Because my memory is getting bad and I will forget some of this within the hour. But also, because I want to see what I do in a year where this middle child and preacher’s kid doesn’t try to keep the peace.
So, if you see me on the street in crappy sweatpants, just wave and say, “Good for you!” But if you don’t like satire or a strong opinion, wave from a distance.
Because I am the girl in the traveling sweatpants.