Happy New Year!!

Today is my birthday. My 35th birthday. 35th. That’s 35. Yep…Thir-Tee-Five.

For some reason that’s seeming like a really big milestone. The quote from Mom’s birthday card summed it up nicely:

“Thirty-Five is a very attractive age; London society is full of women who of their own free choice remained Thirty-Five for years.” — Oscar Wilde

Janaan’s card also summed it up nicely:

“Happy 35th Birthday! Wow. 35 years old. If this were the 1700s, you’d be dead.”

I have been thinking A LOT about what my New Year’s resolutions should be for this year. Oh yeah, and I’ve decided that I don’t like January 1st to be the start of the New Year. I mean really, you kick things off with Halloween and ride the sugar/starch/alcohol/turkey train for eight weeks and just when the days are at their coldest and bleakest and you’re at your most pasty, you’re supposed to get inspired. I don’t buy it. I’m off January 1st. I’m onto April 18th. So there. Today is my New Year.

But I digress. THE POINT IS: Resolutions.

After MUCH consideration, I have settled on the following New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs). There are only three. I worked for this guy once that said that people can’t really wrap their heads around more than three objectives, and I tend to agree. I personally like to just have a single NYR that I can really focus on, but what can I say, I like to raise the bar. Let’s make it three shall we?

NYR 1: Live life wholehearted.

I have been obsessing for the last few months about how Americans, and especially the American news media, has cultivated a culture of fear. Around Thanksgiving I discovered the song “Afraid of Everyone” by The National. The song is perfection. It is gut wrenching and gorgeous and I absolutely love it. It says everything I want to say.

So I started thinking that I wanted my New Year’s resolution to have something to do with basically saying a big “F**k You” to the fear mongers. I was not going to let fear take over MY life.

But the problem is that I am also a big believer in the Law of Attraction. Like attracts like. What you put your energy into expands. And I don’t really want to put all of my energy into hating fear, you know? That doesn’t exactly seem productive. In fact, it seems downright depressing.

The other problem is that I also truly believe in people. I believe that we are capable of oh so much more than we think we are.

Oh, and I absolutely believe in LOVE. Big, wild, ridiculous amounts of love.

Then a few weeks ago my lovely friend Tiffany sent me this link from a TED conference – Brene Brown on Vulnerability.

And that’s when I figured it out. It’s not about being against fear. It’s about living your life WHOLEHEARTED. It’s about BIG.WILD.RIDICULOUS. amounts of love. And in living your life wholehearted, you are going to have to put yourself out there. Big time. And you are going to get hurt. And you might get hurt big time. But it will be worth it, because without it, there is no hope for connection – with yourself or with others.

We are imperfect. We are wired for struggle. But we are worthy of love and belonging.
What we do has an affect on people. 
We must let ourselves be seen, deeply seen.
We must love with our whole hearts, even though there is no guarantee.
We must practice gratitude and joy, even in moments of terror. To feel vulnerable means I’m alive.
We are enough. When we believe that we stop screaming and start listening. We are kinder and gentler to each other, and to ourselves.

I finally understand why I should run towards the fear.

NR 2: Be the magic. 

This year, I will have been doing what I do for a living for 16 years. And I feel like all of the hard work that I have done has led me into the most incredible job opportunity I’ve ever had. I am on this team of people that are smart and talented and driven and way, WAY ahead of where most teams are that do what I do. I have oh so much to learn from all of these people.

Our team motto this year is to Be the Magic. This was said in jest, but it has caught on. We are DOERS. We MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.

I love it. I’m SO on board. I think this could be the most productive year of my career, and I can’t even tell you how excited I am about it.

NR 3: Love the skin I’m in.

I have had the same body pretty much my entire adult life. I am not grossly overweight, but I’m not exactly skinny. I have a maximum weight cap that I will allow myself to get to before I totally freak out and crash diet my way down into a safety zone.

Some year’s I’ve definitely looked better than others, but I’ve really never been happy with my body. I don’t wish for some body that I used to have either. I mean, the 19 year old me was certainly thinner, but not really healthier.

This year, I want to do everything I possibly can to love the skin that I am in. To have the best body possible for me. Will I look like I should be on the cover of a magazine? Not a chance. But that’s not what I’m after. I want to learn how this amazing machine works. I want to understand what I need to do to make it last for a long long time. I want to be able to look in the mirror and say “alrighty then, well done.”

So there you have it. New Years: 2011-2012. I have felt so incredibly loved and blessed today. I am the happiest I’ve ever been and I cannot wait to see what this New Year brings.

All My Love,

Natalie (Age 35. Yes. 35.)

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