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Do something for yourself…

Whether you make resolutions, set intentions, or just say to Hell with it, the New Year does have a way of making us look at the world with beginner’s eyes. It’s a clean slate, a starting over point, a reset, a “let’s do things differently”. And whether you maintain it for a year or not even a minute, you can’t help but look at the world in a different way.

I don’t do resolutions. I really don’t set intentions. But I definitely look at the world with beginner’s eyes at the first of every year. Not really a “do over” but certainly a “let’s look at what happened in the last year, learn from it, if possible, and then stretch into the new year”. So, let’s just say I did something FOR myself in this new year and you should do something for yourself, too.

This year, I took New Year, New You to heart. In Italy, it is “New Year, New Life”. Alrighty then! So, I went for it. Something I have wanted to do for my entire life. Yes, my entire life! Here’s the backstory… I inherited the “turkey neck” from the maternal side of my family. It was one of those things you learned to live with because I was born into a serious, White Anglo-Saxon Protestant family…dour Scots, crazy Irish, and pragmatic Germans so you simply didn’t question what you were born with. From the time I was a teenager, no matter how thin I became and believe me, I became really thin, the albatross was still hanging around or maybe better put under my neck. There truly was nothing you could do but live with it. It’s structural. Life isn’t perfect. You’ll get used to it. Well, I never got used it. It plagued me. It always kept me from feeling good about myself because no matter what I did, what I wore, how smart I was, how fit I was, I still had a turkey neck. You can’t always get what you want (Thanks, Mick and Keith). GAH!

Until one day, not very long ago, I saw a family friend who had recently undergone neck lift surgery. She was 80 at the time. 80! And, you know what? She looked great. Not younger mind you but she was clearly a happier version of herself, like a different person. It truly inspired me. Why? Because a woman who had spent her entire life (just like me) with a turkey neck that always bothered her decided to finally take care of herself. This despite people saying, no one sees that but you. Now I think people say those things because they think it will make you feel better. But it doesn’t. It discounts you and your feelings. Because what you think or feel about yourself is really all that matters. And that is important. Do you see a turkey neck every time you look at yourself? Yes. No matter what else is going on with you. Yes. No matter how together the rest of you is. Yes, yes, yes. It bothers you. It keeps you from being you because that neck or whatever attribute it is gets in the way. I was just a big turkey neck.

So, I did it. I decided this would be good for me and that I had every right to do this for me.

Make no mistake, it scared the Hell out of me, but I did it. And, you know what? So far, it’s the best thing I have ever done. And I did it for me. No one else. Just me. I don’t consider myself an inspiration, but I can set an example and I do think I can inspire people to do things even when the whole world is telling you that you can’t. I have done a lot of things that I suppose people would say I couldn’t or worse, I shouldn’t. I changed careers when I was 50 and became a professional chef. I have a solid cooking business where we teach home cooks how to have fun and truly enjoy their time cooking at home for their families and friends.

The journey has been a winding one. I believe it is the journey that matters. So even though I waited far too long, I did what I needed to do for myself. And in the final analysis, maybe it wasn’t too long, maybe it was just right.

If you can imagine it, you can do it. It doesn’t matter your age, gender, race, or anything. If you can see it, you can do it. And don’t wait. However big or small, do something good for yourself. And the thing about journeys…they never end.

“You can’t always get what you want…but if you try sometime, you’ll find you get what you need.”


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