Back to Work! Non-Resolutions and a RAOK

Honestly, if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Can’t win for losin’

Fartin’ diamonds and STILL ain’t happy!

These are all sayings from my vaunted papi.  I don’t know where he got the last one (the others have been in rotation since The Flood)   and why am I spouting all of these?  Because I’m just babbling and….believe it or not, I am OVER the time off.  LOL!  yes.  I am happy to be getting back to work.  Alert the media.  But y’all know how much I love my business, so it’s no real surprise.


But there is other ‘work’.  That work is Me.

These past 5 years have been rough on a gal and I am just now crawling my way out of a depression hole that took me halfway to China (remember that phrase?  “what are you doing? digging a hole to CHINA???” sometime I’ll tell you a story about that line….)  anyway, I was so depressed – but it was one of those functional depressions, y’know?  I could work.  I could eat.  I could shower.  I could even read every now and again.  But I couldn’t look at myself. It was a year (A YEAR!) before I realized that I somehow managed to wash my face, put on a bit of makeup and sort of do mah hurr….without ever looking at myself in the mirror.  The weird part, of course, was that I had no idea I was doing (or not doing) that until one day I looked in the mirror – and I stranger looked back.  That’s now in the past and I am well on the road to Me again – but it’s important for all of us to do a quick check-in every now and again.  Stop and take a look in the mirror – are you present?  I wasn’t – and while I now realize that it was largely a Perfect Storm of external circumstances that caused me to not be present in myself the fact still remains that I. Wasn’t. There.  So…every  now and again, I stop.  Take a breath.  Take a look.  Not at my hair or  skin or    eyebrows.  Start with Me. Look. At. Me  Am ‘I’looking back?  If not, take whatever steps necessary to try to get yourself back in your own game.  It may be therapy, exercise, prayer….no mayhem, though, okay?  Trust me, I considered it.  Then my friend J reminded me that I don’t like relieving myself in front of others, so having to go to the bathroom in a prison yard is something I probably should try to avoid.

Once I checked back in I took a good look at the corporal Me.  What a mess!    So here are a couple of  Non-Resolutions (I’m calling them Works in Progress), to get myself feeling better about how I look – and how I feel.

1.  Mah Hurr.  Okay.  Lemme tell you something:  you wanna add 10 years to your look?  Let your hair go.  I don’t mean color.  I know some Stunning Silvers out there (March! Tamsin!  Carmen dell’Orifice!).  But my hair was lookin’ rough.  Rrrrrufff!  Mostly because I wasn’t doing more than washing it and hoping it didn’t catch on fire.  Love it or loathe it, Facebook has 100,000 groups for curly hair.  My favorite, Curl Crush, turned me on to a method for pre-styling for curly hair:  Bantu Knots.  It’s the perfect solution for lazy folks who have curly hair.  And I’ve become a curly hair product junkie.   I’m a daily washer (not shampoo, but I do get my hair wet in the shower and do a scalp scratch, just to feel like I’m washed from head to toe.  Kiehls Olive Fruit Conditioner is my bff.  The Bantu Knots for a smoother curl.  That’s about the best I can do – I get exhausted just watching the tutorials!   But I am not bitchin’ about the hair, either.  Any hair you have on your head is a good idea, imo.  But it helps if you give it a hand, y’know?

2. Skin:  I made fun of Patty’s incredible research into Korean Skin Care but to be honest, I was sort of into a bit of it already.  My SA Bestie, Andy, gave me a sample of the Tatcha Silk Cream.  .O. M. G.   I’ve never experienced a cream so…..silky.  Alas, at $160 a jar it’s not going to find a home on my vanity any time soon.  But it’s soooo glorious!  See?  Ain’t it just the way?  Here I am, saying “I don’t neeeed anything more”.  I lied.  I need this.    I did splurge on the  Rice Enzyme Polisher – it’s been 3 weeks and my skin looks phenomenal.   In the meantime , I almost fell out of my boots!  Target (in PEORIA!) now carries the entire Laneige line.!!!  Hey, a gal needed a Christmas present.

3.  NO DIETS.  Not happening.  Instead, I have resolved to simply take a minute before I open my mouth and put something in it.    I started this way before the New Year because I got tired of being sluggish and blobby.  This is my approach – ymmv.  But I like to have ALL the stuff I love all around me.  If it’s there I don’t crave it.  I remember someone telling me there are two types of ‘eaters’ in the world – those who can’t leave it alone if it’s in the house and those who don’t worry about it once it’s there – but if it’s not there they obsess over it.  Do you agree with that?  I know I’ve had the same carton of ice cream in the freezer since before Thanksgiving – about half of it’s still there.    Just ‘having’ it seems to reduce the need for it by about 70%.   My friend can’t do that.  If she has a cake in the house, that thing is up at 2am, yelling her name.  I may have already said this but it bears repeating: I pity the hell out of a cake that wakes me up at 2am.

4. Non Resolution:  I am simply going to Live.  Not planning to do anything major.  Just little things, like stopping to look at ice on a branch.  I am still going to bitch about Winter.  I live in the Midwest and it’s cold and snowy and I hate cold and snowy.  But I will take a breath and look at some beauty therein.  And then I’ll get back to bitchin’.  It’s -16F tomorrow, shriekage will commence.

5. Sharing.  I can get a bit hoard-y about the weirdest things (you know the weirdest one?  Stuff designated for Other People.  Not THE stuff – but the stuff I use to make that stuff pretty.  I freakin’ hoard RIBBON, for eff’s sake.  Wth?  I bought the damn ribbon to wrap the damn present!  But…wow.  It’s hard as hell to let go of that stuff.  Wrapping paper – the really pretty stuff.  Oooh!  Note cards.  I buy note cards to …y’know….Send People Notes.  And then I write the notes on some scratch pad.  Yes.  That is just weird.  So I vow to use that stuff.  I promise.


So!  How ’bout I commit a RAOK – and WRAP IT IN A PIECE OF PRETTY PAPER AND (gulp) some RIBBON?  Tell me what you’re hoping to achieve this year – beauty? skin? within?  I’ve got some fun samples (including the really interesting Byredo Mojave Ghost).  I’ll wrap it in some paper…and a ribbon, dagnabit.   I promise.


  • Elena says:

    I want to let go of my fear of failure. So difficult! I also want to start eating a little better, but I still have so many damn chocolates left from the holidays. Urrrgh. Spinach smoothie tomorrow for breakfast, I swear!

  • dawne leedom says:

    To not hold back how I feel or compromise myself in any way. Ever

  • maggiecat says:

    I’ve also committed to taking better, kinder care of myself, pushing myself less, letting others step up more, seeking more being than doing. Wishing you the best in your journsey!

  • Laurels says:

    My goals include getting more exercise–since my old pooch’s hip got too bad to walk much farther than the end of the block, I just have not been motivated. As for my skin, my goal will continue to be just to avoid constantly having a rash. I’m also going to stop waiting to feel better to do the things I want to do. As for the ribbon, if it’s the lovely wired kind, my relatives who aren’t going to reuse it themselves just give it back. It’s not hoarding, it’s being green! (My grandfather’s second wife used to veery carefully remove all the tape from packages, and smooth out and save the paper. Maybe in 20 years I’ll reach that level of eccentricity, I mean ecological awareness.) Here’s hoping that all the changes in our lives in 2015 will eventually be for the better, and that our inevitable losses will be bearable.

  • Janet in California says:

    Thank you for the wake-up call. I slept through the last 10 years of my marriage. Not good for me or my children. Now 10 years later I find myself going back to sleep. Sleeping is easy, life can be hard- can I just say that I am sooo glad 2014 is over?

    Your post is another reminder to be present! Life is flying by and I want to be part of it, not a bystander. Here is wishing strength and resolve to stay awake for all the Posse in 2015.

  • Kandice says:

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through, but I appreciate you sharing your story with us. I saw a little of myself in it, and it was both inspiring and comforting to read your post. Here’s hoping 2015 is full of nothing but joy for everyone at the Posse and all of its readers.

  • tfk31 says:

    Reading this post made me smile and tear up in equal measure. I was once the stranger in the mirror, and it is only in the last 2 years that I have moved forward. The lady looking into the mirror is worth knowing – please keep her in mind, healthy and happy.

    I am not doing any traditional resolutions this year. My spouse of 20 years has announced that he doesn’t love me and is leaving, so I am dedicating this year to reorganizing my life and taking stock of all the good things in my life. That will be enough to see me through – I hope.

    • Lisa D says:

      tfk31, my heart goes out to you – you must be in an upside-down, shocked and surreal state in the aftermath of receiving such news from the person you’ve spent a good deal of your life with. Warm wishes and positive thoughts coming your way!

  • Lisa D says:

    Welcome back to yourself, amiga.

    I just ordered the Tatcha enzyme powder, because I need a gentle exfoliant in my life! I don’t really have any big resolutions, but I feel like I’m consciously (as opposed to blindly) moving in positive directions most of the time, and that feels good.

  • Mrs. Honey says:

    I resolve to have lunch once a month with my mother. I have been talking to her weekly but only seeing her on holidays.

  • poodle says:

    Keep smiling girlfriend! I’m glad you’re starting to feel like yourself again. It was a rough year. Here’s hoping 2015 brings better things your way! I’m resolving to eat more chocolate and have a few more cocktails. I’m sick of resolutions I can’t keep. I think I might have a chance keeping those. 😉

  • Katherine says:

    Thank you so much for this post. After 25 years, I’m going back to school to do what I’ve always wanted. I’ve always done things other people wanted me to do and never for myself. I’m also looking for another job which is scary for me at my age. Here’s to a great new year.

  • Spiker says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you’re coming back to yourself. It’s easy to fall into ruts and neglect yourself, even without those external problems bringing you down.

    It’s a cliche, but I’m going with the classic resolutions/goals/non-resolutions this year – to eat more healthy food, move more and simply take better care of myself.

  • teri says:

    The last couple of months have been a ‘the lord giveth and the lord taketh away’ time for me. My employer has decided, at 60, that they no longer want me traipsing around the world and out in the oil field. They of course can’t say I’m too old, but the inference is there. My eventual replacement has been hired and is starting in February. So the next few trips I take to introduce the newbie around will be my last. After that, I’ll be desk bound for the remainder of my working life. This will be incredibly tough for me, as the thing I most enjoyed about my job was all the travel and the opportunity to be outside in the elements. I have been doing this for over 14 years now, since my husband died in 2000, and I don’t have hobbies or friends or other groups to fall back on to entertain me in all my spare time. There hasn’t been any spare time. I’ll have to reach out and aggressively work to find such things. I’m not sure I have the courage for that at this point in life.

    But, there is also the ‘giveth’ side. My first grandchild, a boy, is due on April 28th. Doing less traveling for work will give me more opportunities to hop on a plane for the weekends to spend some time with him when he arrives. I know how much I’ll enjoy that.

    In the meantime, I am swinging from despair to elation and back again. Hopefully this will all even out eventually, but in the meantime, it’s one heck of an emotional ride.

    But, as always, I’ll smell good doin’ it! 😉

    Musette, you’ve had a lot to deal with. We know about your doggies passing, and I’m sure that’s just been the tip of the iceberg. But it’s lovely to see that your irrepressible spirit is bringing you back from the dark side. Chin up, girlfriend!

  • Lavanya says:

    Happy New Year dear Musette!

    The tatcha products are nice! I recently used their friends and family 20% to buy the cleansing oil for my sister. In that process I tried a few products (via free samples) including the rice enzyme powder. Quite nice. I will keep in mind to try the silk cream when I get the chance.

  • eleebelle says:

    I’m glad you wrote this. I can really relate to the feeling of being detached from yourself and hearing someone else talk about it makes it seem less like something I made up, and more like something that needs to be addressed, because it *is* real. Thanks for sharing, and for the reminder to take care of ourselves. My resolution every year is to be a better me, but I get to define that however I like, and change it as often as I need to, in order to get to a place where I feel like I’m at my best. This year, you’ve inspired me to add a bit more caring for myself. (Though I’m sure I won’t stop hoarding wrapping supplies… and my goodness, all the gift bags…)

  • Musette, I love your non-resolutions; I can relate to most of them. I buy pretty note cards and then keep them for myself, hidden away in a desk drawer. No more. I am gonna share.

    And DIETING… I started keeping a handful of Lindt truffles in my car for chocolate emergencies. So far, they’ve been out there in the cold since before Christmas. I figure if I’m at work, I can always go to the car for choccies if I really need to. Then I’ll decide it’s too cold, too wet, too early in the day, too late, etc. I’m hoping I can keep them out there until Spring. I don’t dare bring chocolate or other such goodies into the house, I will polish them off in no time.

    The corporeal me. Your post is a real eye-opener for me. Much for me to consider, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    A while ago you sent me a sample of Mojave Ghost and although it was nice, it didn’t stick around on my skin long enough to give me much of anything to say about it. Thanks for it, though, and other nice things you sent. Needless to say, don’t include me on any ROAK draw this time around. I would like to send YOU something.

    Oh, and thanks for the tip about Laneige. I hardly ever shop at my Target anymore; they used to have such a nice lingerie and sleepwear department, years ago, then the buyer (or something) changed and now it is all cheap junk.

    Much love to you and all of your readers who share both their pains and their joys. All the best to you, and to us, for 2015!

  • Nemo says:

    Thank you for a wonderfully thought provoking post. I could also stand to take care of myself better in a lot of little ways. This year I would like to allow myself to get the proper amount of sleep (which is longer than feels decent, but I guess everyone is different), and also eat just a wee more healthily (maybe save the whoopie pies for dessert instead of having it for breakfast?). I imagine it will always be a work in progress, and that is okay.

  • Ann says:

    Oh, darling, what an eye-opening post! I am so very, very glad that you are really “seeing” yourself again and are getting back on track. You’ve gotta take care of yourself — you are such a treasure to us all. But I do understand; at times it feels like I’m just moving on automatic pilot, almost in a fog, a protective mechanism just to get by. But I guess the stresses of aging, work, dealing with a difficult child (with ADHD/anxiety/OCD) can do that to you. I’ll now try to be more aware (and I always try to be grateful for my many blessings). Thank you for the inspiration that you always give us!

  • dinazad says:

    Congratulations on the non-resolutions and good luck with keeping them!
    But as for being a hoarder….puh-leeeeze. That’s nothing! Me, I keep, wash and iron every bit of ribbon from any presents I get. I pick up, wash and store coverings of foldable umbrellas I find in the street (I have no idea what I’m going to do with them. An umbrella-cover-patchwork-quilt?). Not to mention pretty pebbles, books, feathers, and all the other things cluttering my household. So my (non-)resolution is largely the same as last year: give away stuff. Get rid of stuff. Have less stuff.
    And try to have a life even with mom getting weaker every day and not liking the caregiver we engaged for her, sis traipsing about South America, the cat disappearing for two days during the worst frost of the winter so far, the dog refusing to eat for a week, etc. etc. etc. That’s just life, after all. Take it in stride and enjoy what you have.

  • Andreasd says:

    I like your non-resolutions! Hate being pushed, even by myself. Will allow myself to go to bed if I am tired in 2015. Unless…

  • rosarita says:

    I admire the honesty in all your posts, Ms A. You are an inspiration! I am striving to take better care of myself. There are some major health issues that I have been ignoring for too long, it’s time to get conscious. And to get more movement into my life!

  • springpansy says:

    What a beautiful post! Life is challenging. Pretty sure we’re a similar age and I will say that getting older gracefully is not easy. Menopause, empty nest, marriage ups and downs, work lay-offs, changes in how one looks… I like your non-resolution ideas, too. I am committed to being open to new things, spending time with friends, taking chances and working out. I am glad you are seeing your wonderful self again and thanks for writing for all of us!

  • Connie says:

    Hang in there! I’m hoping this year to move past depression and an eating disorder. So far recovery is going well and I have a lot of support. But I just want to feel normal again. I hope 2015 brings you great things, Musette!

  • Portia says:

    Hey there Musette,
    DNEM but I want to tell you that I am going to try and speak my mind this year. So many times I keep what I want to say (usually the hard stuff) to myself and smile and nod.
    It’s hard to believe but it’s true.
    This year I will try to say my heart more. If I don’t let that stuff out I fear it will curdle inside me.
    Portia xx

  • Neva says:

    Oh, what a lovely post 🙂 I understand you so well…I’m around fifty and some years ago it hit me like a hammer – less interest in my own (and sexy men’s) bodies…what??? Ok, it took me maybe one year and I’ve put up with it. I neglected myself a bit for a while, but today I’m again in great shape physically and mentally. I discovered (power) yoga, meditation, ayurvedic medicine…it works very well for me!
    As for the New Year’s resolutions – honestly, I forgot to make one for this year. It’s perhaps because I know now that if I just continue to follow my path and take it easy, everything will turn out perfectly well for me and the people around me.
    …but I know this one too: I’ll spend more money on perfume and scents and less on clothes and shoes 😉
    I wish you a wonderful year and strength to stick to your Non-Resolutions!!!

  • solanace says:

    Dear Musette, I’m happy to know you’re back to yourself. I realized I was back to my old frame of mind a few months ago, when I was able to swim by myself at the sea with no fear a jelly fish would sting my face or a shark would eat my leg, just savouring the moment. It’s good to be over, and it seems so easy, when it’s over. These next months we will have to move, and instead of crying over my lemon tree end my two jasmine bushes, I’m determinded to remain positive and see it as a new beginning.

  • anon says:

    Musette, you nailed it as always, you just shine through in your writing, I really love it. I lost my job in June. But I’ve been having a ball. The freedom is amazing. I utterly feel that it is a luxury to be able to just be. This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve ever really been able to do this. And I have so loved just being able to be present for my daughters, rather than constantly juggling stuff and being distracted. It has been a gift.

    And being a woman of a certain age who was crying every day, I must say my doctor’s insistence that I try ‘happy pills’ despite my complete and utter distrust of chemical intervention has been pretty much life changing. I’m no longer wondering why I’m married and putting up with so much. It turns out it was all in my head. Pretty scary looking back on it really. And I’ve always thought of myself as reasonably well- balanced and pragmatic… Hormones, I tell ya…

    Non-resolutions – seize the moment, eat better, love better, be generous, look after my body better, tidy the house, rationalise the clutter/hoarding, rationalise the perfume collection to the stuff I love rather than just yeah kinda okay, find meaningful paying work. Should keep me going for a while 🙂

    Thanks for your honesty Musette, it’s beautiful.

    • Musette says:

      Crap! on the job loss but WOW! on your approach to dealing with it! Wow!!! I am wishing you the very, very best as you embark on your non-rezs! xoxoxoA

  • FeralJasmine says:

    Ooh, I love wrapping paper and ribbons! I’m working on intensifying my workouts and keeping my meals very healthy, and a little more portion control certainly wouldn’t hurt. Mostly, though, having had four deaths among my nearest and dearest in the last two years, I am cherishing the friends I have left and making sure to spend time with some new ones too. Sorry you have had a rough time, and I am so glad that you’re looking at yourself more clearly.

    • Musette says:

      Sounds like you are off to a good start, FJ. Loss sucks. Cherishing old (and developing new) friends is a wonderful way to honor those we’ve lost. xoxoxoA

  • Sun Mi says:

    This was such a good post to read – I’m glad you’re back with yourself. I too went through a depression for several years – and it’s great to be back to feeling like me. I’m hoping to get some sleep this year (my baby is just about to turn 8 months)… I’m also hoping to take better care of myself and my family. We need to eat more healthily, exercise, and my hubby needs to feel as important as the baby. 🙂 Cheers to a happy 2015!

  • Rincoglionita says:

    What I’m striving for this year is a sense of enough – to be where I am and how I am and be satisfied with it.

    • Musette says:

      That’s something to strive for, indeed. And it’s really the only sensible way to live, imo. That doesn’t mean you have to ‘settle’ (which is what I think most people think). But where you are At That Moment has validity.