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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Life, Mother f**ker

The thing I love most about New Year’s Eve and day is how everyone is sending collective, positive energy into the universe. Raising the collective vibration, so to speak. It feels like the most positive time with everyone feeling hope for themselves and one another about what the year may have in store. Of course, the reality of a new year is that it holds both good and bad in ways we can’t imagine.

I was thinking back to January 1, 2019, which I honestly can’t recall but what I am certain of is that I couldn’t imagine what the year had in store for Andrea and me, our friends, family members and co-workers.


On New Year’s Eve, we received a FedEx envelope from the realtor we’re partnered with in Virginia. It was full of publications about Lynchburg and neighboring areas. I also received the white board I’d ordered from Amazon so we can keep things straight as we get the house ready for sale. I’d never anticipated any of this on January 1, 2019. Yet, here we are, preparing for a new normal.


Facing a new year though, people resolve what they are going to do or stop doing. Resolutions. No one ever makes these thinking, “Well. I probably won’t be successful with my new years resolutions so here goes nothing!” But the reality is that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. Why is it that despite their best intentions people fail? A lot of people, much smarter than I am, have studied this so there are plenty of good articles out there on this topic. I like this one.


And? I’d add to that list and say life, mother f***er!


Here we are, less than one week into 2020 and we’re on the brink of war with Iran, Australia is burning and the Patriots are not going to the super bowl. Say what? You don’t stress eat? Who are you?


On Friday evening, I called Valvoline again. I’ve written about Valvoline on my blog before and thinly concealed their identify. But to hell with them. They don’t deserve the protection I was affording to them. I digress. I was calling them (again) to inquire about the final reimbursement I was seeking from them in the amount of $414.84. This amount was actually due to a local, small business and Valvoline had picked up the invoice directly from this business to pay it – that’s what they said back in October. Then, somewhere along the way, they decided not to pay it and did not communicate that to me or to the business. If you’re going to make a dick decision, at least have the balls to own it and communicate it (that was a lot of references to male anatomy in one sentence… anyway). I tell the area manager that I will pay the bill and they tell me that's my decision but they aren't reimbursing me. If I decide to to that, that's on me. I tell this area manager that I'm not an asshole so yeah, I am going to do the right thing. Valvoline customer service tells me that their area manager has the final say on such matters so this decision is final. I rage against the poor woman on the other end of the phone who has the misfortune of working for a company that clearly has poor customer service. I’d like to believe they treat their employees better but I’m very skeptical. I teeter on the edge of white hot anger and then hang up after a passionate “goddamn” slips out. Immediately, I think about eating some sugar and/or carb laden indulgence. Then I remember that it’s January 3rd and I’ve resolved to lose weight by making healthy food choices and exercise. I mutter another goddamn and pick up a granny smith apple and a packet of Justin’s almond butter and eat that instead. I feel weirdly full eating this and reflect how I didn't give in to Valvoline induced stress eating in the same way I've given into Trump induced stress eating since 2016 (kidding. Sort of).


None of them are as specific as taking Valvoline to small claims court but Johnston does recommend choosing three or four goals to work on so that you’re not overwhelmed by them. Break those goals down to into actionable steps and check in daily and weekly on your progress. Plan time each week to review your progress. This can be an in depth review or a quick check in, even five minutes can be sufficient for staying on track. Put this review time on your calendar so that you’re reminded to do it.


I'm in a "transformation challenge" where I work out and they have rolled this challenge out in the way Johnston suggests. May the odds be forever in our favor. Happy new year and be part of making that 8% number grow this year!


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