, Salem, MA

January 1, 2014

Column: 2014: Sorry, but there won’t be any more excuses from me

Mary Alice Cookson
The Salem News

---- — Another year has passed. It’s time to take stock of all the things that are working and not working in my life. As my yoga teacher always says, it’s time to “put out to the universe all the things I’m calling for and let go of all the things that no longer serve me.”

Truth is, when you are a woman of a certain age, and a parent, you generally aren’t “served” that much. You tend to do the serving! So, if I let go of all the things that no longer serve me, well, let’s just say, there wouldn’t be all that much left.

But here’s a list of things I’m calling for this year, as well as things I’m letting go.

Calling for:

Kindness — in how I deal with people and how people deal with me. I dislike jerks. I don’t want to be one, and I certainly don’t want to interact with one.

Openness — in speaking up about what I really feel. Sometimes, this is difficult when you know from experience that the other person isn’t going to “get” you and might even roll their eyes or make some derogatory gesture indicating they think you’re crazy. But I’m going to hold tight and speak up, nonetheless.

Acceptance — in knowing when something “is what it is” and isn’t going to change. The “is what it is” quote has really annoyed me in the past. It’s such a cliché! “You are where you are” is another one. But I’m going to embrace the basic message of accepting reality and stop dwelling in La-La Land.

Letting go of:

Apologizing — when something’s not my fault. (Sorry, but when I’m in an aisle at CVS and someone bumps into me, I’m no longer going to say, “I’m sorry.” Sorry, but you’re going to have to deal with it.)

Reaching for wine — when water is better for me and is probably what I really need!

Excuses — for why I’m not doing things I want to do and know are good for me, like making time for friends, getting a decent night’s sleep and pursuing dreams.

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy New Year and hoping your resolutions for 2014 will be achieved. (If they aren’t, don’t apologize. Just accept it “is what it is” and move on already!)


Mary Alice Cookson is a columnist and magazine editor. She lives in Beverly, and welcomes comments at