Hideas: Dragon Priestess

Once bitten twice shy

I keep my distance but you still catch my eye

Tell me baby, do you recognize me

Well it’s been a year it doesn’t surprise me

Last Christmas I wrapped it up, I sent it

with a note sayin’ ‘I love you’ and I meant it

But I know what I a fool that I’ve been

and if you kissed me now I know you’d fool me again


Every year the holidays go something like this: I start out all bah humbug and refuse to get wrapped up in the hoopla because I remember the let-down from the year before. Then as Solstice approaches I listen to Last Christmas covers on repeat way too many times and start getting all Hallmark-i-fied that this year will be different, that I’ll meet someone special who goes with my friends and I to a mountain lodge and have a magical holiday in a winter wonderland, drinking champagne, riding around looking at Christmas lights and making snow angels. Then inevitably I just wind up deciding at the last-minute to play along with December shenanigans and put up a couple strands of lights, make eggnog lattes and buy some gifts. The magic day(s) come and go, Santa never shows up and nothing has changed except that I’m minus those special bottles of real Russian potato vodka and Austrian apricot schnapps that I was saving for a special occasion. Obviously, I didn’t listen to the actual song lyrics about thwarted romance and a broken heart. Sorry, George.

I’m skipping over all of that this year and jumping straight to New Year’s resolutions because I’m still on the plan to get hawt enough to make my ex eat his heart out. You know, RomCom 101. Bike is part of the plan, of course, so we found some dirt on Thanksgiving and as always, Bike didn’t hold a grudge about how long it had been and we had a great time (yes, its name is Bike). I pledged to get riding more and TRX every morning (weights are a critical component of bone health and strength for women in my, ahem, particular age bracket). But despite how amazing that dirt was and how strong my bond with Bike is, 4:30 a.m. and dark is so much different than a bright November day off.

I told myself just a couple more days—that I’d quit my morning gaming just as soon as I found all eight dragon priest masks and the subsequent two bonus masks. (Although the ceremonial wooden mask doesn’t really do anything except provide transport to the little secret room so it’s arguable that it should even count.) Clearly part of the appeal of video games is this ability to complete a clearly outlined quest and be rewarded for it, coupled with steady leveling up over time. I’m sure there’s research somewhere about that appeal to humans and that I’m not unique in noting it. If only it were as easy to see how life, with consistency in the things that matter over time absolutely levels us up too.

Back to resolutions. I’m embracing a more sustainable attitude. I always expect immediate results like 12-percent bodyfat overnight. But that’s not sustainable and I don’t actually need Olympic-level results. Realistically, I think just steadily moving the ball forward, so to speak, is how I should be seeing it. It’s not flashy, it’s not immediate and maybe expecting myself to get up at 4:30 a.m. to ride uphill into a cold headwind isn’t realistic right now.

Man, I suck at consistency—it always seems so boring. Hello, New Year’s, the magic words.

Maybe the holiday I should really have my eye on is Groundhog Day, or at least the movie; it’s one of my top-five, all-time favorites. The long and short of what is essentially a dharma film wrapped in Murray-ness is that whether you choose to participate or not, the mundane is the essence. Despite being such a favorite and absolutely knowing what the movie is about, I haven’t heeded its simple advice about consistency and making the most of it as you go along. With the added benefit of preparing yourself today for where you want to be tomorrow (because luck favors the prepared, thank you, Edna).

Somehow, now I feel a touch more optimistic than I did before Thanksgiving and have a better plan. Let’s see what Solstice has in store for the end of the year.

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