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Published By Elaine Sanchez on January 05, 2016

My mother used to say one of the best things about being an old, white-haired lady is that you can say almost anything you want and get away with it. I haven’t let my hair go white yet, but I have reached a stage in my life that I no longer feel obligated to make new year’s resolutions. Here are three resolutions I will NOT make for 2016:

  1. I will NOT resolve to lose 10 pounds. I have done that a number of times, and I don’t have to prove that I can do it again. It doesn’t matter if I pack on a few extra pounds, because as an older woman, I’m invisible to most people anyhow. My real friends will compliment me when I look nice, and they will keep their mouths shut if I get a little pudgy.
  2. I will NOT resolve to get organized. I have accepted that my desk will always be messy, my spices will never be alphabetized, and there will always be a stack of unsorted mail on my kitchen counter.
  3. And finally, I will NOT spend time or energy on events I cannot control. I am aware that 2016 will bring more difficult times, but I refuse to become cynical or live in fear. I choose to believe that when life is unbearably hard, it is still precious and worth living.

As with most people who are well past the midpoint in their lives, I have suffered enough failures, losses and grief to begin the new year knowing that regardless of what happens, I will somehow find the strength, faith and courage to go on, and that even in our darkest hours, it is possible to experience love, forgiveness and joy.

Wishing you all the best in 2016!

Elaine K. Sanchez is a caregiver speaker and the author of the unflinchingly honest and uproariously funny book, “Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver.” She is also the co-founder of, an online program that helps family and professional caregivers cope with the anger, guilt, depression and grief associated with caring for those who can no longer care for themselves. She also writes the blog "Caregiver Help Word of the Day."

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