Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

4010915224_eb74e98932_zImage from Flickr via

Today is the first day of 2015.  I chose a great many “age inappropriate” resolutions as my focus for 2014. Like many of you, I made some changes in my life that were the result of resolutions, but also found that wishing it so won’t necessarily make it so. And sometimes that isn’t such a bad thing.

These were my resolutions for 2014, and here’s how they turned out.

1. “Sign emails XOXO. I have a dear friend who does this.  She is joyful, generous, authentic . . . and over 50, thank you very much.  So for those of you whom I care about, get ready!  XOXO”

I tried.  I really tried.  I started out by sending notes to The Husband and signing these XOXO.  He didn’t appear to notice. Then I sent an email to the oldest son, who might be a bit judgmental of Mother’s behavior choices at times. I did get a response.  “What is this? Are you trying to act like my BFF?” Not encouraging. I tried to close emails to adult friends with XOXO.  I hated the way it looked when my name followed. It was, in a word, inauthentic. I am comfortable with Warmly, Warm Wishes, Best, Sincerely, and sometimes . . . Fondly.  XOXO and I never became best friends, even thought my BFF and XOXO are perfect together.

2. Let my hair grow. I was always told, “When you get older, keep your hair short.  Hair length below the chin brings focus to the jawline and neck.” I like my neck.

I certainly grew my hair long. I am lucky that my hair grows fast and that it is thick. But I have a 1960s Southern sensibility about my hair. That means big hair.  Especially when long.  So imagine how I looked when my hair entered rooms before my face. I looked like an aging Country Music star. My hairdresser was thrilled when I capitulated to his repeated requests to “cut that hair or move to Dollyville.”

3. Continue to work more than full time at my advanced age. I like to work.  Retirement sounds like purgatory to me.

This was an easy resolution:  2014 was a great year for my practice growth, for my work as the Director of the Women’s Center at the Weill Cornell Community Clinic, which is run by the medical students, and my fulfilling work as publisher and medical editor of

4. Flirt more.  May have to decrease working hours.

Somehow I found the time to flirt even more than in 2013!  Priorities indeed.

5. Take pole dancing classes.

There was a small hitch, and it was, oddly enough, in my pelvis . . . not to overshare. I had a hysterectomy in 2014 and was back at work full time in two weeks. But pole dancing and recovery from a hysterectomy just don’t go together. Next year.

6. Channel Diana Vreeland and wear red lipstick every day.

This resolution was a great success. I love my new red lipstick, and do wear it every day. I know I am superficial, but my red lipstick makes me feel like a superwoman: Scarlett saves the day, every day!

 7. Snag tickets to Beyoncé concert and wear new leather pants.

Even though I faithfully followed Beyoncé on Twitter, I was never invited to that concert. I tried to bid on Beyoncé tickets at a Gala auction, but the price went up so quickly that my financial oxygen mask fell out of the ceiling. I look great in the pants, though.

8. Learn to twerk.

Truth: I didn’t really know what twerking was. Then I looked at this YouTube video and realized that I had never been this young or this agile. Not for me.


9. Finally take that driving course at the Skip Barber Racing School. I love fast cars.  

There was something really demanding on top of all the regular time drains in my life every month this year: a son’s wedding, a sister-in-law’s big destination birthday, long-distance renovation of the little pink house down south—oh, and that pesky hysterectomy. No time to head out to Lime Rock, Connecticut, for a day of special instruction in the art of drifting and driving the figure 8. I did visit the Ferrari showroom in New York that is close to my office so often that I was sort of accused of being a stalker.  Next year I’ll take that driving class.

 10. Text friends regularly, using acronyms such as—

          2moro (duh)

          IMHO—In my humble opinion (not likely)

          STBY—Sucks To Be You (do young people actually say this to another person?)

          IRL—In Real Life

I never used any of these acronyms.  I remain infamous for long-form journalism texts.

In 2015 I resolve to appreciate my health, love my friends even more, say yes to everything and think about it later. I resolve to fill 2015 with imagination, laughter, and joy.


Warm Regards,

Dr. Pat


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  • Brooke Marrone January 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Maybe this year you can keep things simple and maybe swap out the pole dancing for a nice Yoga class! As your personal trainer that would make me ecstatic! You always make me laugh, looking forward to seeing you this week! XO 🙂

  • hillsmom January 3, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Sorry to be tardy in wishing Dr. Pat a marvelous 2015. Forget the “Twerking”…looks like a perfectly good way to put your back out…ouch! Also that silly Miley person who does that, should be called “Twerp” IMHO.

    Thanks for explaining some of the acronyms. I drove Porches for 23 years…including the nursery school carpool which the kids loved! Of course that was before all the safety regulations, but it kept me from being a “Main Line Matron”. Naturally my Porches were bright red, however my lipstick is not now. xo

  • Alice cathrall January 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Loved the new Year’s piece.
    You are not age inappropriate on point 9, in my humble view
    I just traded a 2010 red callaway sc 580(that’s horse power)
    For a Porsche 911 4 s with roof delete ( makes it lighter and faster )
    With 400 hp and 325 foot pounds of torque which is where the action is!
    Forget about the barber school and head for Atco Dragway,
    A great place to learn and drive.also frequented by another “age appropriate driver”
    Paul Newman.his photos in track mode were proudly displayed in local streak and pizza joints!
    Pick up a copy of “Christophorus”
    The Vogue equivalent for car enthusiasts
    Happy New Year!!!

  • Margret Avery January 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I love the twerking one ….hilarious and flirting is more is always a good thing!!!!

  • Margret Avery January 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Love the twerking one….pretty hilarious….and flirting more is always a good thing!!!! xoxo

  • andrew grossman January 2, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Dr Pat,
    I’m so glad to have you as my BFF
    IMHO you are fabulous
    I miss seeing you IRL

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. January 1, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Dear friends, both writers and readers,

    Thank you for reading and responding to my little post for the first day of the New Year in 2015. You, individually and collectively, are the reason that is growing. Women of our demographic are not homogeneous but on our site women have a safe place where all our voices can be heard in a civil way.

    We send our best wishes for a wonderful 2015 IRL and on the web.

    Dr. Pat

  • Diane Dettmann January 1, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Dr. Pat, I loved your resolutions reflections! I especially enjoyed the one about letting your hair grow and wearing red lipstick every day. Think I’ll keep my short hair do, but just might try the red lipstick in 2015. Twerking and pole dancing, probably not. Thanks for all you do for Women’s Voices for Change and have a wonderful 2015!

  • Tish Jett January 1, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Dear, dear Pat,

    Just when I was resolving not to resolve, as in putting in motion a “firm determination to do something”, i.e. a collection of new year’s resolutions I discover how brave, bold and brilliant you are. And, I’m shamed.

    Retirement, I agree, is purgatory. Flirt more, I’m on it. It seems to me flirting takes little time for a potential major return — on both sides of the gesture.

    Ummm, pole dancing? Really? Well, good for you I think. It’s the thought that counts.

    Thank you for giving us one of the most intelligent, generous, interesting, helpful, funny sites out here. You are an inspiration.

    I hope you have a wonderful new year in all the ways you wish.

    XOXO + Warmly (that works. . .),

  • Marcia S Kupferberg January 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    You rock Dr. Pat!!!! Lol. IRL.

  • Mickey January 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you, Dr. Pat. Happy New Year to you, too. We love you! And, ditto with Roz, XOXO! Mickey from sunny Tucson

  • Roz Warren January 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Happy New Year, Dr. Pat!