To Resolve or Not to Resolve
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Toasting to new beginnings, swearing up and down (in between shots of tequila) that we are going to shut out all the haters in our lives, and spending all of New Year's Day shoveling ham hocks, collards, and black-eyed peas down our gullets under the misguided belief that food equals luck. What a load of bollocks. If that were the case, I'd weigh 120 pounds, be independently wealthy, and have Sam Neill on speed dial.
I gave up making New Year's resolutions years ago. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to set my mind to do something, it's probably LEAST likely to happen on January 1, when I am still in a full-on Holly Jolly Christmas Coma. New Year's Day already comes with too many stresses to worry about digging out your joggers (that haven't been used since LAST January 1) and going for a 45-minute walk/run around your neighborhood. You've got week old Christmas leftovers that aren't going to eat themselves, a Christmas tree that is hanging on by a thread, staring at you as if it is begging you to put it out of its misery, and the overwhelming sense of dread that comes with knowing you have to go back to work the next day. Why add insult to injury by making a promise to yourself that you know good and well you are NEVER going to keep?
My office is directly across the street from the local YMCA, and I have been considering joining for several months, but I absolutely refuse to join in January. I have never been one to go with the crowd, so I'll be damned if I will have my name chucked in the mix with all those poor bastards who looked in the mirror the day after Christmas and said to themselves, "That's it. I'm doin' it. This is going to be MY year!" No, no it's not, Carol. You're going to drop $600 at lululemon, take twelve selfies in the locker room before you like what you see, post it to Instagram with the tagline "New Year New Me!", then end up sheet-cakin' it on your living room floor binge watching Mare of Easttown because you actually gained a pound after your first week at the gym.
It's the all or nothing mentality that makes New Year's resolutions useless. We get so hyped up by television, social media, our friends, even our own inner voices, that we dive head-first into the pool of good intentions without really taking the time to think things through and come up with an end goal and the smaller steps that will get us there. We are setting ourselves up for failure.
I, like so many of you, have a lot of resolutions I could make. I could resolve to live a healthier lifestyle - eat better, work out, drink more water, blah blah blah. Boy, if I had a dime for every time I made that resolution, right? I would have already checked the "independently wealthy" item off my bucket list. I could resolve to swear less, but that would reduce my current vocabulary by 75%. While I was writhing on my sofa over Christmas, sick as a dog and begging for the sweet release of death, for a hot second I seriously considered making a resolution to cut back on the shittery in my apartment. (See? I've already broken Resolution #2.) If I'm being totally honest, though, I'm still considering that one. I've officially reached the age where I look around my home and think about what a pain in the ass it's going to be for my kids to go through my stuff when I'm gone. Maybe less IS more.
So. Here's my resolution to the issue of making resolutions. Instead of taking a flying leap off of the gaudy, over-priced Times Square NYE ball into a web of lies and disappointment, let's take some time to sit back in our stretchy pants, consider the events of the past year, and once we've pulled ourselves together (which should get us to about April), we can look with fresh eyes at what's ahead for us. Given the events of the last two years, we will either change our underwear and climb back under our weighted anti-anxiety blanket for the next 8 months or, God willing, we will step outside into the sunshine, smell the flowers (mask-free, because optimism, right?), and consider what steps we want to take to be our best selves. Not what we think we should be doing, not what society dictates will make us better, but what we identify within ourselves as something we want to improve, experience, or let go of.
As for me, well.....I have a few ideas, but I'll wait it out. After all, my shittery isn't going anywhere.
What will you do?