Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Oh God, Not MORE New Year’s Resolutions?!!? Yup.

Monday night, we had a gathering of friends and family (will it EVER end??) at our house. It was lovely, my carpets are unscathed and nobody revealed any naked body parts, intentionally or not. At some point while I was still semi-coherent (the last guests left at about 2:30 am), we went around the table answering the venerable, quintessential New Year’s Eve question: “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” One by one, we professed a goal or two. Until it was my cousin’s turn. His answer? “I never make resolutions.” His tone? And don’t ask me again next year. We moved on to the next guest.

I’ve been thinking about this—probably too much—but hey, there’s nothing of terrible importance going on right now (as in, no meals to plan). I just don’t get this hard line that folks like my cousin have against New Year’s Resolutions.

To me, the non-believers fall into one or more of three categories:

  1. They believe they need no improvement (and that right there is a fat clue);

  2. They know they won’t keep their resolutions, so they don’t bother to make them (have they given up on themselves?)

  3. They think it’s a silly clichéd tradition, like wearing funny hats and blowing through noisemakers at midnight (awesome!).

Well yes, we all know that it’s cliché, that resolutions are as are easy to make as a bowl of cereal—and as hard to keep as a mammogram appointment. (Two bad similes in one sentence! How does she do it?) And how many of us remember—much less keep—our sincerely made resolutions by April when all we can think about are taxes, not diets or quitting smoking or going to the gym three times a week no matter what?

I love how bloggers are writing about their resolutions, and I’ve decided to join in the fun. My list will be lurking out there in black and white forever. How convenient for beating myself up referring back to when I need reminding of what the hell it was I said I would do in the bask of a golden champagne-induced personal breakdown holiday glow.

To me, there’s no harm in taking stock of myself, blowing through an entire box of Kleenex and bottle of good Syrah, then dealing realistically with my shortcomings (unlike my cousin, the rest of us have them), and vowing to do better.

So here we go. Here’s what I need to improve, and I solemnly vow that I resolve to do so:

  1. Be more patient with my husband. As in, no rolling eyes when he asks if we have any butter. This is a tough one because it involves a DNA transplant. Might need help. I reserve the right to silently say, "Have you LOOKED in the refrigerator, by chance?????"

  2. Scoop the cats’ litter boxes every day. This will be an easy one: if I do it each morning after I feed them, it will only take a minute, max. Maybe it will cure the phantom pooper, too. I don’t know any cats who get scooped every day, but I’m sure they’re happier than mine, who deserve a cleaner environment in which to poo.

  3. Be kinder. I am not completely unkind, mind you, and I will never be one of those annoying public-sweet-closet-bitchy women. I keep it real. But at times, that realness lands on others with a thud, or worse—with a smack. It’s not what I say, it’s how I say it, they say. I’ve heard it enough to know I need to work on it.

  4. Write. I have two novels in the works. I need to get back to them.

  5. Get organized. Since we moved into this house in April, I have never felt completely unpacked. There are still two unfinished rooms where boxes are shoved into corners, the closets are jammed full of crap, and nothing hangs on the walls—because we haven’t painted them yet. My mind is not at rest, and every time I walk into those rooms I feel stressed. I will pick out the paint and get started. Hang the pictures and clean out the closets. Breathe easier.

  6. Attend Boot Camp faithfully. I have done better than I expected—I have survived two 8-week sessions of Boot Camp, and I’m stronger, my clothes fit better, and I love the class. I’m signing up for round 3 (I need the discipline of a class structure) and I vow to not miss any classes unless I’m sick or out of town. Three hours per week is no big deal. I just have to make myself get dressed and leave the house.

  7. Be this girl (come warmer weather, of course—I’m not going near the water now).

  8. And this girl.

  9. Get myself on one of these, purchased, rented, borrowed—whatever it takes. Because I had nearly forgotten the pure happiness I feel when I’m sailing. I don’t want to forget.

  10. Take good care of myself, however I define it, each day. Naps, massages, walks, bike rides. Be with people who are good for my soul. Simply put, do more of the stuff I want to do and less of the stuff I do not.

Well, this ought to be enough to set me on the path to self-love, family harmony, and life balance. Who knew it could be SO EASY? Stay tuned.


Mrs. G. said...

Well you better get crackin' because I will be over here dogging your ass if I notice that you're spending too much time on the couch.

I have always wanted to go sailing, so when you do, blog about it.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo....may all your resolutions come to fruition! I like the be patient with hubby, something I believe I could do to! :o) Hay

Claire B. said...

Hey Mrs. G,
I had written this including the "I keep it real" bit before reading your "Keeping it Real" post. That's what we do in the PNW, baby! And you just need to come up here and go sailing with me one day.

And hey Hay!
Welcome to my crib. Thanks for the encouragement. I need it ;-)

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

#10 says it all. Good luck.

Professor J said...

I enjoyed your resolutions, and I am with you on the "be nicer" one. I have a nasty habit of getting snippy every once in awhile. (NO!)

carymc said...

All great resolutions, Claire. I'm a little like your cousin (for reason #2 and a wee bit of #3), but I like these and might appropriate a couple for my own use. To be kinder is always a great goal, and I'm guilty of not doing so often enough.

I'm showing #1 to my wife. ;-)


Claire B. said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jen and Cary! Love both of your blogs.

And Prof J., not using my "sarcastic wit" ALL the time is a constant challenge. Strangely, some don't get it.