“It’s a New Year, it’s a New You!”
This is an ad slogan for a diet program that seems to run every year around the holidays to get us all to put the fork down and eat less and therefore, become a new person. I have dropped ten pounds before and I am still waiting to become a new person. I don’t even know what that means. I’m still bad at math. It continually takes me three hours to pack for a two day trip and there’s lots of complaining involved. Details are not my thing. I’m a Virgo, a perfectionist. In spite of that, the little minutiae in my life goes un-observed by me. And I continue to be the worst procrastinator I’ve ever met. My laptop literally creaked when I opened it; it’s been over a month since I’ve written anything.
This resolution every year to make resolutions just doesn’t make sense. It’s a set up to fail. Yet year after year, we insist on making them. Why is that? Is it because people go on social media and post life-affirming phrases that we ohh and ahh over and are supposed to make us all assess our choices over the past year and decide, this is it? This is THE year I will change my life? I will become skinny and fabulous and volunteer at a homeless shelter and get involved in politics and sign up for three marathons?
All of this sounds fantastic. And exhausting. And so not what I am going to do. And neither will you. Of course we all have things we need to work on. If I could retain half of what people say to me (mostly my husband) I would be a much better listener. I have that whole problem of thinking what I’m going to say next instead of fully engaging in the conversation. But I wouldn’t say this occurred overnight and I suddenly have to resolve to change it come January 1st. I wish it were that easy. So does my husband.
Now, every January we suffer through a thirty-day cleanse of sorts, the Whole 30 (Check out: Absence makes the waist smaller.) No sugar, no carbs, no alcohol for a month. But we do it in March as well. Our livers thank us. It’s not a resolution, it’s more of an admitting to defeat to our bodies nagging at us that we’ve consumed too much crap over the last half of the year. We don’t resolve to do this all year, let’s not get hysterical. Going without wine or cookies or pizza forever is just silly. Drawing hard lines for yourself to become a “better person” is about as fun as clipping a cat’s nails while it’s biting you.
Instead, I say don’t forget about the good, small stuff. For me, I can make perfect eggs and have good handwriting. I’m pleasant to people on the phone with my sing song tones and can sell a toothbrush to a toothless person. My hair and makeup are pretty much put together most times and I make a great Mojito (although I haven’t made one in years.) I smother my cats with more attention and kisses than they need or want and I’m a pretty attentive wife to my husband (except for that whole listening thing.)
So, it’s a New Year, but not necessarily a New You. And that’s totally okay. Don’t let that whole Interweb community get you down with unrealistic inspirational quotes. Sure, lose a few pounds, volunteer a couple times a month and do a 5K. But mostly, celebrate you for who you are. Next month, I’ll be celebrating with a glass of wine and a cookie.
Photo credit: http://www.whatsupmichigan.com