Friday, December 30, 2011

Wimpy vices don't qualify.

Ah, New Year’s resolutions. It’s the only time I ever wish I could slam my hands on the table and shout, "ENOUGH! This year, I will stop shooting heroin." (If you’re a real druggie and you're actually supposed to sniff or smoke heroin, keep the criticism to yourself. I don’t really need to know.) Or, "This year I will finally lose half my body weight!" or "This year I will stop stealing from my company!" or "This year I will stop torturing small animals!" or anything equally as dramatic.

No. Any resolutions I make will be positively pathetic in comparison.
I mean, sure, I could lose five (okay seven) pounds. I could be a little more tolerant of my husband/kids/friends/siblings/father who lives in the basement. I could say I’m not going to drink any wine FIVE nights of the week instead of four (but in that case, it might be best to concentrate on getting to the four before I up it.) I could say I’m not going to just eat chocolate for lunch, but maybe that’s a corollary to losing a few pounds and not a standalone resolution. I could resolve to redo a bathroom or write more or organize my digital photos into books but those aren’t really resolutions, they’re to-dos.

So the idea of a New Year’s resolution makes me feel sort of inadequate. I mean, we’re talking a whole year...that’s a huge commitment. It’s worthy of a huge gesture. I just don’t have a huge gesture.

Now, I like Lent, personally. 40 days. For 40 days, I can give up wine or chocolate and oh, boy, do I feel every minute of that sacrifice. It’s like a ten-mile race: short enough to be doable, but long enough to count. And the payoff, be it a medal and a new personal running record or Easter brunch, is worth savoring. Lent requires a smaller gesture, so those of us who have smaller issues have a sacrificial home. Leave New Year’s resolutions to the big boys with serious baggage.

My husband says he likes three-day resolutions. You know, work out for three days, note that you’re not really sleeping better and your ass hurts from the bench presses, and bag it. Or eat really healthily for three days and then note that pizza and beer actually are food groups and bag it. So there’s another option.

Hey, maybe my New Year’s resolution could be to develop a really bad habit just so next New Year’s Eve I could resolve to break it, and then I’d get that satisfaction that I had really overcome something.

Maybe it could be to seek psychiatric help because I think these weird thoughts and then publish them on the internet.

Oh, well, bottoms up. Happy New Year. And good luck with your resolutions, whether they’re huge, Lent-sized or the long weekend type.

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