This year, I am resolved not to resolve
I’d like to wish everyone near and far a Happy New Year! I am so excited to begin 2014, which is going to be a banner year for me. How do I know? Because at the beginning of 2013 -- and every year before that since I was around 4 -- I made numerous New Year’s resolutions. And by the end of January -- every year since I was around 4 -- those resolutions were toast.
Therefore, I’ve decided to shun New Year’s resolutions completely this year because they are a racket, no doubt invented by a New York crime syndicate ... or my mother. Resolutions just set you up to fail, and who needs more of that? I mean, what kind of person can possibly accomplish all the stuff people resolve to do? I will tell you what kind: The kind that isn’t me, that’s what kind.
So this year I am adopting the Wait-and-See strategy; the Maybe-I’ll-Do-This-Maybe-I-Won’t method; the Who-Knows point of view. Sure, I’d like to take charge of my life rather than allowing life to take charge of me, but I know better now. I’ve been kicked around long enough to know that I can’t win. I can’t beat the resolution syndicate. I’m giving up.
Last year, my number one resolution -- again -- was to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve been making this resolution for 30 years. My pre-pregnancy weight was around 120, but I figure being older might make a difference, so I’d settle for 140, you know, just to be realistic. But, this resolution was basically a fantasy -- the only way I’d get back to a pre-pregnancy weight is if I get pregnant right now, because I think I could make it back to my present weight ... although I’d never make it back to my present state of sanity.
(Of course, on the upside, I did lose each of those numbers individually at some point in 2013. By that I mean a 1 and a 4 and a 0. Can we call that success? I say we can.)
My second resolution -- again -- was to exercise more in 2013. However, I did not specify as to the kind of exercise (demonstrating the clearing of my vision regarding the resolution racket) so that means every time I stood up instead of sitting down, or carried the trash out instead of waiting till someone volunteered, or walked up a flight of stairs because I couldn’t find -- I mean, because I decided not to take the elevator, well, that’s exercise in my book.
And my third and final resolution -- repeatedly -- is to be a kinder, gentler person, not to criticize or complain, and always to see the positive rather than the negative. This, too, is sort of a work in progress, although in my quest to be more constructive I must say that every time I refrained from pointing out the regrettable choices my children might make, I call that kinder and gentler, don’t you?
Like the fact that my son is still dating countless girls rather than getting married and giving me countless grandchildren, and that my daughter doesn’t listen to my invaluable parental advice, hey, that doesn’t mean I have to belabor the obvious, you know? I mean, far be it from me to criticize someone else’s stupid, ridiculous decisions just because they are totally ruining their lives. So, I bite my tongue. Usually. As I say, a work in progress.
So, this year I will not make resolutions, especially the same three I always make. I will simply declare that perhaps I will eat a tad less, perhaps smaller portions, perhaps a tad healthier, certainly more vegetables and fruits than, say, caramel cake ... not that I ever eat caramel cake.
And I’ll probably do a bit more moving around than sitting still, although this will not necessarily be in an organized manner, in that I will not likely join a gym or spend any quality time on, say, an elliptical machine.
(Last time I was on an elliptical machine, I could not figure out how to run the thing without falling off. Just between you and me, I felt -- and looked -- like some kind of spastic scarecrow, due to the fact that I was unable to synchronize the flailing of my arms and legs in a dignified fashion, as you see all the folks on Exercise Infomercials do. So, the last time I was on an elliptical machine really was ... the last time.)
As for being more positive, kinder and gentler, less critical, well, two out of three is nothing to sneeze at, my friend.
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.