01 January 2013


New Year's Day is a day for resolutions.  It gives us the opportunity to plot a better course for our lives in the coming year. At least that's the idea, anyway.  Personally, I kinda suck at resolutions.  Like most people, I have the best of intentions.  I plan to lose weight and/or get in shape.  I hope to be nicer or more positive.  I intend to be less of a smart ass, which is about as likely to happen as Barack Obama suddenly sprouting purple flippers and calling himself "Susan."  We all mean well, of course, but then sooner or later life just gets in the way.  We miss a day and think "It's only one day...I'll get back to losing weight/exercising/finishing my project/becoming Mother Theresa tomorrow."  Then we miss another day.  And another.  And before we know it, a week has gone by and all those erstwhile resolutions have already been flushed down the toilet.   So this year, I'm gonna try a different approach.

There are plenty of other things I can lie to myself about, such as
"eating cookies will make me lose weight faster."

I've decided that I might get slightly farther this year with anti-resolutions.  I did lose weight last year, but not because I'd "resolved" to do so.  I lost weight because I discovered one day that my blood sugar was hovering over the diabetic line and it scared me the crap off the couch.  Pretty sad when you start dieting and exercising not because it's the right thing or the healthy thing to do but because you have an unreasonable fear of hypodermics and don't want to be required to use them daily.  So for me, losing weight was sort of last year's big anti-resolution.

As a result, this year I vow not to punish myself when I inevitably forget to post to my blog on a regular basis and I will forgive myself to boot.  Perhaps this way I'll be more likely to continue posting consistently instead of holding myself hostage until I either write down all the posts log-jammed in my head (in order of presentation because I'm OCD like that) or because I can't think of anything witty to say about the more banal happenings of everyday life.  Maybe I'll remember to write, maybe I won't.  But I won't be a failure if I don't.

Similarly, I will not completely deprive myself of fun foods in order to lose more weight faster, which will likely only lead to uncontrollable bingeing down the road anyway.  Instead, I will sneak too much candy, dammit, and I will enjoy the odd cookie or piece of cake.  I will eat less of them, yes, but I will eat them just the same.  Maybe this will make me lose weight more slowly.  So what?  I have no one to impress here but myself, and while I'm all for being healthier and for being able to bend over to pick up a pencil off the floor without springing back like a demented Weeble, I also realize that life is meant to be lived.  As with everything, the important thing is not whether or not you eat the cookie, but whether or not you have balance in your life.  There's a big difference between eating a sliver of pie once every couple of weeks and eating an entire pie every couple of days or hours.  Perspective, people.

I will not stop being a smart ass.  I've tried (not hard, but still).  It's just never gonna happen.  I will never be as nice or as generous or as helpful as I'd like to be or even as I probably should be.  All I can do is the best I can do, and even that ain't gonna happen if my head has exploded from the strain of trying not to offend everyone with my rude or sarcastic jokes, terrible puns or dirty mind.  I am what I am...a smart ass with a heart of (tarnished) gold.  Deal with it.  (And don't judge me when I start playing hula-hoop with my halo; it keeps sliding off anyway so I might as well find some practical use for it.)

Lastly, I will not keep going out of my way to fix all the stupid things that other people do and making myself crazier in the process.  I am not responsible for what others do or don't do and I'm doing none of us any good by trying to be.  If that makes me a bad person, well, tough.  That doesn't mean I won't help others, because I will.   I just means that I will not allow myself to continue being held accountable for other peoples' bad choices.  I make more than enough bad decisions all by myself, so I don't need to deal with everyone else's too.

I realize lowering one's expectations is not traditionally how people do New Year's resolutions, and that's okay.  But perhaps doing so is more practical, at least for me.  Besides, if I start with lower expectations things can only get better throughout the year, right?  As Benjamin Franklin once said, "It's better be a pessimist and sometimes be pleasantly surprised than to be an optimist and be constantly disappointed."

Worth a shot, anyway.  Happy New Year, everyone!


  1. bwah ha ha! Oh my, I could have written this exact post. Especially the smart ass part - it just ain't going to happen with me.

    And since you mentioned Ben Franklin, have you read about his self improvement plan - 13 virtues and he concentrated on one each week. To me this is more realistic and easier to stick to than most resolutions.

  2. A most excellent set of un-resolutions!