So here’s the thing about starting a new year. People seem to think that just because we’ve turned over the last page on the calendar and hung a new one on the wall, we can start from scratch. We’re going to be healthier, skinnier, prettier, and way more organized. We’ll spend more time reading and being productive and less time watching TV and sleeping. We’ll break all of our bad habits, fix all of our mistakes, and refrain from making any new ones. We’ll have more fun, make more friends, and go to more parties. We’ll get better jobs, make more money, and save more of it than we’ll spend. The list goes on and on.
Reality check. Let’s be honest here. There’s no way. First of all, most of us probably spent the better part of the first day of the year hung over, bloated, and overweight from all that holiday food we’ve been eating since November. This next week will go by and we’ll try as hard as we can to exercise some self-control and keep all of our New Year’s Resolutions, so help us God. By January 6th, we’ll be totally fed up and decide we only really had one resolution — to lose weight. We’ll swarm into Weight Watchers and Barnes & Noble (for the Atkins’ book, of course) and starve ourselves until we can’t take it anymore and eat a bag of Doritos, 12 Oreos and a huge slice of cheesecake. By mid-February, we’ll be depressed because we’re still fat, we’re sick of winter, and dammit, we have no Valentine (which will lead us into a never-ending, downward spiral of binging on cookies, ice cream and other such comfort foods sitting around watching cheesy romantic comedies, all the while hating ourselves for not going to the gym). Spring will come and go in the blink of an eye, and by May we’ll all be crash-dieting again to soften the blow of bathing suit shopping, wondering if becoming a bulimic really is such a bad idea.
On June 1st, we’ll think, “Wow, the year is half over! It went by so fast and I still haven’t organized my Tupperware cabinet…” 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas — we’ll be right back where we started on December 28th — popping Advil and leftover Christmas cookies like they’re going out of style, wondering if our size 4 pants will still fit in the morning, and deciding we’d better make a damn good list of resolutions for 2005.
Perhaps we should give up the resolutions–just this once. Because let’s face it. We are too tired, we don’t really care that it’s fattening, and spending money is more fun than saving it.
If we can’t give the resolutions up, let’s at least make some cooler, more exciting ones this year. For example:
In the year 2004, I will: put my feet in the Pacific Ocean, work in a Las Vegas hotel, visit Hawaii, run 5 miles without stopping, join the Navy, go surfing, see Reel Big Fish in concert, make all my payments on time, do 25 pushups in 2 minutes, make at least ten new friends, get a new digital camera, write a book, save up some money, get a new computer, do better at keeping in touch with old friends, find a productive hobby that I enjoy, and, well… bemoreorganizedandcontinuelosingweight.
I guess there are some things you just can’t change… Happy New Year!