Monday, January 16, 2012

Resolving not to resolve

Well, here it is now, 16 days into the new year of twenty-aught-twelve, and I'm just now posting and writing about resolutions. Better late than never, I suppose. Everyone else seems to be writing about their new year's resolutions, so I guess I'll write about mine, but I have to say one thing: I think resolutions really, really suck.

We have all these grand ideas about how we're going to start the year fresh and new: we're gonna detox, lose those 10 pounds we gained over the holidays, exercise every day and eat our veggies, quit cursing and be nicer to the jerk who stabs us in the back at work. Be all Christian, or Buddhist or whatever. So we drink disgusting shit for two weeks to clean out the icky shit in our guts, we go to the gym every frickin' day for a month, give up red meat, bite our tongue from saying "fuck you" to said jerk at work while our stomachs churn with acid as we try to put the "white light of love" around him while he tells the boss you're the one who fucked up the project when it was his fault all along.

Dear God, it exhausts me just trying to type that shit up. Because ya know what? I've been there, darlin', I've been there. And usually within two months I'm sick of eating vegetables and no bread or steak (or bacon) (or bacon dark chocolate), I don't ever want to see another treadmill with twenty TVs blaring in front of me, I want to say fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck, and I want to (lovingly) tell the jerk at work to, well, fuck off. And I think most of us feel the same way, or at least those of us with Type B personalities do. You Type A's just get yourselves off on the challenge. Well, go knock yerself out, honey. I'm not joining you this time.

Cause you know what? This year, I'm really tired, and thinking of resolutions just wears me out. I don't want to make them anymore. I'm tired of making resolutions and then defaulting on them two, three months down the road. Then I feel all guilty and resolve to try again, only to cop out again another two months later. Then the cycle repeats itself until December, when I just say, screw this! and proceed to eat every cookie, sweet potato fry and piece of bacon (and bacon dark chocolate) in sight until past New Year's when I make the same damn resolutions again, in great hope, dread, and nagging shame. This year I'd rather save myself the self-disparaging thoughts, agonizing guilt and self-sabotaging poundage.

This year in June, I'm turning 48. That means I'm two years shy of 50. It also means that I've spent a good portion of my life making new year's resolutions and breaking them. It means I've spent a good part of my life striving to be a better person and failing miserably and feeling disgusted with myself the whole freakin' time. And you know what? I'm so done with that. I'm done with feeling guilty all the time. I'm done with trying to be better, think better, feel better, do better. I just want to be. I just want to enjoy my life. Who knows how much longer I have to enjoy it. I hope I have a lot longer, but no one knows for sure how long they have. The point is to enjoy life while you're here, not when you can keep your sucky resolutions.

Resolutions seem designed to keep us from enjoying life, despite all the protestations to the contrary. Except for those Type A's who seem to enjoy flogging themselves into submission against their basest desires for that entire bacon dark chocolate bar while watching a night of Big Bang Theory reruns (oh wait, that's my basest desire - I'm projecting again. Type A's fight against wanting to consume an entire gallon of Hagen Das ice cream while watching back to back episodes of Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, and The Kardashians - and those are indeed base desires worth fighting against, IMHO).

Sorry, got off track there. What was I talking about? Ah, yes. Resolutions are the antithesis of enjoying life. You spend your time doing a bunch of stuff you hate doing that eventually you quit doing and then you hate yourself because you're not doing them because if only you'd do them and do them successfully then you could start enjoying your life because then you'll be thinner, healthier, smarter, wittier, kinder, more loving, and purer, and you'll be like a cross between Mother Teresa and Albert Einstein except you'll have longer, shinier hair, toned arms and thighs and glowing skin. And men (or women, depending on your sex and/or sexual preference) will be falling at your feet in worship of the ground you walk on.

Isn't that what resolutions are all about? Trying to attain something we can't possibly attain, thinking it will make us happy, only it makes us absolutely fucking miserable? NO THANK YOU. I've figured out your ruse, Resolutions, and I'm not falling for that crap anymore. So my only resolution is not to make any. And to enjoy my life without making any unattainable resolutions. Which means no more guilt and shame.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly become absolutely reprobate and debased. I'm not going to sit on my tush consuming endless bars of bacon dark chocolate while watching endless reruns of Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and MASH. For one thing, I can't afford to buy endless bars of bacon dark chocolate at seven bucks a pop (though I might watch endless reruns of Big Bang Theory cuz I'm just frickin' in love with that show). And no, I'm not going to tell the jerk at work to fuck off, because, well, thankfully I don't work with jerks anymore. But if I did I don't think I would start telling them to fuck off, but, who knows? It's a brave new world in no-resolution land.

But no, I only want to do the things I enjoy as much as I possibly can. If I exercise, it will be taking walks outside, because I love that. If I eat veggies, I will eat the ones I love and sometimes with the flavorings I love, including butter and bacon. I'm not going to force myself to love the jerk at work (or any jerk anywhere else), but I'm not going to focus on hating the guy either. If I want to watch a night of Big Bang Theory reruns, I will from time to time. And I will enjoy a square of bacon dark chocolate occasionally, maybe once a day for a week without guilt (besides, dark chocolate and bacon are super foods, according to my mom). And I will create art and write poetry, because I enjoy it. I will spend time with people I love because they're fun to be with.

These are all resolutions I can get behind. Not one of them involves debased behavior. And all of them lead to enjoying life, without any guilt. Now this is what resolutions should be all about.

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