Coming on the heels of a holiday season in which many of our family traditions ended up relegated beneath the cobwebs in the attic of Christmases Past due to time constraints, overactive schedules, and, honestly, sheer exhaustion, I am of the mindset that this year I’m throwing caution to the wind and abandoning the idea of New Year’s resolutions.
Truth be told, I’ve always viewed that tradition as a gimmicky man-made Madison Avenue construct—the kind usually built up around some sort of profit-making industry. You know, like Valentine’s Day. Only with Valentine’s Day the greeting card and chocolate industries are gleefully rolling in dough; for New Year’s it’s the weight-loss industry. Gleefully rolling in, uh, blubber (and preying on people’s guilt)?
Fact is, my resolutions begin firm with each dawning day, 365 days a year. Today, I am going to stick to my diet. Today I am going to be more patient. Today I am going to be more organized. Today I am going to, well, you know the drill—everything I’m not but should be.
Yet the grim reality of my life—and I suspect probably most everyone’s as well—is that before I know it, the day gets ahead of me, life’s usual insanity ensues, and the next thing I know, that healthy breakfast is forgotten in lieu of a muffin on the run and maybe a cappuccino (which I view as healthy because of all that needed calcium). The celery for a mid-morning snack? Somehow turns into Peanut M&Ms. And then a few more Peanut M&Ms. What can I say? I hate celery. And I love Peanut M&Ms. And it’s far easier to turn to what you love than what you hate when you need instant gratification, isn’t it?
My daily diet rarely lasts till lunchtime. And on those Leap Year-like occasions in which the diet (euphemistically dubbed a “food management program” by my husband) extends to dinner time, I’m downright surly. Dieting is just so darned disagreeable.
So this year on New Year’s Eve, when the clock strikes midnight and all good intentions are fresh and honorable, I’ll retreat to bed with the hope of success in vowing to be a better fill-in-the-blank. But I also won’t impose impossible expectations on myself either. Sometimes it’s just so much easier to ride the horse in the direction it’s galloping, so maybe I should simply resolve to no longer resist the natural course of action. Yeah, right.
Okay, so now that I think about it, my resolution is this: to not be so hard on myself. To try to accept who I am, inadequacies and all. To occasionally pat myself on the back—without additionally swatting myself on the backside. To learn to be fine with who I am, even if sometimes who I am could be a hell of a lot better. To quote an old sage, “I am what I am” (although it’s not Popeye the Sailor Man!). And that gonna have to be good enough.
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