My Very Moderate New Year’s Resolutions

My grandparents drank one dry gin martini every night of their entire adult lives. They would have cocktail hour in front of the PBS NewsHour with their Beefeater gin martinis and a small bowl of nuts. My grandparents were big believers in moderation, and they were very happy people who lived for a long time, like into their nineties. I was thinking about them recently, and I wondered if “Be More Moderate” should be the first thing on my list of resolutions. But then I thought rather than attempt to be moderate, how about I make a list of moderate, keepable resolutions instead? I looked for clues from other writers, and here’s what I’ve decided to do:

1. Exercise like KJ Dell’Antonia: KJ wrote an awesome piece about her running regime called “The Workout I Actually Do,” and it’s perfect for people like me who hate running. So here is the workout: Run for 3 minutes and then walk for 1 minute, 4 times. That’s it. It’s a sixteen minute workout, with about a mile of running total. Moderate? Check! Count me in, KJ. And thank you.

Read it here:

2. Drink like Matthew Griffin, author of HIDE, who says he resolves “to drink less. Or maybe more. Let’s just see how the year goes.” Okay, this totally works for me, too. I can absolutely do that. I will drink less. Or maybe more, we’ll play it by ear, see how it goes. I’m in.

Read it here:

3. Dress like author Anne Lamott who wrote a few years ago to “wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing.” Wearing forgiving pants is a very moderate, doable, healthy goal. As Anne explained, it’s important to “make sure to wear pants that do not hurt our thighs or our feelings.” This makes perfect sense to me. Plus Anne’s book OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS literally got me through my first year of parenting, so I trust her completely.

Read it here:

4. Watch more TV shows like Jill Kargman, author of SPRINKLE GLITTER ON MY GRAVE. Jill said last year, “My New Year’s resolution is to watch more TV. I’m so behind, and my friends are getting annoyed at me for not seeing #!@$! yet.” Yes! – I like her thinking, and to be honest, I, too, have gotten very far behind. If you think about it, it’s extremely inconsiderate to one’s friends who have to avoid spoilers throughout dinner, all because of the one person who hasn’t gotten around to the final season of whatever show everyone’s talking about. I don’t want to be that girl.

Read it here:

The takeaway: In 2017, I’ll watch more TV in comfortable pants with a drink (or two, we’ll see how it goes), but only after I’ve run for three minutes and walked for one, four times. And I’ll be a good person, and I’ll get a haircut on a regular basis.

Moderate? Meet the new me.

Author: Amy Poeppel

Amy Poeppel grew up in Dallas, Texas and left the south to attend Wellesley College. Since then, she has worked as an actor, a high school English teacher, and most recently as the Assistant Director of Admissions at a school in New York City. Her three fabulous boys are all off in Boston attending school, and she and her husband now split their time between New York and Frankfurt, Germany. A theatrical version of SMALL ADMISSIONS was workshopped at the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit. She later expanded it into her first novel.

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