Friday, January 18, 2013

New Year's Resolutions I Can Live With

Two weeks into the New Year is usually when - personally speaking - my resolutions start to go pear-shaped. Shame, because that’s considered the halfway point of habit forming: some research indicates that it take 30 days to form a new habit (although that time might be much shorter for, say, heroin addicts).

I’ve given up reading January magazines: I can ‘just ten minutes a day’ myself into a whole day’s worth of self-improvement activities. I'm happy to report that Oprah’s advice on decluttering my closets, applying smoky eye shadow, five-day detoxing and walking my way to a J-Lo arse will forever remain a mystery to me.

This year, I’m lowering my expectations and picking what I know will work. But in the spirit of the new year, here is a look at all possibilities: the Will-Never-Do list; the Should-Do-But-Won’t list; and the Will-Do list.

Resolutions you will never see me having, or the Will Never Do list:
1. Read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy – Don’t worry, I haven’t converted to Mormonism in a wave of Romney Fever. And this choice has nothing whatsoever to do with the sauciness factor. It’s because this woman not only ripped off someone else’s plot, but even the characters(!), and has made an absolute fortune. And I'll freely admit, I’m a bit bitter about that. Even the author’s pseudonym, ‘E.L. James’ is another version of P.D. James, the British mystery writer. Another score of zero for originality there. I guess initials look great on a dustjacket.

2. Give up sugar in my coffee – why is everyone so down on sugar in coffee? I don’t get it. I’m sticking with it, and to compensate for that, I’ll just blow my nose an extra two times each day to work off those whopping 22 calories and enjoy my coffee in peace.

3. Alcohol – Although this quote is frequently attributed to Homer Simpson and beer, it was actually Benjamin Franklin who said that wine ‘is a constant proof that God loves us, and wants us to see us happy.’ Nice to see that in between inventing bifocals and the odometer, he had time to ponder and enjoy life’s little pleasures. Well said, Benny-Boy. I like that whole ‘why French women don’t get fat’ approach, which back in the olden days, used to be called everything in moderation.

Should Do But Won’t:
1. Meditation – wouldn’t we all love to go Eat, Pray, Love style? But that woman has no kids. If I could claim 10-30 uninterrupted minutes to myself each day, I wouldn’t spend it chanting, I can tell you that much.

2. Give up my obsession with Hugh Jackman – Drover. Academy Awards Host. Wolverine. That guy from Le Miserables. Is there anything this man can’t do?

3. Continue my quest for Michelle Obama arms – unless I have someone willing to go all Gordon-Ramsey-bootcamp on me, screaming in my face bedside at 6 a.m., this is not gonna happen. I’ve accepted my inconsistency.

4. Read thought-provoking, Pulitzer-prize winning literature – like that of any modern gal, my life contains enough complicating events, decision making and frustrations. Therefore, I don’t want to read about characters’ emotional suffering, moral dilemmas or epic tragedies. Reading is for brain candy, not for intellectual stimulation. Now I’ve said it out loud.

5. Facebook detox – an unparalleled time-sucker and designed with procrastinators like me in mind, I should just stay away. But won’t.

While not wanting to set myself up for failure, this is my proposed Will Do list for 2013:
1. Floss – simple and important, but I don’t do it enough, and I don’t want cavemen teeth. Maybe someday I’ll spring for a tooth-whitening to compensate for my coffee and merlot, but for now, I can afford the $1.99 for floss.

2. Give my children additional, age-appropriate responsibilities – besides love, stability, education, etc, the three best gifts you can give your children are a happy marriage, trust in their own decision-making ability, and self-sufficiency. This is another step towards that last one, even when it’s sooo much easier to just do the little jobs for them. (This one also relates closely to #5)

3. No more ironing - admittedly, I’ve been doing this one for years, but putting it on a list makes me feel better.

4. Purge the bra and undies drawer - what, what, what is in there? I can barely get the drawer closed, and yet…I wear the same standbys again and again. Anything threadbare, tattered, ripped, wedgie-inducing (that includes YOU thongs/g-strings) or pre-Clinton administration is going, as are those bottoms classified as ‘period undies.’ Shapeware, you are safe, and will in fact, be worthy of your own drawer soon.

5. Reclaim some ‘me’ time – needs no further explanation.

So there you have it. Now, in the spirit of resolution #5, I’m pouring a coffee, drinking it while it’s still HOT, disappearing with my Kindle and not chanting…