I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.
In fact, I usually scoff at the concept of the any one arbitrary date being the date a person can completely shift a behaviour. Suddenly making a decision to change some aspect of your life probably isn’t best done after a night that, for many people, involves staying up way too late and possibly having a bit too much to drink.
But since my New Year was spent on a casual family outing and I wasn’t one of the resolution-makers evaluating my life on a bathroom floor at 2 a.m. on January 1, I’m feeling okay about my chances for success.
My first resolution is to start small with underwear drawers. We’ve all been there: It’s early in the morning, your body and mind are barely functioning even though you hit the snooze button four times, and you’re lying in bed contemplating the odds of winning the lottery in the next few days so you could quit your job and catch up on sleep. On your way to the shower, you grab whatever’s on top in your underwear drawer. If you do laundry on a regular basis (which I’m hoping you do), the underwear in the back probably doesn’t get regularly rotated to the front, and you, like everyone else, probably end up wearing the same four or five pairs all the time. The ones in the back get no love. Not only do I resolve to clean out every underwear drawer in my house, but from now on I am going to make sure all the underwear gets a spot in the rotation, considering how expensive it is.
My next resolution involves the way I spend money. In 2017, I spent far too much on nonsense for my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love them and want them to be happy, and as long as they are behaving and appreciative, I see no problem with choosing to spend the money I earn on things for my kids. That’s no excuse, though, for the amount of ridiculous impulse spending I’m responsible for, especially as it applies to things they “have to have.” There will be no more hockey cards from the coffee shop, no more video games they play for two hours, then forget about, and no more all-important do-hickey from the dollar store. No more. I am instituting a 24-hour window. Any purchase that is a “want” and not a “need” will not be purchased right away. If after 24 hours it is just as important, the acquisition will only then be considered. That will allow at least a bit of time for a fad to pass.
Next, I resolve to be more realistic about the condition of my own body. This is an important one because, on its face, it will look like a regular ‘ol New Year’s resolution to lose weight, however, it’s much more than that. At some point in the past few years I decided that it was more important to be happy and enjoy food than to be thin. And while I still strongly believe that, my enthusiasm over that philosophy has gotten the better of me. I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to enjoy a good meal, and unfortunately, all of those things have become obvious to anyone who meets me.
A few months ago, with my 40th birthday just a little over a year away, I decided the party was over. I understand the math of weight loss and good health, and that while it isn’t nearly as awesome as being able to eat whatever you want, at some point it becomes necessary to address. I started eating like a grown up. And it’s boring and it sucks, but I did it anyway because sometimes you have to do grown up things even when you don’t like it. So this one isn’t so much a resolution to change my eating and exercise habits, as it is a resolution to maintain the course I’ve been on and not think about how delicious large amounts of salt and gluten are.
My final resolution is to stop watching so much CNN since there is nothing I can do about Donald Trump. That will be the hardest to keep, but I have a house full of people eager for me to keep that one.