New Years resolutions are the worst. I always resolve to be a totally different person by February. I want to lose 20 pounds, become more professional in demeanor (not sleeping until noon every weekend!) and appearance (getting a salon haircut more than once a decade!), quit drinking, take up yoga and running, give up all the carcinogenic things I love - Coke Zero, cheap food, and nail polish - and be a better daughter, girlfriend, friend, lover, sister, employee and gym member.
For two days after these edicts come down from my brain, I am transformed. I get up early, I watch what I eat, and I pledge that I am never doing...something...again. And I am earnest! But then the next weekend hits, and it's January, which isn't a very inspiring month, weather-wise, and all I want to do is eat takeout food and half-watch episodes of Breaking Bad with my boyfriend while I read Chew. And then I feel guilty, and then I feel rebellious, and then I realize that my heartrate hasn't been raised in a few weeks, and then I decide to take a nice, long, world-avoiding bath, in which I stare morosely at my undefined waist and pledge, again, to lose 20 pounds and all the other crap.
So I'm not going to do that. I've already started a new gym routine, in preparation for bridesmaids duties in the late spring, so that's firmly underway. If that ends up with some more defined abs, that's great; if not, I'll take solace at the chocolate fountain and wear a forgiving dress.
I'm going to try to give up swearing. My boyfriend claims to like my pottymouth, but I live in fear of accidentally dropping an f-bomb in front of my boss. I've said it to my parents a couple times, in the heat of the story-telling moment, and every time, they graciously, if awkwardly, ignore it.
I'm going to try to eat healthier. Not undertake some sort of crash diet that ends up with my hound-dog style outside a cupcakeria, but a rational, body-conscious way of eating that makes me feel full, fed and tasty without being restrictive or weird. I know wheat sometimes does crazy things to my body - 2011 was the year I said "so long" to beer - and I should eat less gooey (but delicious!) cheeses, but the quest for delicious foods also means experimenting with new ingredients, smaller portions, and healthy sources.
There are a bunch of things I want to work on in the internal side - friendships that have soured that need reassessing, some anxities that need to be massaged, some fears that need to be confronted - but most of that is interesting only to me, so I'll leave them be. I'll work on forgiveness and competitiveness, two of my less endearing personality flaws that have gotten me into trouble.
I'll renew my pledge to love my boyfriend so very hard. I sometimes get caught up in wedding-want, but I'm so happy with my romantic life right now. I need to remember that focusing on galloping ahead means missing out on the sweetness of right now, and right now it's all very sweet indeed.
But mostly, I just want to take it easy. Living a good life doesn't mean banking crazy money or becoming wildly famous. It means, to me at least, that I wake up in the morning liking the person I am and the choices I've made, loving the people with whom I've chosen to surround myself, and learning from the weird moments when things go awry.
Happy 2012, everyone!