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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Anxiety of New Years' Resolutions

Every year we hear the same old story - "I'm going to create some New Year's Resolutions and I'm going to stick with them."  The second part is where people get it wrong.  Haven't they learned anything from politicians?  It's perfectly fine to create a set of promises - whether they be to others or to ourselves, but its an absolute no-no to plan on keeping them.  What's wrong with you people, anyway? Why buck the system?  Why set yourselves up for disappointment and disaster?

Here are some of the resolutions that often abound, with a side of commentary, of course:

Resolution: I'm going to lose weight
Reality:  Liar!  You've just spent the last three weeks eating like you've just entered the Dittsville Pie Eating contest and oh - now - now you plan on dropping the weight?  I bet you have a refrigerator full of ice cream, cheese-cake, pies, cheeses, cookies, and tons of other stuff that doesn't exactly make Body for Life's top 10 foods for a healthy lifestyle.  Oh, and don't forget to throw in an unattainable goal while you're at it, like planning to lose 30 pounds by June!  Live in a house with others?  Oh, good luck with that - I bet they all look forward to a diet of salad and tofu? Hmmm. Yeah right!

Resolution:  I'm going to find a new job.
Reality:  I like this one myself.  But, easier said than done.  Hell, losing weight is easier to achieve than making this one come true in an Obama-economy, and for those in Connecticut  - an Obama-Malloy-economy, hell it will be a two-for!  The problem with this one is that you have to be willing to enter the fray of new style resume writing (whatever "fashion" HR types are looking for this year), schedule management, answering stupid questions, and the desire for humiliation and rejection based on the slight of gamesmanship from the moronic-HR team.  After all, they need to pretend to look busy and strategic too, you know.  No HR job is safe unless they have a million appointments on the calendar, thousands of unreturned phone calls, and a line out the door longer than any ride at Disney. Am I saying, keep your crappy job - no, I guess not.  Just don't go into the job finding effort half-hearted or you'll be worse off from wasting time going in no direction with lots of aggravation in return, feeling 10x more miserable than before.

Resolution:  I'm going to take up _____.
Reality:  This could be anything from golf, to playing a musical instrument, to learning to cook like Betty Crocker.  As someone who could have a world class tag sale based on bits and pieces of nearly every hobby imaginable, you might want to invest in a hobby that is - nearly free, so that when you quit, you won't feel more depressed than necessary, and you can cheekily say you gave it the old college try.  And you won't have even more clutter than necessary laying around reminding you of the day when you tried Polo, or Scuba Diving.

Resolution:  I'm going to get outside more.
Reality:  This isn't such a bad idea, but the problem is that New Year's Resolutions are made in January when its minus 16 degrees outside, and after about five minutes of breathing like Jack Frost you realize that your lungs have crystallized and that man was made for better things like sitting inside the warm house watching reruns of Sanford and Son or the Food Network. With any luck, you'll resort to this resolution in June, when the sun is warm and you can't slip and kill yourself on the ice.

Resolution:  I'm going to be a better person.
Reality:  This only worked for Ebenezer Scrooge.  And remember his case was special; if a dark robed scary skeleton-looking guy brought you into a graveyard at 3 am and threatened you with death by pointing to a gravestone with your name on it in ALL CAPS - I bet you'd promise to make big changes too.  I think you are born how you are, bad genes, personality and all,  and you can make some changes here and there, but a wholesale personality change looks and smells of severe metal illness.  The friends you have like you for who you are, or else they wouldn't be your friends.  And if you don't have any friends do you want to win over some new ones by pretending you're Elton John or Jerry Seinfeld? C'mon get real. 

I guess I could go on.  And on. And on.

So here is what I recommend. 

Don't make ANY New Year's Resolutions about ANYTHING.  If you have an inclination to make a few modifications to your life, some by choice, and others by circumstance, than make them life-long changes and commit to them.  If they don't work, abandon them and go with what feels right.

Obviously, there is one place I do deviate from this check and tongue entry - if you have health problems and the doctor tells you to give up the gallon of ice cream you inhale each night, then find a way to get it done. You can start by throwing out all the empty calories in your refrigerator and stop shopping for food filled with salt, sugar, mega-carbs and fat. 

Other than that.  Like Mr. Roger's said, "I like you just the way you are."  If you're good enough for Rogers, than you are good enough for everyone else. 

So be it resolved, no more resolutions. 

1 comment:

Authentic Connecticut Republican said...

I'm going to resolve to try really really hard not commit manslaughter or murder this year; even though there are just sooo many good candidates for one or the other.