Resolutions about weight loss are too cliché for someone like me. And I’m not saying this because I find myself too sophisticated for such simple pursuits. Au contraire. You see, for a gal whose favorite holiday pastime is the deforestation of every tree planted by Reese’s in my supermarket, a need for self-control is sort of implied.
To compound the problem, I not only plowed through acres of these trees as a one-woman combine, I encouraged the little Noble Firs of the confection world to stay awhile by doing very little exercise to burn off their heavenly union of peanut butter and chocolate.
Should I aim to abstain in the New Year? Pshhh, let’s keep things realistic. Besides, by not declaring weight loss as a resolution, I might just pull off some sort of reverse psychology on myself. I think I could actually trick these 20 extra pounds into thinking they are lovely and healthy just the way they are. And with the shock of all that newfound love and acceptance to nurture them, my brain could spontaneously reprogram to crave broccoli and spinach instead of Butterfingers and Snickers. It could happen!
Optimism, you see, runs deep within me, though I’ve been advised that it’s far more effective and accepted when forced to stop just short of a stage dive into delusion. So I try to apply myself to realistic quests that I can declare aloud with little fear of failure. I declare them to you here in a public way in an effort to hold myself accountable and encourage you to remain resolved in your own goals, now that all the glitter and champagne have worn off from New Year’s Eve.
I resolve to focus more on what I have and less of what I have not. This resolution comes courtesy of the people I know who complain about the complications of their home remodels. As someone who salivates over the idea of more and more lovely space, I often feel like striking them. But before I get slap happy, it usually occurs to me that 90% of what I fill airtime with while making lively banter amounts to someone else’s remodel. Slap not lest thou shall be slapped, woman. I should also be old and wise enough to remember that the most important “haves” of all are intangible—as in health and people around you who care if you’re healthy.
I resolve to maintain relationships with the people of my community so that my family and I can feel a real sense of belonging. As creepy as it sounds to say out loud, I want to live in a way that would make me be missed by many if I died. I don’t mean this in the narcissistic, celebrity way, but in the sense of leaving my community as good as, or better than, I found it so that people were glad to have shared space with me.
We moved to our little corner of San Jose 13 years ago because of the good schools, the small-town feel inside the big city, and the physical beauty of well-kept neighborhoods nestled against evergreen foothills. It would be lovely if for the price of our mortgage payment these things would sustain themselves, but it doesn’t work that way, does it? Reflecting on why we chose to move here makes me renew my commitment to do my part to keep it that way. So even though I get tired and frustrated at times, I continue on as an active 10-year volunteer in our local schools, pick up garbage as I walk my dog through the neighborhood, and expend the energy to remember people’s names and how I know them so that real connections are likely to be made as we cross paths again and again.
I resolve to stop focusing so much on preparing my teenagers to leave our house for the real world so that they might actually want to come back and visit once they go. If I can stop just half of my incessant teen-improvement messaging, this could be my big accomplishment of 2011. I simply must get past the thought that I have so much wisdom to impart and so little time left with them under my roof where they can benefit from it. Besides, what’s the rush? Who’s to say that I can’t just text message them a motherly nugget-of-the-day while they’re away? Having my wisdom deleted from their inbox couldn’t be half as exasperating as an in-person eye roll anyway.
Wishing you a year filled with resolutions worth saying out loud and conquering, with a few chocolate-covered vices thrown in for balance!