Friday, January 7, 2011

A Whole New Year

The only New Year’s resolution I ever managed to pull off was in 1997 when I resolved to hold my pencil like a grown-up. I can now safely say I no longer hold my pencil like a two-year-old with a crayon. As a rule, I try not to make New Year’s resolutions unless they are things I know I can easily achieve, which by nature are things I don’t really care much about to begin with. The things I really care about usually take a lot more effort. This year I half-heartedly resolved to work on my punctuality, but that is a pretty big resolution and we all know big picture things done half-heartedly rarely work out. In case you didn't know, I was actually born in the wrong era (refer to my post Tardiness). With that kind of ambiguous resolution do you fail the first time you are late in the New Year? Or is it a total of all the times you are late versus all the times you are punctual? Are you a double failure if the very first day back to work you are tardy? No reason.

But did you know that New Year’s resolutions can actually lead to serious health risks? Most New Year’s resolutions have a 99.29% rate of failure, averaging one New Year’s resolution failed per minute in the first month alone (taken from “Faith’s Study of New Year’s Resolutions,” in Reality: It Hurts). However, these are what my resolutions would be if I wanted to inflict the shame and disappointment of failing at life:
  1. Get in shape
  2. Eat healthy
  3. Go to bed early
  4. Volunteer with the homeless
  5. Stay on top of my chores
  6. Be less argumentative
  7. Be a better person
When I see this list I think of a really happy, healthy, clean, selfless human being unintentionally sucking the life out of me as she gets brighter and I start to fade away like a bad smell. For normal people who don’t have mental problems this list probably seems conquerable. For me, I can barely manage to remember that it’s important to have friends, and that to keep your friends you have to call them and stuff.

Get in shape? That sounds like a lot of effort, such as getting up early, which I do my best to avoid. Even if I didn’t have sleeping problems, something makes me think I wouldn’t be a morning person. As it is I am definitely not a morning person but I’m also not a night person. I am not even a day person. So, basically, I’m just not a person. Which means I am off the hook for resolutions. Yay! Eat healthy. That’s important, but that usually means making your own food which is an ancient art I absolutely abhor. But mostly because it requires a lot of time and effort, like getting in shape. Go to bed early. You’d think for someone who has sleeping problems this would be “Very Most Important Priority #1.” But no, when you are too tired to have a life the idea of going to bed without doing anything fun or entertaining is like death, and if you are alive like me you probably plan on avoiding death for as long as possible. Case closed.

Volunteer with the homeless. What a sweet, innocent thought! I would very much like to do this. I used to do this. I like doing this. Until I’m not a walking zombie I will never do this. Chores… I don’t think I need to expound on that. Stop being argumentative. I hate this about myself. I think it has to do with wanting to sound smarter than you but instead of actually being smarter I just argue the opposite and fully believe I am right, even though a minute ago I didn’t know I knew what the right thing was or even that I cared. I blame it on my tiredness. Some day in that better world where I find out I am still not a morning person even though I sleep like a normal person, I will also find out that I’m still argumentative, finally have a breakthrough and become so agreeable you will want to smack me. We all have dreams. Be a better person. If you made this your resolution I need to warn you of something that may save your life, as well as your sanity. It is quite possible you might actually accomplish this life-long pursuit that for one person means Mother Teresa is not good enough while to another George Bush isn't doing so bad. If you are anything like me, you will probably never know if you do become a better person because all you will end up noticing is all the things you should be doing and aren't.

If you are like me, you might want to start making these types of New Year’s resolutions instead. And remember, you have a whole year to do them, so you might even forget that they are goals and just do them out of necessity or habit. Then at the end of the year you can look back and be able to check them all off and feel good about yourself:
  1. Say hi to a stranger
  2. Tell your family you love them
  3. Don’t accost anyone
  4. Put on your pants
  5. Eat healthy for a couple days but fall back into your old ways and feel good about doing so
  6. Lose five pounds then gain one or more back
  7. Buy new pants
  8. Live until March 27/11; the beauty of this is that it is fairly easy to become successful at living, you do it every day without even realizing it. Some people want to be successful with their career, but what's more important, your career or your life? Plus if you can’t manage to stay alive until then, you won’t care, you'll be dead
  9. Go to work or school (for those of you unemployed and not in school, here are your options a. visit someone else’s work which is pretty much anywhere, b. don’t make this resolution)
  10. Read a book, minimum number of pages: six, minimum number of words per page: twenty. Picture books are allowed
  11. Clean something
  12. Walk somewhere
Finally a list of New Year’s resolutions that I feel I can conquer! Watch out happy, healthy, clean, selfless alternate me! There’s a new girl in town! She might not smell as good, or look as good, or do as many good things, but she is still semi-functional and not beaten down into a disappointed, ashamed pulp (but probably fatter because she has had to buy new pants from not eating as healthy as she should and never attending the gym).

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