Yesterday was New Year’s Day. And they were out in droves: the Resolutionaries.
You know who they are (and maybe you’re one of them). They are the people who get up on January 1st and say, "this year, everything will be different. This year I will get fit! I will lose weight! I will cut up my credit cards and save my money!"
I hate Resolutionaries.
Now, don’t get offended…I used to be a Resolutionary myself. Every year around this time, I’d get all down on myself for what a waste I’d made of the previous 365, and I’d vow to do better. I’d sit and plan how it would be: a thin, fit me, finally with my own slightly edgy but still really cool fashion sense. A thin, fit, fashionable me with a positive bank balance. A thin, fit, fashionable, rich me with a car. And a house. And a good-looking, successful, wealthy, smart, funny boyfriend. WOW. What a year it’d be!
But it never was.
I did get a car, house and boyfriend-turned-husband. And those things have brought me great happiness. But! They didn’t turn out to be exactly what I imagined in my resolutionary haze. My house is too big, and the finishes are dated. But we don’t have the money for a total reno, so I have to live with 80s vintage honey oak everywhere. And we need a new furnace and hot water heater and oh! did I mention new windows? And by the time we get that paid off, we’ll need a new roof. And the car. Well, it’s actually a minivan and it’s FILTHY but I sooooo don’t want to clean it. And I had to get a new ignition barrel, because the key stopped working and that cost $600. And there’s a rear seat that needs repairing but the quote was in the 4-digit range so we’re holding off on it for now. And the husband…well, he’s wonderful and all, but he’s a real person, too, with real opinions (that he shares frequently) and both bad days and good.
And then one year, I actually did get thin. But I’ve still got to get fit and the jury’s indefinitely out on whether I’ll ever get a fashion sense. But you know what? Even though I’ve been able to tick off loads of those early-twenties fantasies, one thing never changed.
And that’s what bothers me about Resolutionaries. You see, they’re out there searching for something that’s just not real. An imaginary version of themselves that will never come to pass. And I think that’s why the Resolutionary boom of early January always fades by the 31st. I see it every year at my gym: the busiest day of the week is Monday (mini-resolutionaries out to change their lives after the weekend); the busiest week of the month is the first week, and the busiest month of the year is January.
So this year I’ll do what I’ve done for many years now. I won’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll look back on the highs and lows of this past, precious year, and I’ll look forward to the adventures ahead. And I’ll make a deal with myself every day – today, I’ll do my best to be a little bit better than yesterday.