Everyone gets all jazzed about the New Year. They get all excited about self-improvement and organization and not slurping a bottle of wine for dinner every other night. My Twitter feed is positively buzzing with talk of “cleanses” and the purchase of storage tubs and trying to fit into high school sized pants.
Every time I see one of these Tweets, I smile an all-knowing smile. It’s not that I wish for these folks to fail in their quest to get their garage organized to diet themselves into a continued state of cranky miserable-ness. Honestly, I wish them nothing but success.
BUT I KNOW BETTER.
For a number of years, I too fell into the magical thinking that is New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to exercise more. I’m going to get our family photos in order. I’m going to clean my closet. . .or at least under the kitchen sink. I’m going to do better writing letters to folks. I’m going to complain less and be more gracious. I’m going to take yoga classes. I’m going to pay more attention to the dry skin on my heels. I’m going to eat one apple a day -everyday. I’m going to brush my teeth and wash my face every night before bed – no matter how exhausted I am.
Often I even made a plan. I would get out a crisp, fresh day planner and begin scribbling in a walking plan I found in a magazine. Or meal ideas for every night of the week. Or a reminder to write a card to Aunt Hazel. . .
Sometimes I was so sure of my own resolve, I’d write that shit in INK!!
In hindsight, I can see my resolve was consistently much greater after half a bottle of champagne.
And every year, by about January 25, all those reminders cluttering up my day planner only served as a reminder of my complete and utter failure.
So I’d bust out another bottle of champagne and a bottle of White Out and have a glorious time self-loathing.
The list of resolutions I’ve failed to keep is long and distinguished. In fact, I don’t think I’ve EVER kept one resolution I’ve made – EVER! Not one.
And honestly, I’m not a quitter. I’m actually a rather organized, driven, Type A sort of person.
I’m not sure if it’s my rather rebellious nature that soon thwarts my efforts to honor my self-imposed resolutions. Or perhaps it’s just that I never actually had that much resolve in the first place? Maybe they were just wholly unattainable, despite my efforts to make them so? Maybe I lacked a proper motivational “rewards” system?
I’ve given up trying to analyze the situation. . .I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll NEVER, EVER make another New Year’s Resolution.
I’m going to enjoy New Year’s Day. It will never again be a day of half-hungover self deprivation. I will never find myself awake at the crack of freezing cold dawn attempting to wedge myself into some Spandex exercise gear. I will never sit at dinner greedily eyeing up the buttery mashed potatoes and kraut everyone else is eating while I lick an orange rind and sip cucumber infused ice water. NEVER.
Sounds glorious doesn’t it?
Do you too want to kick the resolutions habit too?
Want to know my secret?
It’s difficult to share, but I’m going to tell you my rock bottom resolutions moment. . .
About this time 7 years ago, I was day drinking in our basement one Saturday morning, outlining a bunch of cases for some wretched Law School class I was torturing myself with at the time.
Because I worked all week and attended classes in the evenings, nearly all of my reading for the week had to be done on the weekends. It was a LOT of reading. . .BORING reading (hence the drinking. . .).
Anyway, at some point after I had downed about 3 glasses of very high-test cheap egg nog, I noticed a TV infomercial for a set of workout DVDs called Yoga, Booty, Ballet.
Yes. That was EXACTLY the name of the DVDs. Hilarious. But after all that egg nog, it occurred to me that I LOVED ballet, I wanted to try yoga, and those women looked so fabulous and happy and healthy, espousing the fast results, I NEEDED these DVDs. ASAP!
I completely forgot about my lap top and case books, watching mesmerized as one fat slob after another testified to the remarkable results they achieved – their jiggly thighs transformed into lean lovely sinewy muscle.
I can do this! I too can Yoga, Booty, Ballet! Every morning before work at 4:30 in the morning!
Despite the fact that there was a huge disclaimer at the bottom of the screen “Results Not Typical” and despite the fact that I likely wouldn’t get out of bed at 4:30AM even if the house was on fire. . .
I raced upstairs to grab a credit card. I had to call in the next 15 minutes to get my super special dumbbells and small exercise ball!
I swilled a huge gulp of egg nog. My fingers trembled as I dialed the number. I immediately felt thinner as the perky customer service rep took my order. I was going to be in control of my muffin top! It would no longer control me! Of course I needed express shipping! Can’t you tell by the sound of my voice that I’m a half soused lazy lard ass? I NEED these DVDs ASAP! Save me from myself, perky customer service rep!! Please, I’m begging you!!
Surely sensing my desperation, the customer service rep, seized the opportunity to try to up-sell me. At first I was firm. No I didn’t need the special diet supplements, or the super special logo yoga mat, or the extended “lean and green” diet plan. . .
But after about the 20th suggested sell and another half glass of egg nog, I was getting tired of explaining why the fuck I only wanted the damned DVDs (and of course my special dumb bells and exercise ball which were mine to keep even if I wasn’t satisfied with the DVDs). . .
So when the customer service rep suggested a subscription plan, I agreed. I had no idea what she was talking about. In fact, I had been on the phone so long, I really wasn’t even listening. I just wanted her to shut her cram hole so I could drunkenly eat a bunch of potato chips without her judging me.
Several days later, the DVD’s arrived at my office. I examined the contents and the enclosed suggested diet plan. Nearly the first line of the diet plan included something to the effect of “For the next two weeks, you are on the wagon. No alcohol.”
WTF? Shouldn’t they have perhaps mentioned that in the infomercial?! Two weeks?! Assholes.
I did the work outs for about 3 days. . .and promptly ditched the entire plan. My muffin top (and its penchant for mayonnaise and Sauvignon Blanc) had a much stronger pull on me than those skinny bitches who were bending themselves into pretzels on the DVD.
Oh well. I tried (kinda. . .not really).
About three weeks later, another package was shipped to my office. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found two more exercise DVD’s.
Well that’s odd. I didn’t order more DVDs. Did I?!
I threw the DVDs in a box under my desk at work and promptly forgot about them. Until another two showed up four weeks later. . .
This time, I glanced at the invoice: SUBSCRIPTION PLAN.
You’re douche-bag customer service rep.
These DVDs also went into the box under my desk. . .and so did every other DVD I received for the NEXT 18 MONTHS!!!
There were 36 unopened exercise DVDs in a box under my desk at work!
Such. A. Loser.
I’m pleased to say eventually I did get some use out of them. When I was pregnant, I used the box to prop up my swollen feet. . .
36 DVDs at $10 a pop. . .And that, my friends, is EXACTLY why I’ll NEVER, EVER make a New Year’s Resolution.