I love to make New Year’s resolutions. It surprises me that year after year the majority of people I speak to disdain to make them. Most people cite the fact that “New Year’s Resolutions Are Stupid.” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that, and to be frank I neither understand that declaration nor see any empirical evidence supporting the claim. Adam Sandler’s comedy voice is Stupid. Fold-over sandwich bags are Stupid.
Usually I make between 5 and 7 resolutions. Last year it was 6, I kept 2 (re-paint the guest room – it was a hideous green; and read my Bible every day – I’m probably being generous, surely I missed some days). To my credit last year was a rough year because I was depressed for the first half, trying with great futility to get pregnant and sort of floating in this smoggy ocean of sadness and self-hatred and wariness of God’s goodness, dare I say disbelief? The second half I was pregnant which took me several months to get used to, to be joyful over, and then I was very sick the whole time, feeling like I was going to throw up every forty minutes. The whole time I was working this very demanding full time job which precluded work on my book
(sidenote: I write books.)
because I was so freakishly exhausted by the end of the day… All I’m saying is that I don’t even feel bad about my 1/3 success rate.
That said, 2013 is a new year. I feel great about this year. Jack will get here and I can already tell he is going to make me deleriously happy because every time I walk into his safari room I grin and think about snuggling his little baby body in those little baby one-piece cotton smock outfits. Although I still feel rather sea-sick most of the time, I am overjoyed now having worked through a lot of the skepticism and stone-heartedness I had developed over the past year and a half.
I made three resolutions this year.
1. Read 20 books. It’s a repeat because I didn’t accomplish it in 2012 but I think I can do it this year. I’m going to try and front load on this one because I probably won’t be getting much reading in starting late March. I read 17 in 2011 and it was a fantastic year for me creatively. Reading has that effect on me, inspiring me to write. You can find the list of my 2011 reads here, along with my top 25 books of all time here. Twenty is doable and I’m starting with J.K. Rowling’s new book The Casual Vacancy even though everyone I’ve talked to didn’t like it. I have to read it because I think she is brilliant.
2. Learn a new form of exercise. I’m a runner, sort of a cardio-a-holic. I used to do things like lift and take core-strengthening classes, etc., but when it comes down to it stepping out the front door with just running tights and sneaks is way easier and less time consuming than hauling one’s self to the YMCA, parking, timing it right for a class. I got into cycling for a while, but went on sabbatical when I became more pregnant and could not resurrect myself before the hour of 0600. This year I plan to try out things like Yoga, Pilates, these classes called Body Pump and Muscle Max at the Y. I am enthusiastic about Yoga. Resolution #2 will commence post-Jack.
3. “Let bitterness go.” I’m staring at the place where I wrote that in my journal, that’s exactly how I wrote it. This one matters the most to me because I want to be different this year in a way that counts, I want to become more like my divine self, so to speak. I don’t exactly know when along the way I became a girl, a woman, who harbors pieces of resentment and bitterness and jealousy like a little mouse hoarding crumbs, but I did. I hate it, the yucky thoughts I can have to the people, most often, I love the best in my life. It’s insane. This year I want to pray that God will change me to be more like my childhood self – that little curly-q was so disheveled and happy and unaware and full of love. The knowledge that I am a mother now has begun to work on me, weeding away at some things that I have held on to and watering my soil so it has started to grow good seeds. Last night Sidney ate three pairs of Jack’s socks, which made me so mad that bile rose up in my throat. I didn’t catch her in the act, so when I stood over her she just lay there like an adorable Gund stuffed animal and I wanted to SCREAM obscenities and actually KICK HER in the head. (Less because of the socks, more because if they get stuck in her intestines the surgery to remove them will cost about $2,000 and we JUST spent my entire bonus on an Emergency Vet bill for the moose dog. Anyway…) But then I had this thought – Jack can hear me. I don’t want him to be used to me screaming cuss words, even if it is at a dog, and for that matter I don’t want to react to this somewhat frustrating situation with such velociraptorian wrath. I want to let bitterness go.
So cheers to New Year’s resolutions. To those of you who made them, hats off. To those who did not, I get it, but come up with a better reason than that “they’re stupid.” Either way, welcome to 2013.