A Resolution for Resolutions

Submitted into Contest #25 in response to: Write a short story about someone who refuses to write New Year's resolutions.... view prompt

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Holiday

It’s not my fault. It truly isn’t. New Year’s Resolutions are too difficult to accomplish. In past years I, Angelica Lector, used to kid myself into thinking I could use my gym membership or finally read those books I promised I would read or simply make an effort to be a charitable person… It’s too hard. I know, the resolutions I listed sound easy and maybe depending on the person you are, these things are second nature. However, I am not a good person. I mean, I try my best to be a good friend, daughter, and human being, but I am no saint. I’ve done plenty of things that would make a slightly crummy person wince. For instance, last year during May I decided to binge an entire season of The Crown instead of going to my cousin’s charity event. In my defense, no one actually likes irritating Natalie. I wasn’t going to withstand my cousin for the sake of the disparaged dolphins. I’m sorry. If that wasn’t enough insight on my character maybe the many times I’ve pretended to text or email something important to avoid conversation would. Typing the words “Rotisserie chicken” over and over again has frankly been a life saver for my introverted life style. Or as I like to put it, my “lovely little narcissist life style”. However, all of that is secondary to my newly founded hatred for resolutions. I’m going to tell you exactly why I refuse to make any resolutions this year. Escape now, or hear the worst first world problems you’ll ever encounter.

            To set the stage, I will bring you back four years to when I was the horribly-fantastic age of twenty-two. I was young, dumb, and broke (not quoting the song) and was in need of some attention. And what a better way to procure attention and feel better about your own image than losing some weight. Telling people that you are making an effort to work out and eat healthier can and will boost your confidence. And that was exactly what I was looking for. So it was decided, when the bell dropped and people cheered for the new year, I was going head-long into the idea of becoming a fitness goddess. The first day of January I bought a gym membership. Pumped and ready to work, I bought all the yoga and work out gear you could think of. Oh how naïve I was! Was I really going to stick with it? The same girl who can’t consistently finish any project she starts was about to lose some serious money to lose a few pounds. I know what you’re probably thinking. If you have confidence in yourself and put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. Well, I have always tried to live by that, and frankly, I have failed point blank. The first week of my genuine resolution, I worked hard. By hard I mean going to the gym for an hour every day after work. Really damn hard. I lifted those weight, I pumped those pumps, and I ran those miles. I was on freaking fire. However, all fires go out at some point. Mine happened to go out the day a certain colleague of mine saw me at the fitness center. We aren’t that close and it was pretty awkward. We danced around the fact that we were in the same place together outside of work with a simple nod that says “I acknowledge your presence, but I won’t talk to you because of my social anxiety”. So far there was no reason to quit my new livelihood, but it was definitely a dimmer to see someone you know while trying to get in shape. However, the next day at work everything changed for the worst. I see my colleague and her few work buddies gathered around her desk giggling and overall acting very immature (almost as immature as me). I was about to ask what was so funny when my name was slipped into the conversation. Along with the words “squats”, “yikes”, and “juts”. I don’t know about you, but all of those words put me on edge. One of them immediately shushed the rest once she saw me out of the corner of her eye. She smiled at me and I smiled awkwardly back, pretending I didn’t hear the name “Angelica”. After that incident, I started slowing down my workout routine and then replaced it with an extra one hour nap routine.

            Coming up two years later, I try with a simpler and easier resolution that interested me a bunch. Sure, maybe working out and becoming a fitness guru wasn’t my thing, but becoming a masterful reader would definitely be. I used to love to read, but fell off once I started high school. So this would be another way to better myself and make some good friends while at it. I would join a book club. It was simply a genius idea. Once I joined, I felt loads better. It was a great environment and the people there seemed nice enough. It wasn’t until later that I realized the members of the club were like a million times more intellectual than me. We’re talking graduates from Harvard (well not really, but college), world travelers (one guy went to China for a week), and published authors (published in their college newsletters). I was in deep over my head. But no matter, I was going to do something that always worked for me. I fake it until I make it. I did a fairly good job at it too! I never lied to them, but I may have suggested I was more educated than in reality. Nothing serious. I made intelligent conversation and participated in the book discussion. All was going well until we hit our second book: “Moby Dick”. This was certainty a step up from “Eat, Pray, Love” (our first book). This crushed my very soul. How the actual hell was I going to get through this monster of a book. I was busy with work and I was busy with analyzing all my mistakes from the past. How was I ever going to have time to read?? Worst came to worst and I couldn’t keep up with my reading buddies. I tried though, I promise. I felt the heat and judgement from the club members when I admitted that I didn’t get to read chapters 5, 6, and 7. There went all of my self-built confidence. Like a tumbling wall, I felt every brick collapse. I felt like a total loser! And even worse, those chapters I failed to read were when the book started to pick up. Another resolution bites the dust.

            So there you have it, just two of my many resolution failures. My proof justifies my claim about resolutions and defends my right to avoid them for the rest of my life. However, now that I’ve had time to reflect on my resolution failures, I’ve noticed a pattern. They aren’t failures because of the fact I couldn’t accomplish them the right way, they’re failures because I quit the moment I started to struggle. I could argue that the reason I quit was because of what others thought of me, but that wouldn’t be right. I should have continued to work at it and embrace my tiny failures. I let my paranoia get the best of me and in the end, lower my self-esteem. I owe it to myself to make an effort  to remember the reasons why I created the resolutions. The purpose of each of them was to better myself in new ways.

            Well, I guess resolutions can cause a lot of conflict. For me, I’ve realized some valuable lessons. Resolutions may be difficult, but the difficulty is what makes a person better.

January 24, 2020 03:38

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1 comment

Arthur Tiberio
13:12 Jan 30, 2020

A clever title, I'll say that much, and the narrative flows quite cleverly. Don't think there's a one of us that doesn't chuckle at that bit about the gym -- it's far, far too relatable.

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