My New Year’s resolution: To get in shape. A classic. What better way to start the new year than by taking life by the horns and improving oneself? I’m going to put on a tight pair of shorts and a t-shirt from a 5K I ran a decade ago and charge into the gym like a firefighter arriving at the scene of a fire.
I can imagine it now. A bunch of sweaty meatheads grunting while they stand around on those rubbery floor mats. A half dozen or so new year’s resolutionists like me trying to look like we know what we are doing as we inspect these medieval torture contraptions. They are all cables and bars reaching out to tangle you up. That one literally has wrist restraints. One second thought, maybe getting in shape isn’t for me. Not this year. Where is the champagne? I need another glass.
My new New Year’s resolution: To stop drinking. This is a good one too. Maybe not as classic as getting in shape but it will solve my current problem. No more headaches for me. Or waking up and trying to reconstruct my path through the apartment by following a trail of pizza crumbs from the night before. I’ll give away all my booze and stock up on the trendiest new sparkling water. At parties I’ll proudly raise a glass of cranberry juice with lime and announce, “I’m dry this year, friends! Cheers!”
I know my friends will be whispering behind my back. “What a self-righteous ass. I liked him better before.” But I will be content with my improved health, clear eyes, and smooth skin. And of course I’ll have my selection of non-alcoholic elixirs to enjoy. Water infused with cinnamon and cardamom, papaya juice with chili powder, Meyer lemon tonic. Eventually I’ll just stay home and down a papaya chili after a hard day of work.
My new new New Year’s resolution: To get organized. So the no drinking thing didn’t work out too well. My friends invited me out last night and what do you know? The bar didn’t have a papaya chili or even a water with cinnamon and cardamom. So I drank a beer and now I’m moving on.
I have to admit I didn’t think this one up myself. I looked up the most popular new year’s resolutions and getting organized was on every digitized list I could find. I’ve only missed two days so far this year. All I need to do is pick up the books on the floor of my bedroom, do the dishes, make my bed and I’m done! The only problem is, I will have to keep doing these things over and over for the entire year.
How much time will this end up taking? It takes about five minutes to make my bed, that’s not too bad. Picking up the books? That could be quick too. Unless I find that copy of the annotated Sherlock Holmes I’ve been reading for the last two years. That could add an hour or two. And what about the dishes? That shouldn’t take too long but day-old cheese sauce is very hard to get out of a pot. If I’d kept with my first resolution to get in shape, maybe I could scrub it out, but it probably makes more sense to soak it in water overnight.
My new new new New Year’s resolution: To get organized (but mentally). So I left the cheese pot to soak. I woke up this morning and couldn’t bring myself to make the bed. I had to go to work so luckily I never found the Sherlock Holmes book either. On the subway to work I realized, when someone makes a New Year’s resolution to get organized, they don’t mean tidying up their place. What a silly idea! That only takes a few minutes, it isn’t a year long aspiration. Clearly I misinterpreted the resolution. So now I’m focusing on my mind.
My therapist taught me a trick to organize my mind. “Imagine your brain is a garden,” she said. When my thoughts get cluttered and disorganized, I’m supposed to visualize myself going into the garden and weeding. Organizing my thoughts into neat little garden plots, trimming down the grass, picking some pretty pink flowers that correspond to a crucial thought or a project and putting them in a vase to come back to later.
So here I am with my eyes closed, getting ready to garden. Only I can’t shake the vision of myself in a beige jumpsuit emblazoned with a logo for “Danny’s Lawn Service.” I’m fully armed with a backpack leaf blower and a loud weed wacker that spits out black smoke as I hack away at the tall grass along the fence. Meanwhile, my crew of tan lawn service workers are busy cutting down the rest of my garden with riding lawn mowers and electric hedge trimmers. They stop only to wipe the sweat from their glistening foreheads. I open my eyes. This isn’t working.
My new new new new New Year’s resolution: To write more. So I took a few days off from trying to come up with a New Year’s resolution. It took me a while to get the image of those tan, sweaty lawn workers out of my mind. I decided I can’t have more than four false starts on my New Year’s resolution so this is the final one. My resolution is to write more and I’m here doing it right now so I think I’m off to a good start.
What I like about this resolution is that it isn’t cliche. Or at least not too cliche. At least it doesn’t appear on many online top ten lists of New Year’s resolutions, not outside of writing blogs anyway. Plus nobody ever heard of anyone losing their friends due to writing. Well maybe that isn’t entirely true but any writer who drove their friends away probably had one too many absinthe cocktails. I might still be drinking this year but I can probably avoid absinthe.
In any case, it’s sure to be easier than making my bed or cleaning out that cheese pot in my sink. As long as I don’t pick up the books in my bedroom and risk that distraction, I should be fine.
Happy New Year!