Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions? Not. Gonna. Do. It.

I love New Year's. It's like a do-over, a fresh start, an optimistic and hopeful beginning...I like to look back on the past year's triumphs and tragedies, to remember all the laughter and craziness, to feel good about surviving the hard stuff, and to think about the adventures that lie ahead in the new year...

But, I think resolutions are a total crock.

With apologies to those of you who sincerely make them and believe in them every year, most people I talk to about New Year's resolutions say things like, "Oh, I know I'll never actually stick to my resolutions, but it's worth a try," or "Every single year I make resolutions to better myself, but I never actually follow through." It's like setting yourself up to fail and to feel even crappier than you already do about whatever's bugging you about yourself or your life.

Over the last week or so, I have really paid attention as women of all shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities, and belief systems, from friends near and far, to total strangers in line at the grocery store, have talked about their resolutions for 2010. About how THIS year, they are absolutely going to lose that extra 15 pounds, or be more outgoing, or be quieter and more self-reflective, or get a boob job, or start using that expensive wrinkle cream, or stop dating losers, or...whatever. The list is endless. And, it seems like most resolutions are about fixing something we see as being wrong with us. We're too fat. Too thin. Too shy. Too loud. Too old. Not rich enough. Not loved enough. Unhappily single. Unhappily married. House too small. House too empty. Alone too often. Not alone enough. Hate our hair. Hate our thighs. Too much responsibility. Not enough self-respect. Breasts too big. Breasts too small. Breasts too saggy. Etc, etc, etc... The list is endless. I mean, we women beat ourselves up for all sorts of things, don't we?

Why is it we are so hard on ourselves? You can blame the media, which bombards us with images of impossibly thin, impossibly beautiful, impossibly pore-less women, who are able to effortlessly juggle partners, children, and jobs, all while looking gorgeous in a miniskirt and high heels, with their luxurious waves of hair softly blowing in the breeze, as symbols of femininity and sensuality and success. You can blame all the a--holes who leave their loyal wives after years of marriage and support and child-rearing for some cute young thing with perky breasts and the IQ of a yam. You can blame our long, long world history of male domination and female servitude. You can blame religion. You can blame lack of religion. You can put the blame wherever you want to. But, we hold some responsibility too, don't we? Every time we make a New Year's resolution designed to help us conform to some societal or idealogical view of who we are supposed to be, or how we are supposed to look, or what our lives are supposed to be like, aren't we also to blame? Hmmmm...

So, with all that in mind, rather than resolving to exercise 5 times a week, or to make more home-cooked meals, or to watch less TV... I'm just going to cut myself some slack. To give myself a break. To quit trying to be better than I am. I'm going to focus on appreciating all the really unique, special, crazy things about myself and my life. Loving where I am. Loving who I am. Loving the body and the space and the place I'm in right now. And, that's that.

Wait a minute...Did I just make a resolution?



  1. Dude, that's totally a resolution! But a worthy one. For sure.

  2. Interesting point of view, it really made me think. However, I have to agree with the end of your post because I think that yes, you did actually made a few resolutions! Good luck with them and Happy New Year!

  3. I'm with you. Resolutions are for lame-o's.

    following you now! woohoo~!

  4. Dammit. You're right ladies, I DID make a resolution. Ah well...Cheers!