New Year's Resolutions
It’s the beginning of a brand new year, a time of rebirth and rejeuvation. A time of self-improvement, renewed energy, and reignited passions. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for Karen to go on and on about her new diet for a month until her deprivation gets the best of her and she finally quits it by February.
I’ve found that the merit of a New Year’s Resolution is contested in the Body Positive community. The first and most obvious reason is that everyone and there mother is trying to lose weight. Literally, people are starting diets with their mothers. It’s hard to remember that being thinner will not solve all of your problems when every commercial on TV is telling you that it will. You too can slow-motion run on a beach without a care in the world, all you need is this particular diet and all of your dreams will come true!
The argument against resolutions goes a bit deeper than that, still. There are those who argue that our constant state of self-improvement, the idea that we must do better today than we did yesterday, and surpass that again tomorrow, is unhealthy, and in and of itself an addictive behavior. We are addicted to self-imporvment, and have essentially cursed ourselves into never being happy in the moment. It is important to remind ourselves that it is okay to simply “be.” There’s also the argument that setting resolutions for yourself in the new year implies that you in some way failed this year, that you aren’t good enough yet, that you’ve still got improving to do in the first place and that you must be better on January 1st.
I can say that for me, nothing seems like a bigger waste of time than devoting an entire year of your life to weighing less. If you want to lose weight, that’s fine, but calling it your resolution, the thing that will define your year as a success or failure, man…. it’s a bleak thought. I am often soothed by reminding myself that it is okay to simply be, to be present, to be here, to remember that waking up in the morning and getting through my day is already a success, that I don’t have to set new records every time the sun rises. On the other hand, I really love the tradition of a new year’s resolution. I love the idea that this morning, everyone woke up and thought, “This is day one.” It’s optimistic, it’s a fresh start. Like a phoenix, we rise from the ashes. Maybe I’m more like a scared duckling finally jumping into a pond. Whatever the bird, the point is I’m going for it today.
Below is a list of my non-weight or appearance based New Year’s Resolutions for 2019.
No presents for myself in January. This seems like an easy one, but believe me, it’s a doozy. I work at Mall of America and am constantly buying myself little treats here and there; a dress from Zara, a new lipstick from Ulta, a new pair of shoes from DSW. Sure, I spent money but there was a saaaaaale. You would’t believe the deal I got! My closet is full, my bank account is empty, and I need to find balance there.
Become a morning person. I think that if I were left to my own devices, with no work schedule or alarms whatsoever, I would wake up at 10am and go to bed at 2am. That’s where my body naturally wants to be. Unfortunately for me, the Western corporate culture in which I find myself does not play that game, so every morning is a scramble to the last second to get myself out of the door, and every night is spent staring at the ceiling, wondering how tired I’ll feel the next day because whoopsies, I watched Netflix until midnight again. I’m going to try not to hit the snooze button, and to give myself a proper hour between the time I get out of bed and the time I leave the house. I’m running on a tight fifteen minutes at the moment and doing my makeup on the train most days. Yep, I’m that girl.
Read more books. I brought “Lethal White,” the latest in the Cormoron Strike series, with me on our trip to Iceland/London in October. I spilled over every page like my life depended on it, and it occurred to me that I had not actually read a book in years. I listed to audiobooks, and before that I used my kindle a lot, but it had been quite some time since i had held a book and turned its pages. I connected more with it, I retained more of it, I loved the feel of it. I want to read a book cover to cover more often. I’m not putting a number on it for now, I just want to do it more often, which I guess would technically mean I only have to do it twice to beat 2018.
I started this year with a silk dress and a flamethrower. Whatever happens happens, but it’s bound to be a memorable one. Happy New Year, everyone!