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Nina In New York: New Year’s Resolutions (To Feel Better About Not Making Any Resolutions)

(credit: Clipart.com)

(credit: Clipart.com)

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York.
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By Nina Pajak

Happy New Year! This is going to be a good one, I can feel it.

For one thing, in my world, it is the year of the baby. My baby, friends’ new babies, sibling babies, babies babies babies. New lives, new futures, the beginning of a new generation.

So, in light of such monumental changes afoot, one would think this would be the year I’d eschew my usual distaste for new year’s resolutions and make a whole bunch of worthy–perhaps even necessary–ones. For instance:
  • Find a new apartment
  • Train the dog to walk on the leash like a good boy, and not like a wild beast recently removed from the wild
  • Read a baby book
  • Behave more like someone’s mother, and not like someone who eats a bowl of cereal or slice after slice of deli cheese standing up for dinner
But I can’t. I hate these things. All they do is make people feel guilty and insufficient for not being able to change who they are and break all their bad habits and become perfect specimens of human life just because it’s time to buy a new calendar (note to self: become person who remembers to buy a new calendar before February). A few days ago, a friend called me on her drive back home after an extremely brief trip to an ashram in Virginia. She thought she’d do a New Year’s weekend yoga retreat, try something new, learn something, gain insight or whatever. She wound up hightailing it out of there after less than 24 hours, haunted by 8-foot images of terrifying, bearded men and mildly convinced she had just escaped an ambiguous cult recruitment situation. I laughed.
“You would have been terrified too,” she said.
“I never would have booked a trip like that,” I replied.
“That’s true,” she mused. “I’m always trying new things, and this is what I get. I should stop it.”
“That’s a good new year’s resolution. To stop trying new things.”
She decided she would come up with a whole list of antithetical resolutions, and I got right on board helping. I think this is a swell idea. Rather than torment ourselves, why not simply resolve to embrace our flaws and relax into a little bit of healthy bad behavior? Herewith, then, is my new list. I think we could all benefit from a few of these non-resolutions (I would have come up with some clever combined new word, but I resolved to acknowledge how annoying I find that trend):
  • Drink more, or at least stop pretending you’re going to drink less (for me, post-baby, this will be particularly meaningful)
  • Spend less time at the gym. It’s boring. Admit it.
  • Continue watching just as much television as ever. It’s funny. Life is hard. Plus, we finally discovered Homeland and Downton Abbey is about to come back on the air.
  • Stop pretending you’re going to pretend not to gossip about coworkers or friends to other coworkers and friends
  • Spend more money spontaneously. Stuff is nice. Life is short.
  • Eat what you want, okay? Nobody cares, and you suck when you diet.
  • Get to know your couch better. It will never judge you.
  • Your fears help define you. Things are scary, you’re not insane.
  • Order in takeout all the time. We live in New York, this is a unique privilege. See above regarding brevity of life.
I, for one, find this to be a cathartic exercise. What else you got?