Monday, January 4, 2010

Grumpity Crumpity

L.G.C. Smith

I'm the Grinch of New Year's Resolutions. If I could steal them all and dump them off the top of Mt. Crumpit, I would. Bad enough, I had to break out the last of the Christmas M&Ms (the ones I told the Leezlet had been poisoned by a wicked witc
h so she wouldn't eat them all in one sitting -- my sister told me not to give her candy; that was my solution; it worked) before I could contemplate writing my grumpy thoughts on resolutions.

For many years, I boycotted resolutions out of the puritanical conviction that anything that was good for us, we should be doing every day. It was weak to need a holiday to spur us on to virtue. Yes, I was a real funster back then. Not that I held others to my strictures yet, but still. Very grinchy-grumpy of me.

My disdain of the New Year's Resolution (NYR) is partly motivated by my own feelings of abject powerlessness in the face of the standard issue NYRs -- exercise more, lose weight, be a better advocate for myself career-wise, blah, blah, blah. I don't hate the idea of resolution as a practice. I make resolutions all the time about all kinds of things from writing every da
y (three years running now), and learning to bake gluten-free, casein-free treats for my niece with food intolerances. These are not, as a rule, NYRs.

I do hate the idea of NYRs as a social undertaking. There's something unlovely about the earnest zeal on people's faces as they trot off to the the gym in early January. Especially all the thin people who gained six and a half ounces over the holidays and profess deep shame over such indulgence. Are you kidding me?

Or the shopaholics who mournfully vow to reform after discovering three cashmere sweaters from Ross and a non-stick ebelskiver pan hidden in the garage in a plain brown Trader Joe's bag to throw their weary spouses off the trail...what, two, maybe three Christmases ago? Come on, people. An NYR isn't going to help you.

(That's an ebelskiver pan, in case you were wondering, as sold by Williams-Sonoma.)

Real change requires real commitment. Some people put that into their NYRs. Not all that many, as far as I can see. Most folks feel momentarily virtuous, catch themselves electing to read another chapter instead of taking the dog for a walk, think "Remember that resolution. Drat. Ah, next time, good enough." On they go with their sloppy lives, business as usual, content that having made a list of NYRs, they're on the path to a better world. Bah.

Now if people would keep their NYRs private and make them matter, cheers all around. I wish you well as long as I don't have to hear about it. And, for God's sake, don't ask me about mine. I'll steal your last can of Who Hash if you do.


Sophie Littlefield said...

Anyone who can write EVERY SINGLE DAY for three years running, a feat which I have never heard of anyone else accomplishing ever in the history of the world, has some serious resolve in my book!

Oh and PS could you come tell me my salt&pepper crinkle chips are poisoned? you'll need to be very convincing.

Unknown said...

what the heck are ebelskiver's? as someone who cooks (relatively well) I've never heard of them/it? *vbg*

Rachael Herron said...

I always think of you and that writing every day for THREE YEARS RUNNING. I want to be you someday. You don't need no stinkin' NYRs. So good to see you yesterday! xo