Added: Mon. Dec 31, 2012 4:06pm
Like everyone else out there who isn't living in a cave or under a rock, I've been bombarded the last few days by New Year's resolutions and they've been irritating me. I didn't know why I felt annoyed, until I got out of the shower this morning.
I grabbed a clementine-orange hooded sweatshirt off a hook in my closet, heard a crinkly noise and reached into the sweatshirt's pouch pocket. Inside was a crumpled up fortune cookie ribbon of paper. I don't even remember going to a Chinese restaurant since we prefer Korean or Vietnamese food. Just as a mother kangaroo does with her joey, I must have tucked the fortune in my kangaroo pocket for safekeeping. Standing in our bedroom in a pair of jeans and a sports bra, I had one of those Oprah "aha" moments.
The thing I don't like about New Year's resolutions is the exact same thing I don't like about women's magazines and why I don't buy or read them. Women's magazines love to give advice and make us feel inadequate. Instead of a rallying call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with ourselves; these magazines, are designed to make us feel miserable. I will never fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, will never make a Thanksgiving centerpiece out of empty cat food cans and pipe cleaners (and in our politically correct world, you can't even call them pipe cleaners anymore, they're chenille stems!). I've been "pleasing my man," just fine for the last thirty years without wearing a Victoria's Secret Fishnet Lace-Up Thong Panty, and the only time I lost fifteen pounds in one week was when I gave birth.
The Top 10 Online Resolutions for 2013 include: Eat healthier at each meal. Get eight hours of sleep a night. Get thirty minutes of exercise each week. Tame the bulge. Quit smoking. Get organized. Duh, of course, these are all good ideas, but talk about feeling pressured, obligated and guilty. There's something very patronizing about the way these goals are worded. Maybe it's the word resolution that bugs me. To be resolute is to be determined and unwavering. There are very few things in life that I'm unwavering about, except maybe washing my face before bed, not killing spiders and questioning authority.
As I stood in the middle of our bedroom and read my crunkled fortune, I smiled to myself. Although I don't remember slipping it in my pocket, I know why I did. Instead of it being a criticism, it was a pat on the back, an affirmation of what I've been trying to do for the last twelve months: Keep following that restless urge.
December 31, 2012