I hereby resolve to not make a single resolution. I will not waste a single second promising myself I’m going to do something I’m never going to do.
I am never going to run three miles every day, and I’ll never stop petty complaining — it’s such a pleasure.
Open that orphanage? Forget it.
I am never going to clean out the shed, stop picking my nose at red lights or lose the 30 pounds I should. And I am sure as heck not going to keep the blubber off when I finally do.
Oh, the joy of not counting the seconds before I falter, crumble and eat that doughnut whole, chew my fingernails or blow off that workout.
When my beloved pointed out to me that resolving not to make a resolution is in fact a resolution, I declared my resolution for 2014 was to not think things through anymore and that I was sticking to my plan.
Who has the time? I barely have time to spend with the kids. And the time I do spend with them is certainly not “quality time.” It’s basically the time when I’m yelling at them to help with chores.
My beloved felt it necessary to point out the kids do not want to spend more time with me. Really. They like their friends much more than me. And I really must stop trying to be “cool” around them. It’s embarrassing. Point taken. I hereby resolve to back off every January.
Resolutions are as pointless as a road map on a shape-shifting roller coaster. First, there’s the time that following through on your resolution requires. If you’re rich, you have time. If you’re not, you’re working around the clock to pay your bills. And you’re not really paying them; you’re shuffling them around. That’s the working stiff’s exercise plan for 2014: hand-wringing and brow furrowing. Resolve to be frugal? I’ll bet you don’t even want to know what your credit card debt is anymore. That number is so far in the back of your mind it’s a hair on your neck.
The gym? That costs money and time. Racing to the next part-time job you might have a spare second for a pit stop where you ordered fat, sugar and grease handed to you through a window in a warm paper bag by another shlub holding down three jobs. Wiping the ketchup off your shirt, you swear you’ll start cooking healthier meals right after you follow through on last year’s resolution to develop a 24-hour time expanding machine that you never got around to developing because you didn’t have the time.
Resolve in 2014 to make a burial plan because that’s the only break from work any of us will be getting. I resolve to stop claiming to all loved ones that I desire a plain pine box, cremation and no fuss. The truth is I’d like to financially bankrupt my survivors by demanding an onyx pyramid, bagpipers, a bugle corps and a top of the line Casket From Cryptoleum: the Tombstone Silver Deep Six model that’s lined with red velvet like the curtains in the Bird Cage Saloon. Emblazoned on the worm-proof lid I’d like the following inspirational inscription, “I’m not in right now. Enjoying all the free time in the world. Leave a message.”
A year racing through existence on roller skates, chugging Red Bull, tweeting baloney and posting piffle can really cut down on the free time we have to try aromatherapy, yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Weight Watchers and 10 steps to a better you.
I can’t even find the time to try Deepak’s or Dr. Phil’s latest sure-fire method for finding happiness — which can be yours if you order today — and just look at the faces of those happy people in our TV studio. They look like they are resolved to improve themselves. And write checks, the checks that buy the self-improvement peddlers all the time in the world to chuckle on a beach in Tahiti, where the only thing they’ll improve is their tan.
And the resolute studio audience is going to march out of that studio, fists clenched, determined to become the radiant butterflies they were meant to be, unlike the imperfect and inelegant caterpillars they were when they waddled into the self-improvement guru’s tent.
In 2014 promise yourself you’ll maintain balance, enjoy all vices in moderation, explore the faith that sustains you, tame your heart and be kind to caterpillars.
Even though modern life is a stimulus tsunami, I resolve to go with the flow. I will laugh at the madness and keep the roller skates on. It’s amazing how far caterpillars can go wearing them.