IN DEFENSE OF RESOLUTIONS
I love making New Year’s Resolutions. I love to ramp up to January 1st thinking and preparing and organizing and hopefully buying supplies (because I love that too), and then making that scheduled turn into the brand new me.
Do you remember that movie Vanilla Sky? In that movie Penelope Cruz says to Tom Cruise, “Every passing second is a chance to turn it all around.” Isn’t that great? I love that. Shitty movie, but I've never forgotten that line. Every passing second you could just decide to do it all differently. I like the idea of starting fresh and trying again.
Still, I don’t love the word resolution. Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something. Doesn’t leave much room for gray areas, right? Like for all the millions of things to come this year that you can’t see yet. All the good, all the bad. All the passing seconds when you might just have to turn it all around.
I’ve had the same resolutions every single year for like the past decade:
1. Lose Weight / Get Fit
2. Be better with money
3. Write More
These are the worst resolutions, they really are. They’re gigantic and vague and so far I’ve found them to be pretty unattainable and they always make me feel like a failure because I'm not yet a triathlete, rich, or on the NY Times bestsellers list. Be better with money. What the fuck does that even mean? I think it means: pay off debt, save, don’t buy stupid shit. But also, invest? Buy a house? Save for college? Get a raise? Put more in 401k? and see now I’m down a rabbit hole and just like yeah, I mean, that would be great if I got my financial life together this year, but.... OVERWHELMED.
But still, I love taking the time to take stock of where I’m at — Do I like my job? How am I doing as a mom? Am I writing? Am I pursuing my goals? Have my goals changed? What could I be doing better? – and making pie in the sky goals. Sometimes I envision another Adrienne out in the world and she's living the life I’m supposed to be living and her life kicks ass. She’s writing all the things, she’s traveling the world, she’s getting laid all the time, and getting laid RIGHT. Somehow when I’m assessing and strategizing I feel like I might just catch up with her. And I love feeling like I’m actively in charge of the direction of my own life because CONTROL. (This is your cue to add Janet Jackson's seminal 1986 album Control to your Spotify. You're welcome.)
It’s only in the last couple of years I’ve gotten better with resolutions by taking a bite out of a goal instead of like, say, trying to become Suze Orman or Roxane Gay in one year’s time. (You know what they say, we over estimate what we can get done in a year and underestimate what we can get done in ten.) So last year I simplified and I was like, Imma give up Diet Coke. This was a big one for me. I had a true addiction. Don’t fall over when I tell you I was drinking like six to ten diet cokes a day. YIKES. And guess what? This year one of my resolutions is to give up all pop because when I finished with the diet I had occasional full-sugar Coke and Fanta and Root Beer and all the other fizzy things I love and undermined the first resolution anyway. What a world!
But also last year I finally started and maintained a real budget and made like way better financial decisions than I ever had before. And I wanted to GET FIT so I bought a Peloton and joined a cycle team and eventually rode 100 miles on a bicycle in one day. I'm still not rich and I'm still not Jillian Michaels, but like sometimes you make progress and you feel fucking great! Who fucking knows, you step forward and see what happens.
Here are my 2018 resolutions:
1. Give up all pop
(except at the movies because I am a person godammit)
2. Bring lunch to work 3 times a week
(I HATE THIS ONE SO MUCH BRINGING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK IS THE DEVIL. We’ll see how long this lasts.)
3. Increase monthly savings
(Real talk, I never met a dollar I wasn’t prepared to spend.)
4. Reduce Max’s screentime
(Yes, girl, I’m making resolutions for my kid! Yes I am! But most likely I will be working on one of my other resolutions when he wants to watch TV and I'm going to be like whatever, stop bothering me, do what you want.)
5. Read more, watch TV less
(Unlikely unless Facebook article reading counts.)
6. Write more
(Girl, I could write you a novel about all the writing projects I want to slay this year. But like I HAVE A JOB SO WE'LL SEE.)
7. Ride the Peloton at least 3 times a week, Pilates once a week
8. Do the Whole 30 in January
(what a pain in the ass)
9. Start a bullet journal to track all my amazing progress on all my amazing goals
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA THIS IS SO MUCH SHIT. And doesn’t even include my big life goals that are like "don't fuck my kid up" “weigh what I did in college” “sell a screenplay” "find love with decent person" and “travel the world.”
You can’t do everything all the time all at once. You just can’t. I mean maybe you can if you have no job or children or responsibilities, but like if you don’t have any of those things, I doubt you have the wherewithal to suddenly jump from your bed and achieve all your resolutions or you’re so goddamned rich you don’t need a motherfucking resolution anyway.
So just embrace that truth, make some resolutions and then be like PSHAW WHATEVER when you fuck them up. And just see what sticks. Something probably will. That's my advice. I will work on my resolutions, I will fail on some of them, maybe all, but still, I like being a person engaged with her own life and what she wants for it. It's just one foot in front of the other. And you know, like, we're all fine the way we are right now. Who gives a shit, it's just life! Most of the time it's a mess and sometimes it all works out. You can't really control it but if you're like me, you will try anyway. HAPPY NEW YEAR.