New Year's is a tricky little holiday. So much meaning and ritual is packed into one night. People all over the globe are celebrating and frolicking, so why are we compelled to tarnish an otherwise perfectly good celebration of the passage of time with resolutions to reform ourselves in some way?
My resolutions usually involve grandiose proclamations that I will eliminate some hedonistic habit or perform majestic feats of humanitarianism. It's fun to make resolutions but, like a lot of people, I am not very good at remaining resolute.
Reduce my chocolate consumption? When I'm dead, maybe. Stop using the f-word? Surgically removing my vocal cords would be easier.
But I mean well, I really do. It's not that I don't want to try to be a better person. I do. I want to exercise more, lose weight, and take my vitamins every day. I'd like to volunteer at the children's hospital and the Humane Society and the retirement home. I wish to save more money, be more patient, and read War and Peace. But in all the years that I have been making New Year's resolutions, I haven't done any of those things. Not one.
Not even the little one I make every year on January 1st, while hung over from the night before: I will never drink again.
So this year I'm going to try something different. No more grandiose and solemn resolutions for me. Instead, I'm going to indulge and lapse and do things I know I shouldn't do. Think of them as anti-resolutions.
This year I resolve to:
This way even failure yields a positive outcome. I've outsmarted the system. And hey, even if achieving my anti-resolutions does not make me a better person, it might make me a happier person. If I can be even happier in 1999, a year weighted with much grave symbology, certainly I'll have attained something worthwhile.
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What's your New Year's resolution?