Hooray! It's New Year's Resolution time!
This is my favorite time of the year until Groundhog Day. Seriously. The fact that even under the considerable influence of a Too Much Togetherness hangover folks muster the optimism to resolve to improve anything beyond the endurance of elastic waistbands is, to me, a monument to humanity's capacity for the divine.
Only someone operating under the conviction that they might some day be a god could declare to the universe on January 1 (Northern Hemisphere time) that starting right this minute they are going to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and jog every morning.
And just to show willing, these same gloriously determined people truck to Target through two feet of snow to acquire jogging clothes. Isn't that ADORABLE?? (It's only when they round the first corner on their inaugural Trot o' Fitness that they'll realize that the spandex chill factor has wind chill crying for its mommy.)
But even hacking their way through the jungle of bathing suits already displayed For Your Post Holiday Suicide Watch (insert Happy Face here) fails to discourage these glass-half-full-of-protein-water enthusiasts; this is the year where that fitness resolution is KEPT!
Eating right is another goal which might work if you're setting it in, say, Buenos Aires. It's summer down there; fresh fruit and veggies and salads and gallons of water are the order of the day. But this side of the equator the closest thing to any vegetable worth eating is the parsley on top of your Comfort Food Alfredo.
And yet, here come the resolution makers, salad forks in one hand, fat-free Caesar dressing in the other, marching in their newly acquired sportswear toward personal overhaul salvation. You really gotta hand it to them.
So why, then, do I love this time of year so much? I think it has to do with the world providing more and more examples of things I can easily "resolve" to do, or never to do.
For example, I resolve never to go souvenir shopping with OJ Simpson. That he'll be doing it in the Prison PX for the next 60 years of his reptilian life makes the resolution that much easier to keep. (And in a twist that has been called "darned spooky" by some religious leaders, it was a Las Vegas jury that dispensed that particular dose of righteous justice. I doubled my tithing, just in case it turns out to be in the fine print under "Apocalypse, Signs Of" ...)
I further resolve to never ask Michael Phelps to write my biography. It is true that while in Beijing he proved that he is, frankly, the only human being capable of holding his breath for 15 straight days and therefore was the only one to return from the Olympics without lung cancer. However, his post-race interviews demonstrated emphatically that he is every bit the fish his short legs and gill-esque ears suggested him to be: When 'speaking' it was nothing but lip motions and bubbles. Sadly, eels are more eloquent, perhaps because, unlike Michael, they spend time in the water with others of their species. So, sorry, you brilliant Olympic icon. I've resolved to let someone else pen my memoirs.
Another easily-kept resolution for me to make is never to be a Republican Vice-presidential candidate, although that was a close call this year. For a couple of months I was wearing my hair and sporting glasses just like Sarah Palin. In fact, in a less frequently watched but no less hilarious video clip, Tina Fey did a spot-on impersonation of me teaching a piano lesson. My husband called my appearance "The Sexy Librarian" look, which was a definite upgrade from "The Overfed Couch Napper" look of '07.
This year I resolve to watch the equity in my house dwindle to where, should I succeed in selling it, I could pay cash for an Almond Joy.
I resolve not to start an auto manufacturing company, thereby singlehandedly saving American taxpayers roughly the fair market value of Australia. You're welcome.
I resolve to buy more lingerie from NASA. I'm afraid that, any more, they're the only ones with the gravity defying technology to get the job done.
I resolve to procrastinate preparing every Gospel Doctrine lesson, every Institute lesson, every symphony and chorus rehearsal, every children's choir rehearsal, and every grocery trip and laundry day until I'm so batty and wigged out there's nothing left for it but to run off with Matthew McConnohowdoyouspellhisnameanyway and open a black market Acai Berries distribution center in Provo.
In 2009 I resolve to have thinner hair, thicker ankles, and more lines on my forehead. By August you should be able to track the complete 19th Century American Westward Migration just by starting at the crow's feet around my left eye and moving, you know, west.
In short, I resolve to be the average, middle-aged, kinda out there gal I've been since I was an average, young, kinda out there gal. I resolve to keep loving my family, even on bathroom cleaning day, and loving my students and loving my jobs and my callings and even loving the sheddingest dog ever to grace the planet.
I resolve to be grateful for a roof over my head even if it's on a house that has never, ever, not once, been completely clean since we moved into it seven years ago. I'm going to make my peace with Wal Mart and clip coupons and tell anyone who gives me lip about my monster suburban that that big red baby is paid for, thank you very much. I'm going to find a little more joy in the brief glimpses of heaven that show up in the unlikeliest of places, and maybe do a little more to pull back that veil for someone else once in a while.
2009 is going to be a great year. And even if it starts off a little disappointing, or chilly, or spandex-intensive, no worries. Groundhog Day is just around the corner.