The looming holiday of New Year’s Eve always fills me with a vague sort of nausea, much like the feeling I get when I've had too many Christmas cookies. I hate the huge reminder that another year of my life has come and gone and nothing (or very little) has changed since last year. This is punctuated by my masochistic tradition of writing resolutions and then evaluating them when the year is over. Unfortunately for me (but lucky for you) I couldn’t find my list from last year. I looked on this computer, on my old computer, on my storage drive, and even in a handwritten journal. Nothing. I guess I slacked on the 2010 list. Hooray for my lack of ambition, because I didn’t accomplish anything this year anyway – so I guess I succeeded with my resolutions, right?
I am hoping that, by posting my New Year’s resolutions for all the world to see, I will be motivated to really follow through because I have a community of people cheering me on. Or watching me out of the corner of their eye just waiting for me to screw up. Either way, it’s motivating.
Here they are, my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Diet and exercise. I say it every year and I usually fail, but I always make it number one anyway. It just seems to be the quintessential classic New Year’s resolution, and I’d feel left out if I didn’t add it. The diet fails because it’s impossible to eat the way I want to every day, especially now that I don’t do much cooking and I have to eat food prepared by people who live on red meat and butter. The exercise fails because my back usually hurts too much to stand up straight let alone work out enough to make a noticeable impact. I never learn. Why do I torture myself with this one?
2. Find gainful employment. The jobs I do now are fun, but they’re not even close to being enough to live on. I already recognize that nothing I enjoy (writing, reading, music, any sort of creative pursuit, cooking, organizing, caretaking) will bring me the regular income that I need, so I’m going to have to suck it up and go back to a life of corporate monotony for forty hours a week. Retail is not acceptable. I am educated and motivated, and I believe there is a job out there that fits my skill level, regardless of the economy. If that doesn’t work, I may have to resign myself into taking the Sugar Daddy route, in which case I need to seriously implement resolution number one, and probably start dressing like a woman instead of like a homeless person, and…
3. Learn how to stop Word from automatically formatting my documents in ways that I don’t want it to! If I wanted a line to be indented, I would perform the proper action to make it so. Word seems to think that lines should be indented at random without my consent. It’s doing it right now! Stop it, you evil computer brain, stop! Thus far, I’ve refused to research the hows and whys of Word, because it angers me that I even need to. When I correct Word’s unnecessary, unsolicited alterations, it shouldn’t change it back after I’ve deleted it. I mean, really. It’s just trying to make me mad now. How mean-spirited. If it were a boyfriend, I’d dump it. And take its favorite hoodie.
4. (Deep breath) Stop hating Microsoft. Even though everything else is far superior to Microsoft products, I suppose I should adopt an “if you can’t beat it, join it” attitude until I can afford to buy a Macbook. (Incase you were wondering, I’ve since copied this entire document, pasted it into notepad, and formatted it the way I want it. Notepad doesn’t hold me back from my formatting needs, or force its stupid ideas on me. This might be a long-term relationship in the making.)
5. Learn to focus on a task, such as a New Year’s Resolution list. Don’t digress from the challenge at hand, especially if it is just to rant about a crappy software company, for example.
6. Decrease my alcohol intake. Ideally I would like to eliminate alcohol use completely, but I know that’s unattainable, so I’m not going to bother. Even if I quit drinking socially, I still enjoy a good wine paired with a nice dinner. So rather than setting myself up for certain failure, I’m just hoping to be less drunk (or drunk less?) during 2011.
7. Decrease my caffeine intake. In 2007, I weaned myself gradually to decaf, and I stuck with it for almost a year. My caffeine addiction returned with a vengeance after one cup of regular coffee. It had nothing to do with the caffeine but everything to do with the flavor. Until I had tasted regular coffee again, I kind of forgot what I was missing. But at least I learned that I am able to drink crappy tasting decaf as long as I never, ever take a sip of real coffee.
8. Stop feeling guilty when I don’t do what others want me to do. This is probably the most important on the list and the most difficult to attain. Everybody always seems to have expectations of me for what I should do or how I should live my life, regardless of whether it’s in my best interests or not. I’ve learned to say no if I am not interested in doing something that someone else suggests, but I haven’t learned to be okay with those decisions. I’m sure this can be linked to a self-esteem disorder, among a dozen other disorders that are probably in my head, but I certainly can’t tackle all of that in one New Year - one symptom at a time, please! Cut me some slack. I am a perfectionist after all, and if I can’t attain every goal I set for myself then I will just spiral into a complete psychological meltdown.
Wow, I think I have figured out why I hate New Year’s!
9. Stop obsessing over stuff. This is not as complex for me as you might think. The things I obsess over are really simple things, such as a miniscule spot on the counter that won’t come clean, or drizzling frosting on cookies. My admirably non-obsessive sister brought this disorder to my attention with both of the aforementioned examples. I need to be able to intervene in my own head before I’ve spent an hour on something that takes normal people only ten minutes.
10. Make the best of what life throws at me. After a year of changes, uncertainty, letdowns, and wallowing in self-pity, I need to learn to live more. I don’t know what that means yet, but it sounds good. It sounds like something I could benefit from. I know that I have to let go when things don’t go the way I was hoping, and most importantly make myself at home in the new situation. Hopefully that will help me feel at home in general.
Okay, friends, now it’s on you! Hold me to this list. Check up on me. Ask me to tell you about my progress. If I haven’t made progress, make me give you a good reason why not. Use tough love if you have to. Well, maybe not really tough love, because that will trigger my self-esteem disorder and I will think that you’re just being mean to me rather than trying to help me. Then I will obsess over that for a few days, and in an attempt to deal with it I will drink a bottle of wine. I will be so hungover the next day that the only thing that will help me through the day is an entire pot of highly-caffeinated coffee, followed by a dinner of buttered steak. 2011 will then be a total failure, and I’ll torture you by writing whining, self-indulgent blogs using Mircosoft Word. Unless I’ve punched the screen out of my laptop after it starts spontaneously re-formatting my document.
Never mind. Just have a Happy New Year!