That all this counting and summing up comes at the end of something we can’t change, and at the beginning of a promise we make to ourselves to do better and achieve more, is eye opening. If we’re honest we know most likely the new gym membership will lapse by Valentine’s Day, a heart box of chocolates is the last straw, and the credit card balance will continue to increase, new tires and a transmission will do that.
Each year, I tell myself that this time it will be different, but no matter how hard I try Dec. 31 does not wash away the disclaimers of the previous year’s bad behavior any more than Jan. 1 sets me up for perfection. It may take months or maybe years to erase over indulgence around the waist, and unless I feed my well-worn little rectangle of plastic to the shredder, the disappointment of financial gluttony will probably last a lifetime.
I’m not into resolutions but I am into at least researching alternatives as a result of how last year was lived.
Like, I will try to cook more. My husband does most of the cooking and he’s pretty good at it. He should be, I taught him. I will try to stick to the shopping list when I go to the supermarket but turning down a BOGO (buy one get one) on Snickers snack size has me purchasing four, though I originally intended to buy one — for my husband of course.
I will also try to be kinder, nicer and more pleasant. I certainly have no way of judging whether I am able to achieve this monumental self-adjustment because I hesitate to ask the ones I love, and those with whom I associate, “Hey, was I nicer to you today.” I mean really, what might the consequences be if I was not?
I love the holiday season but I’ve never been one to get into the whole New Year’s Eve thing. When I was younger I don’t think I ever had an actual New Year’s Eve date. I’m not sure what that says about me other than champagne, streamers and celebrating with a bunch of inebriated regretful dreamers is not my thing. Now that I am older, my husband and I fall asleep after Wheel of Fortune anyway.
One New Years’ Eve my husband and I promised our young daughters we’d stay up and watch the Times Square celebration with them. The girls wanted to see what the ball in Time’s Square was all about. I did well, a couple of cups of coffee helped, but my husband dozed on the couch up to the point when the hands on the clock hit double digits, then he conked out at full snore. The girls and I took turns trying to pitch popcorn into his open mouth. None of us made points.
For almost my entire life January has been just another month, nothing special, nothing monumental, until 2014. That’s when January presented our family with a new life, a look into the future and a clean slate to get it right. This new life, a little girl, will be 2 years old this January and has a slate so shiny and new with promise, it gleams. And her inventory, all pluses so far and forever.