As one of my favorite writers Anne Lamott implored the other day ”please join me in not starting a diet January 1st “. She writes:
I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough self-esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act.
I agree entirely. Most of the resolutions we adopt involve self-denial. But why strive to make life more wretched? On New Year’s Day, a time of promise and hope, we too often make resolutions that promise more pain, more aggravation. Why? New Year’s Day is the only holiday where not getting into the spirit is considered a virtue.
If you feel the need to make a resolution at all, resolve to find joy in the things around you. That is unlikely to require any self-flagellation and it’s readily accomplished.
Last year I resolved to eat more good soup. Done. Easy.
Because that one worked out so well, this year I resolve to eat even more good soup. Of course, if I keep this up, year after year, the pressure to make the perfect soup will put me back in the pain caucus.
I guess the only New Year’s resolution worth making is one that involves no effort at all—drink more wine!