What did you guys get for Christmas? I got food poisoning!*
And while some people (my grandma, mostly) pitied me for spending the holiday alone and sick on a couch 300 miles from my hometown, I actually had a pretty good time. And not just because I don’t like Christmas.
I mean, some parts kind of sucked. The nausea was not great. I think Hell might be a pantry full of junk food that you really want to eat but can’t because your stomach is on strike. But mostly I was happy. I made a tree out of books! I listened to Pandora’s Christmas radio station for nearly a full minute! I watched Ike try to eat snowflakes through the windowpane!
I also got a lot of stuff done, which is the same thing as happiness for a Type A personality such as myself. Among other things, I crafted the perfect New Year’s resolutions, which is no small feat.
New Year’s Resolution Requirements
- You cannot make too many New Year’s resolutions. From personal experience, I know that this is a good way to get overwhelmed, freak out about how you never accomplish anything in your pathetic life, and spend an evening crying into a large bowl of instant mashed potatoes.
- You cannot make too few New Year’s resolutions. What kind of jerk thinks he only need to improve one thing about himself?
- Your New Year’s resolutions must be specific. “I am going to be a safer driver this year” is not a good goal. What is “safer?” What is “year?” All these terms sound too vague and open to interpretation to me.
- Your New Year’s resolutions must be measurable. “I am going to hit zero pedestrians with my car in 2016” is a good goal because on December 31, 2016, you can think back on your year and check this one. “Hmm,” you will say to yourself. “Did I hit any pedestrians with my car in the last 12 months?” And if the answer is yes, you will know that in 2017 you need to try a little harder.
So while Winston and I sat on the couch watching Ike slam his mouth repeatedly into the window, I crafted several perfect New Year’s resolutions. They were mostly variations on two themes: “Remember that project you started? Maybe finish it, slacker,” and “Remember those people you care about? Maybe act like it, poop head.” I had narrowed down the list and perfected my resolutions by December 26.
But on the morning of January 1, I took a long, hard look at myself in the mirror. My breath smelled horrible. My face and hair looked worse. I was knee-deep in the third-worst hangover of my sweet, short life and was having flashbacks to the lowest moments of 2015. I was angry and frustrated for almost the entire year. I was guilt-ridden, anxious, stressed out and occasionally downright crazy. I wasn’t nice to my friends or my enemies.
“In 2016, I will be better,” I said to my bleary-eyed reflection. And then I curled up on the bottom of the bathtub with the shower running and pretended not to be a person, which is the hardest thing to be besides a blob fish.
You may recognize “I will be better” as one of those goals that I specifically warned against. “Better” is subjective, and there’s no measuring stick for it that I know of. It’s a bad New Year’s resolution, but it’s still the one I want to accomplish the most. So I broke it down into approximately 1,000 smaller goals that are not New Year’s Resolutions. They’re just things I want to change over a one-year period. It’s totally different.
A Selection of Things I Want to Change over a One-year Period
- I want to be the kind of person whose headphone cords don’t get all tangled up in their pocket.
- I want to exercise more. That is, exercise even a little.
- I want to be more forgiving of dummies.
- I want to stop calling people dummies.
- I want to make some new friends. A good way to do that might be by not calling people dummies.
- I want to go outside sometime. Once will probably do it.
- I want to take better care of my car, and my house, and my relationships, and my feet.
- I want to know if love is wild, babe. I want to know if love is real.
- I want to stop having stress dreams about math class and the grocery store where I worked in high school.
- I want to be genuinely happy for other people when they do cool stuff instead of getting jealous.
- I want to change my whole personality instead of being the worst human on the entire planet.
- I want to be kinder to myself.
- I want to remember that my job is not the most important job in the universe, or even in my office, and that I need to stop acting like it is.
- I want to stop gossiping.
- I want to learn how to spell gossiping correctly the first time. And also correspondent, satellite, and sheriff.
- I want my fence back, even if I have to become a masked vigilante to get it.
- I kind of want to become a masked vigilante.
- I want my family members and friends to know how great I think they are. (So great.)
- I want to rinse the dishes better before I put them in the dishwasher.
One week into the new year, I’m not doing so hot on the headphone cord front but my dishwasher behavior has improved immensely, so I think there’s hope. This is going to be my year.
Well. Not my year. This is going to be the year of a much better person who looks like me, but, you know, better.
*Also, my boyfriend gave me a cat litter scoop.**
**It’s a really good scoop.