Yesterday, as my teenaged daughter, her father and I drove home from our annual New Year's in New York, I halfheartedly brought up the idea of resolutions.
No one bit.
I myself love resolutions. Making them that is; not necessarily following through. Like all resolution-makers, my heart is always in the right place on December 31st. It's just my head (and stomach) that shift gears later.
For me, resolutions fall into the same category as brand new datebooks (yes, I'm still an analog girl when it comes to my beloved New Yorker magazine desktop planner, an annual Christmas gift from my husband). It's all about the clean slate. The chance for a perfect (well, at least a perfect-er) new year.
I'm not sure when I made my first of these infamous lists, probably fourth grade when I started keeping a diary. At that point, my dreams were pretty ... well ... dreamlike. I wanted to write the (next) great American novel (my best friend Naomi and I had discovered Gone With the Wind by then). I wanted to be an actress. Or a singer. Or a flight attendant.
By junior high, my annual goals were less lofty. In fact, they were less everything. Just plain less. From then on, the first page of all my journals began with a list of resolutions that began with ...
1. Lose weight
Oh sure, sometimes I would shake it up a bit and pretend to be concerned with my health ...
1. Exercise regularly and eat a more healthy diet
But, the subtext was always the same ...
1. Lose weight
Now, in my fabulous (and, let's face it, fatter) 50s, I find it astonishing that my teeny tiny teen self was worried about her weight. What I wouldn't give to fit into those Calvin Klein size 8s! Today, I'm in NYDJ ("Not Your Daughter's Jeans"), and we'll just gloss right over what size they are.
It's not like I haven't tried to stay slim. By the time I was 16, my daughter's age, and long into my college and young adult years, I worked at it. Take it from me, I've tried a multitude of diets and diet aids, such as ...
• TAB (was there ever a more disgusting taste?)
• The plain yogurt diet
• The cucumber diet
• The egg drop soup diet
• The pear diet
• The write everything down in a little notebook diet
• Tiger's Milk protein bars
• Carnation Instant Breakfast
• Dexatrim (over the counter, so it had to be safe, right?)
• Bran muffins
• Salads with day-glow diet French dressing
• A 21-Day Cleanse
• Vegan eating
• Vegetarian eating
• "Pescetarian" eating
• The Zone and Weight Watchers
• No carbs, low carbs, all carbs
The latest craze is IF, Intermittent Fasting. I did this for three days and finally came to my senses with a big, fat "WTF?" that would have made my texting teen proud.
Yesterday, I was hoping for a more enthusiastic response to my resolutions suggestion (in fairness, my daughter was listening to "American Authors," her new FAVORITE BAND EVER, OMG!). But, I am so happy that she isn't obsessing about her weight. She is fit, she is active, and she really enjoys food. Really, really. In this, as in many things these days, I should take a lesson from her.
So, in that spirit, here is my number one resolution for 2014:
1. Have more fun
And number two?
2. Invest in another pair of NYDJs
Happy New Year!
If you enjoyed this post, order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at www.lovinthealien.com.