Resolve- noun, firmness of purpose

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

I normally don't subscribe to making New Year's resolutions. In fact, New Year's would probably finish last as my least favorite major holiday that I celebrate obligatorily. Is that even a word? Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and Independence day top the list for me, mostly due to fond memories, seeing family, and a strong patriotic streak in me, then there's Memorial and Veteran's day. Again, lots of patriotism here.

After that comes what I consider the lame holidays. Like Saint Patrick's, Valentine's and Labor day. St. Patrick's day is the day that suddenly everyone is Irish, regardless of their actual heritage, I suspect as an excuse to drink themselves to a near comatose state. Valentine's I've never liked. Too commercialized, over romanticized, and honestly, if you're going to buy me flowers and chocolate, do it on a day that is spontaneous and actually thoughtful.

And then there is New Year's.

Like I said, I've never liked it. I think it started sometime around middle school, when I felt that New Year's was actually kind of off. As someone whose life revolved around school, January first wasn't exactly the new year for me. Try August 20-something. It felt so irrelevant to me then.

And even though it's a little more relevant for me now, I just don't get all caught up in the excitement. I guess it's partly due to missing out on now my third New Year with Cory. We've officially been dating for three years (yay December 3rd) and we've never celebrated a holiday, or birthday, together.

I'm not a social butterfly, nor am I a social drinker. Unless by social drinker you mean sharing a bottle of wine with my best friend of 16 years in the quiet and privacy of my apartment or her kitchen. I don't like most of the decorations, hate crowds of people (especially when they are drunk), so there essentially is no appeal.

Aside from the resolutions. Those even bothered me a lot. Until this year. As I've had plenty of time to sit and do a lot of thinking on my life, I will be making resolutions. And unlike everyone this year, I do mean them. Whole heartedly. Because when you sleep 14 hours a day, barely eat, and never leave your apartment, it's time to start getting things done. I am not happy with really any area of my life and I'm done living- no, existing- like that.

Silly as it may sound, I've actually been very inspired by Ted Mosby. Yes, the main character of How I Met Your Mother. I recall a conversation with someone recently (odds are it was either my best friend or my boyfriend) and I explained how when the show first aired back in 2005, I had no interest in it whatsoever. I would have been 14. And a show about overly romantic, 30 year olds who meet at a bar to share their 30 year old escapades holds relatively zero interest to a freshman in high school.

And here I am now. 22. And half way through season 4. (Thank you Netflix!) I'm still the show's lifetime away from where the characters are, but it has become sort of therapeutic for me in a way. Each season has brought many, many laughs and a good bit of shirtless Neil Patrick Harris (Thank you Netflix/God!) But in all seriousness, there are so many relate-able stories and plot twists that it's hard not to fall head over heels for all the characters.

Long distance relationships (except mine is lasting longer, ha!) huge career decisions, a tendency to Mosby people, unemployment, general trying-to-figure-out-life-as-y
-help-you-out-or-you'd-go-crazy. Even though it is a tv show, it's comforting to know that what I'm going through is universal. It must be, or there wouldn't be 8 seasons.

If Lily can break up with Marshall shortly before their wedding, spend a summer trying to follow her dreams, then I can start my own business. If Marshall can make it through unemployment without losing his mind, then I can do it too. If Ted can find the mother of his kids, then someday I'll find the one for me.

I don't know what this year holds for me. Hopefully it gets better than how 2013 ended. For my least favorite holiday, it sure is looking ok already. I don't think that my resolutions are really any different than they've ever been. Maybe just more specific. It pretty much boils down to eating healthier/exercising more in order to lose weight, and challenge myself.

Not sure, but I think those are some of the most universal resolutions ever. So to be more specific, I resolve to follow the paleo diet. Kind of. I know that I don't tolerate gluten too well. I wouldn't call it a food allergy, but I'm definitely a happier, healthier person when I cut it down/out. Likewise, I'm not lactose intolerant, but I sure feel better when I'm not ingesting tons of dairy.

However, I know myself well enough to know that I will have gluten and dairy, and yes, some processed foods in the next 364 days. It's just not going to work like that. But I can at least follow a modified version of the paleo diet (one that includes some dairy here and there as well as a few grains) 75-80% of the time.

I'm actually really looking forward to this change. It won't be easy, and it sure won't be cheap, especially when you're me, without any income. But it will be worth it. If I can make good, whole, clean food when I'm home and out and about, then I will be happy with myself. I know that it's unrealistic to think I'll never eat a cookie again, or that I'll never eat yogurt just for the sake of going paleo. I also won't expect everyone else around me to adhere to MY lifestyle change. So 80% it is.

Likewise, I resolve to start exercising more. But none of that Couch to 5K planning, or "I"m going to go to the gym every day!" crap. Please. It's not going to happen. My hope is that the dietary changes will help me lose weight enough to become more capable of exercising the way I would like. But right now it's all I can do to pull myself out of bed. So I will be sneaking exercise into my daily routine... once I establish one.

Things like doing calf raises when I brush my teeth, dancing with Shaun T as I do dishes or make a pizza, toe reaches when I sit on the floor to sort through papers. It's a good way to be a little more active, and it also should be fun to get creative with it. I know I'm not going to just bust off the couch and go for a walk, or head to the gym, but I sure can stop being sedentary.

My last resolution falls into the "challenge thyself" category. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been scared of roller coasters. No, downright terrified. To the point that I have formed some sort of mental block. The last time I rode one, I was 12. And I hated it. I'm not a fan of heights, nor do I like the movement or sitting in a non-enclosed space hurtling at speeds I don't even drive. My family and friends have tried for years to get me to go on one again, but I just won't do it. Sure I CAN do it, but I don't want to.

Well, this year I'm going to try. Short of physically forcing and restraining me, no one on earth will get me to do it. Except me. The last time I was 12. I'm 22. I figure since it's been a decade, it's time to move past this. Either I'll love it and amusement parks will now feel like fun instead of torture, or I won't and everyone will have to stop pestering me about it.

What are you resolving this year? What steps are you taking to ensure you won't give up within a month? Are you ready to commit? I am.
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