If there’s one thing that’s never novel about the new year, it’s resolutions – those pesky “self-help” promises that poison the minds of those celebrating such a joyous holiday.
These senseless hopes and dreams seem to appear for about 10 days each January before dying off until the next year rolls around.
When I returned to Foggy Bottom two weeks ago, I found a completely different atmosphere. For one thing, the salad bar at J Street has become quite the commodity. While waiting in line for my Wendy’s Double Cheeseburger Deluxe with a large fry and Coke, I could see hordes of girls flocking to the salad bar like gazelle to a watering hole. Thank goodness for low-fat dressing.
Similarly, HelWell seemed to be more packed recently. I made a late-night trip to work on my figure and was greeted by half the student body dripping in sweat. Maybe it’s the new year, but it was like all these people were suddenly informed that excess calories could shorten your life span. Normally, I would have gone straight to the weight room and started my lunges, but I had no desire to do so with a giant grunting audience.
I usually forget to make a New Years resolution for myself, but after being surrounded by all these ambitious people, I figured I should work on some goals of my own. So, after hours of contemplation, I gave my dad a call. I told him I had decided that my New Years resolution was to refrain from spending any money aside from the balance he provided for my meal plan.
He said, “No money at all? How do you expect to get into bars?”
Dad raised a very good point. I told him that I could work around this minor roadblock by making a few revisions to my resolution. I would spend a small amount of money over the next year, but only on food and alcohol.
To this he had an even more insightful response: “That’s not a resolution, son. You already spend all your money on food and alcohol.”
The man knows me well.
Not to be deterred, I spent some time searching for a new life plan, but I realized something else in the process. New Years resolutions are counterproductive. All they do is make you feel guilty about what you didn’t do last year, stressed about what you plan to do next year, and eventually disappointed when you fail to do what you planned.
I resolve to save myself from that disappointment and simply have a happy new year.