new year's resolutions
January 2, 2004 11:31 AM

I wonder if Vic had any idea of the stream of invectives I'd like to unleash upon the topic of Resolutions.

Probably not.

So I'll keep it short. Suffice to say that, as some of the other respondents have already said, I'm not a resolutions person.

One. I think that intentional change is fine, that making lists is fine, but if you really wanted to do something - if the change really mattered - you'd be working on it already. Why limit change to one time of the year? Just do it now.

Two. New Year's resolutions (NYRs) seem like a cultural obligation, an assumption that you can't be right just as you are. All mainstream people are expected to have them, so much so that you see diet and gym commercials skyrocket in frequency during the month of January every year. How many people vow to lose the same 10 pounds (or the same 10 plus 5 each year) every year? And how many fail, or succeed only to gain more? No mistaking it - the traditional "lose weight" NYR is a product of the diet industry, which makes money off your failure. Also, NYRs tend to include the implicit assumption (again thanks to the diet industry) that thin is healthier, which is complete bollocks.

Three. People fail at their NYRs. We tend to assume fast, unimpeded progress towards whatever goals we set. And shockingly, everything takes work. When we don't get results before February 1 (or sometimes, January 2), we give up. It feeds this notion that you should be able to make instant change, when change is never instant.

But on to Vic's question. She asks what we're going to do to change the world and ourselves this year. And that I can answer. I haven't resolved to do these things; they're continuances of things I've already started.

For the world: First, the obvious. I'm going to the March in April. I'm going to continue doing everything I can financially and politically to protect abortion rights and oust Bush from office. I'm going to maintain my online network of politically savvy friends and work to get my less political offline friends more involved. I'll keep supporting my current political causes and charities, and I hope expand somewhat given that I have more money to donate.

And the little things. I'm finding a politically savvy calendar to put up in my cube at work where everyone can see it. I'm going to put my superwhite fat ass in a bathing suit and have a wildly good time in Hawaii when we go, which I hope will give some other fat person the courage to take off their shorts and t-shirt. I'll go to church with my parents sometimes, even though I'm an atheist, because it matters that they chose an open-minded church and it's good for open-minded churches to have their numbers increased, if only by one. And the usual others - the way I talk to other people, the ways we create community.

For myself: I'm learning more dance, including taking proper classes and applying Gypsy, Tahitian & Hula to what I'm already working on. I'm eating next to nothing produced by chickens and very little produced by cows - not for moral reasons, but because I'd like to holistically approach my allergies (er, speaking of which, the occasional smoking is perhaps not so good an idea, but we'll get to that later). I'm eating much less crap in general. I'm exercising every day, never at a gym and always in a way I find fun and that builds some skill other than calorie counting. I'm working towards my project management certification, which I'll need if we ever decide to move. I'm playing with toys and getting outside more. I'm angry with myself that I still think about weight loss, but I've found an even more effective motivator for maintaining this lifestyle - I don't ever want to be a collapsey old person. And I'm taking up photography and scrapbooking, just for fun.

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your wicked thoughts

"New Year's resolutions (NYRs) seem like a cultural obligation, an assumption that you can't be right just as you are"


Someday I will blog about "nadryv", or the impossibility of perfection, either physically or attitude-wise. I am not sure I spelled the word right, but nadryv basically means lacerating oneself by trying to live up to impossible standards.

these are the thoughts of Kerri on January 2, 2004 11:50 AM

I thought I'd make a comment on the given definition of Nadryv, as posted on the site. Nadryv is not trying to live up to impossible standards, although it does entail self suffering. It could best be summed up as "pleasurable self-hurt," but it has to do with pride. It is taking pride in oneself for suffering and sacraficing for another. One puts oneself on the line in order to feel good about the devotion given to another, with the essential hope that that person will someday realize the burden one possesed for their sake. Overall, it is the need to hurt to substantiate the martyr image. The best example I've seen would be found in the novel, "The Brothers Karamazov."

these are the thoughts of Jamie on April 14, 2004 08:45 PM

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