No Resolutions until February!

As a world-weary sexagenarian, (why does that sound better than it is?) I feel fully qualified to give the advice in the title.  I no longer make resolutions of any kind – it just puts too much pressure on poor old January and me.  It’s a dark and miserable month unless you live in the equator or upside-down world beneath.  Many of us have struggled through dysfunctional family get-togethers or excruciating company parties.  We need to give ourselves a break in January.

I had an otherworldly experience when I was working a corporate holiday event in December.  It felt like Christmas Present looking at Christmas Past.  The executives had the lackluster expressions of people who had been to one corporate function too many, aspirational middle managers were wearing expensive togs and eager to please faces, the bottom rung looked nervously excited but ready to party.  There were spray tans, tight fitting outfits revealing too much flesh on a perishingly cold evening and the inevitable Holiday Sweaters.  Some were not ugly at all…and at least they were warm.

When Teddy and I first moved to Houston, he was on the aspirational ladder.  Our first company ball was downtown and it was formal dress.  We floated in a sea of unfamiliar faces until someone we knew appeared.  They seemed eager to interact with us until a more important executive appeared.  Then they rudely ditched us like hot potatoes.  We sat at a table of strangers, drank too much and had fun.  That was the last Holiday Formal that we ever attended.  When Teddy retired, we donated his tuxedo and my long dresses to the thrift store.  I hope they made good Halloween costumes.

This Christmas I watched the folks at this fancy corporate event blithely drink until they reeked of liquor.  The wee devil on my shoulder thought, ‘enjoy that hangover’ but the angel said, “Merry Christmas!”  I write with the smugness of a newly converted Catholic (substitute Mormon, Buddhist or Wiccan) who has signed the pledge.  Too bad it took me until now to figure out that alcohol is not my friend.  Ever since Teddy’s various cardiac events we have been on the straight and narrow.  Our regime has been so successful that our black work outfits were hanging off us like elderly crow feathers.

I still cringe with memories of drinking or eating too much, then feeling terrible.  Sometimes I said something deeply inappropriate or blacked out (don’t take alcohol with psychiatric medication).  Every January I would sign up at Weight Watchers or at least think about it.  Lists would be written with instructions to myself on how to make my life better.  If only I could be slimmer, prettier or smarter then life would be perfect. Next year I would find the right career (substitute house, partner or friend) for me.

Who says that January is the start of the New Year?  Pope Gregor has much to answer for… We  could celebrate Persian New Year, Nowruz, in March.  January is a good month to just – BE.  Relax, eat a few more chocolates and have that glass of wine.  Allow yourself to wallow a little.  In Scotland we embrace maudlin thoughts of Auld Lang Syne on New Years’ Day.  Use January to slowly form embryonic goals that are realistic.  Read a book and listen to old records.

By the time it comes to February you might feel ready to embrace a new routine.  A planned vacation might inspire some language skills. My least favorite phrase is ‘hit the ground running’.  It brings back terrible memories of the colleague from hell who also plastered our office walls with those ridiculous aspirational posters.  There is no rush in life; it all ends the same way so why hurry? 

The last thing I wanted to do in retirement was cook meals from scratch.  I envisioned long boozy lunches with other retired friends, sometimes in exotic places.  Then the Pandemic happened.  Life seemed to stop and after a while I stopped drinking too much, ate properly – and felt much better.  Who knew?  Some years ago, I wrote and published a book.  It was my lifelong dream but I still felt dissatisfied.  But life’s good enough.  For the first time in ages, I feel content.  I went to a tiny holiday party in our street and probably talked too much but who cares?  ‘I yam what I yam’ – quoting Popeye, the great philosopher. 

I am thinking about learning to knit properly, use my sewing machine and painting Christmas cards for next year.  If I do any of those tasks, it will because the psychiatrist suggests a fancy new drug that makes me as high as a kite…  I will settle for trying new recipes, a couple of short trips away, a contract or two and life will be good.  Look after yourselves in the deep midwinter and may 2023 be gentle on us.

71 thoughts on “No Resolutions until February!

  1. I have my usual new year’s resolution, which is not to have any resolution at all. That’s the easiest one to keep. 😉
    All my beat wishes to you, Kerry, and yours, for 2023,

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a good summation of life Kerry. I made the resolution of no NYE resolutions many years ago but then again I was perfect at that time 😂
    I like that you used the quote from the famous philosopher Popeye and should be an inspirational poster in so many places.
    I look forward to more chats with Chatty Kerry.
    Happy New Year 🎇🎆😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Merry Christmas Kerry. I hope New Year is good for you and Andy. I loved the post and agree with the majority of it.
    Who knew we would both be almost off alcohol by 60🤣
    I am enjoying doing nothing right now and don’t feel at all guilty for a change. I hate Christmas parties.unless it’s with really good friends. So much effort 🙄
    January is hard enough without depriving yourself. Totally agree with you.
    Hope you have a lovely peaceful and fun New Year.
    Warmest wishes
    Anne x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love your insights, Kelly, and I wish you as pleasant and relaxed a January and new year year as possible. March might be a cruel month, but I think it gets competition from January. I have lost several loved ones during that month and try to fill it with positive thoughts and actions, which doesn’t necessarily come naturally.
    Wishing you and Terry the best,

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This pressure to make a change, based on a cultural timeline like that of New Year’s Day, can set most of us up for failure because we only see it in black or white. This heightened pressure can lead to increased anxiety or depression. Often, people have these vague resolutions like, ‘I’m going to be happier,’ or ‘I want to be healthier,’ but they’re almost impossible to put into practice, because what does that really mean? My New Years’ resolution is to practice mindfulness by doing everything I can to be grateful for what I have in the moment, where I am in life, and who I am right now. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. (Well it’s taken me a good five minutes to find the place to write a comment so this may carry a slight unintended narked energy)

    This was so lovely to read and made me smile no end. Thank you for that and I feel resolutions in February are an excellent idea.

    Lots of love

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Likewise I successfully negotiated a narrow track around all festivities and have arrived at January in one piece. The Romans artificially invented January and February anyway so there’s no real need to surface until March. Hope you both have a healthy and happy 2023 Kerry.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There are a lot of holiday events in my little town and I’m relieved when they are over! Resolutions are not my thing, just trying to keep doing a little more of the things that make life enjoyable and not stressful. Enjoy your relaxing January, and have a great new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have often been mildly embarrassed when asked what are my new year’s resolutions – I never made any! So I now feel better after reading your post. Isn’t it great to feel that life is good enough and to feel content? Have a really contented 2023 Kerry, whether you knit or sew, or just enjoy the moment – whatever is happening.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.