I asked the girls to write about their New Year’s resolutions for 2014. I expected a sarcastic list from Chloe and a heartwarming list from Sophie. Instead, they wrote tirades about the stupidity of New Year’s resolutions (you can read them below, if you dare).
They did not get their jaded attitudes about resolutions from me. And I don’t think they inherited their attitudes from their Papa. While I’ve never had much success with New Year’s resolutions myself, I like the idea of them. I don’t think they’re stupid. They reveal the best parts of ourselves – the hope, the optimism, the certitude that tomorrow will be better than today and yesterday.
Perhaps the girls think that dissing resolutions makes them sound cool, or older than their years. Sophie maintains “that’s so not true.” But I do think it might very well be true for Chloe, who has always loved to be contrarian. In Sophie’s case, I think she doesn’t fully understand what resolutions are. But Sophie is quick to correct me, informing me that she’s been writing them since 1st grade. In 1st grade, she resolved to read better, a resolution she has repeated in 2nd grade and 3rd grade, just to complete the assignment. When I pointed out she has actually accomplished her resolutions because she’s read better with every passing year, her response was “everybody reads better every year.”
All I know is that I think I will always look back on 2013 as one of the best years of my life (despite the fact that I’m now 1/2 of 90 years old). It was a year of liberating and exciting change. It was a year filled with love. I hope that I never forget how happy and fortunate I feel right now, as 2013 turns into 2014, to be surrounded by my two beautiful and jaded daughters, the husband who puts up with our drama and our crazy puppy Truffle. If 2014 turns out to be even half as good as 2013, I’ll consider myself a very lucky person indeed.
Chloe’s Grinchy Diatribe About New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions are stupid. They’re just used as excuses.
Excuse Number 1: Procrastination, an excuse to put things off. New Year’s resolutions are for putting stuff off. I don’t understand the difference between saying you’re going to do something on January 1st and saying you’ll do something in November! Resolutions are an excuse for people to procrastinate on doing something, by putting it off until next year. And then putting it off until the next next year. Then the next next next one. And the year after that.
Excuse Number 2: Lying to yourself, an excuse to feel better about yourself. New Year’s resolutions are something people come up with to feel better about themselves. You tell yourself you’re going to do something, even though deep down you know you won’t. I mean, who ever realizes their resolutions? No one. It’s a way to temporarily give yourself a sense of purpose, having convinced yourself that for once you’re going to be productive. And then, at the end of the year when you start feeling depressed about the fact that you didn’t accomplish your resolution, you can just make it your resolution for the next year. I’m telling you, it’s a vicious cycle, and this basically brings us back to Excuse Number 1.
Excuse Number 3: Lying to others, an excuse to make others feel happy through lying. New Year’s resolutions are not only used to lie to yourself, but also to others. Like telling your parents you’re going to try to get better grades. Or telling your sibling you want to be nicer to them. Promising your grandmother you’re going to visit her more often. Or even telling your dentist you’re finally going to start flossing. And they’re all lies, lies, lies. Just to make other people feel happy.
Excuse Number 4: The final excuse, and my personal favorite. An excuse for teachers to give their students busy work, so that they don’t have to do any teaching. New Year’s resolutions are probably the ultimate excuse for your English teacher to give you the pointless assignment of writing a pointless paragraph about your pointless resolutions for the year. Every single year this happens, and every single year students fill their paper with bull. Every. Single. Year.
Sophie’s Grinchy Diatribe About New Year’s Resolutions
I don’t like New Year’s resolutions because:
1. They’re boring.
2. They’re stupid.
3. All you do is say what you want to accomplish, which you probably won’t do.
And last but not least, New Year’s itself is dumb because you stay up until midnight just to watch this sparkly ball drop from the sky.
I have nothing else to add. Good night.
P.S. In case I didn’t make it clear, I don’t like New Year’s.
P.P.S. The one good thing about New Year’s is that it’s a good excuse to stay up late.