Broken your resolutions yet? Good. You're human. There's something about breaking a resolution that makes you accept your fallen nature. Perfection is not our lot. We are not blackboards that can be wiped clean and covered with bright new slogans; our characters are engraved in soft stone, and it is our hand that holds the mallet and chisel. Or a spoon and a bowl of ice cream. Same thing, more or less.
The "new year, new me" idea is a cruel farce, and you shouldn't feel bad because you still feel like Old You. The idea of personal rejuvenation is tempting, but if it happens, it won't be because the numbers on the calendar are different. That's like saying, "I will be a more moral and healthy person when the metric system is adopted!"
If ever there were a time to be Old You, it's now. The world is cold and dark. Living in January in Minnesota is like chewing on a block of ice for 31 days; you're going to suddenly take up yoga so you can touch the back of your head with your foot?
Wait until March, when the world suggests there's a point to hope. But if you want to make some resolutions that you can probably keep, let me help. Here are a few I've been considering.
I resolve that when I pick up something at the grocery store aisle that fell on the floor, I don't congratulate myself for doing a Good Thing on par with Mother Teresa washing the feet of lepers.
I resolve not to ask the dog who's a good boy, because not one of the male children I've met ever chewed up a lame chipmunk. I will ask, "Who's a familiar representative of his species? You are! Yes, you are." And the tail will thump just the same.
I resolve to pay attention when I get customer assistance recordings, as some menu options may have changed, and to write them on the back of my hand with a Sharpie.
I resolve not to be annoyed that the panini grill ought to be panino, singular; no one has a waffles iron or a popcorns popper.
When people leave their shopping cart in the middle of the aisle and wander 20 feet away to study the canned beans, I will not stare hot daggers at them. I will use a Taser instead.
When a salesperson says, "That's going to be $19.45," I will not say, "When?" because that sort of amusing interaction just sets the bar so high that subsequent customers are disappointing.
I resolve to stop doing that thing my spouse wishes I wouldn't do out of habit and don't realize I am doing; I do not, however, resolve to ask her what that is.
I resolve not to read the comments on any news story that I am surprised to find has a comments thread.
I resolve to listen to the last 20 seconds when making popcorn in the microwave, because apparently it might burst into flames, and the house goes up; might as well smoke in bed on a mattress of straw.
I resolve to watch a few more episodes of that Netflix show I talk about with authority even though I watched, like, 10 minutes of but read some reviews.
I resolve to stop whistling the "Twilight Zone" theme in the elevator between the 12th and 14th floors.
I resolve to replace all the smoke detector batteries on the same day like you're supposed to, so they all go off at the same time at 3 a.m., and you can't tell which one is dying so you knock them off the wall with a broom handle and wake up the next morning with the vague memory of a dream where you were a knight fighting robot birds.
I resolve to get around to all those LinkedIn e-mails, just as soon as I finish some other high-priority tasks, like gluing a billion toothpicks into a very tall pole I can use to write my name on the dust of the moon.
I resolve to change the water filter in the coffeemaker, which you're supposed to do every three months or your coffee has minerals, and you say things like, "Top notes of sod and leather, hints of quartz."
I resolve to stop having those imaginary arguments with people while I'm showering; it gives me the impression I'm always right. I also resolve to have real arguments with people in the shower, which sounds much more interesting.
Those were my 2016 resolutions, by the way. How'd I do? Well, I'll tell you. If you pass the soap.