I’ve always had a beef with New Year’s. Always. There’s that damn depressing song, for starters. It’s so bittersweet. As if you’re supposed to reflect on the could have beens, instead of the thank god there was’s. And then the expectations. Oh, the expectations!
This weekend, I took my $150 Christmas cash and went shopping at one of New Jersey’s many outlet malls. It was snowing, and the drive took longer than the shopping itself.
I didn’t need anything, but of course that wasn’t the point. One of my favorite stores was having a “70% off everything in the store!” sale.
When I finally got to the snow-covered outlet village, I shuffled into the store, knocking my boots on the black mat inside the doorway, trying to avoid the sales clerks’ glares, and the furtive glance of a boyfriend, who was hanging from his girlfriend’s arm while she chatted on her phone.
It wasn’t long before I realized that none of the pants I chose fit. I tried on a red dress two sizes too small and stared in the mirror.
Well, Babs [my mom] was right. Red really is my color. I guess it’s kind of tight, but, it’s still hot. I could wear this. Yeah! …Or maybe…maybe for my birthday in April it’ll fit…
And that’s when I closed my eyes.
Stop! Just… stop.
There’s some insistent force that tells us buying our goal weight outfit will make us feel better, when in fact all it does is make us feel like a pile of crumbled up rice cakes and diet seltzer.
I was 30 years old, and there was a lesson I needed to finally take to heart.
Dress for the body you have today.
I carefully lined up the five pairs of pants, one dress, and three tops that didn’t fit. In another pile, I placed the one top and one dress that did. I took a deep breath and headed for the register. With only two items.
And yet, in 2013, I want to lose 30 pounds, instead of celebrating the thousand (this might be a slight exaggeration) I’ve already lost. In 2013, I want to finish my memoir, instead of fostering the blog that really inspires me. In 2013, I want to tell myself it’s all too hard, instead of recognizing I’ve done some of the scary work already.
So I’ve got this radical idea. Maybe instead of starting all over, we Just. Keep. Going. Sound good?
How do you fare on New Year’s, and with resolutions?