I always think that when I wake up on January 1st – I will have been somehow transformed into a new person fit for a new year. Shockingly, it is never so. I am always suckered into buying all the New Year’s Resolution Guides, Year in Review Magazines, People of the Year Stories. The passage of time simultaneously fascinates and paralyzes me. This past year especially has been one of the most confusing, unsettling, surprising, fattest, most expensive and most difficult of years. For me, Happy New Year – translated into me-speak means…. yippee, maybe the coming year will be better. Since I need to change several million things or risk cutting my life expectancy short, I welcome the change.
However, and if you have ever read a single word I have written, know there is always a “however.” I have already failed. For me, the act of merely waking up on January 1st having not grown a foot, lost 20 pounds, built an addition on the house, grown an organic garden, cooked breakfast from something with the word “oat” in it, and of course, cured cerebral palsy, is failure before I even try.
I don’t even make a list of resolutions that I will break since I already know I will break them. I am the least disciplined person on earth. I, quite frankly, have no idea how I got this far. See, here is a perfect example:
Standing in line at Target – patiently waiting my turn – I see a beautiful, new, clean, Real Simple magazine dated January 2010. I stare at it because the title of that magazine has always persuaded me to buy it. I think that the shear act of buying it means that life will be more simple. I have even bought it, not read it, and just set it out on a table to look at it, and show the world how Simple I am. I even subscribed to it one year thinking that it will transform my life – much like I chose to paint the living room Benjamin Moore’s Forget Me Not because I liked the name.
As we all now know, I need to save money. I need to save about $5,000 to pay for the costs of caregivers for my mother. The cover said, along with a lovely photo and loads of advice about how to be better at everything “How to save $5,000 this Year.”
Now, I am a very smart woman. I know how to do things even if I don’t do them, and one thing I know is that the first way to begin saving my $5,000 is NOT to spend $5.00 on the pretty magazine that tells me how to save money. Why was this not apparent to me? Why did I look longingly at the magazine willing it to make me into the people on the pages. Why then did it call out to me, “buy me, buy me?” I should have never have even considered buying it, but I actually struggled with the magazine. I picked it up, touched the cover, petted it lovingly,desired it, put it in the shopping cart, carried it around the store with me.
I didn’t buy it, but I wanted to…