Day By Day: Consider this - another year, a whole new decadeI don’t know if anyone else feels this way but when I think about a whole new year, I get kind of depressed. With the holidays over, it will be another six months before we get a paid day off.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but when I think about a whole new year, I get kind of depressed.
With the holidays over, it will be another six months before we get a paid day off. In the meantime, there is the wind chill to consider, college tuition to pay, taxes, birthdays that put both Kevin and I dangerously close to 60, and advice coming from everywhere on how to improve everything from my health to my sex life to my “investment strategy.” If Suzy Orman refers to me as “girlfriend” one more time, I won’t be responsible.
There is, of course, every possibility that 2010 will be full of good news. The economy seems to be getting better. Healthcare in some fashion will pass. And there’s only 12 months left of Oprah. But it happens every year. These first few days of January suck.
I swore off resolutions in this column several years ago. But I’m thinking of taking a new approach. There are some things I am “willing to consider” this year. Please note that is not the same as “resolving” anything. It is an important distinction when trying to avoid personal failure.
First up, I will consider my health. I started this process early last year and have hated every minute of it. To be precise, I started exercising, and despite a miniscule amount of success, I expect to keep hating it. I arrive at the gym angry and leave mad. I can now bend over and remove my shoes without experiencing vertigo but I’m not sure it’s worth it.
I went to the gym for the first time this year a few days ago and I was made even crankier than usual when I found the place was actually crowded. See when I joined last year, it was after the new year rush had died back and we have been a small, intimate group ever since. As a rule we don’t talk to each other and just sort of nod on our way to the water. The trainer James is the only one who says much and I think it is part of his job to greet each of us cheerfully as we enter. The best thing about James is that he doesn’t push it any further than that which is a relief because otherwise I might have hurt him by now.
But on Monday, the place was full of all kinds of people. There were the grunting guys who seem to find making disgusting noises maniacally important to the success of their workout. I could barely hear James over the racket. And there were plenty of skinny people who look like they could use some cream cheese still spackled to their thighs if only to keep them warm in sub zero temps.
But my favorite group is the women who already look in shape but aren’t satisfied to jog for an hour on the treadmill. No, they have to “enhance” the experience by doing it while lifting free weights over their heads.
The truth is that in the last decade, I gained about a pound a year, on top of the 10 pounds I put on in the last decade of 20th century just in case I needed extra stores for Y2K. So I am willing to consider staying at this exercise thing, provided the noise dies down and the magazines keep me posted on Tiger and Brad and Angelina.
I am also willing to consider a strict no spending freeze when it comes to anything not absolutely necessary. I managed that for a whole three months right after Kevin lost his job a year and a half ago. I will try to make it to June this time. I’m trying to think of it like I did when I was a kid, giving something up for Lent. I used to give up candy — well not exactly give it up. I kind of stockpiled it and used it to supplement my Easter basket. I don’t think that approach is in the spirit of this freeze.
I am considering only watching television with some redeeming value — that is to say “Masterpiece Theater” and “Glee.” The only life that looks more depressing than mine this time of year is something Jane Austen or Charles Dickens would think up. And as for that show about a high school glee club, it is just exactly how I pictured public school from dorm room at my all girls’ Catholic boarding school.
The truth is I feel more optimistic than I sound and I’m really not depressed about the new year. It’s just the pressure to make it count. So dear readers, I’m counting on you for inspiration.