Let it be known: I abhor New Year’s Resolutions. It’s charming to see January’s mail bring coupons for weight loss treatments and advertisements for trials at fitness centers that were once strip malls. We all know the truth. People with good intentions will and a golden drop of hope will place the bet that these provide enough friction to get traction on new regimens and new selves.
But really: Who are we fooling? If it takes a new calendar for us to really recalibrate ourselves and our bodies, then we’ve got bigger problems. Or so I’ve thought.
Last year, about this same time, I was realizing that it would be a really good idea for me to schedule my overdue “wellness appointment,” checking in with the doctor to make sure that the heart sounds like it’s doing the right things and the blood has the correct proportions of the right pieces in it. But I outsmarted the system. I’m confident that there’s a rush of people booking wellness exams at the turn of the new year, and I don’t want to be one of those people. I could wait until March.
And now it’s an entire year later and I never did make that appointment. I’d thought that I was making a statement, one that proclaimed that I wasn’t a fly-by-night resoluter. I go to wellness exams as part of my regular wellness, as part of just being a grown-up. After all, I take my dog to the vet on an annual basis. But, apparently, I’m not all that well, and not at all that regular. I still have “schedule wellness exam” on my checklist. It’s not one of resolutions, but simply the “keep your shit together” protocol.
It could be that I could benefit from the socially accepted New Year’s Resolution, but having spent decades scoffing at these things, it could be antithetical to reverse course now. I understand that this is the very objective of these resolutions, however. I suspect I need not just to resolve, but to revolt. I could use a revolution.
Here’s where I think I’m left. There’s the wellness exam and there’s some exercises I should be doing on a regular basis. I need to be a better, more critically involved citizen. I should get a start on The Book, whichever of the four possibilities that turns out to be — just getting a foothold on one of those would be a worthy project. And there’s the Get Your Shit Together notion. But maybe this all starts, simply, with scheduling that appointment, letting Nurse Cratchett take my blood pressure and subjecting me to the scale, and then I can walk forward into a new year with my own golden drop of hope, my own slightest grip on pulling out a new self.