Commentariat, Dieting/WLS, Fillyjonk, Miscellaneous


Diet and gym ads are ramping up this week, in preparation for the short burst of business and the sustaining influx of money they’re about to get in the brand-new year. They’re getting ready for what Sarah calls The Resolutionists — the crowds of people who tell themselves every year that this will be the year they lose the weight, who pay their Weight Watchers and gym membership fees up front, and whose interest and resolve peters out after weeks or months when they get weary of punishing themselves. It’s such a good deal for the weight-loss industry, which after all thrives on such perseverative behavior, that I had to check Wikipedia to make sure that the New Year’s resolution “tradition” wasn’t made up in the last few decades, a la De Beers and the “traditional” diamond engagement ring.

I don’t want anyone supporting the diet industry, and god knows we’re all trying to break out of the “set unrealistic goals, fail to meet unrealistic goals, self-flagellate for failure, repeat until death” cycle. But I do kind of like the idea of New Year’s resolutions, as a promise to yourself to be better to yourself. No reason why it has to be New Year’s, but why not? It’s as good a time as any to make the commitment to be gentler with yourself, or more nourishing, or to stop standing in your own way.

That’s all that the people who resolve to lose weight are trying to do, after all. It’s just that they think they can’t really start until they earn it through weight loss. It all sounds awfully familiar, no?

So I invite you to revisit your Fantasy of Being Thin, and resolve to make that fantasy happen without the weight-loss step. Just skip that part — you don’t need it. All it will do is ensure that you constantly feel like a failure, and that you never get around to resolving anything more fun. Resolve to stop waiting until you’re thin — or until you’re an acceptable person, in whatever way that means to you — to date more, or dance more, or take up martial arts, or learn a musical instrument, or wear cute clothes, or finish that novel (ahem, Kate). Resolve to remember that you don’t become greater by waiting until you get smaller. In fact, you don’t become greater by waiting at all.

Personally, I’ve worked pretty hard not to have a personal Fantasy of Being Thin, but all I’ve really done is reinscribed it — now it’s a Fantasy of When I Have My Shit Together. What I seem to be waiting for, more than anything else, is to be the kind of person who can always keep the house clean, who never leaves clothes on the floor, who does the dishes immediately after dinner. You can see how it’s just the FoBT in a different dress — it’s still about docility and control. I’m much more creatively productive at other people’s houses, because I don’t have to be constantly faced with evidence of my failure to Have My Shit Together. So here is my resolution: I will not wait until my environment is flawlessly clean before I can do art. I won’t let the presence of dirty dishes, or my disinclination to do them right now, paralyze me like it has in the past. Being neat and organized are not prerequisites for anything I want to do.

What’s not going to stand in YOUR way this year? What are you going to do for yourself when you give up waiting?

67 thoughts on “Resolutionary”

  1. I have one goal this year. Only one: to have more fun. That’s it. More fun, more silly, more whimsy. I’m going to start by finding myself an acoustic guitar and teaching myself to play. I’ll probably teach myself all wrong, but it’ll be fun and that’s the point. My mother, as she does every year, has decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. That doesn’t sound very fun to me. (I did it a few years ago. Lost forty pounds too. Which I have gained back. I actually gained an extra ten, but those were temporary and now I’m back right where I started. So, ya know. Forget that.)

    I’m also thinking of doing some silly art. Pick up some cheap paints and canvas, throw in some stickers, flower bits, whatever else strikes me as fun and see what I can come up with. Because it sounds fun.

  2. This post reminded me of a book I’m currently reading (“Untrain Your Parrot” by Elizabeth Hamilton), wherein she says, “The mantra of until-itis is ‘Where will this get me?’ Until, until, until. We seemingly put life on hold, even as it unfolds, until we die.”

  3. I recently got my hair cut short, something I’d been holding off on because I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my hair, and I’ve never had so many good-hair days in a row. WHAT WAS I WAITING FOR? (A thinner face, I think. Thank goodness I stopped waiting for that. Also, imagine my surprise when my mother asked if I’d lost weight. Why does every improvement in appearance have to be interpreted as weight loss? But I digress.)

    My goals for this year: to be braver. To be more sure of myself. To take a risk. To take a beginners’ yoga class. To go shopping and buy clothes that suit me and my goal of dressing more professionally, and to ignore the size on the label. To start learning Hebrew.

  4. My New Year’s goal for this year is to volunteer more with causes and organizations I really believe in. I started by registered with the United Nations’ Online Volunteer Programme.

    I’ve never been one to make self-improvement type resolutions like to lose weight or make more money. But this year, I have resolved to finally become somewhat organized. As in, organizing the basement and turning the husband’s “junk room” – a.k.a. our third bedroom – into a real bedroom. This is part of my larger plan to adopt ways in which to live better with my ADD. I even found a local group of ADD’ers and parents of kids with ADD/ADHD that offer a monthly program and support group.

  5. I am gonna save my money and take a creative writing class (or two). I am gonna learn new cuisines (Thai food? West African food? the sky’s the limit!) I’m gonna take the time to really find a job I love as opposed to the one that will just pay a bill. I’m gonna pick up a third language (I have English and French down. I think I wanna learn Japanese now.) I’m gonna make sure I get some reliable transportation so I can be a mentor. But in the meantime, maybe I’ll do the Online Volunteer Programme. It looks like fun.

    And I’m gonna get my hair cut into a pixie cut. I keep thinking my head’s too big, but I’m gonna go for it! If I don’t like WILL grow back!

  6. What I seem to be waiting for, more than anything else, is to be the kind of person who can always keep the house clean, who never leaves clothes on the floor, who does the dishes immediately after dinner.

    I can relate to this. I hate that pressure to conform comes in so many flavors. Especially since, uh, I don’t much conform to anything.

  7. My goal for this year is to stop being so hard on myself–specifically, on matters of physical appearance, academic achievement, personal/social interactions, and home appearance. In early 2007, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness–it’s one of those fabulous ones that zaps my energy no matter what I do–so recovering from the perfectionism that I seem to have caught over the years (I’m 21 and in school full-time) is a huge priority for me in 2008.

    Overall, though, I want to stop my destructive mental mantra of “Nothing you do is good enough!” It’s controlled me for long enough, and it’s time for me to make some changes and let myself relax a bit.

  8. Goals? Ooh, how long have you got?

    At the moment….Get off these beta-blockers (I’ve been suffering heart palpitations on and off the past few months…nothing actually wrong with the old ticker, just anxiety apparently, which figures…it’s been that kind of a year) and generally be a more relaxed soul. Get back to the pool, because being around and/or in water in any sense does seem to contribute to a more relaxed attitude in my case. Spend more time at the coast, ditto. See a lawyer to discuss emigration, which in my case will involve living somewhere rather less landlocked than now – ditto. Sell some art. Do an open mic. Record more guitar. Find a ‘cello teacher and pass at least grade 1 this year. Get the hair re-done with more pink in it. Think about more tattoos. Get to the Fremont Solstice Parade. Spend my 40th birthday how I want to (i.e. somewhere quiet, comfortable and far from hordes of relatives).

    Most of all, not let myself be held back by the thought of it being ‘unfair’ that for much of my life I had neither the opportunity nor the confidence to consider doing many of the things I wanted to. It’s a stupid excuse, but I find myself doing the ‘poor me’ thing so often when I could be doing more interesting and constructive things. Enough already.

  9. Mmm. Imagine all the energy we’ll have for living in the present when we aren’t obsessing about how to ‘perfect’ ourselves. I love the Japanese concept of wabisabi. Wikipedia has it defined as: “a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The phrase comes from the two words wabi and sabi. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is ‘imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete’ ”

    I just love this. Beauty comes from impermanence/imperfection. The scratches and dents add to the value of an object. Our bodies can never be “perfect” and they are always changing; we re-make them each day depending on what we give them (touch, tastes, experiences). So, every single day we have an opportunity to give ourselves (and receive from other people) more positive energy.

    Might sound kind of new agey and cheesy, but I think the New Year is kind of a representation of that idea, albeit imperfect (!)… it’s a refreshing of our intentions with lots of collective support.
    I have been really inspired by this website and other FA sites in terms of the concept of *satisfying my body’s appetites*, whether through food, affection, sex, exercise, sleep, travel… and I’m resolving this year to ask my body what it’s hungry for, and try to honor that as much as I can, and to revel in the wabisabi of my life!

  10. My goal for this year is to find some kind of a clothing style that works for a 4’10” fat 52-year-old. I’ve been in the tunics-and-leggings thing for years, and I’m sick of it. I want to get some loose pants, some nice tops, a few shirts and/or unconstructed jackets, and some amazing costume jewelry to wear with them. I’ve long since lost any sense of style I may have had, so I have no idea what to wear, but I’m sure as hell going to try.

    My other resolution is to stay in better touch with my many online friends. I’m starting by e-mailing one every day during the holidays.

  11. My goal is to meet as many Shapelings in person as possible! (Of course, that’s also up to y’all.)

    My other goal that I’m willing to make public: Work with who I really am, instead of against it.

  12. My goal this year: Stop being frustrated with creating a character for D&D and just get into the game. It always seems like by the time I’m done pulling my hair out trying to roll up a character (and remembering HOW to roll up a character) that I’m too damn frustrated to even play.

  13. This year I will learn to say no.

    Right now I have so many things on my plate that make me a Good Person but which I simply cannot do as fully and competently as I think they deserve. Instead of doing a half-assed job on too many tasks, I am going to do a full-assed job on a few select ones.

    I am also going to enter into that dangerous sea, Fitness. I’m finding that I can’t run up the stairs with my backpack without a little Big Bad Wolf action, and that has me concerned, not only for my ultimate health but for my ability to go do fun things. Fitness is a scary place for me, tho, because inevitably in the past I start thinking–and experiencing–weight loss. Maybe now, with Shapelings at my back, this will not be a problem?

  14. My goals for this year are to get back into my crafting (counted cross stitch and soft-sculpture doll-making) and do more sewing. Now that I have a sewing room set up, I actually have the room (and since I don’t have to work outside the home, I have the time). It’s relaxing for me, and a great way to make gifts for friends and family. I’m also going to keep on keeping on with my journey to accept myself as-is and enjoy my life now.

  15. This year I’m going to spend more time at work. Goofy as that seems for a resolution I kind of cut my hours close to the bone so I can get out faster and I’d like to stop doing that. I also have a resolution to get paying work, though I’m not sure how that will pan out.

    I also resolve to meet up with my friend who lives just one state over and go paint the town.

    I’d like to resolve to buy a house this year, but things aren’t looking so hot on that right now. :(

  16. I tend to make the same two resolutions every year, because they work so well: eat at one new restaurant a month, and make one new recipe a month. Otherwise I tend to get stuck in ruts, and how will I find new things I love if I don’t try? And the bad ones usually tend to make great stories at parties, so they’re not a complete waste.

    I’m adding one: not to beat myself up too much for not being perfect. 2007 was a rough year and it’s continuing into 2008, and there’s no way anyone was going to handle everything perfectly. Instead, I’m going to try to compliment myself on handling things, period.

    And I may resurrect my body journey blog. Maybe.

    I love the term Resolutionary! I admit I dread every January when the gym suddenly gets overloaded by people who seem to spend most of their time talking or watching the TVs. I take comfort (ok, with a little seasoning of smugness) knowing that we will still be there in February. And March. And April….Hrm. I should add that I have a small goal this year of building some upper body strength.

    Phledge (any anyone else for that matter), I don’t know if there’s anything I can do to help encourage you with your goal of fitness, but if I can, I will. I’m NOT an athlete or anything, just a regular schlub who has been pretty surprised at her own results.

  17. Yeah, for anyone who’s waffling about deciding not to wait until they’re fit to pursue fitness… I can’t say I’ve gotten immense stamina or huge muscles or anything, but I will say this: daily exercise is perhaps THE reason that I can remain unmedicated for depression. Seriously, it is SO good for you. I’d love to see Shapelings be the only New Year’s exercisers who continue throughout the year, because we’re doing it for its myriad benefits and not for potential losses.

  18. “set unrealistic goals, fail to meet unrealistic goals, self-flagellate for failure, repeat until death” cycle.

    Oh, what a cycle it is. Fantasy of When I Have My Shit Together, I like that. I have that every day, and it truly IS holding me back. I often feel crippled by all the stuff I can’t do right…but somehow that doesn’t lead to anything changing.

    One thing I’ve resolved to do is to try my best NOT to do the same things over again and expect different results. But I think so many of us really can use a lot of being more gentle with ourselves. Damn perfectionism. Great post.

  19. I can not thank you enough for this post.

    I am a naturally messy person who lets household chores go for weeks when I’m in “the zone” creatively. At that time, it only bothers me a little, because there are drawings to do and stories to write!

    Unfortunately, I also let them go for weeks when I’m not in the zone. And then the self-hatred crawls in. Even if I get an idea, I think “No, I’ve got to do something about this embarrassing hovel I live in first!”.

    Of course, I go to bed that night having done NOTHING (Well, I might have won one game of solitaire out of 67 games played, all the while being miserable about ).

    I want to resolve to do something creative every day. Something on paper, with my hands. (Or Photoshop). Regardless of what the house looks like.

  20. Tink, I have almost the same problem. Every time we get together to play D&D I have to create a character in front of the GM instead of pulling a pre-made character out of my hyuuuge binder. Every single time we go to do it they’ve changed the fraggin rules on me! 2nd ed, 3rd ed, 3.5 ed, 3.5 ed with revised errata stuck into the book every third page, and now 4th freaking ed is coming! *cries* I just wanna play!

  21. GH and Tink: I just got the Sims 2 for Christmas, and seriously I have been spending all my time downloading hair and makeup and couches instead of playing, just in case one of my Sims needs them. I can’t even find a neighborhood I’m satisfied with, so I’ve been downloading prefab houses! I actually was thinking of making a post about the Sims and idealism, and I guess it would apply to RPG characters too.

  22. Okay, so here’s the thing about exercising, for me: I hate walking. Hate hate hate hate it. I really can’t give a good reason–the scenery (er, or the serious lack thereof), the discomfort, the looks people give me as they drive by, the fact that I could be driving instead, or maybe the fact that everyone says “Oh but it’s so GOOOOD for you!” with a shit-eating grin that betrays a concern troll. Other activities I enjoy include skiing and horseback riding, both of which are so far out of the budget right now I feel guilty for even thinking about them. I do, on the other hand, love to run. Granted, at my current level of fitness, I can only do so for, oh, ten seconds. This is definitely one of my FoBTs–to be able to run without collapsing in an fat asthmatic heap. Like FJ said: waiting until I was fit to pursue fitness. ‘Tain’t gonna happen.

    So a couple of things have happened that make this look a little different to me. First, dude, Sarah. Second, “Couch Potato to 5K.” Third, this blog.

    I’m just focusing on getting to the point where my stamina will take me through the clinical years of my training. I figured I should start soon. ;) It ain’t about the weight anymore–I hope that fixes my iss-yous.

  23. My goals this year (in addition to the athletic ones) are to relax, slow down and remember to enjoy life. I get so wrapped up in the intensities of work, training and life that I often forget to treat myself with the simple pleasures. Work does not own me and I need to remember that. It’s just a job (though one I like.)

    Additionally, I want to stop assuming the worst about everything regarding my job performance. There is no mass conspiracy out there designed to make me or my work any less important.

  24. I decided a couple years ago to stop making resolutions every New Year that I only seemed to be able to keep for a couple weeks. Now I decide on a theme for the year (usually in October – because it just feels right to do it then). This year’s theme is “Dream and Do” because I’m a great planner and a great worrier but I’m lousy at actually accomplishing any of the goals I set out for myself.

    What’s great about a theme is that it can encompass anything I want, such as having more fun, traveling, or doing crazy things with my wardrobe. Mostly, I want to jump into art and get my business going and finally start performing belly dance. Anything more than that is a huge bonus!

  25. I am doing 101 things in 1001 days (you can find my list if you click my name and go through to my blog) which is really kinda cool because it gives you a set time frame. You have to be specific. My thing has always been “I want to be more organized” or “I want to exercise more” but those are really vague ideas. The idea behind 101/1001 is that you try to be specific so that you can have a sense of accomplishment when you get to check something off.

    The original idea is from this website:

    This is my first comment but I’ve been reading for awhile. Thanks for the great thought-inspiring posts. I look forward to checking this blog every day. :)

  26. This might sound strange, but I want to… figure out what I want!!!

    I’m so stuck in mommy/wife mode, that whenever anybody asks me “but what do YOU want to do?” I honestly DON’T KNOW! I have turned into one of those insufferable people that only does for others and never for herself. And it’s wearing me down, big-time. But I don’t know what else to do, honestly.

    So my “resolution” this year is to FIGURE IT OUT.

  27. I am not going to wait until my husband finishes his PhD to start or take steps toward picking a career, or,, even smaller than that, doing things on a daily basis that are fulfilling. I want to find my inner writer again. I miss her so much. I write almost daily on my blog, but that usually comes out as formless whining about something or other (or formless squealing in delight about something or other). But I very rarely write anymore.

    I could try to find a job that’s more creative and more personally fulfilling… but this situation is “temporary” because we will most likely move out of the area when my husband is finished with his degree… plus, if I go into a creative field or start working as a grunt for a local newspaper, I’ll make less money, and what if I don’t like it and dear god then people might read what I write… basically, the hubby PhD is a big excuse to put things off and hide in an unfulfilling safe zone for the next two years.

  28. FJ, this post is perfect. I LOVE the idea of the “Fantasy of When I Have My Shit Together.” Brilliant, and oh so evocative.

    I think that “when I get my shit together I’ll be fine” thing is a form of perfectionist procrastination….for me, anyway. If I think I can’t do things “perfectly,” then I get frustrated, overwhelmed, and frightened, and I avoid doing certain things until D-Day arrives and I have no choice. I’m getting much, much better at this, but it’s still there a little bit.

    Luckily, I don’t have to make a resolution this year, ‘cos I made it last year. After years and years of martyring myself to a cause/career, I promised myself two years off from any big commitments, whether to a new career, a new education, a move, a serious partnership, or anything of the kind; in these two years I would find more casual ways to support myself, and spend my free time pursuing music, art, and other personal interests, in order to discover what I really want out of life. I’ve still got another year to go!! Hurrah! And dang it, I feel like I’m having fun for the first time in my life….

  29. nuckingfutz – I was right where you are a year or two ago. Good luck – it will be the most interesting journey you can have. I’m still on it, still figuring it out, but feeling worlds better than I did when all I was was a conduit for other people. I finally got my butt into therapy for a few months, got enough self-gumption to start working on it, and although it’s been stop and go, I can look and see I’m so, so far ahead of where I used to be. God, I remember being in the psychologists’ office almost having a physical fit trying to just be still and listen to myself for five minutes. I literally couldn’t stop and not have a running list of everything I needed to be doing for everyone in my head and think how selfish I was to sit there for five minutes and not do anything about it. Much better now.

    My goal for this year, which just came to light last week, is to not rely on other people for my happiness. I started to get ok at not trying just to make others happy all the time, but I didn’t realize I was still leaning on them to make me happy. A few days ago I got the rug pulled out from under me by someone I was too, too attached to, and it was a place I never should have been to start with. This year, I try to understand that I’m the one responsible for making myself happy. My job isn’t to make someone else love me so I can feel happy, it’s to love myself and be happy with that.

  30. Whoa. I just had a moment of pure self-realization while typing blog comments. It’s not my job to make other people love me.
    Huh. With the friendship that just slammed shut in my face in a particularly nasty way, that was really what was going on. Everything was calculated, worried about, weighed by their response to me. When things occasionally went wrong, my response was always frantic, smothering, apologizing for everything under the sun, assuming it was all my fault, wanting to force them to listen to me apologize because if I tried hard enough, they would love me. I must have been insufferable. Even now, in the last few days, I’ve been begging for one last talk, one last chance to at least end on a good note so I could know that I did everything I could and i did it right and it wasn’t me. Wow.
    Fillyjonk, you’ve just performed the equivalent of a month’s worth of psychotherapy sessions. :)

  31. Godless Heathen: Perhaps making a resolution to buy a house in 2008, and saving up the money as if you were going to, then not buying the house till the market actually looks decent (I can bet that its not gonna happen for a *loong* time).

    Oh, my resolution is to actually start dressing like a grown up, and not like a little kid. And not procrastinate on things as much.

  32. Well, I started a website about 2 weeks ago for my book reviews (and other people’s, perhaps — my boyfriend has his own goals about it) and I think my goal is to, you know, keep up my reviewing.

    The website is in the link under my name. I’m the same Stephanie who’s been around for a few months. :)

    My other resolution is to start doing some kind of fitness activity, so my hip hurts less. Perhaps when the Wii Fit comes out. :) (Despite its insistence on tracking my BMI, and its need to tell me that I’m too fat! if my BMI is over 25, I’m guessing. But it has yoga and hula-hooping and I’m hoping that if it’s a game, I’ll do it.)

  33. My number one goal is to pay off my credit card debt and my car in the next two years.

    I also suffer from the Fantasy of Getting My Shit Together. I let go of the Fantasy of Being Thin a while ago.

    I have another, more important one I need to let go of. I have worked myself to the bone, working multiple jobs and going to grad school for years, and now working one full time job and one half time job. My full time job more than supports me, and I do enjoy doing the half time job, but mostly I think I’m overworking myself to prove to the world that I’m not lazy, because if I’m fat, I must be lazy.

    I need to work less, attend the pilates class I’ve been wanting to go to, and let go of the fact that some days I can’t just cook a real dinner or get in an hour walk, even if I did only have the one job.

  34. I will date a girl who deserves me (could that sound MORE pretentious?), will continue swimming, and enjoying the occassional guilty smoke. Will visit more often Shapely Prose.

  35. I think my only real goal this year is to stop railing against things I can’t change and learn to accept my health issues for what they are.

    I keep falling into this cycle where I push myself because I don’t want to be ‘weak’ or sickly, and all that happens is that I inevitably make myself worse in the long run.

    I need to admit that I’m not as physically strong as I once was, and learn when to take a break.

    Otherwise, I’ll do what I promise myself every year: read more good books, watch more movies, spend more time with my loved ones, and be happy. :)

  36. My goal this year is to not diet. And I’m not saying that just to seem cool on this post. I want to stop the madness that is beating myself up over a food choice or an ill fitting shirt. It’s all too tiring.

    1. Stop dieting.
    2. Do another 1/2 marathon in April…and hopefully run more than walk!
    3. Have fun!

    Sweet! This is going to be a good year!

  37. I need to be kinder to myself. I need to be kinder to myself. At the end of the day, I’ve only got myself so I need to be kind to myself, and that tends to be very difficult for me. I need to be creative again. I need to get my heart to listen to my head. I need 2008 to be fucking spectacular.

  38. Move to a bigger city and find out how I’ll do there. Buy an electric guitar and play it loud. Bully my friend into getting a bass so we can jam together. Get new tattoos. Pierce my tongue (no more waiting til I quit smoking). Date much more, and meet lots of new people. Once I meet those new people, actually stay in contact with them. Learn to survive without a car again, I’ve gotten soft since I got my license.

    Be nice to myself, and feed all the appetites which the world tells me I shouldn’t have.

  39. Find a new job and move somewhere else, where there are people my age who are not all married and all raising children. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things, but since they are and I’m not, we aren’t really in the same place. I have three interviews set up and one more application to send in.

    Remember not to bend over backwards and do all of the work to make a potential relationship work — or even start. The only person who should be asking me to bend over backwards is my yoga instructor, because I pay her to.

    Do more yoga, and find something else I like to do and do it, too. Give up the lifelong mantra of “I’m just not athletic” and DO something. I walked a 5K yesterday and it felt good. I should do more stuff like that.

  40. Fillyjonk I soooo feel you on TheSim2 and the perfectionism. It is so hard to really fill up one of those neighborhoods, and I have to make sure that all my sims have the perfect life and career. It’s so the Fantasy of having my shit together in miniature. Even my pets have to have the perfect life.

    My Goals for this year:
    Run a Mile
    Get a WoW Character to lvl 60 at least
    Take the GMAT and look into MBA programs.

  41. nuckingfutz-I was thinking the same kind of thing while I was reading these posts! I just finished a PhD, and have finally become a psychologist, which has been my primary goal for as long as I can remember. Now I honestly don’t know what to do with myself. My goal is to figure out what will fulfill me now that pursuing my degree is done. I think I will join a choir (I haven’t done anything musical since starting university over 10 years ago-I miss it terribly!) I also want to figure out what goals I have for my career, now that I have one! It sounds obtuse, but I hadn’t really thought about what to strive for once I reached this point-all my energies went into getting here! I think I was living in the Fantasy of Being Done School-my own version of the FoBT (i.e., I’ll travel once I’m done school, I’ll do more fun stuff once I’m done school, etc. etc.) . And like the FoBT, it doesn’t change your whole life once you get to whatever point you’re waiting for. I am a goal driven kind of girl, so I think that’s why I’ve felt so lost in the past few months since defending my dissertation. I feel like I have no direction. So, long story even longer, my resolution is to set some goals so I can again have something to work towards. Go figure!

  42. I have the fantasy of having my shit together, too. I am finding it very difficult to let go of, but I’m trying to get realistic about it. For instance, this year, instead of resolving that I will always be perfect about scheduling things, I’m simply resolving to keep in better touch with my friends. Even if I only do that a little bit, I figure it will be a win.

    Also, I’m probably using some of a nice raise I got to have someone come in to clean the house every two weeks. There were times I would’ve never even considered this option, because I can’t shake the feeling that it is *my* job (in spite of working 9-6 at a job that is 45 minutes away) to keep the house clean and keep everything straight. But fuck that. I can get more of the stuff done that I really want to do and I can contribute to someone else’s livelihood while doing it.


  43. Kate — I have seen dates for the Wii Fit from Jan 1 through the end of May . . . so I have no idea. But it’s got yoga and hula-hooping and knocking soccer balls away with your head!

  44. (Sorry, that comment in moderation was me. I didn’t realize I had signed in as something else.)

    Kate — I have seen dates for the Wii Fit from Jan 1 through the end of May . . . so I have no idea. But it’s got yoga and hula-hooping and knocking soccer balls away with your head!

  45. Thanks for another post clearly written from inside my own head. It’s uncanny, really! I’m inspired to figure out what my goals for 2008 are now, I kept putting it off because my closet is a mess.

  46. My resolution is to clean my house today. That way I can have quick success. I’d also like to start some kind of exercise routine besides weekly Pilates, but have no idea what I might enjoy doing.

    BTW, off topic, but Kate, did you get the picture I sent you?

  47. Kate — I have seen dates for the Wii Fit from Jan 1 through the end of May . . . so I have no idea. But it’s got yoga and hula-hooping and knocking soccer balls away with your head!

    Oh my god, don’t make me buy a console! NOOO!

  48. Fillyjonk, just for grins take a look at (sorry if this has already been posted in the comments, no time to read ’em all today!). It has helped a lot of people get it together and it’s totally do-able in the here and now.

    My goal is to MAKE the time for some art projects I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. I also want to travel more.

  49. My goal is to survive the year in one piece. I also dream of getting my shit together, and have even used Flylady- I can’t stay on the program. I feel rather overwhelmed a large part of the time, and then beat myself up for not following the program. Meanwhile, my biggest goal is to finish my bachelors in May. That got a little shaky, but it is better now :)

  50. Well, I just accomplished one of my big goals. I finally got my B.A. – only 25 years after I started it. I’m not changing jobs because I love my job and my boss and have machiavellian plots for getting my own office with a door and my coworker is finally off the diet train because she’s pregnant.

    What I resolve to do is stop telling myself I can’t afford to go back to the gym when I willingly spend more money than it would cost on things that don’t make me nearly as happy. I miss my damned endorphin rush. I got over the search for perfection a long time ago. I just want to do something that is entirely for me. Like a lot of folks here, I spend a significant time doing for others (the circle of life may end but the circle of laundry will continue for eternity – I’m sure of it..). When I’m at the gym, the only person asking me for something is me.

    Other resolutions: Grow vegetables I like regardless of whether or not the rest of the family will eat them. Pull up the grassy knoll and plant indigenous wildflowers (I have all the seeds). Finish painting the trim on the porch. Purge the boxes and boxes and boxes of paper that built up while I was in school — and save only the stuff that absolutely must be saved. That last is hard for me. I keep thinking like I did when I owned a business. No one is going to audit me and even if they do, they aren’t going to need credit card statements going back 10 years.

    I don’t know if those are so much resolutions as they are a long term to-do list. I like that better. The idea of a resolution has the taint of guilt-induction on it for me. Gee, I wonder why….?

  51. Ok, going back a bit, but:

    I just got the Sims 2 for Christmas, and seriously I have been spending all my time downloading hair and makeup and couches instead of playing, just in case one of my Sims needs them. I can’t even find a neighborhood I’m satisfied with, so I’ve been downloading prefab houses!

    Holy crap, I totally thought I was the only one who couldn’t get underway with a proper game until everything was perfect perfect perfect. Other people do things like paper the whole house in leopard print, just cuz, and have their Sim walk around in pants all day and have a random job, and they don’t freak out if the garden isn’t laid out beautifully. I can’t do it. It sets my teeth all on edge. You should see my folders of downloads for the original Sims. They’re HUGE.

    Also, I loved this post. That’s what I really want to do with 2008 – be the self I imagine when I imagine my thin self, except without the punishing weight loss regimen and inevitable ‘failure’ a year or two down the line.

    I want to wear cute clothes without feeling like an idiot. I want to gain the confidence to butch up and femme up properly as suits my mood, instead of perpetually doing this half-arsed middle-ground frumpy thing. I want to spend my money on the fabulous things I truly want, not just any old thing in the hope that it will turn out to be fabulous. I want to do something with my hair. I want to be punk again. I want to be sexy again. I want to be active again. And I will be, fat or no.

  52. Okay, I’m completely going to have to do a Sims post. I’ve currently actually crashed the game by making it deal with a custom neighborhood (public library, greengrocer, shops, and a pool — good eh?) and a house decorated exactly how I like (with a pool in the backyard, which come to think of it was silly because I got a public pool, but it’s so pretty with lots of shade trees). Now my system can’t handle it and won’t actually animate the Sims anymore. So I’m stuck defragging my hard drive. It’s definitely a pathology.

  53. Celeste and Krista – I used to do the FlyLady thing, but I had to depart ways with her Flyness when she started in on the food and weight issues (“body clutter”)….it was triggering all my old ED shit and I had to unsubscribe. (Weigh yourself every day? Write down everything you eat? Good prescription for someone recovering from an ED. Ugh.) So folks should be warned about that.

    That being said, I think FlyLady is like AA – take what you like and leave the rest. If you can get past the “body clutter” stuff (and it’s not truly awful if you haven’t got ED triggers – it’s not necessarily “weight loss”-oriented), then it can work. You don’t have to “do” the program to take bits you need from it. The “just do 15 minutes at a time” thing is stuck in my brain forever. I used to live in a messy junkyard and now I have a peaceful, lovely, decorated home…it took me three years to get there!

  54. I am going to wear cute clothes even if I’m “just” going to class or the library — given that those are the main places I go on any given day, it’s silly to consider it not worth the effort to wear something creative or fun.

  55. BTW, off topic, but Kate, did you get the picture I sent you?

    No, I don’t think I did, Sniper. Resend?

    Kate — I have seen dates for the Wii Fit from Jan 1 through the end of May . . . so I have no idea. But it’s got yoga and hula-hooping and knocking soccer balls away with your head!

    Oh my god, don’t make me buy a console! NOOO!

    I KNOW! Kinda happy my birthday’s coming up, so maybe I can at least get the Wii, and play Dance Dance Revolution or something until the Wii Fit comes out.

    I’m curious about how the Fit will do, since it really seems to be all about core strength — which is exactly why I’m enchanted by the very idea of it, but is not likely to make the average person feel like they’re getting a “real workout.” And judging from the size of it, there can’t be more than a handful of yoga poses you can do on it. But I’m all about the hula hooping, soccer head-butting, and step aerobics/dorky dance combo in their promo videos.

  56. lol i FINISHED my novel, and it didn’t do me one lick of good, in fact i let my family read it, *stupid stupid stupid*, and immediately developed an immovable writer’s block and haven’t written since.. hey we don’t have to be hung up on the whole completion thang :)

  57. I resent the picture and my house is gleaming. This means that I’ve completed my 2008 resolution already and can sit on my ass all year. Except for the work thing. And grad school.

  58. My resolutions are many. But most important:

    1) Be nicer to people and get a grip on my anger – especially on the internet. I resolve to ignore trolls and engage in friendly and interesting conversations instead. I’ve blown my top over stupid slights WAY too many times in 2007. My mental health is at stake here! Yeah, it’s no surprise that I’ve suffered from anxiety for several years.

    2) Ignore all weight loss gimmicks and focus on making myself healthy through better food choices and exercise I enjoy. The key here is “enjoy.” I’m not going to starve myself or work myself into a frenzy at the gym. I’m interested in health, not weight loss. But most important, I am going to stop making excuses based on my weight. Gee, I’ll get that new job and go to school when I’m thin! Nope – I’m gonna live now. The Fantasy of Being Thin has “weighed” on me for years.

    It’s not going to be easy, but the fight will be worth it.

    Happy New Year 2008 to all!

  59. so I went back and read my Fantasy of Being Thin, and basically it comes down to thinking I’m kinda hot. (which, incidentally, I didn’t when I *was* thin). So I guess my resolution is to think I’m kinda hot.

    And commit to a master’s program.

    And walk at least once a week.

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