So, it’s been almost a week. How are those resolutions holding up?
I wish you luck. The delinquency rates are high, and no wonder. This is a wretched time of year to embark on major renovations to one’s finances, waistline, health or character. It’s my personal conviction that to get through these dark, cold months, you’ll need every vice and crutch you have in your arsenal.
Bad habits might be easier dumped in June, but we persist in picking this arbitrary date to spontaneously improve.
I’ve made one small, timid resolution, indeed, one perhaps so incremental as to be meaningless. My beloved has a handful of semi-ambitious ones and a better track record of making them happen.
I see no sign so far that either of our plans have us headed for couple trouble, which resolutions can bring about with unnerving ease.
First and foremost, resolution season has us focused on our faults, thus reminding our partners of a few minor glitches instead of the pretty damn OK overall package. Excessive dissatisfaction with oneself can be contagious.
We are also not always at our easiest to live with while in the throes of self-improvement. If you’re trying to kick booze or smokes, your special someone gets to enjoy your irritability at deprivation or self-loathing at backslide.
You can also find yourself roped into resolutions you never made. If your partner is on a diet, especially if you live together, good luck not ending up on it yourself. Misery loves company, and gets passing annoyed if you keep snarfing back the pizza.
It probably helps to share your resolutions with each other, to get that gym buddy effect and reinforce your respective resolve, but, in the face of entirely understandable failure, a little understanding goes a long way.
And please, please, refrain from making resolutions for each other, or even suggesting them, except in extreme circumstances. Let’s say you can suggest one every five years if you’re willing to accept suggestions in turn, but I’d still suggest skipping it entirely.
Never far enough away, after all, is the ultimate hazard of this time of year: Getting resolved right out the door, as your significant other starts taking stock and deciding what stays and what goes in his or her life, and you end up on the latter list.
It’s not for nothing that family lawyers mark D-Day (Jan. 8 or thereabouts), the day which they begin the greatest annual volume of divorce proceedings. I suspect a lot of these begin as New Year’s resolutions. Be careful out there.