Thank goodness it's almost New Year's Day. I don't think I could bear to lug these flabby thighs and wobbly gut around with me much longer. So looking forward to their instant disappearance as 2014 begins! And really, my work habits have gotten so slack and slovenly these last few, well, years, that they too will benefit from a resolution or two. And shouldn't my finances match my new abs?
Up early, teeth brushed, bills paid and neatly filed, maybe take a run. Shower. Wear shoes. Eat greens. Greet the day with a big smile. Then type! type! type! That will be 2014.
Before you assume that I make the same resolutions every year, I'd like to point out that these things evolve slowly.
My earliest recollection of making New Year's resolutions dates to middle school when I resolved to 1) run away from home and become world famous; 2) learn to re-inhale my cigarette smoke through my nose; and 3) get Mike Humphrey to fall hopelessly in love with me, and then treat him like dirt.
My high school resolutions expanded beyond simply not being caught by my parents to not getting caught by any other armed or unarmed authority figure. I resolved 1) not to leave my purse in cars when hitchhiking (this resolution came after one helpful driver called my house and told my parents of my purse's whereabouts); and 2) that if I was ever again caught smoking dope at the park with Boogie Greenberg, I would not helpfully grab and hide his pipe.
Come the college years, New Year's resolutions concerned 1) not getting pregnant; 2) not waiting until the last night of the semester to read the assigned textbooks; and 3) showing up on time — or at least awake, sober and fully clothed — for my 9 a.m. class.
As a young wife and mother, I went on to ignore an ever more sophisticated, if less edgy, crop of resolutions. I resolved not to sing scary songs to my children at bedtime, even if it seemed funny at the time, and not to throw all my husband's dirty underwear in the garbage no matter how many times in a row I'd been stuck with the laundry.
Of course, many New Year's resolutions demand a last hurrah.
It might be one more go at the racetrack or craps table, or a bittersweet, drug-enhanced fling with a stranger before giving it all up for the new year. Some folks need to indulge in the robbing of a final bank for closure, or feel compelled to loot and burn one last village for old times' sake. Others just need to run a few more red lights before midnight.
It's been years since I've required that parting carton of Kools before the annual New Year's Eve Quit. But I can't say that this year won't demand one last deep-fried, chocolate, whipped-cream, buttery, pig-out, with my pants unsnapped.
Then I'll press the magic 2014 Refresh Button and, like a reverse Cinderella, the stroke of midnight will transform me into the patient, disciplined, tactful, competent, enlightened, slim and healthy woman I've always meant to be!
I will awaken on New Year's Day cheerful and perky, signed up for another go with Curves and Weight Watchers, along with Yoga Booty, tai chi, pole-dancing, stretch-boxing, vegan cooking, meditation and scenic water color!
I'll tidy the office and give the bathroom a New Year's scrub, while flossing my teeth and doing kegels. Then, I'll call my parents and roll nary an eye as they repeat the same three questions on loop.
I'll pay the rapt, adoring attention of a newlywed bride as my husband goes into excruciating detail about his work. Then I'll cheerfully scrape up the enormous turds dropped around the yard by the long-term-visiting daughter's enormous dog without making mention of said daughter's laziness. I'll happily open the wallet without comment for the unemployed son. Then, most difficult by far, I'll resist the urge to send my agent the daily, petulant, nag-o-gram regarding my latest book manuscript.
No, wait! I won't have to "resist the urge" because the New Year's Me will be free of such old-year urges! All that evil inner chatter will have been effortlessly hushed. Ah! to no longer feel the call to nag, or criticize, or sulk, or be tempted by pie or potato chips! This must be what they mean by a happy and peaceful new year.
Amy Goldman Koss' latest novel for teens is "The Not-So-Great Depression."