Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Year, New Me...Well, Maybe.

It's January 15. Also known as, the beginning of the end for many new year's resolutions. You've made it through half of the first month -- good for you. I hope you continue with whatever it is you've promised to do. But, let's face it, new year's resolutions are hard. 

That's why I never make them. 

However, I've learned that people don't like it when you don't make resolutions. I was asked multiple times over the holidays what my resolutions would be and received glares of disdain when I said I didn't really plan on making any. Their mouths said, "Oh. ok, that's cool." But their eyes said, "Do you think you're perfect or something?"

Um, obviously.

Actually, I'm so imperfect that I don't want to set myself up for failure. My whole life is one big resolution to get better, make good decisions, and not be a total waste of space. It's an ongoing battle. In that sense, I suppose I make new resolutions all the time. Like, at the end of the month when I check my bank statement and decree, I'm never dining out again! Or, when I'm tired in the morning and decide, From now on, I will go to bed early! 9:30 is my new bedtime! Call it a resolution if you want to, but in the words of Kirsten Wiig, sometimes you just need to "get your shit together." If that happens in January, well then, good for you.

I don't mean to be so cynical about your New Year's resolutions, I suppose I see the value of putting it out there. Last year, I approached resolutions with the same ambivalent attitude but made a few for the sake of the blog. Lo and behold, I actually kept a few of them! I found a place to volunteer (shout out to Children's National and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue), visited several DC sites, and even vacuumed more regularly. Certainly I'm not candidate for the cover of a "New Year, New You!" issue of a magazine, but not too shabby, if you ask me  

Since I wasn't a complete failure in my half-assed 2013 resolutions, and want to appease the glare-giving resolutions enthusiasts, I compiled the following list of things I might possibly try to do. Here goes nothing.  

Resolution #1
My first resolution is to start blogging at least every two weeks. Phew, got that one in just in the nick of time. We'll see what happens come January 30.

Resolution #2
Next I decided I would stop using Uber so often. 2013 will forever be known as The Year I Became Addicted to Uber. My addiction came out of nowhere! I lived here a year without using Uber even though I had the app on my phone. And then, one fateful night, I couldn't find a cab. It was dark and late and I didn't feel safe taking the Metro or walking by myself. The easy-to-use personal driver application was there for me. It was so easy. It was too easy. The rest is history.

I justify Uber as a "safety precaution." Sometimes it is. Other times it's only 8 o'clock on a Saturday but it's raining and I'm kind of tired and already running late and my shoes aren't the most comfortable and there is track work on the Red Line and the next thing I know I've opened the app and then just like that a knight in shining armor (of a Prius) is on his way. At least I don't use the more expensive black car service. That makes it better, right? 

How bad did it get you may ask? Once-or-twice a week bad. That may not seem like a lot. But, when you have a Metro card and two good legs to walk on, it's too much. My iPhone actually started autocorrecting to names of Uber drivers. I even got the same UberX driver two nights in a row. (Shout out to Osman!)

Anyways, my new year's resolution was to only use Uber when it was an emergency can't-find-a-cab-too-dark-to-walk-home situation. How's that going you ask? My use of the past tense in the previous sentence should be a clue. This was last Friday on a completely safe, well-lit night. 

Oh well. I tried.

Resolution #3
The third resolution I made is to be more financially responsible. This is a hugely important one. For the most part, so far so good (Uber purchase aside). However, I should I admit that my lack of spending in the first 15 days of 2014 may be due to the fact that I made this resolution prior to the end of 2013. And, like a person about to go on a diet who indulges in a 4,000 calorie "last supper" the night before, I spent more money than I should have between Christmas and New Year's. You guys, it's not my fault that there are great after-Christmas sales. IT'S NOT MY FAULT.

Well, it's a little my fault.

I guess I didn't need those new clothes. I'll justify them all night and day but, I suppose the answer is no, I didn't need them. I certainly didn't need to buy a cocktail dress. Who do I think I am? I don't go anywhere fancy!
Sale. A dangerous four-letter word. Photo credit
But, Lindsay, what if 2014 is your year to be a fancy schmancy socialite? You won't have anything to wear because you didn't purchase the super marked down cocktail dress. In a way, you're saving money because you would just have to buy a dress at that time and by then it probably won't be as good a deal. You should buy it now. Plus, you can dress it down by adding a cardigan or a jean jacket. Ohmygosh, YOU SHOULD BUY A JEAN JACKET. 

This is the kind of conversation I frequently have with myself in front of the sales rack at Anthropologie. And again in Madewell. And again once the bags are already loaded in my car and I'm headed home.

I also made a few year-end investments in my future. And by that, I mean concert tickets. It was an investment in culture...the culture of country music. But I got those purchases in under the
Oh hey, Lady Antebellum. See you in February!
wire, pre-resolution. 

Here's the fault in that logic: Did you know that even if you buy tickets prior to the beginning of your self-imposed fresh new outlook on financial responsibility, the credit card company still wants you to pay for those tickets you indulged in prior to midnight on January 1? Don't they know it's a new year?! It's a new me! I'm financially responsible! I don't put concert tickets on a credit card! That's so 2013!

Resolution #4
My final resolution is to de-clutter my apartment. I love my apartment but it has become a bit tired and cluttered. I usually try diligently to keep it clean but lately that's been harder and harder to do because I seem acquire stuff.  Seriously, where does this crap come from? There are travel-sizes of shampoos scattered throughout my bathroom, magazines piled up on the coffee table, Christmas decorations overflowing from the cabinet, and so on. 

I also have this horrible habit of never unpacking suitcases when I travel so there is always a suitcase or tote bag in the middle of the floor. I leave them there so that I can use things out of them until they are empty...and also trip over them if I have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. That's always pleasant.

Don't be fooled, I am no jet-setter who constantly "lives out of suitcases" like it is some kind of status symbol. The only status I'm symbolizing is one of someone who is kind of lazy and in denial that the trip is over. It's not like I've even traveled somewhere exotic. Last year, I traveled exclusively to North Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts. And there were weeks and weeks in between those trips. But unpacking is depressing and exhausting, right? This year, I have a one week limit. I must unpack after a week. Or else. Or else what? Probably nothing. (I don't have high hopes for this resolution.)

I've actually already started Operation: Declutter. I went through and got rid of two giant bags of clothes that I no longer need/wear. I mailed some of them off to be consigned through ThredUp in hopes of making a bit of money (a financially responsible decision! FTW!) and am donating the rest. The trick is that I now can't justify buying new clothes just because I made room in my closet. I always forget that part. 

It was while cleaning out my closet that I came across the "cocktail dress" conundrum. I am living the expression "all dressed up with nowhere to go." (But if I did have somewhere to go, there's a strong chance I'd Uber there.)
That's it. Four resolutions, half of which I probably have a shot at keeping. As you can see, I've set myself up for mediocre amounts of success. Wish me luck! 

P.S. You know who is crushing new year's resolutions this year? My nephew, Charlie. He made a resolution to learn to walk and (Video may not open on mobile. Sorry.)

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