New Year's Resolutions

It's the dawn of a New Year for the Gregorian calendar crowd, a time to doff the rose-colored glasses and take a seriously hard stare at ourselves, confronting the self-destructive tendencies of our baser nature. It's a time for hard-nosed assessments and honest-to-God pledges of abstinence and wholesomeness, a rare opportunity for our self-obsessed society to pause for a collective moment of hopeful introspection and behavioral recalibration.

The celebration of New Year's Eve caps a week of unabashed gluttony and gross over-consumption that officially kicks off on Christmas Eve, the twin events marking the extremes of this binge-and-purge holiday season. The celebration of New Year's Eve is a final chance to revel in our vices and excesses before fulfilling the promise of our respective Resolutions. Well, maybe not the final chance. If New Year's Resolutions really worked, you'd be celebrating very differently New Year's Eve next. Have you really popped your last totally gratuitous champagne cork, knowing you've had more than enough already, and not caring? Think you've wrestled into submission the desire for the occasional illicit cigarette? What exactly do you imagine yourself doing if not reveling in your foolishness and savoring the deliciousness of ill-advised living?

So, it's not with a great amount of confidence that I partake in this ritual cleansing. My life up to this point is not exactly a testament to my resolve. Personal history suggests that this annual attempt to rein in the bad habits I inflict upon myself and others is perhaps futile. I can enlist an army of French philosophers to defend the fortress of my desires, and I am well-versed in the intellectual objections to repression as an instrument of self-discipline. Deep down, however, I realize these are elaborate rationalizations, convenient smokescreens concealing the weakness of my own system of libidinal checks and balances. I suppose that's why I continue to go through the motions of self-assessment and well-intentioned resolution. I hold onto hope, in spite of myself.


Blogger stuckupgirl said...

In spite of your "elf?" I didn't know you had an elf! It sounds like he or she is quite the cynic. Good luck with that : )

4:00 PM  
Blogger Critical Mess said...

ok, so, spellchecking is probably useful.

4:42 PM  

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