• 5 Resolutions I’ll Never Succeed At

    by  • January 30, 2017 • Uncategorized, You are probably sorry you asked • 0 Comments

    Don’t worry, this is my last to-do kick for a while.

    In Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, the White Queen tells Alice that she sometimes believes six impossible things before breakfast. This is in response to Alice’s denial that one can believe impossible things, and I have to say I always thought I agreed with her.

    But then it occurred to me, Dear Reader, that I believe impossible things all the time. Or at least pretend I do. I believe it’s perfectly possible for me to accomplish items on my to-do list that are patently not achievable. That is: their achievement and the order of the world as I understand it cannot logically co-exist.

    And yet, I still add them anyway, convinced that if I make another change — set my alarm for eight every day, eat only vegetable-based protein before dinner, brush my teeth an hour before bedtime — I can somehow make them compatible with reality.

    Because maybe, despite everything, there’s still hope that I can cross these items off my list.

    For example:

    To finish all my notebooks before obtaining another.

    Do you know how many blank notebooks I have on my shelf? Just glancing over, I count at least ten of different shapes and sizes. They range from a tactical notebook to one hand-bound in leather, to a couple regular Hilroys, to a letter-sized spiral-bound, to a bunch of little softcovers the right size to fit in a jeans pocket. Many were gifts. Almost as many were impulse buys.

    I have at least three more “active” notebooks in which I am currently writing. One is almost finished, one is three-quarters full, and the third is only thirty pages in. I inform myself very strictly that there will be no starting of new notebooks — let alone purchasing of new new notebooks — until it is no longer possible to use the previous ones.




    To decide at the start of each day whether I am going to the gym or not, not consider it again, and fulfill my decision.

    It’s true. I’m going to do it. I’m going to plan out what I will and won’t do every day at the gym. I’ll write it all out in my notebook(s) (see above), because that makes it real. I will never feel too tired or too sick or too depressed or too busy to head on over.

    And, obviously, I’ll never again spend all day wavering back and forth, trying to figure out whether it would be better to de-stress by finishing up some work that’s worrying me and rest my sore body or to push myself through because that’s what determination means. You know, just your everyday toxic self-scolding over whether or not it’s “justifiable” to skip a planned workout.

    And I definitely won’t spend forever arguing with myself about whether I’m only this determined to go to the gym because I don’t want to break my Habitbull streak, and if that’s more important than taking it easy on my messed-up joints.

    To complete my physiotherapy during the work day

    I don’t know why I have this on my list. Who doesn’t love sometimes painful, often repetitive stretches that take at least twenty minutes total? A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

    Sure, I blow through them when I go to the gym; then they’re a restful way to wind down my workout, and I’m already in do-physical-stuff-no-work mode. But what about my rest days or game days? Then it’s up to me to get ‘er done at home, and darned if I don’t end up scrambling to push myself through them right before bed, even though I know I hate that.

    It’s so nice to be able to relax before turning in for the night, read a book or something, instead of dragging myself around the apartment to find the various weights/walls/floor spaces/pieces of furniture I need for each stretch. And I’m sure my body would benefit from daytime stints of not-sitting-at-the-computer, especially those that involve stretching.

    But it’s so unpleasant and tedious, even if I bribe myself with the promise of a podcast or music, which is about the only entertaining thing I can do at the same time (other than pester Boyfriend). The trouble is, how quickly can good thing + not good thing go from “hey, this makes not good thing a little better!” to “through association, I no longer like good thing”?

    To eat the thing I put in the freezer because I couldn’t make myself eat it right now.

    The problem with these leftovers is probably temporary. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s that I don’t feel like eating them right now. But, you know, appetites cycle, right? Like, I’ll eat the same thing for breakfast every day for a month in a row and then suddenly not want to eat it anymore, and then a couple months later, I’ll love it again. It’s like the moon orbiting around the Earth, or the Earth orbiting around the sun, or… you know, other things that orbit things.

    So this soup/casserole/dip/main course that I just can’t make myself force down now will probably taste better in a little while. Future Sarah will love it. All I have to do is stick it in the freezer and wait. Surely someday soon, I’ll be dying to defrost it.

    It will probably taste better then. Since freezer burn so often improves texture and flavour.

    Well, I can’t just throw it out now — that would be wasteful.

    Even if the thought of eating it makes my throat seize. That will probably change, right? Definitely?

    To turn to anything but social media and clickbait as my first choice to entertain myself

    There are two problems here: one, I do need to check social media every so often to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Two, the first thing I do when I’m bored is pick up my phone.

    But I want to be reading longform pieces, like novels and short stories and nonfiction. Or watching the TV shows, documentaries, and movies that have been on my list forever. Or listening to the insightful podcasts and clever albums I’ve diligently been noting from reviewers with more developed tastes than my own. Or playing full-length, critically acclaimed video games on my Vita and 3DS. Or poring over real cookbooks from authors I know and trust to find tasty-sounding dishes. Or watching YouTube clips of my favourite TV shows but in languages I’m trying to learn.

    I’ve tried so many things. Siteblockers like StayFocused. Culling most apps from my phone. Talking myself out of opening incognito tabs of Buzzfeed. Saving short stories from online scifi magazines to Pocket. Carting around my Kobo or a library book or both.

    But… in the end, I still relapse and go for the convenient over the high quality.

    Bah, what can I say? Nobody’s perfect.


    I write SFF, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and I've been known to knock off a play here and there. I'm represented by Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary, Inc. Stick around - who knows what might happen?


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