Goodbye, New Year’s Resolutions

Orly Minazad
Orly Minazad is a freelance writer and regrets it every day of her life. She moved to the States from Iran in 1991 with her family seeking better opportunities only to waste them earning a Masters in Professional Writing degree from USC which no longer exists, cost a lot of money, and for which she has nothing to show. No, she is not bitter at all. Why do you ask? Oh, you didn’t, ok. She lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles where she spends the day loading and unloading the dishwasher.

By now I’m sure you’re all tired of those inspiring posts or articles about New Year’s resolutions, how to make and follow through with them. That’s where I come in, to undo all that inspiring and make life easier on you by helping you set lower standards, or no standards at all.

Only two weeks into January and I’ve made, ignored or broken all my resolutions. And I have absolutely no regrets. Actually, in my defense, and yours, January 1st is the most absurd time of the year for “new beginnings.” No one has ever been inspired to reinvent their whole existence and embark on new adventures and goals in the dead of winter.

Some of you will say, but Orly, you live in LA where it’s currently a beautiful, warm 62 degrees, and you’re in a tank top. And my response to you would be STFU nothing under 75 degrees is warm. It’s dark and cold by 5:30 pm. Sometimes water falls down from the sky and we have to explain “rain” to our scared children all over again. Sometimes it’s so windy your hair gets ruined and your plant falls down and there’s dirt on the floor and you have to wait for the gardener to come because it’s too cold for you to go outside and straighten it again.

Despite all this, I still try. I don’t feel this kind of pressure on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, or Nowruz, the Persian new year, and Nowruz is on March 21st, the spring equinox, when things are literally coming back to life. If there’s a time for new beginnings, it’s then.

Also, I’m 40. There’s no other “better version” of me at this point. I’ve reached the best version and it’s as “better” as it’s going to get.

So without further ado, I present to you, my failures.

Eating Healthy

I know this is a common one and it’s somewhat doable. Is it hard? Yes. But is it unattainable and expensive? Also, yes. And is it unpleasant and makes you question what the point of living is if every time you want to eat you have to consider all the nutritional benefits and disadvantage of pita crackers with hummus? Also, yes.

One healthy purchase I made is Ezekiel bread because I read somewhere that it’s the healthiest bread. Then I went to the Persian market–where the concept of healthy or unhealthy bread does not exist (there’s bread and not-bread)–and bought freshly baked sangak lovingly swaddled in paper wrapping. I carried it like it was a new bundle of joy I just proudly birthed and couldn’t wait to get home and enjoy. I didn’t wait ’til I got home. Ripped into that baby from the trunk of my car.

I also bought tofu, though I’ve never enjoyed tofu in any shape or form. And please don’t start with the “but you haven’t tried…” whatever recipe spiel. I know you’re going to say it’s all about the sauce but really it’s not. If you drench a cube of Styrofoam in sweet and sour sauce it’ll be good on first impact with your mouth but after that it’s just a mouthful of white barren disappointment.

But good for anyone managing to stay in denial and pretending to enjoy their tofu just so they can feel morally superior to others. Respect.

My third and final healthy purchase was different kinds of nuts. This was not just a valuable nutritional decision but also a good lesson in finance. Each macadamia nut is apparently $30.

Not Yelling at My Kid So Much

This was a tough one, because by the time January 1st rolls around, my son has been home from school for two weeks and has another week to go. Why they need three weeks of winter break, I don’t know. It’s been a battle between the LA school district, teachers, and parents for years. Apparently none of us want to be with the kids.

But my son is growing up fast and I really want to savor every minute before he’s locked in his room with video games instead of asking me to play a game with him where he requests I let him win because he’s “just a kid”. I want him to have pleasant memories of me, happy and smiling, beating his ass in Uno.

My dream was to be one of those calm white American parents from those paper towel commercials. You know the ones I’m talking about, where a kid spills grape juice on a very white kitchen island and the mom, instead of getting mad, gives a look that says “oh gee golly whiz don’t worry about it kiddo. Accidents happen,” and then very happily tears a piece of the paper towel and with one swipe the whole kitchen counter is glistening again and the child grows up to have a very healthy outlook on life and enjoy healthy relationships and a fulfilling career?

Well, that all went to hell. I did a lot of yelling. I could not shut the door faster on him and my husband as they left for the first day of school after the long break. And then I immediately missed him and couldn’t wait to pick him up after school. And that, my friends, is called Stockholm syndrome.

Go to the Dentist

The worst part of being an adult is having to take care of yourself. Long gone are the days when your mom would make the appointment and force you to go. No one gives a fuck about you, so you’re on your own.

I’ve been canceling my dentist appointment for a year now. That’s not an exaggeration. I keep making appointments with no intentions of ever going and canceling them a week before. I have an appointment in January which I’ve emotionally canceled already. Now I just need to muster up the courage to actually make the phone call because using a phone for its originally intended purpose gives me anxiety. What if someone picks up?

But a week before, I’ll give myself a pep talk in the mirror and call to “reschedule my appointment.” She’ll give me some dates to which I will not even pay attention, but will insist she gives me a second to “check my calendar.” I’ll veto some dates and times just to show I’m serious about this, finally agree on one and thank her for being so accommodating with my busy schedule. She’ll say great, see you then and we’ll both hang up knowing we’ll have this exact conversation again soon.

Learn How to Contour

I can safely say after watching thousands of TikTok videos that contouring is not a real thing. I can’t do it, nor will I ever attempt it. Society was doing just fine applying makeup the old-fashioned way and of course Gen Z has to come and ruin it with their skills and expertise.

It is just insane and I don’t believe any of these videos are real or any of these five billion products work. Yes, your skin is tight and dewy because you’re 12 years old. Unless that serum is a magic time machine, it’s not going to work.

Be On My Phone Less

This one I really want to accomplish but I know deep in my heart it’s just not possible. I didn’t even take it seriously. Literally after every sentence I write, I check my phone. Right now my 20something niece is texting me an invitation to go salsa dancing for her birthday. It starts at 8:00 pm which is doable. I can be home by 10:00, in bed by 10:06. But also I have a lot of questions. What do I wear? Will I be the oldest one there or will her mother, my sister, be there too? Also, how do you dance salsa? So obviously I have to use my phone for salsa dancing lessons on YouTube and dress shopping on Revolve, where every model is ten feet tall and weighs ninety pounds.

Anyway, one thing will lead to another and next thing you know I’m Googling images of “David Beckham sweater neck tattoo hot.”

Drink More Water

JK I didn’t even bother this year. If anything, I drink even less water and more coffee.

Be Better at Communicating With My Husband

This one I’m kind of nailing. Communication is key to a successful relationship, and it’s important for me to model that for my son. Which is why I tell my husband right away when he’s annoying me and highlight everything he’s doing wrong, like not taking me out every weekend and showering me with gifts and compliments. Communicating to him everything he does wrong has created a really loving and understanding environment for my family. And it’s not only when he’s home. I also make sure I text him or send passive aggressive gifs when I’m angry or disappointed in him for getting the wrong kind of potatoes.

It’s not just a one way street. I also listen to his needs and communicate very lovingly that he’s welcome to move back in with his mother if he doesn’t think my rice is seasoned enough.

Maybe I’ll even write a book this year about maintaining a happy marriage.

Stop Buying Clothes That Don’t Fit Me

I’ve been in denial about my weight and refuse to go up to a size medium. But I also need to update my wardrobe with clothes that fit, so I need to come to terms with the fact that literally 90% of my clothes don’t fit. But here’s the twist, I’m not coming to terms with it. Instead I’ve ordered more clothes in the size I want to be to motivate me into becoming that size. I know it’s never worked, but this is my year. So this resolution is actually an inspiring one to break.

What New Year’s resolutions are you breaking this year?

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