My birthday is the day after New Year's, and last year I spent it sitting alone in front of a fire while eating a steak and watching a Red Wings game. While part of me was like, "this is fucking awesome and I could do exactly this for the rest of my life," the other part of me craved the old "me." You know, the "me" that wanted to go out and hammer sake until I brown out and try making out with one of my friend's sisters or something.
But the biggest issue with having a birthday immediately following New Year's Eve is that people are coming down from the shock-and-awe holiday bender that they just put themselves through. Partying and celebrating is the last thing on everyone's mind. Your pants aren't fitting well, your bank account is staring zero right in the face, and you have to dive back into the real world during the dog days of winter. Such terrifying thoughts breed fake responsibility in the form of New Year's resolutions that cause everyone to suckkk for the earlier parts of January. And the most frustrating part about these New Year's resolutions? No one ever sticks to them.
"I'm going to start working out."
When you walk into the gym during the first week of the year, the place is an absolute FREAKFEST. The most basic, bottom-line New Year's resolution is to start working out more. You can hashtag #FitFam, #FreshStart, and #RiseAndGrind all you want, but old habits die hard. And by "old habits", I mean being a lazy shithead who manages to drink a half-bottle of wine every night until Memorial Day when your summer bender starts again. Gearing up in the winter is hard enough as it is, but it's a hell of a lot more arduous when you're doing it just to go run 3 miles on a treadmill and wear yourself out.
"I'm going to put my career first."
Ahhhh, New Year, New You, right? Wrong. You can reorganize your desk, primp your resume, and work through lunch you want, but your dead-end cube-monkey job will eventually wear you down. I mean, I apologize for that truth bomb, but it's just science. If you're not going through your 20s unsatisfied with your unfulfilling job, are you even a real person?
"I'm going to eat healthier."
You know those people that sit atop their healthy high horse all week eating kale salads and drinking kombuchas, only to have the 5 o'clock hour hit on Friday where they drink 50 beers and survive purely off pizza until Monday morning? Well, I'm one of those people. The weekly tradition of trying to be as healthy as possible amplifies itself at the end of every year, culminating with a New Year's resolution of making it a full-time gig. And while it's easy to not indulge immediately after the holidays (where you've ingested anything from honey-baked ham to spiked egg nog), you start getting the unhealthy itch about two weeks into the New Year and your plan goes to hell.
"I'm going to quit smoking."
Post-2am cigarettes that you bummed off your one smoker friend don't count, right?
"I'm going to go out less."
On January 1st, 2013, I spent the entire day at a bar with friends drinking Dark & Stormies with shots of Fireball sprinkled in about every half-hour. At one point, the waitress came over with a pitcher of water and said, "You guys can't have anymore Fireball until you finish this pitcher of water." My friend kindly grabbed the pitcher and poured it out onto the ground, remarking "Alright, done." upon completion.
When I woke up on January 2nd, I gave myself the whole "I'm never going out again" spiel. I spent the next two weeks huddled on my couch watching Netflix and drinking lemon-waters. But then a wrench got thrown into my plan in the form of a long Martin Luther King Jr. Day ski weekend and my half-ass "not going out ever again" resolution took a huge body blow early in the first round. The sad thing is, I didn't even care because fighting the inevitable is just a battle you're not gonna win.
"I'm not going to sweat the small stuff."
Yeah, it's easy to eliminate the drama from your life until you're in the comedown phase of your Martin Luther King Jr. ski trip and the wave of Sunday Scaries hits you like a ton of fuckin' bricks. Brian knows what I'm talkin' about.