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New Year, New You?!


New years are kind of like new relationships. Hopeful and anticipatory. Fresh with no mistakes. You have that mental list of what you’re going to do this time around, and also, what you’re not going to do. Intentions are grand. Possibilities are limitless. And then, like with all good things, reality begins to creep in. Oh reality, you killjoy. Why can’t you just let me live in my fantasy world a little while longer? La-la-la, I cannot hear you. Budgets, bills, housework, grocery lists, they all come crashing in on you like so many bricks and you realize that your idyllic intentions have gone right out the proverbial window. I spend a lot of time regretting–things I’ve done, things I haven’t. And comparing myself to others, who seem to be much better at being grown-ups and productive members of society. I want to read their blogs so I can follow their plans, cuz mine always, inevitably, go up in smoke.

When I admit I’m bad with money, people suggest I make a budget. Oh honey, I’ve got a budget, I can make a budget all day long. A good one, a thorough one. But I always run into the same snag. Either the budget requires more funding than my actual income allows for OR I have to actually possess the discipline to follow said budget.

Sometimes I think I should have married an accountant. But ultimately, my unhealthy relationship with money (and food, etc.) cannot be pushed onto anyone else. Sure, if I had someone holding a figurative gun to my financial head, it might help me follow a budget. But would I be happy about it? No. Would I be resentful and trying to find ways around it? You better believe it.

Discipline, quite unfortunately, is a one-man show. Ain’t nobody gonna do it for you. All the personal trainers and financial consultants in the world aren’t going to make you into anything more than you, yourself, are willing to be. It’s the old leading a horse to water scenario. You can make me a kale smoothie, but I still have to drink that mother. You can put me on a budget, but you can’t force me to not try and figure out how to manipulate a few more bucks from thin air, in order to buy that junk I don’t need.

Delayed gratification has never been my strong suit. I’m not sure I have a strong suit. My natural talents are eating and spending, both in excess of what I should.

So I can put on my fancy ‘new year’ clothes and pretend for awhile on those first few dates, that I am a better person than I really am, but eventually, the jig will be up. No matter where I go, there I am, in all my flawed glory.

My New Year’s resolutions? Oh, I have plenty. But realistic expectations? Those seem to be in short supply.

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