Live From The Grayish Carpet

Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll, Redacted

Older, Wiser, and Happy to be Half-Assed

FirstStepYesterday was my birthday.  As soon as I woke up, I thought about everything I told myself I’d do to mark the day:   quit smoking, lay off the caffeine, and eat like a grown up.  Then I rolled out of bed, made myself a Cool Whip cone, and sat down with a black cup of coffee and a cigarette.

I should know better.  I’ve been making and breaking promises to myself since 1972.  It’s hope,  I guess —  despite all evidence to the contrary, I’ve continued to believe that I could do anything if I just set my mind to it.

It started in elementary school.   I vowed to lose ten pounds n fourth grade, and dined on grapefruit and hard boiled eggs for an entire day before I lost my shit and ate two dozen chocolate chip cookies.  I took a self-administered oath to be well behaved at school and was in the principal’s office five hours later, and, shortly after resolving to be nice to my next door neighbor, I started the “I Hate Alecia Club” in her honor.   (That’s not a typo; that’s how her name was spelled.  Which, obviously, was a reason to hate her.

And so it went.  Every birthday I swore off, tried to, and didn’t.  I didn’t lose weight, pay every parking ticket or organize my receipts;  I didn’t go to the dentist or send overdue thank you notes.   I failed to keep away from casinos, Neiman Marcus, and scabrous men, and I didn’t return every call or respond to every email.  Once a decade, I’d admit to my innermost self that I had a problem with drugs, and  once a decade I’d go back to rehab.

I have plenty of willpower, but it doesn’t help.  I fold, and I end up hating myself.  I think about how a better person would be able to stick to his or her vows.  Then  I  resolve to be an all-around better person —  the kind who doesn’t need to give anything up in the first place — and then I fail again.

It’s vicious.

Besides,  I  have made changes.  It’s just that none of them have anything to do with my annual birthday resolutions.   For me, change doesn’t come on a calendar; change comes when I’m ready for it.    So, on my next birthday, I’m not resolving to do or not do anything. I’m just gonna settle in with a chocolate cake and a pack of smokes and accept my ghastly imperfections.

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2015 by in Life.
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