Champagne Wishes & Motivational Poster Dreams

This was the best New Year’s EVER.

You really have to try this for yourself next year. Here’s what you do:

1) Conspire with friends to pretend it’s midnight at 10:15 p.m.

2) Swig a quick glass of champagne.

3) Go home and get into your best chubby couch-sitting pants.

4) Fall asleep while the ball drops.

Take that, Ryan Seacrest.


Champagne was poured. Glasses were clinked. Count it.

Maybe you whooped it up with the masses and your favorite air horn. Maybe you cozied up by the fire with some lobster tails and that special someone. But as for me and my New Year’s Eve, eh, I’d rather sleep through it.

I mean, really. All those glittery hats? All those Times Square nut jobs? And all the noise?

All the noise, noise, noise, noise!

(Oh. I hear it now.)

Look at me being a New Year’s Grinch, when I long to be Cindy Lou Who.

I honestly wish I was that person who welcomes each new year with bright-eyed wonder, who turned the page on her 2015 calendar of motivational sayings just bursting with hope, daring, and to-do lists.

“Yes!” I would repeat to myself in the mirror. “In the confrontation between the river and the rock, I WILL BE THE RIVER that wins, not by strength but by perseverance!” (You can actually buy that poster at a website actually called Not even kidding.)


Oh, just drink in that Grand Canyon at sunset. Consider yourself MOTIVATED.

But for me, all the New Year’s hype seems to have the reverse effect.

After the confetti falls, there I stand on the same messy carpet in the same messy house with the same messy family that somehow, some way, needs to clean up its act. Instead of invigorating me, New Year’s gets me all angst-ridden and weary and forces me to vacuum. (This is not my idea of fun.)

New Year’s also weirdly compels me to clean out drawers, where just yesterday I found a long list of my 2011 resolutions. Oh man, I was hard-core that year. Everything was detailed and plotted out to the nth degree in an effort to be über-intentional and not my normal wishy-washy back-sliding self.

Back then, I’d wanted to help the kids be more self-reliant, grow a strong work ethic, be mannerly, be more active and creative and not addled by screen-addiction, to grow in their faith. As for me, I wanted to use wrinkle cream now and then and dress better and eat my veggies and grow professionally.

O-kayyyy. Seems I have all the same resolutions these four years later. I mean, to the T.

Guess that could mean one of two things: I am stuck. I am no better than I was four years ago. Nothing will ever change. I am a failure. (Those messages are playing on a really loud loop on my internal mix tape.)

OR it could mean: Most of those things I’m working toward are hard. They are important. And they take time (sometimes years, sometimes a lifetime) to attain. And I’ll probably need help — from above and from down here, too. I may have to ask.

Just because I haven’t won yet doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve lost. It just means there’s more to do.

Can’t you just see the motivational poster now? Something about life being a journey, not a destination? Picture a canoe on a riverbank. And oh yes, picture a sunset.

And then picture me paddling that infernal canoe until my dying days. That’s how long it’ll probably take me to start eating my veggies.

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