Last week, my five-year-old goddaughter announced that she’s “not really an olive person.” My first thought: you aren’t any kind of person yet because you were born in 2009. You weren’t even around for the Bush administration or Zoey 101. My second thought: smart kid! It’s good to know what kind of person you are. Me, I’m not a “high-pressure holiday” person. Valentine’s Day is fine for wearing and eating heart-shaped things without impunity, but that’s it. You don’t get to spend a week celebrating your birthday. Everyone was born once. New Year’s Eve, with its attendant resolutions, does nothing for me. But unlike birthdays, I can get behind people making a fuss about New Year’s resolutions because they involve two of my favorite things – self-improvement, and the opportunity to buy new things. So, here’s what I think you should buy if you plan to meet the most common New Year’s resolutions.
Lose Weight/ Work Out More/ Get In Shape
When I don’t particularly feel like hitting the gym or the pavement or the … box, I guess, for Crossfit people? … I tell myself that I’m just going to change into my workout clothes. Because if you wear cute workout outfits, you’re going to want somebody to see them. Once upon a time, I’d exercise in the “Biggest Boozer” t-shirt from my senior bar crawl. But you know what? I didn’t work my butt off in college and law school to dress like my dreams got ran over by a bus.
Like, am I the nice girl on the elliptical or a kid who just got slimed on Family Double Dare? Anyone’s guess.
A few months ago I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. She’s totally bonkers, but in a good way. You have to hold each of your possessions to decide if it “sparks joy,” and if it doesn’t, you thank it then get rid of it. Every single thing you own. But she also has really good tips for how to organize and fold your clothes, and now mine take up half the space and I can see everything at once. Sure, it’s a bit cuckoo, but frankly I want my organization gurus to be a bit nutty. If your goal is to get organized, I suggest you buy her book and take the parts of it that work for you.
Spend More Time With Your Kids
First, I want you to download Cat’s In The Cradle. Okay? That’s your first purchase. And it is not good. That song is terrible. I want you to listen to it as many times as you can handle, which is probably about twice because it’s the song they play when you’re on hold with hell’s customer service line. Do you want your kid to write a shitty song like that about you someday? Of course not. On to step two.
Go out and buy the following books:
- Marcel The Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me and The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp
- The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
- The Stinky Cheese Man
- The Monster At The End Of This Book by Jon Stone
- Superfudge by Judy Blume
- Ramona The Pest by Beverly Cleary
These books all have something in common, and that’s that they’re hilarious. Witness four of my nephews, who were acting like a pack of adorable, ruinous wolf pups just moments before, reading The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been:
Even the one climbing on the furniture is being pretty chill about it. The same night, we read The Book With No Pictures so many times that I think I can now recite it by rote.
There are a lot of beautiful children’s books about, you know, wanting to climb up to the stars and paint your child’s face on every one, or whatever. That’s so nice. But if the way you tell people you love them is by making them laugh, then these super-funny kids’ books are a great way to spend more time with the kiddos in your life. (Disclaimer: if you read here enough, you know that I don’t have kids, but I do have 8 nieces and nephews because my family is Irish Catholic and just really going for it).
The Vegetti cuts up your vegetables into a sort of fettuccine shape. Now, anyone who tells you that it “tastes just like pasta!” either has never had pasta or has some really whack taste buds. It tastes like vegetables, cut into pasta shape. But you can make some great dishes with it and I understand that white flour is the devil’s food so it’s good to cut back however you can.
Crock pots also help because you have to be super intentional about what you’re making – there’s no throwing together a meal right before you eat, so you should be able to avoid impulsive cooking decisions. Remember how there was that old infomercial for a rotisserie or something, and the catchphrase was “set it and forget it!” but immediately afterwards there was a disclaimer that basically said “don’t really forget it, though?” I think it’s the same with crock pots.
Salad spinners. What the heck? It doesn’t make preparing a salad that much easier, but I find that if you take your lettuce on its own tilt-a-whirl ride before making a salad, the whole process is a bit more fun and as a result you’ll probably eat more salads. I have this one, which I like because you can store your salad in it and also because it makes me feel like the kind of lady who goes to Tupperware parties:
Be A Better Sleeper
You’ll be hearing more from us about this later on, but we both have FitBits now and we’ve had to confront the reality of our sleep cycles. Let’s just say that one of us goes to sleep at 4 AM and the other one is “restless” about 20 times a night. Even if I have a pretty good night’s sleep, nothing makes me feel groggier than a prolonged wake-up. During these months when I’m waking up in the dark, a sunrise alarm clock has made a big difference. I don’t know that my stupid body actually thinks the sun is rising, but I do know that waking up in a room with a light on makes it a lot easier to get out of bed and avoid hitting the snooze button. Especially because I can never quite find the snooze button on this thing:
My other top sleep purchase is Netflix, although by the time I’ve found the perfect not-too-interesting but not-too-boring documentary to fall asleep to (because if it’s too boring, I’ll start listening to my thoughts instead), I’ve already missed about a half hour of sleep.