4th Of July Resolutions

Love, Self

Time to examine your half-complete New Year's Resolutions.

The year is halfway over (really it's halfway over on the 2nd of July, but who gives a Fraggle*?) and you are desperately behind on your New Year's resolutions. Your swimwear body still makes you uncomfortable (it's OK, I think you're beautiful), you have yet to tackle the collected works of Dostoevsky (it's OK, Crime And Punishment kicked my ass too) and your kitchen has yet to remodel itself (it's OK, you're not going to be able to sell your place for a decent price in this economy anyway). Nonetheless, looking back at the grand idealism that is January 1st is not always pleasant.

As I mentioned way back in the final weeks of the Bush presidency, self-improvement is oftentimes code for self-deception (or self-denial or self-pleasuring or self-obfuscation). But relationship resolutions are almost always worthwhile (even if they only last a month). So it's half-past 2009 and well-past time to dust off those relationship resolutions. (Before continuing, I'd like to point out that I've more or less failed in all of mine: Read: Sand-Bagging Your New Year's Resolutions)

Here are a few standard resolutions and how to crank 'em back up:

  • Date night. For some folks, consistently getting free for one night is tough with work, family and time-consuming hobbies (not to mention pricey). Schedule the forthcoming week's date night on Sunday afternoon. Also, restaurants are struggling and are giving some deals (though a couple of turkey sandwiches, some potato salad, a bottle or two of Yoo-Hoo and a picnic blanket costs about $11.75).
  • Say nice things to each other. Sure, it shouldn't be tough to say, "hey, I think you're pretty awesome," everyday but you're busy. Try setting a daily reminder on your phone (or via email) to send a quick text to whatshisname. Aim for after lunch to bouy the early afternoon blahs.
  • Small gifts. While the idea of spending in this economy is a little daunting, not everything has to be from Swarovski or Sony. Overstock.com has plenty of great buys (samesies Craigslist, yard sales, swap meets and Chinatown, caveat emptor). On top of that things like coupons and random thoughtful acts (RTAs) go a long way. Weekly or fortnightly are ideal, once per full moon (or menstrual cycle except for women on Seasonelle) is minimum.

Unfortunately, it's sometimes hard to keep up with date nights, routine compliment routines, gift giving or RTAs. But this relatively small amount of maintenance can seem paltry compared to the problems it could stave off in the future. If it is a pain to maintain the program, try rewarding yourself subtly for keeping the faith (but you probably should reconsider punishing yourself for laxness).

Damn, that does sound identical to the a New Year's Resolution. Sorry. Just be sure to do something lazy, low-brow, indulgent or benignly self-destructive to keep a balance.

*Pepper Jack love the Fraggle Rock.