Brace yourself because I’m feeling slightly shrinky today. As you look at your calendar you might think you know what R word I’m talking about. Resolution. No, that’s not the one. See, I’m not a fan of the word Resolution. First of all, for some reason, it makes me think of Risotto which makes me think about thick cream and cheese and asparagus and lobster which inevitably leads to eating chocolate. So if I ever want to make a dent (no pun intended) into the state of my caboose, Resolution cannot be part of my day to day lexicon.

Second, Resolution, in my mind anyway, is inextricably linked with the F word: Failure. Over the last year I’ve made many a pledge and promise to myself. One by one they’ve all crumbled to dust, my best intentions piled precariously on a foundation of nonexistent willpower. Indeed weakness of will is my main weakness. But I do have an intermittent ability to learn from the past coupled with a tendency to laugh at myself. So I accept this about me. I choose to find it endearing and sweet. “Oh, just look at her in her sweatpants dipping nacho chips in Miracle Whip surrounded by unopened French texts. Isn’t she adorable?”

Of course I could make a resolution to no longer resist making resolutions, right? I could resolve to eat less refined sugar. Exercise more. Limit my daily Twitter time. Make some goddamn progress with the language from hell. I could start figuring out how to present myself as a published author. And I might do all those things. I said might. Here’s where I tell you the R word I’m talking about: Realistic.

Case in point: I need to learn French but once January gets going I have to focus on the business of the impending blook. There’ll be a large edit, a cover and photo layout to consider, a transatlantic voyage to plan, rattled nerves to soothe. If I manage to squeeze in the odd conjugation, congratulations will be in order. Cripes, if I manage to get out of bed before noon every day I’ll think I’m marvelous. My plan for 2012 is to take each day as it comes and hope for the best. In other words, Relax and Roll with it.

There are other R words that come to mind as the New Year approaches. Recrimination (as in self) is the first. Regret is the second. Rather than latch on to some false promise of ‘I will do this’ or ‘I won’t do that’, the only commitment I’m willing to make for 2012 is to run from these words as fast as my bandy legs will carry me. Like always, I’ll make mistakes. Fine. I’ll continue to amuse myself with my own predicaments. Also fine. Who knows what 2012 has in store for me? Who cares? All I have to remember is to never accuse myself of being anything less than amazing.

Whatever comes to pass I know that this time next year I won’t have to lament lost Resolutions, the absolute beauty of not making any. I won’t have a single Regret either. Not in this upcoming year or any year that follows. I’m a splendid, gray-haired, middle-aged woman making her way as best she can. Regrets? I don’t have time.

 Happy New Year Finders!