So, happy New Year.
Have you come up with some meaningful goals yet? Made a self-improvement plan? Booked a life coach?
I wrote my resolution list this morning. Here it is:
1) Stop being so bloody good
Yeah, I know -- one item is not exactly a 'list'. To be fair, I did consider the four standard resos: quit smoking, drink less, lose weight, run a marathon. But they're just so predictably sensible. And frankly, I've been predictably sensible my whole life.
On my first day of primary school I shared my lunch with some kid I'd just met ("Want to be my best friend in the whole world?") She gave me a bite of her doughnut and I gave her a sip of my ridiculously diluted cordial, then we got told off and I NEVER DID ANYTHING NAUGHTY EVER AGAIN.
I couldn't understand why some people flagrantly disobeyed rules. Weren't they terrified of authority? Didn't they know that there were consequences?
Much to my parents' delight I didn't go through a rebellious teenage phase -- I was too busy doing quadratic equations and polishing my school shoes. I had absolutely no interest in attending wild parties. (This is not true; I just didn't get invited to any.)
I loosened up a little bit at uni, but this newfound liberation was quickly replaced by its antithesis: motherhood. Spending most of my twenties either pregnant or breastfeeding left little opportunity to develop a serious drug habit (or get into train surfing).
And now? Well, let's see: I drive at the speed limit; I PRINT IN CAPTIALS USING BLACK PEN when filling in forms; I read the instructions before assembling IKEA furniture; I have regular pap tests; I keep my receipts for seven years; and I always use correct grammar in text messages. But it has finally dawned on me that MY LIFE IS TOO SENSIBLE. I'm turning 36 this year. Time to break some rules.
mix my whites and my colours
skip breakfast if I'm not hungry
ride my bike on the footpath
refuse to mind other people's toddlers
buy processed food without reading the label first
feed the animals at the zoo
stop sending Christmas cards to people I don't like
stop sending Christmas cards to people I do like
wear tiny shorts to the supermarket
and, most importantly,
put up with less shit.
Sometimes I smile and nod when I shouldn't. Sometimes I stay silent when I should speak up. I'm not going to do that this year.
For example, if someone says, "Do you cut your own hair?" in that special way that means "Why do you cut your own hair?" I will reply, "Yes. Do you give someone a lot of money to get your hair to look like that?" And if someone says, "Did your husband know that you couldn't iron shirts when he married you?" I will say, "Yes. Did your wife know that you were a misogynistic dickhead when she married you?"
If a retail assistant leans over their counter and says, "Who was next?" I will raise my hand instead of letting others push in. If I'm at the park and a random kid pushes my kid over I'll tell them off. If a friend makes some "I'm not racist, but ... " remark, I'll pull them up.
I'm pretty sure that this kind of post-youth rebellious behaviour is known as Having A Midlife Crisis. But I don't care; it's well overdue. I can't wait to start being assertive and defiant. In fact, I think I might start right now. I'll just put on some tiny shorts, cycle to the shops, buy some fucking Twisties and ride home up the footpath.