“Okay, you’re still as hard as nails.” - Harry Burns, When Harry Met Sally, 1989
The only way to approach New Year’s resolutions is with no self-imposed pressure whatsoever, along with whatever hangover cure you’re currently utilizing firmly in hand. I like Alka Seltzer because I’m a grumpy old man wearing corduroy inside the body of a 37-year-old woman wearing Spanx leggings, but use what you like. It’s New Year’s Day, we’ve shaken the societal Etch-A-Sketch clean, and we’re ready to completely fuck shit up again. Everybody vacuum the glitter out of your carpet and let’s have some fun.
I don’t think I really believe in resolutions, unless they mean I get to write something funny on the internet. It’s never really made sense to me that we’re all supposed to reinvent ourselves every January, because that assumes we all feel like we’re in need of annual reinvention. I like who I am already. And honestly, there are only so many times I can strive to “read more books” before I just acknowledge I like Netflix more.
If we’re going to do this though, single women deserve their own set of resolutions. Specific actions to try and fold into the batter of our lives in the hopes that they bring us some sense of accomplishment if not outright joy. It’s a nice idea in theory, even my inner curmudgeon must admit.
Resolve To Unapologetically Nest
Single women are excellent nesters. Broader still, I think anyone who lives alone has the potential to be an excellent nester, too. There’s no one around to run things by! Those living solo have complete freedom to (sometimes literally) feather our nests with the items, arrangements, sounds, smells, and comforts that we, and we alone, love most. Your shower curtain can be whatever pattern you want it to be and your artwork goes wherever you’d like. That coffee table tableau is entirely within your purview and may, if you wish, contain nothing but crystals. If you want your home to smell of sugared persimmon year-round, go for it. (Personally, I change my scents with the seasons, and I’m devastated to be saying goodbye to Thymes Frasier Fir post-holiday.) My point is, I find immense satisfaction in making decisions independent of other people’s gnarly opinions, and nesting decisions are the ones we get to enjoy (by ourselves) most often. Nest, my birdies, nest.
Resolve To Join Something Other Than A Gym
Oy, enough with this. If you don’t want to be inside a gym in July I see no reason to pressure yourself into one in January. By all means, partake in the physical activities that you find most enjoyable. But the annual gym rush is cliche at this point and super annoying to people who actually do enjoy the gym year-round. Also, remember that there are lots of things to join! And so many of them can lead to new friendships, something I’m a huge advocate for in the single women space. Join a bowling league. (I actually did this in the fall, super fun.) Take a class on a subject that fascinates you. (And if it’s French lessons, tell me where you took them I need advice.) Maybe this is the year you actually take the cooking class you’ve always wanted to. Not so that “maybe you’ll meet someone,” but instead so that you’ll learn how to make handmade pasta. And then invite your friends over and eat handmade pasta. Hello.
If real-life joining is intimidating, start with Facebook groups. Yes, Facebook knows enough about us to be able to market to us based on our blood type but fuck it! There are some really cool Facebook groups out there that can connect you to people with whom you share interests. You can start with mine, if you’re bad at research. Broaden your gaze at what’s available to you in terms of feeling more social and more active. There are countless ways to connect and have fun and maybe not go straight home after work. May our calendars be packed, and may our spin bikes collect dust. I said it.
Resolve To Do The To-Dos
January is a really good month for doing things. Not much is going on in January because we’re all pretty sick of the sight of other human beings after holiday season nonsense, and at this point most of the stuff that we could potentially wear out of the house has sequins. Use this opportunity (and your free weekends) to identify all the around-the-house tasks that need doing, life admin that needs resolving, and all the errands that need running (for example I have a pair of boots that seep in rain from the bottom — I’m over it). That way, at the end of the first month of a new year, and a new decade, you feel hella accomplished. That’s why Marie Kondo’s Netflix show came out on January 1st. Even this woman’s release dates are organized. Nothing is happening in January, I promise. Put your Vogues in chronological order and throw out all your expired spices and cough drops.
Resolve To Just Not
We tend to operate, as single women, as if every invitation, calendar item, or errand is an “opportunity” to “meet someone.” It’s an exhausting way to live that I don’t believe in but I know we still do it because we’re human beings and this has been groomed into us for quite awhile. I’m not mad at you, it’s fine. Resolve this year to just not do things when your gut instinct is to just not do things. Be kind to yourself. Let’s not let single girl guilt (that old chestnut) drive us to push and push and push to try and place ourselves in as many advantageous positions as possible to meet a partner. Instead, know that saying no can’t hurt you, it can only restore you. Doing everything possible in pursuit of partnership is desperate energy we don’t need. Your efforts are far better spent on self care and attention and also have the added benefit of taking your mind off “meeting someone” for awhile. Watch a movie, read a print publication (it’s a mitzvah at this point), do some YouTube yoga, basically just anything that you can do for yourself, with no additional agenda present. Let’s put less pressure on ourselves, and our activities, in the new year, cool?
I don’t like to start the new year with forced hopes. The phrase “this is my year” feels icky because it’s pressurizing the 12 months ahead and also, every year is mine. I’m alive, living in every year — one is not more “mine” than any other. They’ve all been a pretty interesting mix of highs and lows, I expect 2020 will be on par. What I do like to do is start the new year softly, and with kindness. I like taking my time, taking advantage of peace and quiet, and taking my Alka Seltzer while catching up on The Crown. Whether you strive for self improvement or not, you’re awesome. Whether you try to date or not this year, you’re worthy of partnership. And whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not, you’re right. Happy New Year.