note to (her)self

In ALL, MY LISTS by Stephanie Klein21 Comments

She resolves to continue to hate the word, “resolutions.”  To ignore diets and gym deals.  To say nothing of her teeth or flossing or bad self-tanners or SPF.  To stop fighting as much by trying to be patient and more empathetic.  To eat more caviar on warmed bilinis.  To stop worrying about never worrying about regular hair appointments.  To make more lists.  She resolves to keep being herself despite the requests that she should be more positive.  She’ll continue to bitch about the cold and lack of space and her fat arms, but she doesn’t care enough to do anything about it, and she resolves to stay stubborn.  She’ll dig in some nicer heels this year, but when she shops for them, she resolves to do something proper with her receipt, to be more accountable with where her money doesn’t go.  She’ll make some spreadsheet or work with a program that sounds like the brand name for a running shoe, and it will help her come tax time when she won’t owe too much because she’ll know how to properly expense this time ‘round.  To take it easy on herself and her lover, to get to what she can do to make the situation better, faster.  To eat more of the green bitter category and the Baskin’ Robbins category because life is short.  To play more board games and have more suburban-type parties having something to do with scrap booking or swapping, just not keys or partners.  To eat a cruller every now and then.  To wear more color.  To eat Grey’s Papaya while she still can.  She resolves, as she does each year, to stop biting her nails, to pay attention to coincidence, to draw, to write, to cry and laugh each day. Praise more.  To ask, how should I respond to this gracefully, instead of asking, why.  To print her goddamn digital photos, so there’s something to show for her stupor. To make more new friends.  To grow instead of run.  To give up on resolving to run more.  To be less afraid to express her needs and wants directly, without manipulation (in fear of being seen as too needy).  To try something new each day… a new path home, rabbit, starting her day dancing, soy milk, doing something "I’d never do that!"  Stepping outside her comfort zone to try to be… to try to change.  Forget about the heels. 


  1. Does not making resolutions make me cynical? I figure that if I really wanted to make a change, I would do it immediately as the self-reflective thought occurred rather than waiting till the New Year. I do have plenty of things I could work on but I guess I'm not serious about them yet.

    BTW, there was an article in the Times yesterday about the depleted sturgeon stocks. The UN stopped exports from the Caspian…. Look it up online while it's still free. Once they archive them you have to pay. If you read the article, you'll be shocked at how desparate the caviar situation is and how hard it is to enforce. I think the article said since 1990 the population has depleted by 90%. "Eating more caviar" might not be an ideal resolution.

  2. What about doing something that will make something better for others. Maybe get a useful job, or volunteer doing something where the payoff does other than satisfy your narcissism. Gene

  3. Those sound like great non-resolution resolutions. I also need to start printing my digital photos. Those disks are really piling up.

  4. dont let anyone tell you to be more positive. tell them to screw their california zen big smile selves. its a horrible thing to say and you should be proud of yr insights, whether ironic, cynical, dark or otherwise interesting and totally appropriate in new york city winter.

  5. That was beautiful! Can't wait to read about all of those (sort of) resolutions in the upcoming year.

  6. him(self):

    Stop worrying about resolutions and spend more time doing things and being with people that make me smile and let me focus on enjoying life rather than contemplating what's not so enjoyable.

    PS Happy New Year

  7. I agree with Christa re: "To eat more caviar on warmed bilinis."

    Anyway I'd rather splurge on something like organic dark chocolate than caviar anyday.

  8. Great read.

    NY Times had a piece last week about resolutions and navel gazing. I'm a gazer. Article says I shouldn't. I put on my glasses to gaze. I'm going to take them off. It's not a resolution, so much as a gift to myself. (Can you say euphemism?) Anyway, the point of the article is that the more we concentrate on something, the bigger it becomes. The "microscope effect." Think? Yes. Obsess? No. Discarding my navel-gazing-glasses as I type.

    Naval gazing is something entirely different. When the troops come home, we'll talk.

    If the "she" is going to eat more caviar, she really should floss. I know I sound like her mother or dentist, but this is from a dental patient who has an appointment tomorrow to finish extensive work. Lack of flossing.

  9. I always wondered why so many people put emphasis on January 1rst; to change things after that date. Why do we cram so many resolutions into one day to start a new beginning? I think baby steps are the way to go, if we do want to change something in our lives. We can’t be perfect, but we can change at least ‘one’ thing in our live, in order to make a big difference. It seems small, but it’s not. Just like cutting out a few shopping sprees, cutting out that extra cookie we shouldn’t have (or don’t really need), and to possibly say yes to an opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones.

    So much pressure for one day, isn’t it? Let’s try to start being more lenient with ourselves and remember that we’re only human. We only live once. Enjoy your life, instead of making resolutions.

    Happy New Year!

    P.S. And as far as Gene's comment goes, jealousy is an ugly thing. She may want to make that part of her list on her resolutions for this coming year. Please don't get discouraged by ignorance.

  10. P.S.S. AND, for the record (as far as Gene's comment) You have done good for others…you've helped me realize that someone else relates to me.

    Thank you for helping "me" this year. I'm sure you're helping everyone else who reads this incredible blog.

  11. i wrote to three different boys today suggesting we meet for coffee, shopped at Academy (never been there before), and watched (parts of) "Veronica Mars," just 'cuz everyone else likes it so much…all to try something new each day.

  12. Stephanie…I admire your list, and how you put yourself out there for all to see. Enjoy the crullers.

  13. Hello Stephanie,
    you are amazing. I have to admit that I've just read your blog for the first time (in Germany you are not that famous).

    I feel with you; I have already spoilt my changing wishes for the new year.

    I will read you more often!
    Best wishes,

  14. I like your non-resolutions.

    I have one: "go for pleasure, not for perfection". It came courtesy of a yoga class. I know it sounds kinda crunchy, but it's also very decadent so it works for me.

    Here's hoping that everybody has a pleasurable 2006…

  15. For the couple of people that questioned why we wait until January 1st for our resolutions is mostly because we tend to indulge ourselves for the period Thanksgiving through New Year's. So now you're 10 pounds fatter. And there is absolutely no sense in starting a diet a week before the holidays. But if you start on 1/1, you really don't have any serious for a while.

  16. My New Year's resolution for what seems like the past hundred years has been to stop procrastinating. Obviously, it hasn't worked. I still run (sprint) to catch trains, pack for trips minutes before I leave for the airport, pay bills on the due date (and not a minute before), leave my house at the absolute last possible minute, and mail my tax return on April 15th.

    Oh, the other recurring resolution was to stop being so messy – and that one has kind of worked, in recent times.

    However, in response to Deb ("I always wondered why so many people put emphasis on January 1rst; to change things after that date.")… For me, the first of the year is a *perfect* time to implement change. It's not so much about the number in the date changing, but rather, the end of the holiday season.

    As a self-employed music educator, the holiday season is my least productive time of the year – students come and go, and many projects lose momentum or grind to a complete (hopefully temporary) halt. Rather than feel bad or guilty about it, I choose to view the holidays as a well-deserved break. However, when the 1st of the year comes around, it's time to get serious again. The first week of 2006 has been my most productive week in months, and my work has been rewarded almost instantly. Is it because of some New Year's Resolution? Nah, it's just a good time to get back into the groove after slacking for a few weeks.

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