Resolving to fail

I’ve never been big on dramatic New Year’s resolutions. They always seemed a little cliché to me. Like a wish-list of goals that will make this year the one where you suddenly lose 20 pounds, stop cursing traffic jams, and become more spontaneous.

However, simply declaring your good intentions on January 1 does not mean you’ll be a Mother Theresa on May 5, when you’re running late for an appointment and find that traffic on the highway has come to a complete stop because everyone driving over the bridge slams on their brakes to look at the body of water they’re currently driving over.  (Seriously, it happens.)

My fiancé though? He’s all over it. Not only does he start thinking of resolutions in November, he writes them down, then crosses them off throughout the year as they’re accomplished. So far, he’s already crossed off two resolutions. (Yeah.  Talk about an over-achiever.)

For me, though, resolutions are a touchy spot. Too vague, and there’s no way to measure success. Too specific, and I could fail.

And therein lies the problem.

What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough, smart enough, committed enough to keep those resolutions?

The world ends, I suppose. We all go up in flames, the universe comes to an abrupt end, and no one ever discovers which really did come first, the chicken or the egg.

…..

Or, you know….not.  Because my inability to keep my blood pressure at a normal rate while driving through DC is actually not what keeps the Earth spinning in its normal rotation.   Me drinking the occasional glass of wine instead of hitting the gym does not help our planet maintain a normal, habitable temperature.  If I don’t keep everysinglelastdamnone of my resolutions, the world will go on turning.

Shocking, huh?

So here’s my resolution. To make resolutions. To accept the possibility of failure as part of life, as the entry fee for trying something new and exciting.

This year, my goal is to decorate cookies, bake cakes, and make pie dough from scratch. Maybe my cookies won’t be magazine-ready, maybe my cakes will collapse, and maybe my pie crust will turn crumbly and unappetizing. That’s fine.

This year, I want to cook offal. I want to take humble cuts of meat and turn them into amazing meals, just like I’ve had in trendy restaurants.  There’s a chance that the meat will turn out rubbery and unappetizing.  There’s a chance that my darling boy, wonderful as he is, will run away from the kitchen screaming and begging for pizza delivery.  No cause for alarm.

This year, I plan to travel to new countries where I don’t speak the native language. I’ll have to communicate in bits and pieces of German, in a horrendous accent, supplementing gestures when necessary. I’ll probably look foolish and silly, and maybe no one will understand a word of what I’m saying.  But you know what?  I’ll manage.  And it will be worth it to experience a new culture and taste delicious food.

So I promise that whenever I screw something up, I’ll share it.  You can laugh with me, or laugh at me.  As long as we’re both laughing, I’ll count it as a success.

As the first step towards goal #2 (Operation Offal), I’ve ordered sweetbreads, tongue, and liver from Heritage Hollow Farms.  (Side note: though I’m not a strict vegetarian, I believe that meat isn’t worth eating unless it’s humanely raised and respectfully treated.  But more on that later.  For now, I’ll just say that if you’re in the DC/NOVA area, I cannot say enough great things about Heritage Hollow – you should check them out!)  I think I’m going to tackle the beef tongue first, and I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

What are your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions?

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One thought on “Resolving to fail

  1. El Guapo

    I’m not against resolutions, just against picking New Years Day as an arbitrary starting point for them. Other than writing the year wrong on forms for the net few weeks, new years doesn’t affect me a whole lot.

    Allowing the possibility of failure lets you try much grander things.

    Reply

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