That wasn’t the best life choice, if I’m going to be honest…

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Mrrglpff.

*achem*

Lemme try again. Mornin’.

Sorry. First thought of the day after I finished staring into the toilet of regret. See, my guy unexpectedly got today and tomorrow off. He never gets two days off in a row. And it being sooo close to New Year’s, we decided to let the champagne aisle tempt us. Got a few to try, decided Rose Moscato is dee-lish-us…the rest is kind of a giggly blur.

I’m not a big drinker, but when I imbibe it’s usually a few shots of vodka or margaritas. I’ll drink maybe once a month. A little more during BBQ season of course. Can’t set off fireworks that rival Marge’s potato salad if you don’t have at least a little buzz going.

*The creators of this blog would like to remind readers not to be morons. The “advice” mentioned within this blog is intended for comedic purposes only. If you get sloshed and fire a bottle rocket into your junk, that’s on you.*

I don’t do beer. I just cannot stomach it. My guy is a beer connoisseur and has tried to get me to wave the rotten hops flag. He says, “You’re a redneck. Your family is Polish and British! This should be in your DNA.” I am an embarrassment to both my geographical location and my genes I suppose.

No beer for me. And usually, no wine, either. It’s got to be just the right kind. My older sister turned me on to what I considered a tootie fruitie froo-froo wine when she was up for a visit awhile back. It’s pink and silly looking.

Remember Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish? Of course you do. In it, there is a Yink. The Yink likes to drink. And the thing he likes to drink is ink. And the ink he likes to drink is pink. Look up the picture of the Yink’s pink ink.

Yeah. It’s that kind of “wine”. Kiddie wine, if that wasn’t illegal.

*Again, the creators of this blog feel they need to step in and remind you that wine for kids IS illegal. It’s illegal as hell, as we found out when we tried to patent the idea to take to Shark Tank. Save yourself the hassle with the patent office and the visit from the social worker and don’t try it.*

Apparently, champagne is the same for me. I fell for a pink, glittery label. And it even tasted silly, too. It was all a ruse.

That evil bitch.

I tell you what. It doesn’t taste silly this morning. Two rounds of Alka-Seltzer, some very watered down coffee, and three pieces of gum later and I think most of the cotton is out of my mouth. Gawd damn. Never again. Never. Next New Year’s I will celebrate with that crappy bubbly apple juice I get the kids. Yeah, I’ll have to choke it down. But it won’t reach up and bitch slap me in the morning.

So today is the end of the year. We’ve already addressed the end-of recaps everyone’s doing. I suppose that’s normal. Everyone wants a way to close out the old before starting the new. Take a look back and see what happened, what you did, where you’re going.

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions?

When we were kids, we were raised Catholic. I’m no longer Catholic, as I think I’ve mentioned before, but we really did used to follow the tenets of the religion to a decent degree. We weren’t reciting the Breviary or thumbing rosary beads on a daily basis. But we did go to mass, we did get ashes on our heads, we attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve and all that jazz. One of the things we did was observe the practice of giving something up for Lent.

For those unfamiliar with the religion, Lent is an observance of time between when Jesus was arrested and when he was crucified. During that time, Catholics are asked to give up something meaningful to them. For kids, it was something like chocolate or soda. I suppose modern kids would say they were going to give up Twitter or selfies. The idea is to suffer as Jesus suffered.

Now, I’m not for offending anyone. I have known some incredible people who firmly believed in the tenets of Catholicism. I don’t want to pick on the religion at all, and I’m saying this only as my own personal feelings on the matter. I never understood how not eating chocolate made me suffer on the same level as someone who was incarcerated and awaiting death by crucifixion.

I know, I know. It’s only symbolic. I get that. Still, never really felt like it had any meaning.

To me, New Year’s resolutions have that same trite vibe. All good intentions with no real oomph behind them. It’s easy not to eat chocolate when you’re a kid and your mum won’t buy it for you. And that ease makes it utterly meaningless. It’s also very easy on New Year’s to announce a dozen things you want to do differently in the new year.

Here’s to losing fifty pounds! *clink*

I’m going to start that college fund for my kid! *glug*

I won’t call Betty in accounting “Butt-faced Bertha” anymore! *splosh*

I’mma love all y’all an’ I’mma letchoo know everyday, man. *sniff* *hic*

Who are you kidding? You know you won’t lose those pounds. Your kid’s already 16, so that college fund ship has pretty much already sailed. You might not call that woman Butt-faced Bertha out loud, but you’ll never, ever stop thinking it. And we love you, too, man. Now got to bed before you yak on my carpet.

“Bethie, you’re awful cynical this morning.”

Um, bottle of moscato.

“Oh. Right.”

Besides, it’s not cynicism. Everyone says you are a cynic if you’re just being realistic. My point is that it’s very easy to make grand plans when you’re raising your glass with your friends and looking ahead to a wide open blank book of a new year. It’s easy to make trite promises, and that makes them meaningless.

Change shouldn’t come because you turned the page on a calendar. Change should come because you recognize that there is a desire or need to make something about your life different.

In spite of what the pounding in my head is making it seem like, I’m actually a big believer in change. I believe people CAN change and I believe the very best ones do. I believe life is a huge learning experience, and if you still think about things and hold the same beliefs when you’re 40 as you did at 20, then you are doing it WRONG. If you don’t branch out and learn to look at things from a different perspective, then you are not growing. You’re wasting this opportunity of life.

If I’m still kickin’ in ten years, I might look back on this here blog post and be like, “Damn, Younger Bethie…what a silly little twit. To think you’d never drink moscato again. So naive!”

And that’s good. It’s good to recognize that you’re not always going to be the same. You shouldn’t be. The universe is fluid and ever-changing. Your life should be as well.

But you should be growing and changing in small increments every day, not just once a year. Not just because you feel like you “failed” at something in the year you’re leaving behind. Not just because you’ve got the bubbles of your moscato mistress whispering in your ear while you watch that glowing ball drop.

Besides, people are too hard on themselves at New Year’s. That’s the other reason I hate New Year’s resolutions. The push to make these grand promises makes people unreasonable, and unreasonably negative about themselves. Look at those resolutions you made while toasting with your friends, but do it in an accurate light, not from a place of disappointment.

Those pounds you want to lose depend on your reasons. If it’s to get healthy, then go for it. Don’t announce to the world that you’re going to lose 50 lbs and be skinny as a runway model. That’s just setting yourself up for failure. Stop focusing on numbers and just make a promise to yourself that you’ll take better care of your body. Didn’t you already start doing that? How many times have you picked up an apple instead of a bag of chips? Those things count, you know, and your grand gesture with the champagne glass in your hand just negated all the little changes you’ve been making. Stop beating yourself up for not fitting into a teeny size. Keep doing what you’re doing, take out a few elevators and add some stairs. Little bits, reasonable bits.

So you didn’t make that college fund. How could you? You didn’t have two pennies to rub together after you paid for the water heater that up and broke. Your kid had a roof, heat, food…you spent a lot of time goofing around with him, had a lot of good, deep discussions that older teens suddenly need to have. You helped him look into outside funding and helped him start his own savings account. All in all, you really didn’t do that bad. Keep up on his classwork a little better this year, help him scan for scholarships, be there to listen and have fun with him in the new year.

And Betty? Betty is an awful person. That’s why you call her Butt-faced Bertha. She’s mean and nasty, and that’s what makes her ugly. If she was nice and friendly, you’d call her Beautiful Betty. But she was the one who caused all that trouble for Nancy with her gossiping and rumor spreading, and now Nancy, a perfectly sweet and lovely old woman, is the butt of many cat-lady jokes and spends her lunch breaks hiding in her cubicle. Were there better ways to handle it than giving Betty a nasty name? Probably. But come on. You’re only human, and Betty is a bitch. Eat lunch with Nancy to show your support.

…definitely tell people you love them, though. That’s the one Drunk You had right.

*The creators of the blog must step one more time to tell you to follow this advice reasonably. The creators of this blog will take no responsibility for you drunk dialing your 82 year old grandmother in the middle of the night and scaring her half to death, young man!*

I guess what I’m saying is to go ahead, look back on 2014. But don’t do it from a point of looking for “failures.” Don’t look back and make a list of everything you did wrong. Don’t let the focus be on what you “didn’t,” let it be on what you learned from what you “did.”

And please, don’t make grand promises you can’t keep. Hell, don’t make promises at all. That’s just setting yourself up for another round of self-loathing all over again in 365 days. Make a pact with yourself to do your best to keep learning and growing.

When you raise your glass tonight, instead of telling others a list of things that are not going to happen, just tell them you look forward to seeing what 2015 brings, and that you’re glad you have them with you for it. That’s the way to start a new year right!

Thus concludes the last Musing of 2014. Everyone be safe tonight. If you go out partying, grab a friend’s couch cushion to shove under your head when you lay on the floor in a whirling world of “make it stop”. Don’t be one of the morons in the obituary column tomorrow because you were too stubborn or thought it was “lame” to admit you shouldn’t be driving.

Any is too many.

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