x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Resolutions are more fun with two

The jaded practice of making New Year's resolutions acquires a fresh sparkle by a young couple; but can it last?

It is so much more fun making New Year's resolutions as a couple than it is alone. All my life, the expectation that a new year will be a chance to make drastic changes that will miraculously improve my life has been the bane of my existence.

When every resolution I have vowed to abide by has inevitably been forgotten or broken by midday on January 2, the resulting guilt is too depressing. I spend the next four to five months trying to launch the Get My Life in Order plan. The diet will start tomorrow, really, I'll do it; binge-eat for one more evening and that's it. Or this is the last pair of shoes, really, at least for this month, that's it, no more mall runs, no more credit-card swipes. Or this is the last time I use butter in cooking, truly, definitely, I won't even walk down that aisle in the supermarket, and I really will crack open the healthier cooking cookbook.

And of course, that fortune I spent on the gym membership? It will be worth it, I'm sure, I am heading there tomorrow, right after I buy that pair of trainers that I definitely need in order to be safe on a treadmill.

Resolutions suck. They are just one more thing that some evil person created to make you feel bad about yourself, about your procrastinating nature, about your inability to stick to your decisions or to your plans, about your lack of willpower, about your easily distracted nature. Resolutions take all the fun out of the New Year and I vowed to forsake them years ago.

Then along came Mr T, who infuses excitement into even the little things, and making resolutions doesn't seem such a bad idea any more.

"This year, we're going to exercise together," he promised, with such conviction in his tone. "For every movie we watch, we'll match it with at least 45 minutes on the treadmill." The treadmill up on the top floor of our building, in a top-end gym that we have yet to grace with our presence? "Yes," he said.

"This year, we'll travel to all the seven emirates," he decided, in yet another scatterbrained plan to get us off our trusty couch. "We'll go on a desert safari, and snorkel in Fujairah, and barbecue on Jebel Hafeet." Why would I argue with such fun plans?

This is the year we'll get our lives in order and come up with some sort of a five-year plan, and get started on all those things we want to do, all those dreams we want to turn into a reality. "This is our year" was the resounding finale of his impassioned speech.

"Have you ever made resolutions before?" I asked.

"No, not really, but things are different now." He had no idea what was in store.

I went along with his lofty plans, secretly relieved that once every resolution was inevitably broken and shoved aside to fall into the gutter, the guilt would at least be shared this time around.

Plus, I now have someone to blame for all the resolutions gone awry. Truly, the advantages to this marriage thing just keep on revealing themselves.