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The Way I Will Live My Life In 2013

Posted Jan 01 2013 9:09am

Ah, a new year.


There’s so much possibility, so much optimism each January 1.

And I eat that stuff right up. You can be all, “I’m sick of all the talk of resolutions and who cares about the new year?” Well, I do. I’m psyched about whatever 2013 has in store and, naturally, I’ve got a few goals — life plans, really — to go along with my perfectly clean slate.

The sunrise on December 31, 2012. A gorgeous end to the year.

Now you may recall that I didn’t do super hot with my 2012 resolutions , mostly because a lot of them were really dumb and things I wasn’t at all passionate about.

I may not have taken a dance class, made my Yoga to the People debut or done laps on a “real” track, but I did cook a few things, I got a new doctor (hooray!) and I held a 5-minute plank a few times. I ran across the Queensboro Bridge and I achieved my sub-4:00 marathon goal with minutes to spare.

In 2013, I resolve to post more marathon photos. I mean…you’re welcome. Really.

Per Brian’s request, I biked a 40-mile ride (and then some…plus a Century Ride…and I crashed my bike…but whatever) and made my way into a knife skills class. I stopped using the word “stress,” mostly out of sheer mockery, and I stuck by my refusal to cook saffron risotto because, come on…that’s a moronic request. Sorry, Bri.

Tyler and I feel the same way about advanced cooking. We think it’s ridiculous and Brian makes us cry.

Most importantly, I didn’t let people make me feel badly about my life decisions, and that’s a trait I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life.

With that, here are a few things I hope to achieve in 2013.

I will stop grinding my teeth. Some people drink. Some smoke. Some run ultramarathons. My vice? I clench my jaw and grind my teeth constantly. I never even notice I’m doing it until, in my sleep, Brian elbows me and mumbles, “Stop grinding.”

This became an actual issue back in May. I was in Charlotte for my best friend’s wedding when I realized I could barely open my mouth. That is a tragedy for someone who loves to talk and eat.

I remember trying to eat a green apple (pre-burpfest, naturally) and wanting to cry. I thought maybe it was just joint pain in my jaw coinciding with the Crohn’s flare-up I was enduring (such a beautiful time in my life), but the pain hasn’t gone away. So that’s probably not great. And I vow to fix this sad issue.

Watching “Friends” while trying to eat an apple with a broken jaw. It was a time of many conflicting emotions. I wanted to laugh and cry and eat and it all felt SO HARD.

Now, should I get a lime green mouth guard for bedtime or an orange one? Maybe something with LED fixtures or glitter?

I will fix my pathetic posture.

This is pretty much how I always sit. See how my shoulders curve forward? And I’m not “engaging my core?” Also notice my hat. It was a Christmas gift from Brian. It’s an alpaca hat. He bought it as “a joke,” but now the joke is on him because I’m wearing it EVERYWHERE.

It’s so, so bad. You should see me at work, slouching like a hunchback. I sat on an exercise ball at my desk for a while, but that was less about my saggy back and more because I wanted six-pack abs without doing any work.

Here are some exercises I can do to get stronger, as demonstrated by Tyler, who is working toward his Baby Pilates Instructor Certification:

Curtsy squats. We’re mostly focusing on barre work here, people.

Forward lunges. Just be gentle if you have bad knees.

Side lunges. These are good for your inner thighs, whether you are a baby or an adult.

Basic demi pliés at the barre.

And if you’re feeling flexible, splits.

I will do a fishtail braid. Either on myself or on someone else. Any volunteers?

I will go to the Museum of Modern Art.

I will go to the Guggenheim. How shameful that for an entire year I lived on the same street as the beautiful, round museum and never stepped foot inside. I did try to use the bathroom in there once, but it wasn’t open yet.

I will learn to look both ways before crossing the street. It’s scary how often I almost get hit by cars in this city. One time I was walking to lunch with a coworker and I actually did kind of get clipped by a taxi. And it was completely my fault. I’m just not so great at paying attention. I’m not even texting or anything. I’m just oblivious to traffic and cars. I’m also a risk-taker.

I know to look out for oncoming runners and cyclists, but cars I don’t quite notice.

I will carry a lighter load. The bag I bring to work every day weighs more than Tyler. I don’t even know what’s in there. Gym stuff sometimes? Maybe a Shake Weight? I need to downsize at least for a while. Perhaps that will help my posture?

I will use my crock pot. My mom gave me a cute mini crock pot last year and I haven’t touched it. I don’t even know where it is, but I’m pretty sure it’s here somewhere. And in 2013, I’m totally going to use it…for storage.

I will cook spaghetti squash. I’m probably going to regret this “resolution.” Why do I always make cooking goals? I mostly just want to make it so I can justifiably refute all the people who tell me “it tastes just like regular pasta.” Fools. Maybe. I’ll find out.

I will spend more time outside my comfort zone. This pertains to all aspects of life: work, running, relationships, getting back on my bike, etc. I love being comfortable and I’m not so great at pushing myself, especially physically. But a little known fact is that you don’t become a faster runner, for example, by running slowly all the time.

The Reservoir is nice…but I should probably go around it faster.

I will run with faster friends. Because let’s get real, I’m not motivating myself to do speedy Reservoir laps these days. So when I eventually figure out what sort of races I want to do this year, I’ll also be enlisting some of my favorite NYC friends for a little assistance. You just do your runs, girls. I’ll try to keep up. I look forward to looking at all of your cute butts.

I will be kind. There are times to be cutthroat — like when you want a raise, a promotion or a PR. But shoving someone out of my way on the sidewalk isn’t helping anyone and definitely isn’t making me a better, more likeable person. It’s hard to stay calm on public transportation, but it seems silly to get so worked up over a stalled downtown 6 train.

Tyler, you make me want to be a better person. Why is that? Oh right, because I don’t want you growing up and hearing about “all the bad things Auntie Ali did in her past.”

I will spend less time online. It’s sickening to think about how often I’m checking my email, monitoring my Facebook news feed or scrolling through Twitter. And why? Lately the majority of what I witness online just makes me upset or angry.

With that, I will drastically revise my Google Reader subscriptions and Twitter follow list. I read way too many blogs and I dislike many of them. I started reading many of them a few years ago when I first discovered “healthy living blogs,” and I have just kept reading even though I feel I have little in common with many of these young women.

I like reading blogs that inspire and motivate me. I like to follow people on Twitter who have something valuable (or just entertaining) to say.

I’d like to clean out the blogs I don’t care about anymore and add ones with cool, fresh content that excites me.

Also, I will no longer hate read. I fully admit that there are blogs I read solely because I think they are crazy. But doing that is a waste of my time, it makes me too negative and it’s just a little bit mean. So anything that I don’t genuinely enjoy reading won’t be included in my daily must-read list. I think that’ll be good for everyone.

Noticeably absent from my resolution list? Specific running-related goals.

CENTRAL PARK, I LOVE YOU! I just don’t really know what to do with you right now. Go fast? Go slow? Go short? Go long? Go to brunch instead?

At this time, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do about running in the new year. I’ve loved doing minimal running over the past few weeks, only lacing up when I’ve wanted to, and going Garmin-free. I ran 12 miles a few days ago — you know, symbolic of 2012 and stuff — and it was a perfectly snowy day in NYC. It was fun and I liked not having to worry about splits or distance or fueling or ice bathing.

Push-up ending to the run = time for taking pretty snow pictures.

Whatever I choose to do in 2013 with regards to running, I just want to keep enjoying it.

Look how pretty! Just like you. Aw.

And because it’s a new tradition or whatever, Brian gave me his list of “Ali’s 2013 Resolutions.” I present it to you now, with commentary:

Don’t stress over the things you can’t change. Uh, Brian? I already acknowledged, just yesterday, that I totally nailed this in 2012. Do you not agree? “You’re getting better at it,” Brian says. “But I think that in 2013, you can be a pro at it.” Well that’s sweet. Only not. I sense a condescending tone.

Stop putting things in every corner of the apartment. You can put stuff in one corner instead. Oh YAY, you guys! I get a whole corner! Lucky me! As long as we’re splitting the rent here, I get all the closets and all the floor space. When I read this one, I said the F-word to Brian, and I don’t feel badly at all about that. It was a rational response.

Run just to have fun. “Don’t be so like…I have to run this morning. I’m so whatever if I don’t run! I’m an asshole if I decide to sleep in! Just run…cuz it’s cool.” I date Brian mostly because he’s so eloquent with his words. But yeah, I’m on board with this, as stated above. We’re on the same page, dude.

My favorite spot in Central Park.

Bike again. No thanks. Brian says: “Just do it.” Like Nike. Got it. But nah.

This is not so appealing to me.

Be nice to yourself. “You’re an asshole to yourself most of the time. You need to be f—ing nicer to you. Which I feel, in turn, may end up making me happy, too! So it’s a win for everybody. But mostly you. Be good to you. Don’t be an asshole. Treat yo self…better.” Again, being a wordsmith. Maybe I’ll work on this one, though. I guess it’s not a terrible idea. I am a lot nicer to other people than I am to myself.

That’s all I’ve got!

WHAT HAVE YOU GOT? What are your New Year’s Resolutions, if you’re making any this year?

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