What the HAYnes? One word to define the new year

HUMOR – A relatively new trend has developed in the New Year’s resolutions market, which is a market that generally sees action only one irrationally optimistic week out of the year. Until, that is, people neglect their New Year’s resolutions and become so filled with self-loathing that they gain 10 pounds instead of losing the 10 pounds that they intended to lose.

Traditionally, when a person makes resolutions for the new year, he or she makes a list of the 374 imperfections and vices that he or she has nurtured and developed over a lifetime and strikes out Jan. 1 with the intention of changing every one of them by Jan. 2. I cannot even get my Christmas tree out of my house by Jan. 2; forget volunteering at the rest home or traveling the world.

The new trend I am referring to is a lot simpler. It is the one-word resolution.

Have you heard of this? A person chooses a single-word trait, like “faith” or “love” or “stopeatingcakeforbreakfast,” and that is the only thing that he or she has to concentrate on for that entire year. This is a New Year’s resolution plan that I can get behind.

I have spent the better part of an hour scrolling through a dictionary and have found roughly 374 words that I should apply to myself – “humility” and “kindness” and “stopwearingyogapantsallday,” to name a few.

The difficult part is limiting myself to only one word, but this is no surprise – I cannot limit myself to only one scoop of ice cream or only one episode of anything on Netflix, either. That is what got me into this mess. I am a self-indulgent person.

I like eating dessert. I like sitting on my couch. I like stretchy pants. I like buying so many tubes of lip gloss that the weight of my purse gives me chronic back pain. I prefer driving the 15 minutes to Taco Bell over making a five-minute quesadilla at home. I do not think I am alone in this.

I was recently saddened to learn that the word “selfie” was crowned the 2013 Oxford Dictionary “Word of the Year.” “Selfie” – as in “a photograph taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website” – was the definitive word of 2013. How depressing.

I am not sure I like the direction we are headed, guys. All of these pictures that we take of ourselves, the Taco Bell, the binge-watching of Netflix – it cannot end well.

In a couple hundred years historians will look back on 2013 and marvel at how well-documented our silly lives are:

“The people of 2013 sure took a lot of pictures of themselves in their bathrooms,” future historians will joke as they fly around on their spaceships, taking pictures of themselves in their metallic jumpsuits and eating the latest Taco Bell ground beef, tortilla, and Doritos permutation.

The year 2013 may have been the year of the “selfie,” but I think we can do better this year. Let’s make 2014 the year of the “someone elsie.” Or, if you are one of those sticklers like my editor who prefers to use real words, we can make “selflessness” the word of 2014.

And it probably would not hurt to eat a little less Taco Bell.


Elise Haynes chronicles family life in her blog Haynes Family Yard Sale. Any opinions stated in this column are her own and not necessarily those of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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