New Year’s resolutions are great. Especially in December.
All through the last month of the year, I say “yes” to any and all delicious snacks that come my way. I spend more money than I should and have no qualms skipping the bicycle ride into work. Because surely, the frugal, exercise-loving non-glutton in me will emerge with the new year.
Then the new year starts, and with it a few days of making plans, lovely plans. No sane person would start their actual self-improvement before the second week of January. There are all those left-overs to take care of, and it is hard enough to be back at work without the added stress of behaving impeccably. So you have four, maybe five days of feeling wonderful about how good you will be this year.
But then. Then comes the shark in the blue waters of resolution-making paradise: sticking to them. And not just sticking to them. No, it is sticking to them in a dreary month, with three months to go until Easter celebrations and so. little. daylight. I get cranky about it all.
This year, though, I have decided to be Parisian about things. Parisians have resolutions, I suspect. In a city obsessed with (tiny sized) fashion, prices so high overspending must be habitual and a firm tradition of butter and cream-rich lunches, they must do. And yet. Just when the rest of the Western world is starting to remember why carrot sticks aren’t a good idea and wistfully counts the days until Valentine’s Day, with its chocolate hearts and big dinners, Parisian flock to their bakeries to spend rather large amounts of money on galettes des rois.
Ostensibly meant to celebrate epiphany, galettes des rois are layers of flaky, buttery pastry around a layer of creamy almond filling. All that butter and those almonds make them taste lovely, but they also give them high prices and calorie content. Parisians don’t care, they gleefully tuck in and hope they find the lucky charm in their piece so they can wear a paper crown for a night.
I find this comforting. The galette des rois craze, which lasts well into February if I remember correctly from last year, teaches me to have my resolutions, but not to let them get in the way of a good time. As the advertisement for a foie gras burger (!) up there says: they can wait. So the fact that I have written about 2 pages since the start of the year, even though I solemnly declared I would Write Many Things? This is not failure. I’m merely just getting started, and having some galette des rois on the way.