Carrot: n. a reward offered for a desired behavior; an inducement
Glaze: v. to give a smooth, glossy surface
At the top of a new year we tend to pause, take a step back, look ahead, and perhaps start to envision a more together life. A life in which your socks match on a regular basis, a life in which you don’t feel chronically bloated and, perhaps, a life in which you are awarded a Pulitzer.
And so the resolutions for a better being begin. Lose weight. Eat better. Improve grammar. Comb hair regularly. Marry George Clooney. These goals are nice, but nothing has really sparked any change: just a big sparkly ball dropping from the sky. Just time passing, as it always does. And so resolutions typically don't last. And even if they do, they don't ensure happiness. (Not even you, Clooney.)Which is why I’m not really a big fan of them. I don’t despise resolutions. It’s just that they tend to be arbitrary and lofty; forced progress towards achieving a perfect version of yourself. A feat that is downright unattainable.
It brings to mind the old “carrot on a stick” routine. Boy holds a stick with a carrot tied to it. Boy dangles carrot in front of the donkey he is riding. Donkey moves to get the carrot. Carrot remains slightly out of reach. (Clooney is also famous for this, as an untamable bachelor.)
With resolutions, you often do this carrot tomfoolery to yourself. But you can also do it to others. And others can do it to you. And we can live for years like this, dangling carrots and chasing them all over the place.
So while I applaud those that manage to create thoughtful resolutions (and marvel at those that keep them), I gave my New Year’s resolutions (version 2.011) the old heave-ho. This year I want to eat my carrots instead of chase them. And decided to start in one of the most un-resolution-y ways: with butter. I also had a large quantity of ginger ale in my fridge that was taking up space and making me pretty anxious. Enter Alton Brown. Untamable in the kitchen, he had me glazing carrots with my soda surplus, and chuckling to myself at how easy it all was.
And while I won’t say these glazed carrots were perfect, they were pretty darn good. Sweet, tender, healthy—sort of—with a little gingery bite.
So I suppose if you had to pin me down to a resolution, I’d say it's to glaze over resolutions and eat more carrots. I wish you great success with all your carrots in the coming year, may there be more glazed than dangled in your days ahead.