As the final days of 2006 wind down, I’m thinking about the new year. Fresh starts! Big projects! Resolutions! So much to look forward to, and yet at the same time, I find myself thinking back over the last year, taking stock as well. A friend of mine was telling me recently about someone he knew who has a bonfire every New Year’s Eve: they ask everyone to think of one thing they want to leave in the year that’s ending, and write it down on a piece of paper. Then they toss them all into the fire, just as the new year begins. Which sounds very cleansing to me, I must say. Because I don’t want to deal with a bonfire, though, I’m going to do the next best thing. So without further ado, here are the things I would like to leave behind me in 2006:

1. Harris Teeter Munchie Snack Mix. Or, the reason none of my pants fit anymore. I am truly and totally addicted. And it must stop.

2. The Real Housewives of Orange County. Because it’s one thing to watch it over Christmas, when you’re bingeing on snack mix and anything goes. But a regular habit? No. Can’t happen.

3. Crippling self-doubt. Although I think I made this same declaration last year. But I’m not sure. Did I? Oh, I don’t even know…

4. Going to see bad movies. Because I go to the movies so rarely these days, and there is nothing more disappointing than FINALLY getting to the theater, all settled in with your popcorn, hopes high and…being massively disappointed. In 2007, if it hasn’t gotten great reviews, I’ll wait for the DVD. Or try to.

5. Paris Hilton. This isn’t just for me, but for humankind in general. I know it won’t happen. But I figured I’d ask anyway.

6. Guilt. Also one I tack on every year. Call me an optimist, I guess. Like Journey says, I just don’t stop believin’. (And note that apostrophe!)

7. Six Feet Under. Because I am still thinking about this show, like, entirely too much, considering I have watched every single episode and the finale numerous times. It’s not real! The characters are fictional! Move on, already!

8. Travel anxiety. I am so tired of worrying about flying, or going places I haven’t been before, stressing out for weeks before I leave to the point that I hardly enjoy the trip itself. This year, I swear I am going to a hypnotist to deal with the flying thing once and for all, and try to become one of those people who actually LIKES to leave their comfort zone. This will take a lot of believin’, but I am determined. Even more than the snack mix thing.

9. O, the Oprah Magazine and Vanity Fair. Nothing personal, I just subscribe to too many magazines. Plus whenever I read Vanity Fair I get the feeling that they think anyone who lives in the south or between the coasts is an idiot. I feel idiotic enough, thanks. Better to read EW, which makes me feel brilliant at all times.

10. Negativity. Okay, this one will be hard, too, I know. I mean, nobody’s positive all the time. But after listing the things I don’t want in my life anymore, I want to turn my attention, in the next few days, to all the things I do. Like my husband and dogs, family and friends. Health, happiness, good writing days (please oh please!) pretty shoes, olives and good red wine, great books, all my friends’ cute babies, new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Veronica Mars, big belly laughs and the occasional good cry, music you want to turn up loud, and warm weather, coming sometime, if not right away. And if a little snack mix creeps in there once in awhile, it won’t be the end of the world. There are worse things, right?

have a great weekend, everyone!
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