Obligatory New Year’s Post

9 Jan

Hooked on Tonics, I’ve been away for awhile. I received notes from a few of you expressing your concern:

“Are you going to come back? You’re the most brilliant (and beautiful) writer on the planet. You’ve spoiled me so much I can’t read anything else.”

“Come back or I’ll gut you like a pig.”

“What I really need is more cowbell, but since I can’t have that, you’ll do.”

You guys flatter me.

I’ve been very busy over the last couple of weeks. I went to California to spend time with my family for Christmas, and it was equal parts fun, terrifying and exhausting. Once I got home, I came down with the horrible flu/cold thing that has been going around. Additionally, a new role I’ve taken on at my job kept me a bit busier than I anticipated. In short, shit was cray.

I missed all of you, especially those who send me nudes on the regular.

Burt was the first person to follow this blog

SoJaT fact: Burt was the first person to follow this blog

During my time away, I had a lot of time to think about my New Year’s resolutions. I thought about my resolutions from last year, and how completing them (or not completing them) has impacted me. I also thought about the unexpected things that happened to me last year which meant more to me than completing any resolution ever has.

I decided in 2013 I want to do more Bikram Yoga, get better sleep, and drink more water. So far I haven’t done any of the three. I’m such a go-getter. I did do a Yoga Booty Ballet DVD I found at a thrift store, and discovered how inflexible I am. That counts for…nothing.

The only person who could finish the Yoga Booty Ballet DVD

The only person who could finish the Yoga Booty Ballet DVD

I’m not worried that I’m a week in, and haven’t yet sat in a room that smells like body odor and feet while I contort myself in very unnatural ways. I don’t care that 6 hours of sleep a night is considered amazing in my book. I’m also not concerned that I drank so little water last week my kidneys may look like the desert floor. These aren’t my real New Year’s resolutions.

I just want to be happy.

“Jen, you’re an asshole.”

I know, I know. It sounds so contrived, but when you think about it, isn’t that what resolutions are about anyway? We all want to get in shape, be in a relationship, find a better job, have more adventures. Isn’t that our attempt at finding happiness?

Historically, I’ve been my biggest enemy. I’d get so down on myself for the things I didn’t do that I failed to see all of the wonderful things I have done. I’d be disappointed that I didn’t drop a pants size, and never ran that 5k I promised myself I would. Forget the fact that I volunteered, surprised my friends with gifts for no reason, listened to my sisters when they needed me to, and worked my ass off at my job. No, nothing to be proud of there.

I am nothing like I wanted to be at 31. In fact, if you had told Little Jen that this is how Big Jen would turn out, I would have scoffed. Knowing what I know now, I’m thankful that I’m not the person I thought I should be. People aren’t thoughts, they’re realities.

I just want to do things that make me happy this year:

  • Drink wine while taking a bath
  • Read more, write less OR write more, read less
  • Take an art class
  • Go see a movie
  • Visit some of my blogging friends
  • Sleep in
  • Disconnect from technology for a weekend
  • Go on a hike
  • Write a letter to Congress about chip bags being 40% air
  • Buy a unicorn mask
  • Think about what I’d say to David Hasselhoff if we met (It would be, “Wanna get a burger?”)
  • Start a YouTube channel
  • Don’t stress out when I check my bank account
  • Make mix tapes and leave them in random places for strangers to find

Anything and everything. That is my plan for 2013. I am so sick of having an arbitrary list of tasks, and feeling like my happiness in contingent upon finishing it. What’s wrong with going with the flow, and letting my life show me what will make me happy?

So I guess this is an anti-New Year’s resolutions post. I’m so counterculture. You may call me Jen Von Badass from now on.

What things would you do this year if your only goal was to be happy?


I highly recommend this post by La La who seemed to be reading my mind when she was typing at her keyboard. Happiness is contagious. Instead of Herpes, let’s try to spread more of that this year.

122 Responses to “Obligatory New Year’s Post”

  1. El Guapo 01/18/2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Missing the wisdom in the form of mental sips of J and T. Hope all is well in your part of the world.

  2. mabukach 01/18/2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Write more or I’ll kidnap Mr. Reynolds and bring him to your house. Wait…

  3. The Bumble Files 01/15/2013 at 8:54 pm #

    See, Jen, I checked a couple of times for your post and when I didn’t see anything, I did worry about you. So happy you’re back! It probably feels good to unplug a little, huh? I have a lot of the same hopes, read more, watch more movies, relax, visit with friends. Nothing huge!! Although some of my goals are probably in the back of my mind still and will emerge from time to time. Going with the flow is a badass goal! Do it!

  4. cestlavie22 01/15/2013 at 6:58 pm #

    I love this post! Being happy should be all of our resolutions! I think if the goal is to be happy my goal is to start focusing on me and stop focusing on everyone else!

  5. Justcallmegertie 01/15/2013 at 10:08 am #

    One of my goals this year is to learn the lyrics to ‘We didn’t start the fire’ from Billy Joel. It will make me happy if I can sing along without muttering every now and then because I don’t know the (all) the lyrics!

  6. SummerSolsticeGirl 01/14/2013 at 12:14 am #

    ay ayay ayay You can’t go posting pictures of Burt like that. My poor body can’t handle sudden risings of blood pleasure anymore…

  7. jdanryan 01/13/2013 at 1:41 pm #

    If any of your plans involving making you happy include getting some hospitality in the New York area (say at least a few rounds at some of the better watering holes), do look me up; elsewise, let me know what I can do to assist in your plans to make 2013 worth it…

  8. TheGirl 01/13/2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Way to start the New Year!

  9. Nicole Marie 01/13/2013 at 7:28 am #

    I love that one about the mix tapes! And – as much as I looooove Twittering and blogging with all of you fine people – I’d love to disconnect for a single weekend too. I’m definitely too attached to my phone/computer all the time. I’m becoming one of those people I scowl at when they barely look up from their phones. Sigh.

    Happy New Year, Jen!

  10. davidhardingblogs 01/12/2013 at 12:44 am #

    Your second list is awesome. I just wanna be happy and chill too. I mean we’re all gonna be dead soln enough so why not???
    But I have NO idea how to do all those things and that’s why I’m always miserable. Anyhoo… So good to have Jen and Tonic back. I got sick of hitting your site and having to read your last post AGAIN.
    Blah blah blah me shut up now.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/12/2013 at 4:02 pm #

      “we’re all gonna be dead soon enough”

      You should really go into motivational speaking

      • davidhardingblogs 01/13/2013 at 12:34 am #

        I tried it once but the kids all ended up crying.
        I dunno… Why try? I won’t bother next time.

  11. benzeknees 01/11/2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Jen VonBadass – if I wanted to be happy, I’d spend more time writing without hubby nagging at me. I’d like to make enough money so he would feel it was a worthwhile employment opportunity & I don’t need to go out to work.

  12. Stacie Chadwick 01/11/2013 at 2:10 pm #

    I had no idea Burt Reynolds was still alive, much less that he was so hairy, so thank you for making me throw up in my mouth.

    As for happiness? As your elder I can say that setting fun, realistic goals like the ones you list (I have a lead on the unicorn mask for you) is a great idea, as long you’re satisfied with them. I can also say that giving makes me happy, and I can tell it makes you happy too. You make so many people happy when you write, so I say “write more/read more” instead of one or the other…

    Happy 2013.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/12/2013 at 4:00 pm #

      I had no idea he was still alive, but that may be because his face look like it has been vacuumed. You think it’s just someone’s day on the red carpet, but it’s really him.

      Write/Read more? Sounds like someone is biased!

  13. Smaktakula 01/11/2013 at 12:24 pm #

    It’s great to see you back, Jen!
    I think wanting to be happy is a GREAT new year’s aspiration. But if you want to be happy, then BE happy. Happiness isn’t a place you get to, it’s a place you find in yourself. God! I know how much that sounds like a fucking Hallmark Card, but it’s true.

    Jen, I’m 10 years older than you, and I can assure you that when I was 31, my life was NOTHING like I’d imagined it would be as a child. But you know what? At 41, I’m living a life a lot closer to the one I dreamed of as a boy. Life is long, Jen, and folks don’t keel over at 35 any more. 40 is the new 30.

    If you need any more proof, Jesus was just a carpenter until he was 31.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/12/2013 at 3:59 pm #

      You’re right, you have to BE happy. That’s something I’ve only begun to realize in the last few years. I don’t expect a meteorite to land on my head, and then suddenly I’m all fixed up. It’s why I want to do more of the things that put me in my happy place. Writing does it, but so do many other things.

      40 may be the new 30, but my liver is, like, 80.

  14. vyvacious 01/11/2013 at 3:08 am #

    Dear Jen Von Badass,

    Come visit me, come visit me!!! 😀 Then we can take a trip to visit Tahira!! 😛

    Also, ooh, Yoga Booty Ballet!!



    • Jen and Tonic 01/12/2013 at 3:58 pm #

      You, me and TJ? That sounds like the best plan ever! She can feed us appelflappen!

      • vyvacious 01/13/2013 at 8:54 am #

        Yesssssss 🙂

        And what the fuck is appelflappen…? Too lazy to use Google 😛

  15. Enchanted Seashells 01/10/2013 at 6:23 pm #

    glad you’re back, Missed you!

  16. Kylie 01/10/2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Yes! It’s all about the healthy hedonism. I love your list–things for you, and things you do for other people that make you happy. Love the mix-tape idea. It’s like Letterboxing.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 11:32 am #

      “Healthy hedonism”- I love that!

      What is Letterboxing? Never heard of it.

      • Kylie 01/11/2013 at 1:49 pm #

        It’s kind of like geocaching, if you’ve heard of that (I’ve never done it but it sounds similar).

        People hide containers with a journal and stamp, and then post clues to the location online at http://www.letterboxing.org

        People try to find the container, and when they do, stamp the journal with their own stamp and the date, and stamp THEIR journal with the stamp from the letterbox.

        We just found out about it this last year. We took our family on a trip to the coast and looked for some letterboxes in the area we were visiting. It was really fun. We went places we never would have otherwise, and it gave us a focus. We weren’t able to find a couple of them but had fun looking.

        I wonder how many underground societies there are out there, doing fun things like this. The letterboxes seem to be all over the place!

        • Jen and Tonic 01/12/2013 at 3:56 pm #

          Letterboxing sounds RIGHT up my alley. I’m totally going to look into it. Also, I saw your comment about being in the same area! That’s awesome. Love to meet fellow Oregonians 🙂

          • Kylie 01/12/2013 at 4:26 pm #


      • Kylie 01/11/2013 at 4:02 pm #

        Calahan just told me that you and I live in the same city… lots of letterboxing to be had 🙂

  17. Lyssapants 01/10/2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I would stop trying to please people and just do what I want for me.
    Usually that involves ice cream.

  18. isawbobdylaninaspeedo 01/10/2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Dear Jen Von Badass….that was the most BADASS LIST EVER!!!!! I love it. I may copy it as I am scared to plan for the year every January…but I like your list. Fun shit. That’s it. And this was the best line ever: People aren’t thoughts, they’re realities.. LOVE YOU!!! And for #5 on your list…come to Colorado. I’m jes sayin.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 11:31 am #

      Copy away! I won’t even ask for a royalties fee.

      I would love to visit Colorado! Great state!

  19. Maggie O'C 01/10/2013 at 11:19 am #

    I’m right over here JVB! This is good and sound and you are well on your way to whooping 2013’s bare bottom. This post made me really happy. So you got that goin’ for you, which is nice.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 11:04 am #

      I can check “make Maggie happy” off of my list of fun things to do. I’m on a roll!

  20. GiggsMcGill Jill 01/10/2013 at 12:08 am #

    I LOVE your list! Especially the visit blogging friends (where were you in Cali over the holidays?!), drinking wine, sleeping in, and writing to Congress about chip bags. Hope you’re feeling better!

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 10:57 am #

      My parents live in the SF Bay Area, near San Jose. There are a lot of bloggers in CA, we should have some kind of meetup!

  21. Ashley Austrew 01/09/2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Word. Although I tried that whole drinking wine in the bath thing once. It kind of just made me overheated. lol Got my thrift store grab bag gift, by the way. Loved it! Here’s to a little more happy in ’13.

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 10:56 am #

      I once got so drunk and overheated in a hot tub, people had to push me out and spray water on me. Not my finest moment.

      Glad you got the item! The mail is so unstable these days.

  22. Adam S 01/09/2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Is Hasselhoff gonna be on the mix-tape?

    P.S. “You’re welcome” for “the pics”…

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 10:55 am #

      Yours were the best, Adam. I especially liked how much care you put into the lighting.

  23. Emily @ The Waiting 01/09/2013 at 5:14 pm #

    You are so crazy wise, Jen. My husband is applying to a job in Portland so if he gets an interview we can meet up and not exercise together. Yay!

    • Jen and Tonic 01/11/2013 at 10:55 am #

      WHAT?! That’s great! I hope Mr. Waiting gets it!


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