All of the Bad Habits We’re Keeping in 2023
Consider these our anti–New Year’s resolutions
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Sometimes, the best kind of New Year’s resolution is the one where you cut yourself a little slack. We all have aspirations for 2023, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge ourselves along the way. In that spirit, here are a few of our favorite vices that we won’t pretend to give up.
Falling Asleep at the Movies
One of my stress relievers during the pandemic has been to occasionally see a movie at the Violet Crown, a very, very, very nice theater in Santa Fe’s Railyard district. And the reason I said “very” three times is because they offer an extensive selection of good draft beers, which you can take to your seat. Wheee! My bad habit: I always buy a 20-ouncer, which invariably results in me falling asleep during the film, thereby disrespecting everything the live cinema experience is supposed to be about. Recent victims include All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, Armageddon Time, See How They Run, and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, which I saw twice. (Well, which I saw parts of twice.) The experience leaves me feeling refreshed and unapologetic—except when I wake up with a slurping noise that embarrasses my wife. —Alex Heard, editor in chief
Forgetting My Wet Swimsuit in My Bag
Three or four days a week, I wake up early to swim some laps before work at my local community center. I stumble out of bed, pull on my damp suit, warm up my truck, and drive to the pool. I do the front crawl for an hour, soap up in the community shower, pull on my sweats, and head back home to log on for work. By the time I arrive, I’m scrambling to brew coffee and feed the dogs ahead of my first meeting, so my swim bag stays forgotten on the chair by the door. It’s often not until the next day when I’m ready to do it all over again that I remember I should have washed—or at least hung up—my suit. OK, I know it’s gross, but there’s only so much space in my brain. And chlorine disinfects, right? —Abigail Wise, digital managing director
Revenge Bedtime Procrastination
My favorite neologism, revenge bedtime procrastination, is when a busy person stays up later than they should in hopes of getting a little bit of time to themselves. I’m a lifelong revenge procrastinator, and having a toddler has only kicked my habit into a higher gear. It’s not unusual for me to finish my work, chores, and childcare around 10 P.M., crack a Red Bull, and head into my garage, where I have a climbing wall and weight set, a Bose sound system, and a projector capable of playing whatever Netflix series I’m currently dating onto the inside of the garage door. There are definitely benefits—I find a quiet focus in those late-night and early-morning hours that eludes me at other times of day, and I even quit drinking as part of my quest to remove any impediments to staying up late. But the toddler alarm clock still wakes me up at 6 A.M. sharp every day, and a man can only survive for so long on fours hours of sleep a night. I’ve accepted the occasional crash and subsequent 12-hour snooze as the cost of doing business. —Adam Roy, executive editor, Backpacker
Taking Candy From a Child
A few years ago, during the winter holidays, I took my then-two-year-old son to visit some relatives. They had a prodigiously decorated Christmas tree in their living room—a magnificent spruce with mini chocolate umbrellas wrapped in foil dangling from its branches. My son was encouraged to take one, which he gave to me for safekeeping. Since I knew he didn’t really like chocolate that much, I figured he wouldn’t mind if I ate it while he was running around in the yard. I was wrong. On the way home, my son asked for his umbrella, but all that was left was a depressing plastic stem. He burst into tears; my wife congratulated me on my excellent parenting. I felt bad at the time, but can’t say that I’ve reformed my behavior. Whenever my kid comes into some candy, be it on Halloween or at a friend’s birthday party, I’ll end up snacking on it late at night. He’s five now and has some fancy friends, so I’m counting on a serious windfall in 2023. —Martin Fritz Huber, contributing writer
Destroying My Eardrums
Whether I’m working, jogging, or just running out to get groceries, I always have my Airpods in. Music keeps me focused, energized, and most importantly, happy. And while I’m ashamed to admit it, my volume is usually at the max. Even if we’re working in the same room, my roommates have to text me to get my attention. (The sounds of Taylor Swift typically drown out their voices.) I know it isn’t healthy for my ears, and I’m not excited to welcome my predicted hearing loss in old age. But, for now, I’ll keep blasting Midnights and tapping away on my laptop. —Ellen O’Brien, staff writer, Yoga Journal
Sleeping In During the Dark Season
For much of my adult life, I woke early and put in four to ten running miles before breakfast. It was the best way to ensure that I accumulated the consistent volume I needed for my competitive goals. And, I admit, it gave me a sense of moral superiority. I prided myself in getting out in chilly October rains or frigid winter slop and arriving at work with my legs’ slight soreness reminding me of the miles I’d already covered. Over the last few years, however, as my goals have become less ambitious—and my self-esteem less tied to daily discipline—I’ve discovered the pleasure of sleeping in during seasons when mornings are dark and it’s 30 to 50 degrees warmer under the covers than out on the roads. Working from home makes it much easier to put in mid-day miles, when the temps are higher and my joints more lubricated, and I’ve learned to appreciate the mental reset a lunch-time run provides. Granted, it’s not as conducive to consistency—the window of opportunity can, and does, get closed by unexpected meetings or looming deadlines—and part of me feels like the concession to the morning cold is indulgent. But having tasted the sweet pleasure of pulling the blankets up, rolling over, and drifting off for another hour, I’ll gladly give in until the early-summer sun again calls me out for morning miles. —Jonathan Beverly, senior running editor
Eating “Too Much” Chocolate
Years ago, I was diagnosed with hemochromatosis, or iron overload. (I know, what active woman has too much iron?) The hematologist looked at me kindly, while assigning a lifetime treatment, and said, “Your liver showed some scarring. You probably shouldn’t drink. I mean, OK, you can have a beer once in a while, but not every night.” Staring at him, all I could think was, Just don’t say coffee or chocolate.
I love chocolate a little too much. Sometimes I get into the dreaded gorp cabinet and start scooping out M&Ms, thinking, This time, just these few. Many accelerating scoops later, I feel sick, I can’t sleep, and I will wake up hungover. So I have to be mindful, and usually just not start. But when I do have chocolate, which is plenty often, it’s heaven. —Alison Osius, senior editor
Being an Espresso Snob
“Stop buying a daily coffee and save a million towards retirement over a lifetime.” As a Euro in the U.S., drinking espresso is the one moment in the day that keeps my feet firmly rooted on European terra firma. It’s more than a caffeinated jolt to start the day, it’s a sign to stop and smell the roses. I want my espresso in cappuccino form, served in a ceramic cup, warmed on the top of a Nuova Simonelli machine. I have sailed well past the age where I can save a cool million for my retirement from giving up the daily shot, and so be it. It’s a moment that brings me joy, and it’s coming with me though 2023 and beyond, six eye-watering dollars at a time. —Melanie Mitchell, running brand director