Russell Stover’s conversation hearts and foil-covered boxes are large and at my local pharmacy, and to them I say welcome. Unlike August’s rude arrival of Halloween candy, Valentine’s Day retail gusto cheers me up in the first week of January. It agrees with my own desire that the winter months are already hurrying. Bring the egg dye kits and Mother’s Day cards. Let’s focus on spring.
Slower. OK. It’s the first week of the new year. let’s be in the moment How many of us have resolved to be more present in 2023? How many of us have broken that promise? Depending on which grim study you read, anyone and everyone and their brother will have broken their New Year’s resolutions by February 14th. How can we do differently this year?
Make it your goal to always be solution-oriented. That sounds awful, but it’s actually kind of liberating. January could be a terrible time for you to start eradicating your bad habits. Depending on where you live, the days can be shorter, darker, and colder—the worst conditions for getting up early and engaging in a HIIT workout.
You don’t need a specific day of the year to change your life. You can always decide to do something different – spend less money, be nicer, drink more water. And you can choose to do these things for an hour, a day, a week. Then see if you want to continue. Promising to overhaul your life on the 1st of January and trying to hold on to the changes forever is a big challenge.
When you make a resolution, whether it’s now or in six weeks’ time or in July (or never—you’re perfect just the way you are), remember that a resolution doesn’t have to be a punishment. It doesn’t have to mean curbing appetite or behavior unless you want to. You can choose to reward yourself more. You can make a commitment to take more naps. And the resolution doesn’t have to be big. It can be small and boring and meaningful only for you.
The real reason I like Always Be Resolving is because it reminds me that there’s always a clean slate. There is always a day or month or year ahead of me with no mistakes in it. Right now we have the calendar year 2023, and that offers a tidy organizational principle. But there is also a year between March 9th, a year between August 23rd. There’s the blank canvas from next Tuesday. How will you fill it?
THE WEEK IN CULTURE
Rep. Kevin McCarthy won the House Speaker election on the 15th ballot, the longest struggle of its kind since before the Civil War. He made major concessions to right-wing extremists.
The struggle of House Speakers made it clear that Congress will almost certainly be in disarray for the next two years.
The US economy added jobs at a slower but still comfortable pace last month as the unemployment rate returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety guard who collapsed on the field Monday, had his breathing tube removed and was able to speak, the team said.
The Biden administration announced $3 billion in aid to Ukraine, including equipment to counter Russian forces in open ground.
Federal authorities approved a new Alzheimer’s drug that might slow the pace of cognitive decline somewhat, but carries the risk of brain swelling and bleeding.
One of China’s most influential tech titans, Ant Group, said its founder Jack Ma plans to relinquish control of the company.
🎮 Pentiment: The world of video games is really big. Last year it included tough open-world dark fantasy titles like Elden Ring (game of the year 2022 for many), surprising zen experiences like PowerWash Simulator and this one I started just before the holidays and slowly make my way through. “Pentiment” is set in Bavaria in the 16th century and you play as an illuminator who ultimately has to solve a murder. (It sells itself, doesn’t it?) With a look that attempts to approximate medieval art styles, this is a largely text-driven game that becomes more addicting the longer you play it.
🍿 M3gan: As Jason Zinoman notes in his review of this new horror comedy, once the award-winning films wrap up at the end of the year, January can bring some sleazy (and often funny) fare. Here, a scientist suddenly in charge of caring for her niece invents the titular android to help. Things don’t go as planned. Zinoman calls this “a ridiculous, derivative and compelling killer doll movie”.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Hearty cabbage, squash and bean soup
If you’re looking to make a big pot of soup this weekend, may I suggest David Tanis’ Hearty Kale Squash Bean Soup? Packed with veggies, beans, and winter squash, it’s plant-based and very chunky. A bit of sausage — either chorizo or kielbasa — floating among the veggies adds richness, body, and a powerful kick. (You can also omit the meat and stir in some cumin or smoked paprika instead.) Make one pot this afternoon, then eat it all week. Or freeze something for later. Knowing you have containers of homemade soup in the freezer is as comforting as a roaring fire, but a lot more convenient.
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What you get for $1.7 million: A 1778 home in Litchfield, Connecticut; a handyman home in Atlanta; or a Tudor Revival in Missoula, Mont.
The Hunt: A long-term tenant decided to insure against rising housing costs. Which of these studios in Forest Hills did she buy? Play our game.
Fancy Drinks: Some say these mocktails aren’t worth the price. They’re selling anyway.
Appropriate Attire: For day-long wedding celebrations in South Asia, some guests turn to rental attire.
Heart-healthy diet: The Mediterranean diet is really good for you.
Training preparation: A warm-up with controlled, fast movements can make training safer.
ADVICE FROM WIRECUTTER
If your New Year’s resolution includes personal hygiene, properly cleaning your mouthguard is a good start – and also serves as a handy reminder to wear your mouthguard regularly. First, use a mild, unscented dishwashing liquid instead of toothpaste, which is gentler on your gear. (I keep some in a pump glass and use a separate toothbrush for this task.) When you’re done, soak your shield or retainer in a cup with a few drops of mouthwash throughout the day. It tastes fresh when you put it back in before bed, and if you tend to forget jaw and enamel protection until you fall asleep, the visual reminder at your sink will help avoid tired trips back to the bathroom. – Joshua Lyons
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns, NBA: Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points in an overtime win on Monday. The 70-point mark is extremely rare: only seven players in NBA history have ever reached it. (Michael Jordan isn’t, and LeBron James isn’t.) But it’s not so out of place this season if the NBA has seen a scoring explosion, writes Victor Mather. “The game has gotten very loose and the players are so talented that it made for a lot of big-hitting nights,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. 8 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, on NBA League Pass.
Suns star Devin Booker also scored 70 points in a game in 2017. He will miss Sunday’s matchup due to an injury.
Last week, the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic became the first NBA player in history to record at least 60 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game.
NOW TIME TO PLAY
The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was a matter of course. Here is today’s puzzle.
Take the news quiz to see how well you’ve been following this week’s headlines.