The Postscript: It’s that time of year, again

Published 12:37 am Thursday, December 27, 2018

By Carrie Classon


It’s the time for New Year’s resolutions.

I am not necessarily against New Year’s resolutions. I don’t usually make one, but when I do, I try to make it count. The year of my divorce, when my whole life had unexpectedly exploded—the year I moved overseas and my husband left me and my company fired me—all within a couple months, I was left shell-shocked at the end of the year.

I had no explanation for the end of my marriage or my job, I could offer no indication of my future plans, and I was prone to breaking into tears for no apparent reason. I was not a great dinner guest.

I attended a New Year’s Eve party with a group of friends I hadn’t seen since the end of my life as I knew it. My expectations for New Year’s Eve were low. I was looking forward to hearing some old stories, catching up on news, toasting good friends, good health, and a little more peace on earth. As midnight approached, the usual discussion of resolutions began.

“I’m going to quit smoking,” said a friend who had smoked since high school.

“Twenty pounds!” said another woman. “I’m going to lose twenty pounds!”

“I’m getting too old for this!” said another friend (someone at least a year younger than me) with a heavy yawn.

More resolutions were offered up: the same promises that had been broken the previous year and likely several years before that. I realized I wasn’t ready to make any real resolutions yet—I hadn’t come to enough resolution to resolve anything. But I also felt a building frustration with all this premature maturity.

“Carrie, do you have a resolution for the New Year?” the woman determined to lose all the weight asked me.

“Yes,” I announced, without a moment’s forethought. “I’m going to be painted in the nude.” And I somehow knew (unlike most of the resolutions made that night) mine would be kept.

I didn’t tell a lot of people after the New Year’s Eve announcement that I planned to be painted in the nude—before my birthday when I actually did it. One of the women I told said, “Well, it makes sense, as you certainly won’t look any better as the years go by.”

But that wasn’t what it was about. It wasn’t about winning a fight against aging or capturing a souvenir at a stage in life when I felt good about myself, with or without clothes. No.

When I asked my good friend, Nora, why she thought I was doing this she said: “Of course you want to be painted in the nude! This was the year you were stripped of your marriage, your career, your country, your future, and most of your identity. The only fitting way to conclude a year like that is with a painting of yourself in the nude!”

That Nora is so smart.

I don’t expect that I will ever feel the need to be painted in the nude again but I’m glad I did it (and I would recommend it to anyone who found themselves in a similar situation). It is a new year, after all. It deserves a little acknowledgement—not because everything will be different, but because a lot has happened.

At the very least, I am going to lift a glass and acknowledge what I have been through and what I have learned in the past year. Then I will start my new year with high hopes… and maybe a few modest plans for ongoing improvements.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon’s memoir, “Blue Yarn,” will be released in April 2019. Learn more at