I hope it’s not too late anyway – because I drew up a new list again this year. I couldn’t help it. Making such a list was one of the first habits I formed growing up in a family bent on eternal improvement. In fact, we’re all still laughing about the time the family patriarch announced one day in early January that he was bringing all the kids to the doctor to have their nostrils blown out – and that was 90 years ago.
Even though my own plans are far tamer, I offer them here:
Resolution One, to stop saying how exhausted I am all the time. What is it with us moderns that we dwell so ceaselessly on our level of fatigue? A hundred years ago people didn’t carry on about how tired they were, maybe because they were too busy stoking the furnace and boiling the diapers.
Resolution Two, to refrain from getting into a lot of competitive technology talk, like about those apps that supposedly empty the dishwasher and open the canned peas while you’re still stuck in rush hour traffic ten miles from home. I mean, I appreciate a GPS as much as the next guy, but shoot me if you ever hear me going on and on about what route it had me take to get to your house just now.
Resolution Three, to stop telling people my dreams. What’s harder to sit through than a person saying “So then a guy with a gorilla’s head began reciting the Preamble to the Constitution only – no, wait – he only started out as a gorilla before turning into Don Johnson circa 1989”? Most people can’t tell their dreams right to save their lives.
Resolution Four: to tell fewer jokes, since I can never tell them the right way anymore. If I really want to tell jokes I’m going to have to start rehearsing them ahead of time so I don’t keep putting the punch line in the middle.
Resolution Five: to keep getting my photographs printed. It’s just not enough to have them stored in the cloud. I say, put them in an album. Put them in a battered old shoebox even. Sure, there might be a fire, but there might also NOT be a fire, and think about it: your kids aren’t going to gather around a computer screen when you’re gone to cry over pictures of the old days. The place for pictures is in people’s hands.
Resolution Six, speaking of hands: to take better care of my hands, which are showing signs of real wear these days. In my girlhood they looked so smooth and flawless I was forever waving them around my head, hoping others would think so too. Now, they’re wizened little monkey-paws. I guess 30 years of furniture refinishing finally took its toll on them.
It’s ok though. It’s fine. Because here’s my Seventh Resolution, which follows naturally from the Sixth: to keep trying to wear out rather than rust out. ’Use it or lose it,” the fitness folks say of the body’s strength. But heck, we’re going to lose it anyway eventually so let’s use it now, place our shoulders to the wheel, and help make this old world a better place in shiny new 2014. Excelsior! 🙂