I stand at the checkout. The line is long. I count the items in my basket. Do I have fewer than 10? No. But I do have fewer than 20. Unfortunately, I am in back of several baskets loaded with 40-plus items. I have plenty of time to slap my hand as it reaches for the Snickers bar. I have plenty of time to peruse the New Year’s magazines.
Neither The New Yorker nor The Economist is on offer. The teasers on the covers are aimed at women:
- From Shape, Drop a dress size!
- From Prevention, The Body Clock Reset Diet!
- From Oprah, Fresh Start!
- From Eating Light, 400 Calories or Less!
- From Women’s Day, Burn 2000 Calories in 10 minutes!
Please note the liberal use of exclamation marks! And my favorite article “Drop 5, 10, 15 pounds without dieting!” I might want to read that article, but I failed to note the magazine. Or maybe I don’t want to read that article.
The worst thing about New Years is all those pesky resolutions. Some years I have aimed too high and failed. Other years, I have aimed low; nevertheless, I have still failed. Given my fear of failure, I will make no resolutions this year. Let’s face it: I am not going to burn 2,000 calories in 10 minutes.
Perhaps I’ll just quietly resolve in the privacy of my room.
I might resolve to be more of a taker. If you were raised as I was, you were encouraged not to ask and not to take. Rather, if you were so lucky as to receive without asking, you should be modest and gracious. Passivity was the outcome.
I love the poster to the left: it encourages me to take… not “to take” as in thievery, shoplifting or infidelity, but “to take in” with a deep breath that fills all the hollow places. I’m spoiled for choice. Do I want love, hope, faith, or patience? My goodness! Courage, understanding peace, passion… they are all good. How can I possibly choose?
I’m going to aim high. In the privacy of my room, I’ll resolve to take them all. Should I fail, none will be the wiser.
My most embarrassing resolutions were made jointly with a writing friend. We each made a list of year-long and short-term writing goals, and then we snail-mailed our resolutions to one another. The plan was, at year’s end, to unseal the envelopes in one another’s presence and read the other’s resolutions aloud. You have no idea how mortifying it is to hear your failed resolutions coming out of someone else’s mouth. On acknowledging how far short of the mark we fell, we decided that we had aimed too high. That recognition was not much of a salve for my wounded ego.
- Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If so, what has your experience been in terms of keeping them?
- What stands in the way of your keeping your resolutions?
- What are your resolutions this year? Do you need to send your writing resolutions to another writer?