Thursday, December 31, 2009


Walking Man is right to ask "What New Year?"... after all, few of us are changing jobs (except you, Amanda!), or moving, or truly changing anything. 

I know what will happen, though. Millions of us will "resolve" to do this year differently. Suddenly, instead of the YMCA being mostly empty in the evenings, it will be so packed that I can't find a parking space, can't get into the zumba class, can't even find a stupid treadmill or square of clear space to stretch out on, etc.

(I've actually dropped my membership for the next few months, for that very reason. Why pay for something I can't even use?)

A bunch more people will drink themselves into oblivion tonight, "resolving" to do better January 1, like that is some magical stamp which will enable them to somehow change who they are and what they do from what they have always been and always done. Will it work? 

Have you ever known it to work? Has it ever worked for you?

Can anyone, through sheer will power, change who one is? If a person hates exercise, January 1 isn't going to magically change that. If one loves cheesecake or ice cream enough to gain 40 lbs. last year, a great January filled with good choices is not going to lose the 40 lbs., and even if it does, without real everyday change, that weight will come back on. 

Yes, I want to do this year better. I would love to be published, and I'll only get there if I send my stuff out (and work on it a whole lot more than I did last year). I'm months from turning 40, and I've always worked under the shadow of losing precious time. But I can't resolve to send out something new every day, or write for at least an hour every day, or exercise every day, or be a good mom every day. I can promise to eat every day, but sometimes that's all I ever get done.

My resolution? Live every day. If that means writing, then it does. If that leads to exercise, all right then. If it means singing, great. Painting? Fine, too. But I'm not going to strive for perfection. I'm not going to kick myself over a missed opportunity. I won't regret. 

And I won't resolve this year. Today is all I'm concerned with. Just today.

I know my thoughts of future goals will creep in. They always do. I don't have to fear that I will let the world go completely, not meet my obligations, and not get things done. I am incapable of laziness. But I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of looking back and seeing all I haven't yet gotten done. I'm sick of being disappointed in myself. 

Okay, perhaps, despite all my best efforts, I've unwittingly resolved something (darn it!). Still, I won't worry about that. I'm off to live today. Hope you do the same.


  1. Sounds like a very healthy, um, unplan.

  2. I think that anything that helps people set goals in a good thing...

    Now I do agree that the Jan. 1rst is a trivial date, but it helps to have a start and end date for goals, and that date is good as any.

    I want to be a better parent, friend, husband and employee.

    I want to understand the English language better and learn how to use it properly.

    I want to finish my novel that has consumed the whole year of 2009.

    I want to understand the construction of a novel, and learn to tell/write the novel in a way that will do my story justice.

    I want to inspire others around me to do better.

    No matter how you feel about it, happy New Year everyone.

  3. ...and that is as good as the resolution thing gets Shakes. Just do the moment by moment living applying your time wisely, You know what you want to do but you can't get there any faster by trying to be tomorrow more than you are today. Tomorrows are built, not dreamed into being.