C’maaan. You never seriously meant to keep those. You bobbled your head back and forth, squinched the corners of your eyes, went, “Nyeh…” and grudgingly penciled in a dozen or fifteen halfhearted items. About half of those came from you looking at what your friends wrote down.
Yeah, really. And I know why.
Expectations. Everyone else’s. “Well, it’s what’s for dinner.”
“Everybody makes a list of New Year resolutions. You don’t want to be (dun-dun-dunnnn…) different, do ya?”
Yes. I do. God created me unique. Seems to me a bit inimical to go to such lengths to look, think, act, talk, dress, and smell just like everyone else. I believe I’m better off choosing a slightly shorter list of things I know need attention in my life, tailored specifically to me.
A list of one seems workable. I can remember one. No need to write it down. No games.
I do not believe fiddling around, waiting on January 1st to begin working on those few items is a good plan. If those items listed are worth doing, why not get started on them on April 21st? August 3rd? It feels lazy, indistinct to sit waiting on a particular date to start something that needed starting long ago. Like I don’t really want to do any of them and will heave a sigh of relief when we all agree we’ve suffered enough and pitch the lot.
We never intended to keep those, did we? Naaah. We weren’t serious. Not really. “Why, lookie here–it’s January thirty-oneth. We won’t keep those impossible resolutions, will we?” Then we’ll all laugh too loudly and say, “We don’ need no steenkin’ resoLOOshuns!” Then we’ll all act relieved and go have cheesecake.
First, let’s get real. I no longer have interest in playing that game every year.
I have high aspirations for myself, my writing and my livelihood. Of course I do! God put this all together for me at a time I figured I was as good as dead. You bet I intend to make the most of it for my good and for His glory. Encouraging and strengthening you while I’m at it? Absolute lasagna. I know you were expecting ‘gravy’, but that’s overused. Besides, lasagna goes good with cheesecake.
Truth? Despite my large dreams and strong plans, sometimes my greatest accomplishment is keeping my mouth shut. Some things are best left unsaid. Unfortunately, they’re usually crowding in at the head of the line and I say them first. I hate wasting a real good line. I hate even more when I counsel myself to hold onto it for a more judicious moment. I hate forgetting what it was in the first place.
Case in point: just the other day I caught one of the little buggers trying to jump over my verbal turnstile sans ticket: “You have beautiful eyes. Too bad they’re attached to the head of a mentally unbalanced, raving nutburger!”
As I recall, the recipient was on TV and I would have been saved an ignominious FAIL, not to mention possible criminal assault by uncontrolled tongue.
Maturity comes when I stop making excuses and start making positive changes. Maturity keeps coming when exchanging excuses for positive changes becomes a habit.
I’d like to tell you I’ve turned that corner. I’d really like to tell you that.
I’m still working on it. Oscar Wilde said, “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” I’ve a Masters in experience. The master is someone who’s failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
So – let’s lift our coffee mugs to the memory of Doomed Resolutions everywhere. May their tribe disappear. May we all replace insincere lengthy lists with one item we fully mean to keep and upon which we resolve every day to work.
And, hey–why not get to work on it today?
© D. Dean Boone, January for a little while longer, 2015