In 1942 Woody Guthrie opened up a book of ruled paper and wrote an ambitious and charming list of New Year’s Resolutions. 72 years later, these resolutions are still pretty relevant. I guess when someone is looking to improve the way they live their lives, there are bound to be common themes that never go out of style.
Normally, when the New Year comes, I don’t succumb to the trend of resolving to do things better, faster and/or more efficiently. Generally speaking, I don’t document my resolutions because I believe that making them is a way of just setting yourself up for failure. I mean, who am I kidding? I won’t lose 30 pounds, I won’t stop having diabetes, I won’t stop living paycheck to paycheck and I won’t write the next award-winning play/novel. Does that make me a realist or does it make me a pessimist bound to fulfill her own prophecy? Hard to tell.
This year, I’m going to do things differently. Why the hell not? 2016 sucked balls. 2016 sucked big, hairy, smelly moose balls. Dreams died, people failed me and, even worse, I disappointed myself. Thankfully, I have the ability see the silver lining: I am employed, I have a roof over my head, my family is awesome and, for the most part, I’m healthy. But this year, as I’ve done in years past, I didn’t eat lobster or crab legs on New Year’s Eve because apparently, it’s bad luck. Also, I saved the pork and kraut for tomorrow, because eating it for the first meal of the New Year allegedly brings good luck. (Can you tell I love food?) So, whilst in my rebellious state of mind, I decided that I would make resolutions. Perhaps changing it up is the way to go. For what they’re worth, here they are in black and white. I hereby resolve, before one and all and in alphabetical order, to do the following in 2017:
- Be accountable for my actions and the impact those actions have on my life and on the lives of others.
- Be more honest with myself and with the people in my life. Especially myself.
- Be more relentless about saying “I love you” to the people that matter.
- Clean the basement and attic and utilize the space for something that is more effective than being a hiding place for our junk.
- Complain less. Comparatively speaking, I’ve got it pretty good.
- Do more jigsaw puzzles.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and seafood. Eat less fatty meats, cheese and carbs.
- Eliminate jealousy from my life and realize that another person’s success does not mean that I have failed.
- Invite my friends into my home more often, for no special reason, and not worry about how clean the house is before I do it.
- Knock the socks off of the people I work with. Impress someone and get that long overdue promotion.
- Learn to say “no” more.
- Learn to sew using my sewing machine – even if it’s just basic things like placemats, pillows or the hem on a pair of pants.
- Let go of the need to do more and be more and realize that, for today, I’ve done the best I can, and that’s enough.
- Limit alcohol intake to weekends and special occasions.
- Lower my A1C.
- Master my “fancy camera” and learn how to take really good photographs.
- Read more books.
- Resist the temptation for the following behaviors on Facebook: vague booking, passive aggression, attention seeking statuses or self-deprecation. Better to say nothing at all.
- Save $20 a week and use the money to fund one of the following in 2015: a writer’s retreat to Oregon for myself or a short cruise with my husband.
- See more movies at the movie theatre with a big bucket of popcorn in my lap and someone I care about by my side.
- Send more handwritten correspondence.
- Spend no more than a half an hour a day on social media.
- Take more chances. Take those chances with the understanding that the answer might be “no” and that being told “no” is okay.
- Volunteer somewhere I am truly needed that is a place that will remind me of how blessed I am.
- Write every day.