Another Year, Another Exercise in Futility
It is December 28th and I have yet to come up with a single New Year’s Resolution. Oh, I have dozens of things that I’d like to resolve, but this year I am determined to keep them. So that means I can only make resolutions that I will actually live up to. In other words, I have limited myself to almost nothing. My sweetiepie, on the other hand, knows exactly what his resolution is. Each year his resolution is the same: “I resolve to continue to drink beer.” Hmmmm, not really the life-affirming kind of goal I am looking for. Besides, I HATE beer. I have to admit though, I am sorely tempted to make my first resolution “I resolve to eat food everyday,” you know, just to set myself up for success.
Other years at this time I have happily sat down with pencil in hand (always pencil – it is easier to erase!) and made an exhaustive wish list of resolutions designed to create the perfect me. I will eat better, I will keep a journal, I will meditate everyday, I will exercise everyday, I will be more attentive to my children, blah, blah, blah. Failures, every one. I continue to eat Doritos after every long run, I have a journal full of empty pages, I vacuum my meditation mat regularly to hide the accumulation of dust, and I continue to half-listen to my children’s daily diatribes about their lives. I guess I exercise most days, but only because it’s my job, so that doesn’t really count either.
Last year I decided I would be very serious and set only one New Year’s Resolution that I could focus all of my will on and then I would surely succeed. I resolved to stay in better touch with my friends and family and, in particular, my grandmother. I love my grandmother dearly and I know my chances to talk with her grow more and more precious with each day that passes. I feel the same way about my other family and friends. Our loved ones are who truly make our lives special, after all. But I need to make a full confession here: I am brutally awful at staying in touch with people. Ask any of my friends. I am sure they would say “Leslie?… oh, you mean McEachran? Yeah, I used to know her. Is she still alive?”
I decided to set myself up for success by setting out a schedule. I would call Gramma at least one weekend each month. I would then work from a rotating list of friends to call or email on the other weekends.
January went by. I called my Gramma once but not a single soul more. “Okay,” I thought, “well at least I didn’t completely fail. I’ll do better next month.”
February. Called Gramma once again, but still missed out on anyone else. “Damn. I really wanted to be better than this. Maybe I can count Facebook comments on statuses and photos as staying in touch?”
March. Game over. Clicking a ‘Like’ button on Facebook is definitely NOT staying in touch. “Who am I kidding? I suck.” Resolution is an official failure.
I feel like the whole ‘stay in touch’ resolution deserves another chance. I am sure I would do better this year simply because I have accumulated more guilt to drive me into action. Deep down, however, I know that although my intentions are as good as gold, my execution is more like as good as aluminum foil.
Maybe what I really need is a whole new approach to this Resolution stuff. Maybe, just maybe, I should just resolve to learn to like beer.