I am a creature of habit. It’s the same every year. Every New Year’s eve, I do the exact same thing: I spend too much of my night rolling my eyes at the schmucks who take the time to make earnest, well meaning resolutions.
Don’t get me wrong; I was once one of those well meaning schmucks myself. For years I’d make sincere promises to myself to lose weight, gain weight, stop smoking, stop drinking, be nicer to my sister, make more time for my lone grandparent, write more, write better, get a job, exercise, be better.
And every year, less than 48 hours into the new year, (usually) my resolution is shot to hell.
So I became the resolution rebel and declined to make any promises to myself for the new year. Because I was edgy. Because I was self-aware. Because I was a dork. Same coin, just a different side of my inner dork.
But this year, as the final grains of 2011 sand slip through the glass, I’m feeling less grouchy than I have years passed. 2011 has been kind to me. No one in my immediate family died. I had the opportunity to travel abroad with my daughter. My husband and I actually saw each other for more days than we each have fingers. I got to spend time with all my best friends who live scattered across Canada and the U.S. And you know, I may have even earned a dollar or two doing what I love to do most: write.
So I decided I would break my self-imposed rule and think of one absolute resolution that I would do my very best to make happen in this new fresh year upon us.
I sat at the kitchen counter, with a mug of hot cocoa and started writing down ideas. Candidates for my personal resolution.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself until my family walked in and asked what I was doing.
Once they got a look at my list, they tanked all my new found optimism.
“You’re gonna cook dinner every night for the entire year? You do realize cooking doesn’t mean pouring milk onto dry cereal, right Mom?”
“Just where are these sheep going to live so that you can shear them and make your own yarn, Tanis?”
“Hot yoga? You don’t even do regular yoga Mom.”
Even Jumbster scoffed a little at my list. Either that or he had just inhaled a dust bunny. It was hard to tell.
So I turned the tables on my family and asked what their resolutions were going to be once the final second of the year ticked by.
My son didn’t hesitate. Clearly he had given this matter a great deal of thought already. “I’m going to be cleaner,” he announced promptly. By which I nodded sagely and said, “Yes, a boy of your age does get a little pungent without regular showers.”
Apparently he didn’t mean that though. He meant he’d start cleaning his room more regularly. Whoops.
My daughter, once she finished laughing at her brother and I, piped up that she was going to grow three inches.
“Ya, it’s about time you grew boobs,” her brother immediately retorted.
“I meant height wise, Frac,” she scowled. But I’m pretty sure she’d take the boobs too.
My husband wasn’t so quick to offer up his resolution. He hemmed and hawed and avoided the question as his older two children pestered him to answer it while I waited patiently for him to answer. I’ve lived with the man for 18 years. I know there is no rushing him when the gears in his brain start to spin.
“Okay. My resolution is to spend less money on massages from the one-legged, toothless women I meet up north,” he finally answered.
Ya. And people wonder why I’m such a smartass. I get it from him.
“You could do that. Or you know, just resolve to come home and take the garbage to the dump more often. I’m not picky, you know,” I replied back.
Beggars can’t be choosers. Just ask the one legged toothless women.
“So Mom? What’s your one resolution going to be?” I could feel six eyes on me and I knew that all my previously brainstormed resolutions weren’t going to cut it.
I was going to have to aim for the possible. Something realistic.
Something meaningful yet obtainable.
“My resolution for 2012 is going to be…” I paused for dramatic effect; “I’m going to stop wearing my slippers out in public. And my jammy pants.”
My family’s response?
They’ll believe it when they see it.
Have a happy, joyous new year everyone.
And keep your slippers on.