HAPPY 2020! And welcome back to MyLittleBird. Resolutions may be so last decade and kind of useless, but some of us still make them. It’s kind of similar to deciding on a second (or third or . . . ) marriage: the triumph of hope over experience. Anyway, here’s what we’ve resolved to do for the new year.
• I have plenty of clothes, so in spite of my endless love for new ones, I’m determined to buy less and recycle more.
• The fires in Australia are beyond disturbing, so the least I can do to save the planet is use far fewer paper towels.
• Health-wise speaking, it makes a lot of sense to cut way back on my sugar intake, says the woman who has been caught eating cookies for lunch. I even signed up for the New York Times’s Seven-Day Sugar Challenge. I’ll let you know how it goes. . . .
My only New Year’s resolution is to not make any New Year’s resolutions. I never followed through (usually on promises involving losing weight) and just set myself up for more failure. Willpower is not something that runs in my family. Nor, apparently, is follow-through. Unlike my friend Sandy. I admire Sandy for many reasons, but I’ve secretly been in awe of her resolve once she sets her mind on something. One year she resolved to quit smoking. She quit smoking. The next year she resolved to lose weight. Off came 15 pounds. The following year she decided it was time for her to get serious about settling down. She met Scott. Dammit! That’s what I call resolve.
I should have resolutions, having come out of a year both extremely disturbing, with a bout with a bit of cancer (I’m okay), and wonderful, with the birth of my first grandchild—Wes! And it’s not only a new decade, it’s a new decade of my life. But I don’t have any. Resolutions. Though I guess not having one is a resolution. So I resolve to do whatever the hell I feel like doing and damn the torpedoes. . . .
To get my Flannery O’Connor middle-grade biography published. (I can’t do the other things like eat less sugar, sell my house, etc. until that’s done.)
(Begging your collective pardon for excessive navel-gazing.)
• Broadly: to take myself less seriously. Specifically: to remind myself frequently of my place in time and space, i.e, not a big deal.
• Broadly: to take myself more seriously. Specifically: to do something, almost anything, well—and stick with it as if it mattered. Maybe at some point it will.
• Eat more vegetables. Really.
• Embrace the Robert Frost observation: Home is the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in. In other words, I should embrace family—as well as those who claim me as family.
• And, inspired by the dying musician Warren Zevon on what he knew about life and death now that he was facing up to his own demise (in a 2002 interview with David Letterman): “I know how much you’re supposed to enjoy every sandwich.” Amen.
I’m coming clean. I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Four Tendencies” on Audible. What I have discovered from Rubin, a member of Oprah’s inner circle—woohoo!—is what I already know, I’m a Questioner. I know I am because I think New Year’s resolutions are silly and that January 1 is an arbitrary date to decide to change your life. Who would pick the middle of winter to embark on anything new? January is a time to eat stew, not salad. To take up baking, not fasting. And to go back to knitting, not cycling. I’ll be working on making hats. I’ll be baking pound cakes. I’ll be stocking the freezer with soup. I’ll be going back to the wonderful routine I had before holiday fun, and madness, took over. I wish for you the same wonderful return to normalcy.
We’d be delighted to hear your own resolutions. Add yours in the comments section below.