Christmas is over. The stockings that were hung ‘cross the bookcase with care have been pillaged. Plundered. Left dangling and limp by the villagers, names traced in glitter on each one.
It’s right about now that many Americans, feeling sluggish and pudgy post parties and presents, do that annual thing. You know the “thing,” I’m sure. You’ve probably done it yourself.
Feeling the addition of all those sheep-shaped butter cookies to your thighs and the fat-filled fudge that landed in your, uh, trunk, you whip it out. It’s The List, your 10-step plan for personal reform bringing health, wealth and happiness in the coming year.
In my intense, scholarly research (which consisted of Googling “top New Year’s resolutions” and clicking a link), I found a list of 10 resolutions popular with Americans. It’s no shock that the top resolution for Average Citizen is losing weight. This explains the mass exodus every January. Like lemmings, Americans rush en masse to pay high membership fees for the privilege of sweating in solidarity with others looking to escape the elastic waistband. It happens like clockwork when that Times Square ball drops.
I understand it. I really do. After all, a mother of boys must be light on her feet in order to stay out in front. Those sheep-shaped butter cookies are loaded, and I’m left now with what they’ve left behind. Right on my—well, never mind.
Anyway, it’s tough losing weight in the winter. When you’re a fair-weather runner who hates cold and wind. Or you live in a small farmhouse with no indoor track. Or you’re working full time and you’re “too pooped to pop,” to quote my own smallish mother. Shoot. And rats.
But back to the list. Number two is “get organized.” I’m not a resolver, but I can think of a pile that needs to be sorted and hauled. Actually, it’s more like our own little Mt. Everest of clothes outworn, outgrown and outdated. I would like to get rid of it sometime this year. If that makes me Sir Edmund Hillary in goggles, so be it. I’ll be happy to pose for the triumphant summit photo right after I get back from Goodwill. I sure will.
“Spend less, save more.” That’s number three. Here’s where Mr. Schrock comes in. Finance Guy is great with budgets and long-term planning. He’s also great at keeping The Girl happy, so he knows the value of keeping a little section called “Shoes and Purses” in the Schrock family budget. And God love ‘im, he doesn’t roll his eyes too far when, say, a new cheetah purse comes home. His reward in heaven will be great. I’m just sayin’.
Number four is rather vague, “Enjoy life to the fullest.” Here, a comprehensive action plan is needed. Enrolling a couple of males I know into my Laundry 101 class would be a start. Using their two unbroken arms apiece, they could “brighten the corner where they are,” as the old Sunday School song goes.
Step two would be for the finished product to land in the villagers’ drawers. Every single time. As this is the modern equivalent of the Egyptian chariots breaking into matchsticks while the Israelites larked through on dry ground, I know I’m aiming high. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, I figure. So cover me. I’m going in.
Regarding the rest of the list, five is “stay fit and healthy.” Six is “learn something exciting.” Seven is “quit smoking,” and eight is “help others.”
I can chuck number seven out because I never started. Staying fit and healthy is noble and all, but sometimes it just stinks. If Cheetos would turn into carrots on the way down, for instance, or if scientists discovered miraculous healing properties in a doughnut, it would help. But until they invert that food pyramid, this one’s not much fun.
“Learn something exciting” and “help others” could absolutely apply to number four. Who says you can’t include others in your hopes and dreams, hmm? They don’t want the cook developing a sudden, inexplicable case of paralysis of her own two unbroken arms, after all. I’m sure they’ll see it my way after a solid week of broccoli and not-Cheetos.
Numbers 9 and 10 are “fall in love” and “more family time.” Huh. As falling in love isn’t like catching a virus, exactly, I’m not sure how you schedule that. Besides, falling in love can be exhausting, playing havoc with your adrenal glands. It is exhilarating, though, and it’s generally how you get the family that later you’re resolving to spend more time with.
For myself for, I’d rather have a few specific goals than a list of nebulous resolutions. In 2014, I plan to keep exercising, to scale Mt. Everest and to keep enjoying life. In other words, I’ll keep the coffee brewing.
I’ll keep spending time with my family and work on staying “in love” with the ones I have. Even if they fry my adrenal glands and never learn to do the laundry. Happy New Year!