Here it comes. That annual flood of wishful thinking and good intentions is upon us.
Pardon my cynicism, but I haven’t noticed a lot of actual results coming from our half-hearted attempts at self-reformation. Once upon a time, some genius somewhere constructed a bandwagon called “New Year’s Resolutions,” and now we are all afraid of being labeled slugs if we don’t jump on. After all, the neighbors are joining up, and we don’t want to be caught sitting around in our PJs, eating that last Christmas cookie when that one rolls by, do we?
Maybe it’s the red in my hair. Maybe it’s the stubborn Yoder streak emerging, I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’m having my yearly fit of rebellion wherein I dig in my heels and refuse to go along with the status quo. Like our mothers always said, “If your friends all wanted to jump off a cliff…”
It was from this nonconformist stance that I attempted something different last year. Instead of making a list of resolutions for myself that will just end up lining the birdcage, I decided to do some resolving for others. It would, I figured, be just as effective, and it would be a whole lot more fun.
Boy, was I right. It was every bit as effective as I thought it would be, which is to say, not much. It sure was fun, though.
In order to scientifically quantify the results of last year’s resolutions, I glanced back over the list to refresh my memory. There was, I noted, a request registered with Congress for a printing press to be sent posthaste and forthwith.
Feeling duty bound to do my part to stimulate the local economy, I figured this would be one quick way to do it. In this spirit, I asked that they utilize my local delivery guy who is always telling me to “see what brown can do for me.”
Doggone it. So far, “brown” has done nothing, there’s no influx of green, and now I’ve got the blues because my wardrobe fund is still languishing.
Another resolution that I’d drafted had to do with the boys’ penchant for running our 50-gallon hot water heater bone dry. Therefore, I proposed that all baths would be no more than six inches deep, and all showers would be moderate in duration (say, three minutes).
Apparently, they still think this is Sea World and they’re dolphins because there remains an inordinate amount of frolicking and splashing. Not surprisingly, this is followed by hollering and speaking in tongues by the unlucky person who attempts to shower after they’ve cycled through.
All of this has led to numerous trips into the basement by their father. There, he hits the shut-off valve, cutting off their hot water, and waits for the shouting to begin. Judging by the satisfied smirk he’s wearing when he comes back up, I think he secretly enjoys those little forays down below in his slippers.
The other resolution I’d proposed had to do with the laundry and was written specifically for two of our number. Instead of waving their four strong, unbroken arms about whene’er they discovered certain garments still reposing in the hamper, they should, I advised, use those arms to actually load and run the machines themselves.
If I was a TV anchorwoman, my report would go something like this, “This just in. In a stunning turn of events, Mrs. Schrock reports that two of the formerly incapacitated arms are now being used sporadically to launder uniforms. While she cannot yet entrust delicates to the owner of the limbs due to sorting inexperience, she is optimistic that complete mastery of this skill is now a real possibility. Meanwhile, she says that any attempts to reach her at home will be futile as she will be ensconced at her local coffee shop, crying tears of joy into her mocha.”
So fifty percent of one piddly resolution has panned out. With my confidence in that process thoroughly shaken, the only thing I’ve got the gumption to do is to throw down a few resolutions that I know for a fact I can keep.
The first one on that list is some serious turkey consumption. At Thanksgiving, a friend introduced us to the wonders of herb rubbed turkey.
Oh. My. Goodness. I can never look a plain turkey in the eye again. Forget dreams of sugar plums, whatever those are. Instead, I have visions of juicy meat, delightfully flavored gravy, and enough leftovers to feed a small regiment. Which, of course, they will.
I also firmly resolve to stay up way too late, to take naps, to watch too many movies, and to forget for a day or two what street clothes feel like. It’ll be Jammie Town over here if I have anything to say about it.
Lastly, I resolve to play games, to laugh out loud (a lot), and to count my blessings instead of dialing up the orphanage when the boys get to wrestling again. If this works out, I plan to repeat it all again next year.