December 31, 2001

You Say You Want a Resolution...


The end of December is the time when we're encouraged to take stock.
No, not as in drink chicken soup.
As in evaluate (or re-evaluate) our lives.

I used to do more of that as a teenager but it fell by the wayside later on.
Not that I don't take stock - I just do it on my own time.

I have mixed feelings about looking backward, whether in my own life or in world events. The media are yet again bombarding us with 9/11 images in the year-end reports and I find them even more disturbing than I did the first time around.

It needs to be done - just not so soon.

Anyone who's read this journal for awhile knows I'm a great believer in the teaching - and lessons - of history. Future generations need to know what happened and why. But anyone who's aware of events now was also aware on 9/11 and will never ever forget.
In other words, they're preaching to the choir.

It's hard to strike the right balance between learning from the past and living in it.

Maybe that's why resolutions are also part of this procedure, encouraging us to look forward and find ways to do better.

I haven't made resolutions in some years. I doubt I ever really kept any in the past.
If I were to make traditional resolutions they would go something like this:

  1. Lose weight by eating less and exercising more.
  2. Spend less time online.
  3. Keep house cleaner.
  4. Finish crocheting that afghan I started about ten years ago.
  5. Grow a herb garden in my windowsill and create fabulous recipes with dried dill and coriander.
  6. Use clippings from kids' old clothes to create lively quilts and throw pillows. Grow cotton in back yard for stuffing.
    (Original plan to use dryer lint discarded because it's too flammable.)
See how insidiously Martha Stewart's influence creeps into our lives? That woman must be reined in (metaphor intended), I tell you.

OK let's try again, being a little more realistic:

  1. Lose weight, by hoping that the metabolism fairy will bless me this year.
  2. Get my roots coloured when they need it, not three weeks after they need it.
  3. Finish that roll of film that's been in my camera since October.
  4. Get it developed.
  5. Send out the CDs that I burned for Mr. WLA.
  6. Ask Rick to let me see his music list again because he's sent me stuff twice and I want to reciprocate.
  7. Finish the entry page redesign that I intended to do for 2001.
  8. Update.
    More.
    Often.
After writing the above I got to thinking:
Are resolutions intended for my personal growth or for the benefit of those around me - and if the latter, wouldn't it be presumptuous of me to decide what I should do to make their lives better?

So I gathered up my kids*.

Me: I have a project for you.
Kids: GROAAAAAAAAN
Me: (talking quickly to make my point before I'm tuned out) I want you to write some New Year's resolutions for me. Like what you think I should do better.
Kids: *blank stare*
Rob: This is going in your journal-thing, isn't it.
Me: Well, yeah...
Rob: What magazine or website did this idea come from?
Me: (indignantly) None, I thought it up all by myself!
Kids: We'll get back to you.

Awhile later, they informed me that they were too lazy to write out their lists but would dictate them to me; I figured I'd take what I could get.
In all fairness I must preface this by saying that they are affectionate and devoted way beyond what I'd expect at their ages. They are always ready with a hug and both of them tell me daily that they love me.
In that spirit, here are what my kids feel should be my resolutions:

From Rob:

  1. Don't touch my hair unless I want you to.
  2. Have supper ready ON TIME whatever that time is - you should know what time is right.
  3. Mind your business.
  4. When I come home from school a light snack and beverage should be prepared.
  5. Always have a minimum of one pair of my boxers clean. (I do but they're not always the ones he likes!)
  6. Get that white crap off my clothes when you wash them. (He means lint.)
  7. If you're secretly going to wash my house shorts make sure they're ready when I get home.
  8. Wear your booties, mittens and hat when you go out and zip up your jacket without my having to tell you.
    (Don't ask!)
  9. Always listen to me no matter what I say.
  10. Stop coming to me with your stupid bullshit projects for your web page.
  11. Lose some freakin' weight.
He told me not to include that last one because it makes him look like a bad son; a discussion ensued between them as to whether it was appropriate and whether I should be nagged to lose weight for health reasons, of course.

From Mark, who added the following:

  1. Cook more than once a week.
  2. Go into a cookbook and find something new to make.
  3. Hopefully my clothes could be washed within a week especially my shower towels and exercise shorts.
  4. Have the door unlocked when we get home and drop whatever you're doing to run and greet us.
  5. I am more important than your microchip friends.
  6. When you flop on my bed be careful because it might break.
It seems my children have mistaken the job description of mother for that of slave. I keep telling them that if they don't like the service they can move out or do it themselves but they just think I'm joking.

In the interests of fair play (or stupidity) I asked the Housemate for a similar list.
When I mentioned that it was for my journal, his face fell. Up till then he probably thought he'd died and gone to heaven!
He's more of a private person than I am; so I guess there won't be any serious dirt on it.
Since he has yet to provide me with said list, and since this entry is getting long, I will continue it next time (tomorrow!) along with my wishes (which are not at all the same thing as resolutions) for Colleen's collection.

*Kids, for any new readers who might wander in, are Mark, age 20, and Rob, age 17.

I counted up the archives today and found that this happens to be my 300th entry.
Nice round number to end the year.

To those who contributed to the Person of the Year discussion on my forum.
Please consider my views to be prefaced by "in my opinion".
(Which as we know, is almost always right.)

Thank you.

Linque Du Jour:   Google Zeitgeist Timeline

2001: before and after.

By the way, Google has also archived the past TWENTY years of usenet. beginning on May 11, 1981.

This stuff could come back to haunt you.

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