Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Friday, January 02, 2009

A Resolution for Unkept Resolutions

by Kerry Blair

To celebrate the New Year, I am going to buy a portrait-quality picture of Annie, place it in a gilt frame, and hang it above my bed.

I will do that first thing tomorrow.

Like the Little Orphan Optimist, I love tomorrow! It is the one thing most likely to get me through today.

I woke up on New Year’s Day with a slew of resolutions . . . and a nasty stomach bug. While I stuck faithfully to a diet of lukewarm water and very little else, every other goal I’d set fell by the wayside. Mostly I lay on the couch and reaffirmed my resolutions to anybody who would listen.

“Tomorrow,” I told my daughter, “I want you to show me how to use the Wii Fit.” To my son I said, “I’ll get the guest room cleaned out tomorrow so you can move your stuff in before you start student teaching next week.” When my husband muttered about having nowhere to stow the Christmas stuff in a two-car garage sans cars, I vowed: “I’m hauling all those boxes to Goodwill tomorrow.” Finally, “Don’t worry about all those oxygen canisters in the middle of your room,” I told my mother. “Tomorrow I’m going to find the perfect place to store them.”

When no two-legged family members were around to reassure, I promised the bunnies a new bed of timothy hay, the fish 25 gallons of fresh water, the dog an extra-long session of fuzzy-tug, and the cats a manicure with the new PediPaw Santa gave them. All, tomorrow, of course.

I spend most of my life living for tomorrow. The only problem I’ve ever found with this plan is the frequency with which tomorrow becomes today. Since I’m mostly upright this morning, my husband is already wondering when we’re leaving for Goodwill. A bunny has its little black nose pressed against a pane in the French doors. My daughter left the Wii Fit manual out where I couldn’t help but trip over it, and the dog has four fuzzies lined up for my convenience. And the beat goes on. Unless there’s a Joshua around somewhere to keep the sun from setting, I have absolutely no hope of completing my To Do list or my newest set of daily resolutions before midnight.

Fortunately, six days of every week come with a shiny-new tomorrow of their own! The seventh day, Saturday, is even better. While it lacks a viable tomorrow in which to cram menial chores, it comes with something even better – a Monday! Everybody knows that Monday is two days away, making it an absolute dream. Until, of course, it dawns.

Wonder how I manage to keep a single New Year’s resolution and/or keep from sinking into despair? Easy! Anyone can do it! First, obtain a pair of Genuine Little Orphan Annie Rose-Colored Glasses. (Quick! Send 72 proofs of purchase from 1940s-era Ovaltine to an address that no longer exists and wait patiently. Very patiently.) Then, come January 17th or so, just when you’ve finally realized that you haven’t yet worked on a single New Year’s resolution, the glasses will make you recall that Chinese New Year is just around the corner: a new beginning! You realize that you really should await the Year of the Tortoise (or whatever) before resuming your trek along the pathway to perfection.

Wait, there’s more to my madness!

Come the middle of March, when I still haven’t met a goal, I rejoice. The calendar shows that my birthday is right around the corner. Now there’s the day to begin a new year of life! Then if I’m lucky, Easter is still a week or three away, giving me an even better reason to resurrect a glorious new me from the gloom of the last three months. If an overdose of chocolate bunny ears causes me to slack off just a bit toward the end of April, no worries! Summer begins soon – what better time to sweep out the moldy old me and embrace a bright new persona? Of course, summer is usually pretty hectic, but kids go back to school in late August. Good deal! Every September without fail I buy a new planner and use it faithfully (for a week or so) to help chart my new course of resolution.

Admittedly, I take October through December off for the holidays. (The holidays begin on Columbus Day and extend through Halloween and beyond.) But even in those joyous times of frivolity, merry-making, and overindulgence, I look piously ahead to a fresh start in the New Year.


In the interest of truth in blogging, I must allow that there is a downside. I have yet to lose weight, de-clutter my surroundings, or write the Great American Novel. (Or even the Mediocre American Novel.) Am I worried? Not at all. Not only is today only the second day of 2009, but it is the first day of the rest of my life! What am I doing sitting here at the computer? I have resolutions to keep, an eight-foot-long To Do list to check off, a glorious new me to sculpt from the ruins of the old model! (Please pray that I have enough raw material left for something useful if not decorative.) Today, right this minute in fact, I will begin the trek up that metaphorical mountain to vistas of unimaginable splendor!

And if I become beffuddled in the foothills and wander off course yet again? Well, there’s always tomorrow.



At 1/02/2009 1:45 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Kerry, I think you've put your thumb on why I don't make resolutions. I've always blamed it on my love of Shakespeare, you know, "tomorrow and tomorrow creeps on this petty pace."

At 1/02/2009 1:48 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Great post! Tomorrow I'll post a better comment. (grin)

At 1/02/2009 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long ago I made a resolution never to make a resolution again. It works!! Well, at least for my ego. I just kind of do what I want when I want until I can't stand something any more or want something done immediately. The Christmas tree comes down anytime between Dec. 31 and Feb. 15. We've been known to eat Christmas dinner on the 26th.

Course, I also put in a good deal of time remembering all the things I accomplish that wouldn't be on my list of resolutions--cooking, cleaning, shopping, gardening, writing, (or not) and I can actually feel pretty good about it!

And I can say I always keep my New Years Resolution whatever day of the year I make it.

I'll never be the writer you are, Kerry, maybe thats because I haven't got the resolution!

Happy New Years to all!

Marlene Austin

At 1/02/2009 3:48 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

This isn't any consolation, but if I were there, I'd be HAPPY to play fuzzy tug with Bandit! (I miss having a dog-friend.)

At 1/02/2009 5:49 PM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

"The sun'll come out, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun . . ." Maybe not here in Bear Lake, but it will shine elsewhere. (We're currently in winter storm mode.)

Loved "Annie"; loved your blog, and here's to hoping that you'll soon be on the mend. =)

At 1/02/2009 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this sounds pathetic, Kerry, but this is the first year in ... well, decades most likely, that I actually made a few new year resolutions. For some reason I feel I want more for myself from this next year than what I've gotten out of years past.

Maybe that sounded a little selfish, but my kids have grown up and are at the beginnings of their own careers, their own lives, and they don’t need me for anything. And over the years I’ve made my husband too dependent on me, and he could stand a little sovereignty. I’ve spent all my time and energy on my family, which was my choice. I saw them as my “first career.” But yesterday I made some promises to me, promises that I’ve already started to keep. By the time my birthday comes around in February I plan on seeing mild results. By Easter? A big dent. By Christmas in July, I plan on being euphoric with my dedication by seeing visible results.

And my husbands calls a pessimist.


At 1/03/2009 1:59 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I like you just the way you are, Kerry!

At 1/04/2009 4:19 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...

You have an absolutely lovely turn of phrase.

At 1/04/2009 5:29 PM, Blogger Just_Me said...

You're enthusiasm scares me, I just don't have that kind of energy.

My goals this year fell into the same pattern my Christmas wish list did:

What do I want? Ummmm.... no clue.

What am I changing this year?er.... got any good ideas?

Lose weight! Pregnant? Are ya kidding me?

Donate more time to charity! Have you seen my visiting teaching route ?

Write the sci-fi novel that will redefine the genre? And I get lost in my stacks rough drafts.


In the end the best resolution I can do is to get 8 hours of sleep a night. And even that might not be happening.


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