For the past few years, I have not made any New Year’s resolutions because I figured they were just a waste of my time. I mean, usually by January 3rd, I’ve already broken all of them. But this year, I have renewed determination and optimism. I not only am going to make a list of resolutions, I am going to do everything in my power to succeed in keeping them…at least until January 4th.So far, my list is as follows:
· I will stop eating my dessert before my meals.I got into the habit of eating my dessert before dinner way back when I was a kid because I was afraid I’d be too full after my meal. At the time, I had to be sneaky about it because if my mom caught me, she’d scold me. After I got married, I thought I’d be free to indulge, but my husband also scolded me when he’d see me inhaling a box of chocolates only 20 minutes before dinner. But now that I’m alone, I can eat a whole cake before dinner and the only ones who will notice are my dogs (only because they want me to share it with them). I really need to make this resolution, however, before my stomach flab gets caught in my jeans zipper again.
· I will read my newspapers when I get them.I subscribe to two daily newspapers. The problem is, I’m usually too busy to read them, so I stack them in the corner until I can get to them. Last count, the stack was about five feet high. It used to drive my husband crazy, because I’d sit down and read a bunch of papers all at once, and then say, “Oh, no! John, our former neighbor, passed away! His obituary is in here!”
“That’s terrible!” my husband would respond. “When is the funeral?”
“Four months ago.”
· I will stop spoiling the birds, squirrels and my dogs.Last week, I spent $142 on groceries. Out of that, $40 actually was for food for myself. The rest was for the animals. I have to admit that when it comes to feeding the wild birds and squirrels, I may go just a teensy bit overboard. For example, I bought them sunflower hearts, peanut-butter cookies, mixed nuts, cheese popcorn, blueberry bagels, raisin bread, graham crackers and snickerdoodles. And I came very close to buying them a Christmas fruitcake. You’d think I was trying to turn my bird feeder into a five-star restaurant. And for the dogs, I bought enough chews, cookies, pig ears, sticks and rawhide bones to feed an entire kennel. If I switched to a big bag of cheap birdseed and a five-pound sack of economy dog biscuits, I probably could save enough money to celebrate next New Year’s Day in Tahiti.
· I will try to learn to pump my own gas.My brain is still living in the era when people pulled into a gas station and the attendant rushed out, pumped gas for them, washed the windshield and even gave them a free gift, like a drinking glass or a coffee mug. So I have stubbornly refused to pump my own gas. It just doesn’t make sense to me that back when gas was only 35 cents a gallon, gas-station attendants were doing everything but performing show tunes for patrons, and now that gas is way over $3 per gallon, we’re expected to get out of our cars and stand there and get frostbite while we pump our own gas. This is why I drive 34 miles out of my way every week to get gas at a full-serve station. My friends, however, laugh at me and shake their heads whenever I mention it. So maybe, just maybe, seeing there is a self-service station only about 6 miles from my house, I just might give in and pump my own gas. But if I do, I expect a reward for my efforts (like a free glass or a coffee mug).
· I will try to get to bed before sunrise.I live a backwards life. I go to bed at 8 in the morning and get up at 3 in the afternoon. I’ve always been a night owl, but now I have advanced to an all-night owl. I eat dinner at midnight. I eat breakfast at 4 in the afternoon. And when people invite me to “do lunch,” I think of it as 8 pm. I have tried in the past to switch back to what other people consider “normal” hours, but all I did was learn that I’m not normal. Still, I am making a resolution to try again. So if you see me with bags the size of suitcases underneath my eyes, you’ll know why.
· I will stop wasting money on anti-aging products.The time has come for me to realize that the only thing that will take years off my life and make me look young again is if someone invents a time machine that actually works. I have so many anti-aging products stuffed into my bathroom cabinets, the wood on the doors actually looks new again. My face, however, still is sporting more wrinkles than an unmade bed. And my neck is so saggy, it’s a wonder I wasn’t shot during turkey-hunting season. But I resolve to learn to accept the fact that wrinkles and sagging are a natural part of aging – unless, that is, I win Powerball and can afford cosmetic surgery.
· I will be braver about driving at night.It seems that the older I get, the less I like to drive after dark. And seeing that I don’t get out of bed until late afternoon, it’s a problem during the winter months. My biggest fear is driving on the road to my house. It has more curves than Marilyn Monroe’s body and has no breakdown lane or anywhere to pull over if my car breaks down. And more times than I can count, deer have darted across the road right in front of me. As a result, the minute it gets dark out, I grip the steering wheel so tightly, my hands go numb. And I slow down to about 30 mph. This usually results in the car behind me getting so close (probably in an attempt to nudge me along) it looks as if the driver is sitting in my back seat.
· And last of all, I will stop spending hours playing the computer game, “Letter Rip.”I figure if I quit playing the game, I’ll finally have time to read my stack of 300 newspapers – and find out that the leather coat I’ve been drooling over for ages but couldn’t afford, finally went on sale for half-price…back in September.