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Resolutions for all of us for 2013

NewYearsEve1As 2012 closed a final, slow, methodical close with no sign of zombies, Mayan ruination or other earthly implosion, I set about making my annual New Year’s Resolution list. Sure, there’s the one about weight loss (I view that one as more of a perpetual goal – aside from a few years post-divorce, that one’s been on the list every year since I was 12), there’s one seeking financial stability, then one for health and happiness.

While I fully plan to work toward my own resolutions, there are many I hope we as a collective can accomplish as 2013 passes.

1. Forget about Lindsay Lohan. I don’t mean as a person; if we see her sick and homeless on the side of the street, by all means, stop to help and give her a couple bucks or give her a ride to a shelter or doctor’s office. But really, the only “celebrity” she has anymore is due to her bad behaviour. Seriously, take away a few mediocre made-more-for-younger-audiences movies from her youth – “Mean Girls,” “Parent Trap,” and “Herbie Fully Loaded” – and what does she have, really? I mean, why do we even care? It’s bad enough that we pay attention to the misbehavings of Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen, but loathesome as their behavior may be they’ve both earned a name in the entertainment industry by being top-dollar actors and directors. (Although I really am no longer a fan of either man …)

2. Let’s just live and enjoy life without worrying about the ‘end of the world.’ I know there are a lot of superstitious people out there, but absent a group of scientists alerting the world to an incoming monster meteor or some such thing, no one really knows when or how the earth will end. Even those studying global warming say it’s nothing our generations will see. So can we all simply relax and enjoy life and work to make things better, instead of preparing for a mythical end?

3. Flash mobs are soooo 2008. Like any good thing, too much of it can ruin it. It happened with “Rocky” and “Karate Kid” (c’mon, ¬†admit it – the first one was good), the more you do it, the weaker it gets. There’s still a surprise element with flash mobs, but the uniqueness of them has gone the way of diet soda and online banking – they’re everywhere. Let’s give it a rest for a while, maybe it will come back.

4. Stop viewing single parenthood as the downfall of American society. Sure, it’s not ideal, but it’s a common fact of life in this age. And there are many of us who, quite frankly, do a pretty damned good job. We not only hold down jobs but have thriving careers. Our children not only stay out of jail but they work and volunteer and do good things. We pay our own way. We don’t “milk the system.” And we have brains and voices and opinions that deserve to be heard.

5. Stop caring about who is sleeping with whom and who is married to whom. Seriously. It’s none of anyone’s business. Period. And this goes for everything – celebrities, politicians, same-sex couples. There are so many more important things to worry about than anyone’s sex life.

6. Start a movement to get the word ‘ginormous’ removed from the dictionary. It’s not a word, it’s a goulash of letters, two words mixed together to make one word that means the very same thing: gigantic + enormous = ginormous. It’s idiotic + stupid = idiopid.

7. Give more. Help others in need. Give more time. Give more money. Give more ideas. Volunteer. Brainstorm.

8. Be happy. You may not always be able to control the circumstances, but you can always control how you let them affect you.

 

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New Year’s Resolutions? Hmph.

New Year’s resolutions are overrated.

Everyone posts grand plans for the new year – to lose weight, become more active in the community, save money, be smarter – and yet by about mid-February, the same time we’re buying Conversation Hearts and celebrating dead presidents, they’ve already fallen by the wayside. By June we’re wondering whatever happened and why we even bother.

My No. 1 resolution of last year was as it’s been for the last four years – to lose weight. My body either revolted or got confused and I ended the year a size larger than I started.

I also resolved to save more money and be more organized with my finances. That worked so well that I discovered in one month I had spent $300 at WalMart and Target on unnecessary things that added little to no value to my life. (Of course, box stores are evil so I partly blame the magnetic affect they have on me – I now drive out of the way around them to avoid that magnetic pull.)

Another goal of 2011 was to write a book. OK, that one was accomplished, making me three for three when it comes to years in which I’ve had a book contract. But because I’m an independent contractor when those contracts do come around there are no taxes taken out of my checks. Because I fail miserably at the saving money resolution, tax time means an IOU to the IRS – and you really don’t want to mess with those guys.

This year I’m making it easy: I resolve to get rid of junk.

All that extra “stuff” I let take up my time? It’s junk – and it’s gone. That garbage I continue to think about and never do anything about, either because I can’t or I won’t. Erased. And yeah, I’ll still address that junk in my trunk – hopefully this year with better results.

 

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On to 2010

Every year I make a list of things I resolve to complete during the next 12 months. I write them down, fold them up and put them in an envelope, then store them away until the end of December, when I pull them out to see how many I’ve actually accomplished.

This year I’m making it a little more public. If I can’t do a great job of holding myself accountable to my resolutions, then maybe anyone reading this can help me along.

1. Yeah, yeah, the weight loss thing. Every year it’s the same thing, and every year it’s the same result. This time I have a goal in mind: I want to drop at least one size before my son’s high school graduation in May. Notice there are no pound restrictions attached? I don’t care what I weigh, just what I feel comfortable in.

2. Do something new and different each month. I’m not thinking of bungee jumping or riding a camel bareback, but things that take me out of my comfort level, just for a bit. Like, when meeting a friend for a drink going on into the bar and waiting alone. Going to a movie alone. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Push the personal development just a little.

3. Do a “vegetarian day” one day each week. Take the day to cleanse out all the fats and toxins absorbed by meat.

4.¬† Enjoy the kids’ company. I was once cajoled for spending too much time with my kids and not enough time on me, but you know what? My time with the kids is limited. I’ve got one graduating this year and the other in three years – and then I’ll have so much time with myself I won’t know what to do.

5. Breathe. Sometimes — a lot of times — I get so caught up in the busy-ness of life that I forget to breathe. I need to remember to do that more often.

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