Tag Archives: time

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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How did THAT happen?

I’ve come to realize I’m not the most observant person, otherwise I likely would have seen this a while ago. Over the past few weeks I’ve been noticing certain things “missing” at home but I’ve never noticed anyone coming to take them.

No, the computer is still there, all the electronics, what little valuable jewelry I have is still tucked safely away in an open box on top of my dresser. My kitschy knickknacks are still on their shelves, and the dogs are always relatively undisturbed. There’s been no evidence of anyone breaking in, either through the door or one of windows.

And yet some things are just … missing.

At some point, when I obviously wasn’t looking, someone took my children and replaced them with young adults. Their childish giggles have turned to laughter – often at my expense, particularly when they’re laughing together. Their hands reaching out to take mine have been replaced by hands waving as they drive off on their own. And though they still sometimes turn to me for advice, they’re also prepared to give some.

The funny thing is I started noticing these missing things when I wasn’t even home. First when my 20-year-old son – the one I’ve been calling “Man/Boy” but should probably think of something else, or just call him “Justin” – asked me to mail his voter registration card, and then again a few weeks later when he talked to me about having gone and voted early. We were talking outside and then he went to his apartment and I opened the door to mine and noticed it then. Something was gone.

Earlier this week I noticed it, too, when I was in Ames with Teen Girl – my high school senior daughter who is seriously thinking about Iowa State.  Here we were, two hours from home and suddenly in the middle of this eight-hour campus visit I got the feeling something was missing. Sure enough, when we got home it wasn’t there.

This morning it really hit home – I took Teen Girl to go take her ACTs and met Man/Boy in the parking lot at 6:30 a.m. He had a mandatory seminar he had to go to for work, and he was actually leaving early. This is the same person who struggled to get out of bed at 6:30 to get to school just a few years ago.

I still catch myself every now and then wanting to give some piece of over-obvious parental advice, or caution them against Bad People or making Wrong Decisions. I forget sometimes that they’re 17 and 20 and instead try to picture them at 10 and 13. Or younger.

It’s great watching my “kids” start to become the adults they are going to be. But sometimes I wish time would slow down, just a little.

 

 

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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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