Feeling jolly? Anyone?
The ghost of Christmas just past is visiting me at this very moment as I consider the various excesses the season has already delivered. Once again I have eaten more than I intended, spent more than I intended, watched more lousy Christmas specials than I intended, and feel even more inadequate as partner, parent, friend, citizen of the world, and physical specimen. Hence, thus, I grab an unopened piece of junk mail and pencil in the quick survey of acts and attitudes in need of immediate correction on the back of the envelope, starting, of course, with the resolution to find any of the small pads of note paper left by the plumber, the electrician, and the construction company. Which reminds me of the various projects they have taken on here in the course of the past year, which prompts my first resolution.
I resolve not to mess up the plumbing, the circuit board, the deck, the air filters, the garage door, the locks, or the garden again.
But I will. I see things that need repair or upkeep everywhere, and I can’t leave them alone. I could call for help, seek the advice of a professional, say, one who has both knowledge and appropriate tools. I could, yes, but at what cost? In abdicating my role as handy problem solver I am diminished and weakened. I admit that I am a pathetic victim of technology, incapable of taking care of my own lair.
No, best to roll up the sleeves, buy apparati I will never need again, and begin the process of dismantling some portion of our home. For a professional, any of these projects would be the work of a half-hour at most; I will spend three weeks and many extra dollars fixing the mistakes I make. Chaos will reign and my emotional intelligence will atrophy as the blinking sander coughs and dies and the newly applied stain on the deck bubbles and peels.
It’s Home Depot, I think, who promises, “You can do it, and we can help.”
Uh, no I can’t and no, you can’t.
Time to organize the photos and documents stuffed into boxes, cupboards, and shelves.
No, it isn’t
I will not eat after seven o’clock at night.
This one came from Oprah as I recall, in a late afternoon conversation about diets that work and diets that don’t. Not that Oprah and I were conversing; I’m pretty sure she had one of her resident experts explaining that it’s not great to eat junk food while binging on Game of Thrones. He (Dr. Oz, perhaps?) is surely right, and yet, what’s the alternative?
Do I have greater need of comfort and solace at four in the afternoon or at eleven as the last local news show begins? And, even if I were serene enough to pass on late evening snackage, we often don’t get home in time for a 6:00 meal. Since we’re tucking in at about 7:20, and since it’s been a long hard day in retirement, it’s dark outside, and the world is in the shape it’s in, it seems cruel to withhold a few lime infused corn chips from Trader Joe’s.
I’m going to give up lime infused corn chips from Trader Joe’s
This year I’ll send out New Year’s greetings without a xeroxed update on every member of the family. And the dogs.
Look, it’s not that I assume my small circle of friends is hovering by the mailbox, yearning for yet another description of my kids’ attainments; that seems improbable. On the other hand, I miss those friends and want to have a sense of the texture of their lives. I’m likely to hear about the really big events, but kids learn to swim, and a beloved pet dies, and the knitting project is finally finished, and I want to hear a friend’s voice filling me in on a year full of change and challenge.
So, I’m mailing out the xeroxed sheet tomorrow.
I won’t buy the used red Alfa Romeo convertible available at an unbelieveably low price at a gas station near the edge of town.
Yeah, that one I actually will keep. Again.