Be it resolved

Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who has not made at least a short list of resolutions, only to see them dissolve? We all have good intentions: get fit, quit smoking, keep my office clean, get organized and so forth. Four years ago, after years of feeling noble for the first 14 days of a new year and 50 weeks of feeling like an abject failure, I resolved to make no more resolutions. I did just fine with that one ... up until two weeks ago.

In the waning days of 2009, I decided to take the 2010 calendar I had purchased in late October to work. When the initial search for the calendar went unrewarded, I consulted with Mrs. Poynor about it.

"Have you seen my calendar?"

"Which calendar would that be? You seem to have a calendar for every room in the house."

"Not every room in the house," I argued, "only rooms where I do stuff."

"Oh, that's right; you let me hang a calendar in the kitchen. But to answer your question, no, I have not seen a renegade calendar running about." She then continued in her best mom to small child tone, "Have you gone back in your mind to remember where you last saw it?"

Wives are like that; sometimes they forget they're talking to their spouses, instead of small children. However, to give credit where it is due, her suggestion worked. I remembered taking the envelope containing the calendar up to my office, and laying it on my desk.

With that detailed mental picture blazing in my mind, I dashed up to the office to check the desk.

In the best of normal circumstances, there is a reason Mrs. Poynor insists on hanging a sign on the door identifying the room as solely my office, and insists that the door be kept closed at all times.

It has always been my philosophy that if a man's home truly is his castle, then he ought to be afforded the right to keep his office like a disheveled dungeon.

What greeted me when I launched the quest for the lost calendar was a towering pile of papers, books, magazines and other ephemera. I could tell the desk was still there because the legs were visible, though somewhat bowed under the weight of the burden heaped upon it.

I felt like an archeologist as I carefully studied the precarious pile to determine what layers represented what timeframes. The estimations began by carefully examining the various layers of paperwork for telltale signs of dates.

Junk mail became the method of carbon dating. If there was something upon which the words, "Important! Dated material, you must respond by..." was stamped, it was carefully extracted to determine the approximate date of arrival.

In short order, it became apparent that late October was so far down into the stack that it would not be possible to safely attempt a simple extraction. The chance for a dangerous avalanche was far too great. It was then that I broke my resolution; I resolved to delve into the pile immediately after the first of the year, and clean up my desk while I was at it. The calendar wasn't needed until the fourth, anyway.

On the second day, of the second decade, of the second millennium, I delved into the pile to fulfill my resolution. Things were picked and pitched with zeal. A small pile began to appear on the floor behind me of the things that were worth keeping. The top layer was the last of the Christmas catalog offerings, intermingled with a few errant Christmas cards. I dug deeper, now in a fevered pitch.

Into the layer representing the second week of December, I found a bank statement. Not a problem, it's another week before the next statement will arrive. I dug on.

Into November, and another unopened bank statement. Easy enough to balance the checkbook with three statements handy. I picked and pitched some more.

I was down to the first week of November, and only halfway through the pile when the business license renewal reared its ugly head. "Oops ... my bad. Better save that one." And on I dug.

There were phenomenal offers -- long expired -- and various pleas for funds from charities as diverse as the "Labrador Research Center for Drool Control," and another unopened bank statement. All were cast aside like chaff in the fevered search for the golden calendar. I was on a roll. I was into the second week of October.

The letter from the Borough Tax Department pulled me up short. "Uh-oh ... way my bad. This one goes in my pocket." And the frenzied digging continued as I neared the bottom of the stack. Envelopes and circulars were flying when yet another unopened bank statement appeared, along with on old paycheck from the Clarion. I didn't have time to worry about finances, I was less than eight inches from the bottom of the stack.

While scraping the last of the old mail and whatnot off the desk, I spied a calendar. GLORY HALLELUJAH, I FOUND IT!

I clasped my long-lost calendar tightly to my breast in a fond reunion. I held it out to examine it fully in all its beauty. It said, "Guns of the Old West, 2003."

This year, I resolve to ...

A.E. Poynor lives in Kenai.

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