Resolute against change

Motherfessions tales from the ‘hood

Posted: Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here we are, Dec. 31, and it’s that time of year to once again procrastinate, (I mean consider) picking the pine needles out of the carpet, untangle and store those lights and Christmas ornaments, write thank-you notes to grandma, and (groan) fess up to friends and family what this year’s resolution is going to be.

I’ve done this for a number of years now (no, I’m not telling how many years, as self-depreciating honesty has never been something I’ve aspired to). You’d think I’d be an expert at this resolution gig, or at least be closer to achieving some state of physiological-moral-carnal-domestic perfection by now. Nope. Not even close. The sad fact is I have simply refined my aptitude for redefining my priorities and found more and better things to consider giving up.

For instance, I like sleeping in until at least 5:30, something I can relish in now that Patrick sleeps through the night and my daughter and her little night owls recently moved into their own apartment. I absolutely revel in a leisurely 15 minutes to myself before launching like a New Year’s rocket into my day, as opposed to creeping out of bed at some (more) insane hour only to risk life and limb dogging traffic, ruining my arches and predisposing my knees to a premature onset of arthritic symptoms.

And now that our cupboards aren’t stuffed with Gerber cuisine and Zwieback biscuits, I’ve been trying out a few treats designed for the over-12 crowd. I know, I know, at my age I should start watching my weight, salt and cholesterol, but have I never met a celery stick that tastes anything remotely like cheesecake topped with a fine chocolate-raspberry ganache. I can also guarantee that no matter what is done to a square of tofu it will never hold a buttery garlic breadstick to a succulent slab of prime rib. No diet this year, I’m sticking to my ’99 resolution 10 live life to the fullest (remember when we all thought Y2K might topple life as we knew it?). Well, I say, you never know, so carpe diem!

Call me superstitious, but I fear it is bad luck to undo previous resolutions. And clearly, if I took up some form of physical torture and embraced nutritional deprivation I would undo my 1980 resolution to get enough rest and my ‘84, ‘85, ‘86, ‘87 and my ‘97, ‘98 resolutions to eat well (and in sufficient quantities) — never mind that I was either pregnant and/or nursing during those years. And least I forget my ’99 resolution to accept people as they are, guess that must mean accepting myself as well. Besides, according to my driver’s license, I’m the perfect weight for someone 5’11, and heck, since my arches haven’t fallen from beating my soles against hard pavement or the harsh terrain of the treadmill those 3-inch heels should put me at an ideal spot on the charts.

Getting organized is one of the top 10 yearly threats many folks make. The concept has some merit, in theory at least. I could become slightly neurotic and file, label and/or frame 20-some years of family photos, floss more often, pay my late library fines, sort the socks, start preparing my taxes, shave my legs, exfoliate and in general clean up my act. But what’s the sense in developing a self-induced stress-related disorder? Home should be a place of comfort, not stress, and my home has that comfortable “lived-in look.” Lived in by gorillas, yes, but I worked hard at achieving that post-post-partum casual look.

If I did revamp my organizational system I’d never be able to find a thing. I operate well on what my friend Deb calls the “archeological dig” method. When I need to hunt down that particular receipt, permission slip or bill that is due, uhumm today, I just go through the layers. Let’s see ... my wedding garter, a positive pregnancy lab slip, last year’s Halloween carnival flier, a conference slip, oh wow! my coffee punch card, overdue notices from the Kenai, Soldotna and K-Beach libraries, a coupon for a free turkey if I buy $50 worth of grub, a fan belt, I must be getting closer, last Friday’s paper, I’m getting close now ... . It’s all very exciting, so I better continue honoring the ’01 resolution I made with my sis Lisa — keeping an element of adventure and suspense in our lives.

I’m still unresolved as to what I should resolve to do or not do this year. Quitting smoking is definitely out as I love my fish that way. Quitting drinking is always a popular theme, however I fear dehydration. Aren’t we all supposed to take in eight, eight-ounce servings a day? Then again, I could consider updating my ‘feminine” skills that seem to be stuck in a permanent state of requiring remediation. For instance, I could learn to bake, sew and iron — except I don’t own an iron and that would require buying one and — that’s right, I have to stick with my ’02 resolution of not overspending, and it wouldn’t prudent to defeat my ’03 intentions to empower my husband’s domestic prowess or my ’04 pledge support my entrepreneur sisters Sara Lee, Mrs. Stouffers, Mrs. Fields and good old Betty Crocker.

Then there was the ’05 pledge to embrace new technologies. Therefore, I would be remiss in employing any attempts to emulate Rachel Ray or neglect wonderfully progressive inventions such as permanent press, fabric glue and duct tape.

Well, would you look at the time, my column was due a four days ago and there are only 358 shopping days left until we can do this all over again. Wait a minute — because that’s all the time I currently have — I’ve got it! This year I’m getting in touch with my masculine side. That’s right, I’m gunna get’er done! I’m tossing those ornaments and lights in a box. Better yet, I’m leaving them in place for next year. Then I’ll abandon my “mama do” list, my jeans that are headed to the abyss of my laundry room, grab a burger and go ice fishing,

My resolution? I forgot.

Jacki Michels is a writer, mother and resolution-phobe who lives in Soldotna.



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