Of course you don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I’m certainly not accusing you of such a thing. No sophisticated, grounded, pragmatic or even dreamer person over the age of 12 makes New Year’s resolutions. Preposterous. Nor am I about to suggest you make this year, the start of a new decade, in a very young century, in the midst of a worrisome economic state, and therefore a superlative time, actually, to do such a thing, no. No, I am not urging you to make a few New Year’s resolutions.
I’ll just suggest you stew about it.
Meanwhile, I have talked myself into it. It’s going to be cool, see. It will be an intellectual exercise. It will be a 2010 spiritual awakening. Maybe a bit of a wake-up call for ill-used time in 2009. I even see creating a list of New Year’s resolutions as a reward for having had a good sense of humor when it poured rain on the poinsettias the day of my party, and they were ruined and I had to go get more when I had better things to do.
But most of all I am going to create this list because I am a writer. And as all writers know, we love making lists. It’s in the job description.
Note: this is a rough draft. It isn’t actually 2010 as I write. The Christmas presents are still strewn under the Christmas tree, and a few visiting nieces of the teenage persuasion are lolling languidly about the place, so I can’t be said to be in my right mind. But it will be close enough to get me thinking about this New Year.
I’m going to read more. Good stuff, see. Not just Vogue, Coast, Tin Tin, billboards, and subtitles on foreign films. I used to be one of those bookworms who got stacks of books for Christmas. Now I get jewelry and checks, which while fab, is going in a worrisome direction. And I’m going to aid and abet this by shopping in Laguna’s bookstores. Barnes and Noble will just have to get along without me.
I’m going to take up the tango. This is so that I may work on my humility, discipline, and legs. I am not going to take my lessons in Laguna, but I used to take ballet at Ballet Pacifica, and if they offered the tango I’d go there. But working on humility and my legs in Laguna seems so right, so living by the Pacific, so Sawdust festival.
I’m going to walk more. Walking meditations, see. Green. I will make sure to smile at everyone I pass, which doesn’t come easily. This smiling at strangers will make me a better person. It will help me love my fellow man, which is always a difficult issue for me. Maybe I’ll even make a route on Laguna Canyon Road. It’s an odd place, Laguna Canyon Road. The closest dose of urban Laguna has. Could be enthralling at ground level.
I am going to learn to tolerate my family as well as I do my friends. And I am going to learn to love my friends as I do my family. Maybe neither will be pleased, but it will do my soul a world of good.
I’m sort of thinking about checking out different churches. You know, to go on one of those spiritual quests people go on when they are 21 and totally rejecting their parents religion. But I need to be sure my motives are pure and indeed spiritually driven, not simply to check out the cars in the parking lot and by virtue of that, the men.
And of course, in there between the lines I will insert, in small type, that I will do better with all things ecologically helpful. I will not shout angrily at anyone who picks on Obama or disagrees with me on the subjects of abortion and immigration issues. I will not speed. And I will be open to all idiotic…er, I mean benign…suggestions for improvement that continue to come my way, no matter how many New Year’s resolutions I make.
Ruth Yunker is a writer and humorist whose book “Me, Myself, and Paris: One Stiletto in the Notre Dame, the Other in the Grocery Store” will be out in spring 2010.