So, friends…. This is the time of year when we talk about New Year’s resolutions. Some people don’t make any; others resolve to do one (or all) of the Big 3: Lose weight, stop smoking, make more money.
Me, I’m on the fence. The only thing I want more of is time, and God isn’t giving anybody extra hours in the day.
As 2012 looms ever closer, sometimes it seems my life is simply a long series of appointments. Almost every day is bracketed by visits to the dentist, eye doctor, family doctor, gynecologist, dermatologist, veterinarian, insurance man, hair salon, bank, car dealership, and on and on it goes.
As I fly up and down the road (I mean, as I faithfully obey speed limits), I forget to be mindful of the blessing of time.
No matter how harried the day, there is still time. Granted, it flies by at warp speed, a lot faster than it used to. When I was 10 I believed that time had stopped in my little corner of the world. We lived in the country with few neighbors, and if it hadn’t been for books I would have slap lost my mind. I used to read five or six a week. Now I miss those lazy childhood days.
But, if you’re breathing right this moment, there’s still time. Time to love. Time to learn from old regrets. Time to be aware of the beauty in every fleeting moment. Or not. (Just kidding.)
Back to resolutions. As human beings, we’re hard-wired to improve. Generally speaking, we want to do better to feel better. So now I’m off the fence. There are some things I should do next year, and here they are:
• Eat more chocolate. (I actually don’t like it much, but the dark variety is supposed to be good for your heart or hair or something.)
• Go to bed earlier. At my age there is no earthly reason to be up at 1 a.m. on a Tuesday.
• Travel more. Self-explanatory.
• Go all out on Christmas decorations. (I’m so cheap frugal that in the six years Widdle and I have been wed, I’ve not bought a tree or stockings. Tra-la-la-la-la!)
• Judge less.
• Exercise every single day. For years I’ve taken Sundays off, but lately I’ve decided there’s no good reason for this, and exercise on the seventh day. Maybe I can maintain the momentum in 2012, or until my knees give out.
• Cook less, at my husband’s request. Seriously, folks.
• Make time for friends, which means making an effort when I’d rather stay home. As my husband preaches, “To make a friend you have to be a friend.”
• Pick up Miss Nicky every day and kiss her fat, wet nose.
• Read more on the sunny sofa in the living room. When I decided to leave full-time journalism behind, I envisioned lolling on the sofa for hours, reading Larry McMurtry novels. Ha! Didn’t happen.
• Buy extra for the food pantry at church when I go to the grocery store.
• Take vitamins every day even though 10 minutes later I feel green and queasy.
• Adopt another dog. (Widdle doesn’t exactly know this yet.) There’s no better feeling than being able to save a life.
• Wash my running socks before they actually crawl out of the clothes hamper.
• Take on the responsibility of mowing the yard and trimming the hedges. Oh, who am I kidding?
Julie R. Smith, who has a great deal of room for improvement, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.