Cub Sweetheart, when asked about resolutions, always, always, always tells me he's never made one. I personally think that counts as making a resolution not to make resolutions. Whatever.
I, however, love resolutions enough for the both of us. I don't know if it's environmental or genetic or a little bit of both tossed in for good measure. My mother has always jotted them down on pads of paper she leaves out by the telephone. Just a few days ago, when I asked her, she said, "Oh, I have some really good ones!" I love that at almost 82 she's still at it, this self-improvement thing.
Woodie Guthrie, back when he was 31, made a list and it's fantastic fun. You can read it HERE. My favorite of his is #23. HERE'S a list of the most popular if you're interested.
Over the years I've leaned towards categories - Creative, Spiritual, Physical and Relational.
Here's my 2015 list:
#1 - improve photography skills (which may be tricky with a crummy cornea, as seeing clearly is relatively important when looking through a lens)
#3 - make quilts for last two granddaughters.
#4 - write. just write. Max Lucado says the hardest thing about writing is making your rear stay in the chair.
#5 - read. as much as possible. I thought about the 52 books in 52 weeks, but when you read Anna Karenina it should count as 5 books, first because of length and second because it's B.O.R.I.N.G. My goal, instead of 52 in 52 is 15,000 pages which equals about 52 books at 300 pages each. There may be days when People magazine read in the bathtub counts too, because we all have those days.
SPIRITUAL:#6 - Tackle reading the Bible again. Right now I'm behind about three months, but that means I made it through nine months; I'll tackle it again, January 1, coffee in hand, reading Genesis 1:1 "just feels so right" to me, thank you Debbie Boone.
#7 - Attend the Sally Clarkson conference in February.
#8 - Quiet time more days than not. Mornings have begun to feel right, coffee, Bible, journal and a daily devotional reading, followed by prayer time. I try to pray for my 'list' daily, and concentrate on each of our kids' family needs one particular day a week.
PHYSICAL:#9 - Get stronger, more limber, and rest consistently. Stronger has become more important than a flat stomach. Being able to hold up to the tasks of the day, not get injured, and be able totake a hike or walk at the zoo is important. I turn 60 in June, so that seems a good goal. Because really, a six-pack at my age seems a little creepy. Showing it seems more so.
RELATIONSHIPS:#10 - Call my parents every other week. Weeks, or more, go by between calls to them, my Dad more than my Mom. I don't call them nearly enough. I'll see my Dad this July for his 90th birthday party, and we'll have my Mom visit us at least once, but consistent, regular phone calls are becoming not only more important to them, but a priceless, fleeting gift to me.
#11 - Time with girlfriends. I want to be more intentional with investing time in relationships. No matter how close you are to your adult daughters, you need other girlfriends, for their sake and for yours.
#12 - Be present in the moment. How novel would it be to soak in the moment, rather than take a selfie, or a photo to put on instagram, thinking we're connecting, but with WHO? And certainly not with those we're with. So my goal is to have my phone become more of a tool than a crutch.
and a last, new category - what have I put off forever, keep saying I'll do but don't?
DREADED:#13 - Photographs. Boxes and organizers and piles and stacks, and a computer hard drive full, not only of ours, but my parents and his parents, til they are looming up at me, and both my girls have said, 'Mom, do NOT leave the photographs for us to deal with!" So I'm going to set aside one day a month when I do that - starting with deleting or throwing away half of them. Remember when we used real film, and took three shots in case someone's eyes were closed? Well, I have all three, including the eyes closed ones, so hopefully I can start deleting and cut the horrid collection in half. Then give all those blasted stickers and dooliedads to my grandkids to make fun stuff with, and make photo albums online, never touching a drop of glue, or cutting out a single flower.
These 13 feel good to me. When Cub Sweetheart asks me, on January 1, during the Rose Bowl parade, (and he will, with that look on his non-resolving face), 'so have you made any resolutions?', I'll wipe the icing from the canned cinnamon rolls off my lips, take a sip of coffee, and tell him, 'a few'.
How about you? Do you make them? Do you keep them? And what's your one dreaded that keeps coming up on your list but doesn't get done? Maybe this year?
And if you want to tell me your photographs are a dismal failure too I won't hate you for it.
PS I did buy the 'Day Designer, the Strategic Planner & Daily Agenda for living a Well-designed Life" by Whitney English (you can find her on Etsy), and it was pricey, but looks like a great way to get some of this accomplished. "Fail to plan = plan to fail!"