Friday, January 5, 2007

Resolution Realism

If my New Year’s resolution last year were to join a
clogging troupe and perform throughout East Tennessee in the nursing home/small
town festival circuit, I would have accomplished that goal with very little
effort. If it were to face the most
difficult challenge of my life and attempt to “tame” a strong-willed three year
old with a serious case of sibling rivalry by using a plethora of unsuccessful
but well-meaning discipline strategies, I would have succeeded. If it were to try and fail several times at
several different weight loss programs, I would be a resolution superstar. These, however, were not my New Year’s
resolutions in January of 2006. My 2006
resolutions looked something like this:

  1. Learn to play the guitar.

  2. Lose weight.

  3. Get in shape.

  4. Spend more quality time with my kids.

  5. Be a more conscientious consumer.

None of these things happened. I still struggle with my weight. My guitar playing skills are limited to two chords. My biceps are, well, less than defined. I still struggle with fitting true quality
time with my kids into my schedule and I continue to utilize retail therapy on a
regular basis. Hmmm… mission not
accomplished. Does anyone ever really
stick with their New Year’s resolutions or are they a short-term way to
motivate change in our lives? Do we
really intend to fulfill the resolutions that we make for ourselves or do we
just use this beloved tradition as a means for expressing what our ideal selves
would be? Does anyone ever even
remember their resolutions after Groundhog day?

In the tradition of this year’s Christmas letter, I’d like
to start a realistic New Year’s resolution movement. Take your hand-written resolutions out of the bottom of your
underwear drawer (I usually hide mine to ensure that people never find out what
a failure I really am) and take a look at them. Are they realistic? Is
there any way that you will actually accomplish them in the next 12
months? If not, put a big slash through
them and start anew. Here’s my new list
for 2007:

  1. Stop spending money on weight loss attempts you moron!

  2. Get my kids through the year with no major injuries.

  3. Keep up with Another Gray Hair.

  4. Get published (this is my loftiest goal but I can do it).

  5. Get my son to eat something other than bread, peanut butter, and chicken. (this one might be tied with number four for loftiness).

I’m pretty sure I can accomplish these goals. I did, after all, decide not to drop $40 a
month on a gym that I can’t use until May. Go me! I’m off to a great start
in 2007.


  1. If Julianne won't post this I will!! She can cross off #4 as she is now published. She submitted a piece to the "Double Toe Times", a national clogging magazine, and her article appeared in this month's issue. She didn't get paid for it, so I'm not sure that she officially considers it "being published", however it will be circulated to cloggers all over the nation, so I think it definitely counts! Hopefully, this is the first of many...and hopefully the next ones will bring home a little bacon. :) This is a start for sure! Congrats, Julianne.

  2. I read the comment from Jacquelyn, and I must say, "You Go, you toe tappin' Fool!!!" after all, published is published, I glow with pride every time my 'letters to the editor' get printed even though, they often change what I originally wrote to make me sound like a raving liberal maniac with psychotic tendacies.... Anyway, I'm behind you all the way on the resolutions, did I ever share with you that in 1976 my plans were to learn to play the banjo as well as Grandpa Jones... I've still got the banjo, I also have artheritic fingers and thumbs, and can't even get the thing in tune, but, like Martin, I, too, have a dream.

  3. Thanks Jacquelyn. I'm pretty happy about it. Too bad none of my friends or family subscribe to the Double Toe Times :)

  4. Papa Dale-
    You really need to learn to play the Banjo. I'd love that. Jacquelyn and I could clog and you could play. We could even make the big time, performing at Dollywood. Woo hoo!

  5. You know I actually own a banjo as well. You think I could clog AND play the banjo--at the same time??

  6. Jacquelyn-
    Everyone says you are a naturally gifted clogger. What's a banjo? I could learn to clog and play the guitar and we could be the clogging Indigo Girls. IT's a dream come true!

  7. I think new year's resolutions are a crock. I gave up on them in high school.