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Planning for New Year's Eve & Resolutions
It’s that time of year again. Planning for New Year’s Eve and consideration for resolutions and intentions for the new year. The struggle is real.
I have a New Year’s Eve tradition that I look forward to each year. I don’t drink, and New Year’s Eve parties have always been depressing for me. Forced good moods and non-intimate gatherings that probably work fine if you have a significant other, but if you are alone, they are lonely moments leading up to the ball falling and kisses all around with whomever happens to be standing next to you. It never worked for me.
As a result, I created a tradition after my divorce thirty years ago that I love and covet. Each year I go to a movie in the afternoon (often with a friend), and sometimes have an early dinner afterward. I then get home by 7:00 p.m. at the latest, and I sit down and write someone from my past a letter. A long, long letter. I tell them every memory that comes to mind of them in my life. I talk about what I’ve learned from them. I talk about how grateful I am to have had them in my life. The letter is often forty or fifty pages. I send the letter the next day snail mail, and inevitably the call comes a week later with the person receiving the letter thanking me for one of the great gifts they have received.
It’s fun. It’s reflective. And, I love the way it makes me feel.
I then move on to New Year’s Resolutions that I put on paper each year with earnest intentions, but I’ve never kept them. Not one. Not for the whole year anyway. Screw it. Let’s be honest, I don’t think I’ve kept a resolution for a week. This year, I want to make a New Year’s resolution that I will keep the entire year. I’m not so good at those types of commitments. Friends and family. I’m there for life.
One year I resolved to exercise, another to stop eating sugar. Never speak ill of another person was another year’s resolve. What the hell was I thinking? Why do we make these momentous resolutions rather than a baby step resolution that might actually work. Like… let’s see. Brush my teeth one extra time a day. Walk the dog one extra time a week. Send birthday cards rather than email greetings. That could work. Pick something that is less like climbing Mt. Everest and more like walking up a sand dune.
Here are my top ten under consideration:
1. Start using coupons. My friend uses coupons and she swears by them. It takes a little time each week, but I could do it. I don’t even know where you find them. They used to arrive in the mail, but I’m pretty sure my friend downloads them from the Internet.
2. Wash my sweaters using a gentle cleanser in the sink instead of taking them to the dry cleaner. It is much more economical and it is better for the environment. Yes, I’m liking that one.
3. Call a friend a day. If they call me it would count as my call. I email friends numerous times during the day, but we rarely speak on the phone anymore. Once a day though might be too much.
4. Keep a diary of the number of hours I watch streaming platforms and evaluate it at the end of the year. I will never do this one, but it comes to mind as I think about limiting screen time. It’s right up there with reading two books a week.
5. Have plants in my office and not kill them for one year. Or, maybe one month? Nuff said.
6. Read cover to cover my guide for my car and learn what all the buttons mean. I have had it for two years and it’s time to learn what it can do.
7. Plan my vacation more than a week in advance. That would mean committing to taking a vacation. Yikes. I’m a mess.
8. Brush my dog Bay once a week. Ok, how about once every two weeks?
9. Clean out the car each time I leave it. Or, remove the trash as I create it in the car.
10. Not make resolutions and accept my imperfect self just the way I am.
I think I’m going to go with number 10. Even that one, though, would be difficult to keep.