New Year’s Not-Resolution List

I hate New Year’s Resolutions.  “Lose Weight” or “Go To The Gym” or “Be Nicer To People” or “Take Up [Fill-in-the-Blank] Hobby” — all destined for failure on anyone’s list, especially that of the under-achiever.  At the end of year (if not by February), the realization that nothing got scratched off is not only demeaning and unproductive, it’s just plain wrong.

I’m doing it differently.

Ten Things I Resolve to NOT DO in 2013

10.  Bitch about my kitchen.

Because it looks like a complete remodel of the famously dysfunctional kitchen may be in order for the year, including 6 months of deconstruction and reconstruction, being displaced to an apartment or rental house during the process, and the ultimate canceling of our planned-in-advance Colorado summer vacation which would be going on at precisely the most critical time of the project, I’m afraid I’ll have to direct incessant griping gentle suggestions in those arenas instead.

9.  Volunteer more at school.

Once all the kids entered school, I thought I’d have lots of free time to catch on all the tasks and chores that piled up over the 10 years I was caring for young children at home.  For some reason, saying “no” was not what I did best last last year.  So following  Junior Achievement ending in January, managing the annual carnival and fundraiser that pulls together in April, I will revert back to just the PTA board position in membership position for the second year — something I can do mostly from home.

8.  Get a dog.

That furry little guy sure was fun, but what a distraction he was.  I will continue to cross my arms and put my foot down whenever the question is asked:  “Can we get a dog?  Please, please, please?  I promise I’ll take care of him.”  Yeah, right.  If your clothes were a dog, it’d be decomposing in your closet right now.

7.  Labor tirelessly in my yard.

I will still plan to grow and eat edibles from our property.  Aside from the annual mulching task which is just about done, planting an espalier orchard — hole-digging will be hired — and throwing a bunch of seeds in the ground after tossing yard debris into beds, I will let Mother Nature do what she does best — gardening and providing bounty for our tummies.  Yes, ma’am.  I’ll get out of the way and let you orchestrate.  I won’t even boss you as you do it.  (No, Scott…you’re still not off the hook.)

6.  Give a damn how many of our spring peaches the woodpeckers and squirrels eat.

The red-shouldered hawks are setting up shop in our trees again this year, so in a short time, slow fat squirrels will become tasty morsels for hawklets.  I can still throw rocks at crows on the fig trees because it’s just fun.

5.  Obsess over the turf grass in my front yard.

I didn’t do it during the drought — to the dismay of the daily-watering neighbors — and I didn’t do it last year.  Though our front lawn continues (even now in winter) to be the greenest, thickest turf in the ‘hood, I am somehow rewarded for my neglect.  So be it.

4.  Put trash to the curb for the landfill.

But I do reserve the right to steal others’ when it suits me.    And I will continue being in charge of recycling materials myself, because a mandatory $250 a year to the city apparently does not include pick up of this kind.  (I will also continue to hen-peck at the HOA to include this service in our future contracts.   I can be a painfully persistent little bugger.)

Thankfully, someone ELSE’S kids. Mom’s probably blogging. (Photo credit: Handforged)

3.  Do every little thing for my kids when they ask it.

They are fully equipped with limbs, thumbs, and a brain. When one of them disrupts me to come do a menial task for him, I promise to uncross my arms, direct with loving authority from behind with instructional how-to’s, and no matter how big a mess he makes doing it the first time, cringe  I will continue the mantra for my kids (as well as my sanity):  “They are capable, compassionate people, they are capable, compassionate people…”

2.  Go back and finish college.

I’ve moved this from my Resolutions List (it’s been there for 10 years).  I’ll be too busy preparing a home-school curriculum for a middle-schooler come fall.  And perhaps three others at the right time. But I can still read and learn to my heart’s delight, right?

1.  Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest.

Nearly one full year off Facebook (I’ve never been on Twitter or Pinterest) and here is what they offered me (from an-active-but-not-deactivated Facebook account) when I clicked “See Your 2012 Year in Review,” which was the only link on my blank personal page:

You don’t currently have enough posts to see your 2012 year in review.
Post something now or read Facebook trends from 2012.

Perhaps if they knew how to link to me on WordPress, they might just learn something useful (like the fact that targeting ads for someone who doesn’t shop or buy anything is just plain silly).

* * *
Happy New Year, People!
(Now, get busy breaking those resolutions.)

32 thoughts on “New Year’s Not-Resolution List

    1. Ha! Funny you should ask.

      I straight away broke resolution #9 when it was clear the committee was short-staffed for 5th grade functions near the end of the school year. I’m only JUST NOW finishing with that commitment. But mostly, I’ve been a “no” girl all year. 🙂

      Also, technically, #10 has also been broken, but not for my old kitchen — for a small apartment kitchen. Only a month or so to go!


      1. I’d say you’re doing pretty darn awesome with these then! How many people do as well with ‘typical’ resolutions? I had two resolutions this year: to meditate everyday and to lift weights 3 times a week. How’s it going? Well… let’s just say that I might try your Not Resolutions next time. Celeste 🙂


  1. Where do I begin with how much I love this post? Can you hear me cheering you on? Yay sister! No more bitchin’ about our kitchens, no more slaving over our gardens (I am ALL about low maintenance AKA tough-as-Hades plants). And the volunteering at school?? I might have to lay down just REMEMBERING how exhausting my handful (Ok, three) times accompanying field trips were. Made my respect for teachers increase, tho! And a dog? I cannot imagine how much work one would’ve been WITH kids. I got this lovely dog, for ME, when the youngest was 16, with my eyes wide open that she would be my responsibility. But when they were young? Uh… No. Fish? Maybe.

    Oh man! This is such a long comment already and I haven’t even commented on how much I love that pic! I saw it on FB maybe a couple of years ago and laughed then groaned knowingly (it could’ve been my kids if they’d ever found the paint).

    Reducing our garbage to as close to zero as possible is a passion of mine too! And NOT doing everything for our kids is important (Lord help me get this 20 year old out on his own!). And college..? Pffft. You will learn plenty on your own time, on the internet, and in researching and teaching your home curriculum. There’s plenty of time to add letters behind your name later 🙂
    Ok how’s THIS for a huge comment! Whew. I’ve outdone myself, but you’ve inspired me.
    Warm hugs from a comrade-in-arms (aka, a hugging mom) ~Gina


    1. You are such a shoe-in for this blog. We have much in common, my dear, and I believe we are only just beginning to know the depths of our similarities. Too delighted to have to here. Cheers!!


  2. Great list … sounds like you’ll have plenty to fill up the time even without those 10 things you won’t be doing. Just promise that you won’t hit the crows.

    I’d quite forgotten that the Internet is fueled by ads thanks to many years of using AdBlock on all my browsers (it’s free, and well worth an investment of 30 seconds to download).

    All the best for 2013. Keep on doing what you do, and sharing.


      1. It’s temporary. I was getting bored with the fall look of the theme, so made a temp switch to the winter version. I do like the theme, but would like some different widgets.

        So I’m shopping themes at the moment. I’ll poll my readership to see what wins out before changing for the year. You can have your say in it too.


    1. You know me, I never aim to kill or maim. It was quite funny bouncing one of the kids’ flip-flops off a fat squirrel. We continue to laugh about that one. It apparently doesn’t deter them either.


    2. I should check out AdBlock. I’ve learned to just ignore them. It sucks to accidentally click one though. Yes. Advertising owns the Internet, much as the yellow pages of yore.


  3. Love this! Explain that pic to me. I laughed so hard when I saw it…

    Um, yeah, about FB. I hate, hate, hate FB. I try not to visit it and really, I just want to delete my account but I think my in-laws would kill me. It’s the only way they get to see pics of their grandkids. I also hate Twitter with every fiber of my being. I am just not a tech-savvy, social media person and never will be.


    1. We so need to talk. You know Darla? On photos and video: SD card. Mail back and forth. A 4G card holds a TON of both, the in-laws can view on their computer or take to the local photo store to have prints (of their choosing) made with them.

      On Facebook, join my ranks! You will thank yourself for it later.

      That photo came up when I searched “kids mess” when writing the post. I simply HAD to use it, if not to lure my followers from their reader (since it’s the only photo), for shear guffaw value. I’m learning…


  4. I do have one thing I want to do this year but it has nothing to do with a New Year’s Resolution. I want a bigger garden and a bigger garden I shall have.

    Also, my main nonresolution: I won’t put effort into relationships that drain me.


    1. You are so right with that last one: it also belongs on my NOT list. Sometimes (sadly) it involves beloved family members. But I’m learning to manage that one.


  5. I keep trying to come up with a response, but I can’t get that picture of the kids covered in paint out of my head! My 4 year old son actually did a Jackson Pollock number on our family room last year. Couches, carpet, everything saturated with several colors of bottled acrylic paint. Everyone always asked why I didn’t take a picture. Um, I was too busy crying and cleaning before it dried on all the surfaces! Thank goodness I’d bought a carpet cleaner the week before….


    1. Ah Geez!! You know every mom has got one or two of those. And those that don’t? Perhaps we shouldn’t tell them their mess “joys” just will come later during the teen years — when toys and space are a bit more expensive.

      Yes, we’ve had a few of those here too! Like you, I never thought to take pictures, only to clean up right away. I do have an awfully cute video of a 3-yr-old Ginny “cleaning up” the glass of egg nog she spilled on the kitchen table — complete with big sister holder her hair out of the way. Wouldn’t want to get too sticky, you know. LOL


      1. Too cute! Your girls are darling! All parents will eventually get a taste of something like this. We had 4 months of poo painting extravaganza. SOOO glad that was just a toddler phase. I was ready to burn my house down rather than clean it up one more time.


      2. “Poo painting.” Can honestly say I didn’t have ANY of that. Not even with four. So glad you pulled that short straw. (I’m laughing about your house burning comment.)


  6. Great read. I’ve always used my birthday to make those little “promises” to myself about the coming year…they’re so much easier to keep when it’s May!


    1. Wow, Steve! I love that your popping in nowadays. When are you going to start your own blog? You’d love it. You should go visit Elaine’s blogs too. She’s a way better writer than I am.

      PS — We May babies gotta stick together. 🙂


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