That Other List

If I’d been doing the scheduling, Christmas and New Year’s Day would be separated by, say, a month…or more. Then, when the new calendar took over, both after-Christmas clearance sales and snarled holiday travels would be safely in the past, and everyone could focus on making their list of New Year’s resolutions.

As it is, we segue all-too-quickly from a hopeful list to one that’s impossible. How can anyone concentrate on changing their life when every confusing day between Christmas and January One is brimming with televised football games, leftovers, and 75% markdowns? During this period I can barely remember the date, let alone the day. (When you get up tomorrow, don’t look at the front page of the paper (or your Home Page on the internet) and you’ll see what I mean.)

I stopped sending notes to Santa many years ago (it was easier to phone instead) but I’ve always had difficulties with resolutions. They’re like secrets only you know, and if you fail to give them life…they pass quietly and are forgotten. I think my problem has been that I make too many resolutions, and then feel badly when I forget half of them. (Resolution #1: Write things down on paper.)

There’s also a problem of making resolutions too broad to keep. Since I’m a photographer I could resolve to use a tripod whenever I’m shooting landscapes, but there are too many variables there…the light’s changing, I’ve got to hurry, and I didn’t pack the tripod anyway…so that’s not going to make the final cut.

I think I’m going to keep my 2010 list short, and simply try to see new places and things with an open mind and eyes, learn some other new things, and do the best I can with them until it’s time to write a sequel next December.

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” —Ellen Goodman


One thought on “That Other List”

  1. “… segue all-too-quickly from a hopeful list to one that's impossible.” All too true. I stopped making resolutions a millennia ago because eventually I would forget what I originally resolved myself to do. Now, I just do what I do and try to pay attention so that I appreciate what I do.

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