Ever since I started writing back in the late 1970s, I have made a list of New Years resolutions and foolishly printed them for all to see. I do so well with them for the first few weeks, but by February everything goes down the tubes. This year I will make my list, followed by what I know will happen so my family and friends dont harass me.
1. I will lose weight. I have been saying this ever since my son was born in 1970. I have yet to lose the pounds from that pregnancy and managed to put several more on in the process. I have the desire; however, as long as there are restaurants that serve mashed potatoes and gravy, French fries, baked potatoes, hash browns, etc., I will continue to break this first resolution. What can I say? My birthday is in February. Thats when the cheating starts.
2. I will watch my mouth. Looking back over 2002, I can think of several statements that I wish I could take back. I have a habit of jumping the gun or, as my darling husband would say, Youre overreacting again!
3. I will attempt to stop worrying about every little thing in my life and in my family and friends lives. Guess this could be connected to resolution No. 2. If I call my grandchildren and one of them is ill, I immediately want to drop everything and drive to Atlanta because Im sure its much worse than Im being told. A few years ago, I discovered what I thought was a large malignant mole on my body. After making an emergency appointment with my doctor, he informed it was simply a little wart and not to worry about it. I left the doctors office with my head held down. It was quite embarrassing, actually. Then I imagined them talking about me behind my back: Boy, Mrs. Fickle sure went off the deep end this time! I have since changed doctors and see no chance of my correcting this flaw in my character.
4. Keeping a clean house. Ho-Ho-Ho! I have a terrific lady who comes and cleans every other week. Wish I could afford her every week. Wish I could afford a live-in maid and nanny for the dogs. I have a bad back, you see. Housework makes it very bad. Sitting down and reading makes it very nice.
5. I will attempt to improve my driving record. If I go into detail about this, it would take up too much room. Maybe my husband will get over the fact that our insurance went up $300 every six months.
6. An attempt will be made to train my dog. We have a 60-pound puppy. She loves people, she loves chasing squirrels, she loves squeaky toys and, most importantly, she loves me! Certain people have complained about her enthusiasm, so I decided to take her to obedience school. She and I both failed. Now its up to me. I figure if she only jumps on people half a dozen times a day, my training will have been successful.
7. Exercising is something attempted for maybe two days. That stuff will kill you! I have a torture machine, commonly knows as a stationary bike. Its one that shows how far youve peddled and, so far, Ive made 1 mile before passing out. No need to even list this as a resolution. It will be out the window by Jan. 5.
8. Perhaps my cooking skills should appear on this list. I used to be an excellent chef. Dont know what happened. Age. Disinterest. Loss of coordination. Whatever. Its not working as well as it used to. My skill in the kitchen, that is. The eating part is going just fine. The worst recipe I tried in 2002 involved serving purple chicken. Maybe the answer is following the recipe instead of thinking I know better than Emeril.
9. Enduring and accepting constructive criticism. What am I talking about? This one will never fly.
10. Being a better friend. This is one I do hope will improve. Friends are one thing no one can live without. They always seem to be there for me. I try very hard to reciprocate and sometimes do a pretty good job. It could improve. Hey, guys, and you know who you are. I will definitely be there for you more this year.
Well, there you have it. Ten resolutions. Want to take bets on which ones will make it? You could probably get pretty good odds in Vegas.
Happy New Year, everybody!
(Pat Fickle is a Martinez resident.)
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