“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” -Anthony G. Oettinger, Linguist
In less than nine hours it will be 2018. In the spirit of Type A procrastinators everywhere (yes, it’s a thing), I wonder:
Do I have enough time to achieve all my 2017 resolutions?
In my head spins the refrain to the John Lennon Christmas classic, Happy Xmas (War is Over), reminding me that I haven’t done most of what I thought I would: and what have you done, another year over . . . My palms are sweaty, my right eyelid twitches. It’s been a busy year. I’ve done a lot. But those resolutions I write every year as the ball is about to drop, balancing a re-filled glass of wine between my fingers, are calling me from the deep part of my subconscious where they went before Happy New Year! was shouted with streamers.
Time to take stock. Written on hastily ripped graph paper in orange crayon at 11:55 PM December 31, 2016:
2017 Definitely Will Happen Resolutions
1. Weigh 125 lbs.
Unless I have a limb removed,* this is impossible.
Solution: Might as well enjoy that Lindt gold-wrapped chocolate ball staring at me on my desk.
2. Have book published.
Despite best efforts, this is not something in my control. My much edited and rewritten memoir manuscript is presently in the actual hands of a literary agent and in the metaphorical hands of the Memoir Goddess who I christen: Mary Karr. (Can you think of a better name? Mary Karr has penned three brilliant chronological memoirs which are evidence that it can be done. Well.)
Solution: Accept that I have given this my best effort and will either have a book deal in 2018, or need to find an agent willing to take a chance on my work. Buy new notebook and begin writing second memoir.
3. Organize papers, including the mountain in the closet, sitting on top of the filing cabinet.
I am a paper-person. I write long-hand. I still write checks. I write letters, insert them into envelopes, and affix stamps. I use a spiral-bound calendar made out of paper. I do not trust digital calendars, I trust trees. I live in a papery world and I like it. But is saving every utility bill and mortgage statement necessary when that part of life is online, and, we can safely assume, not a fad?
Solution: Plug in the shredder, feed it every paid invoice, and burn the ribboned heap in the fireplace in a symbolic gesture to simplicity. (Make sure not to shred entire family’s Social Security cards, which I know are in that pile. Also, make sure the flue is open.)
4. Catch up on reading. Stop reading multiple books at once.
My mother has a fantastic list of every book she’s read since the 1980s but more importantly, she finishes every book she begins. I aspire to this sort of organization. I have a leaning tower of books in several areas of my house: the nightstand (obviously), the kitchen counter, the living room book table (I don’t drink coffee), and sometimes piles appear on the staircase and the washing machine. I seem unable, however, to stay engaged with some books. Mid-read I will often reach for a book of poetry or a literary journal. This happens most with books people give me.
Solution: Forget it. I can never catch up or say no to a book someone gives me. And my life’s goal of being surrounded by books twenty-four hours a day cannot possibly happen in one year. I need another fifty. Also, I have absolutely no idea how many books I have read. Possibly one thousand. Which means there are at least one thousand books in my house I have not read. YAY!
5. Blog more frequently. Once a month, MINIMUM.
Solution: There’s always next year.
* Not a large limb, mind you- maybe my left arm to the elbow, or my right leg, up to the kneecap.