… Not to take resolutions too seriously
By Jeff Salter
I don’t think much about ‘new years’ resolutions, frankly. At least I didn’t until this week when I’ve read three columns (so far) here on our group blog.
And they’ve gotten me to thinking: How ‘resolved’ am I?
Here’s what I wrote on Jillian’s post Tuesday:
I probably do more ‘resolving’ than I actually realize, but it seldom corresponds with the New Year. I’ll be puttering around — no particular month or season — and realize I need to do THIS more or do THAT less … and I will ‘resolve’ to make a correction. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. More likely: I’ll make that correction for a brief period and then lapse back to status quo.
That was true, as far as it went, but it’s a bit more complicated.
When I’m introspective (which is more often than I assume many folks are), I tend to focus on my shortcomings … my failings. And I think I should be doing better.
Some are rather broad: I sometimes think I should be kinder to strangers.
Which strangers? Well, not the murderers or terrorists. Just the ‘regular’ strangers … some of whom are down-and-out. But how do you tell bad strangers from the ‘regular’ ones? Hmm. Need some criteria here. Plus: How kind should I be? Not certain, because I’m already pretty decent to strangers. How much more decent should I be? Don’t know. Just more. So how do I make that into a ‘resolution’? Not sure. For one thing, it rarely enters my consciousness on Dec. 31st.
I have an illustration for this example [can you do that without breaking the laws of Freshman Composition?] Many years ago, I used to commute significant distances, often and regularly. On those highways and interstates, I’d often see hitchhikers. And I gave rides to a lot of them. Why? Partly because my Dad did a lot of hitching when he was a young man and I wanted to ‘pay-back’ some of that karma, if you will. I guess I should admit it may also have been partly because my vehicle had no radio and a long commute needs a little bit of conversation with someone who doesn’t reply in your own voice.
Unfortunately, you can’t really tell much about a hitchhiker until you’re right up on him. And if you wait that long, then you’re half a mile down the pike before you can come to a safe stop. So you basically have to decide before you reach him: “Am I going to give a ride to that individual or not?” BEFORE you’re able to get a very good look. Risky? Perhaps, but you can’t tell much by looks anyhow.
Disclaimers: (1) I should note that times were simpler – and seemed more innocent – in the late-1960s through mid-1970s. (2) I never stopped for a hitch-hiker when my family was in the car … so they were never in potential jeopardy if I made a bad choice. (3) And I never picked-up any females … because that’s triple-the-trouble potential.
Other examples (we’re back to resolutions) are pretty specific: I want to waste LESS time on Facebook. Ha. With my FB friend list growing and me joining new ‘groups’ which operate on FB’s framework, it’s not likely I can manage any reduction. [Au contraire]
“But it kills so much time,” my logical self tells my procrastinating self, “and you should be WRITING.”
“Maybe so,” my procrastinating self tells my logical self, “but posting trivial messages on FB is writing too! Kinda.”
This debate rages on … perhaps you’ve heard sound bites in your own head.
If I decided to make a resolution for 2012, perhaps it should be to be more succinct. LOL.
What resolutions have you made for this new year?