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Resolutions test resolve; some easier than others

Joyce Walter reflects on resolutions and makes promises for the year ahead
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

My track record is dismal regarding successful completion of resolutions made for the new year. If I were a hockey team, the owners would by now have fired the coach and traded all the players.

Good intentions don’t count on the ice nor in relation to resolutions and whether they will take hold before the season is over.

I’ve always admired folks who resolve to quit smoking and do so, or others who resolve to give up alcohol and do. I don’t smoke and am allergic to alcohol so in my personal life, those two resolutions would be as silly as a hockey player resolving not to wear skates on the ice.

In the past I have resolved to keep the house tidy. That worked less than a week, mostly because of others in the house. Same with the plan to wash dishes after every meal. Managed that for a couple of consecutive days but then the urge gave out, especially when the other occupant told me to sit down and relax. So I sat, he sat and so did the dishes.

 As friends talk about downsizing to remove clutter from their lives, I agree enthusiastically with the concept. I worry that my survivors will be horrified at what I have stashed away, “just in case.” I sort occasionally but then put it in perspective: I won’t be around to see my survivors’ reactions, so why worry about it now? One of these days, though, I do have to open that large suitcase because I can’t remember what it is I have stored in there. That will be a true treasure hunt.

My one promise to myself was to sort through all the Christmas wrapping, ribbon, bows and miscellaneous tags and stickers and to logically and neatly put it all together in a large tote box I bought years ago for this very purpose. Since then the tote has slithered to the bottom of a pile of bags and boxes, and a second Christmas tote has been put into service. Another treasure adventure is in my future and when done I’m sure I could resolve not buy any more rolls of ribbon and tape for at least 10 years. Unlikely to happen though.

But before I give up all hope of ever maintaining my resolve for more than a few days, I promise the following:

• I will attempt to be more devoted to keeping in touch with old friends and family members, regardless of how busy I think I am, and when they don’t always maintain that two-way communication.

• I promise to be kind to anyone I meet, right there in the middle of the grocery store aisle or blocking my reach for a bag of apples.

• I promise not to wave my fingers at drivers who speed through stop signs and red lights, or honk their horns when I am slow to move through the intersection.

• With the price of meat today, I resolve to be satisfied with whatever I might be lucky enough to win at the weekly meat draws.

• I resolve to always be kind to the gas pump attendants who give excellent service in all kinds of temperatures, wash the windows in warmer weather and engage in conversation while the tank is filling. 

And so, there are some resolutions that will be easy to stick to most of the time and won’t be a hardship like it would be to give up chocolate milk, cream puffs, pumpkin pie or dark turkey meat.

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.