Screw the Resolutions- Just Try

Screw the Resolutions- Just TryI have always been a fan of quoting others- especially when I am undergoing a brain freeze.  My favorite sources are philosophers, Latin poets, and the usual unknowns whose brilliance is reflected on bumper stickers everywhere. Alas, I have never found such a sage as the one who uttered (and I am paraphrasing here) the magic words, “Do or do not, there is no try.”  Countless times have I said this to my children, imitating the author- the well-loved Yoda- the little green wisenheimer from the “Star Wars” trilogy.

The end of the year is the time of Resolutions.  I think of a Resolution as a raised fist in the air saying to the universe, “I WILL do this!”   But lately, I have become less of a “doer,” and more of a “tryer.” I have a list of excuses as to why, but trying, in my book, is just as well.   Sorry Jedi Master, but you may be wrong on this one.

So here is what I resolve to try to do this year:

I will try not apologize for anything that I am not truly sorry for.   I hung up on a telemarketer the other night.  He called back and I apologized, and then I listened to him for 60 seconds to make up for it. Then guess what?  I hung up again.

I will not apologize for things that aren’t my fault.  While I was in the market contemplating why canned pumpkin and cooking oil were not in the baking aisle–where they belong–a woman hit the back of my heels with her cart. She did not apologize. Guess who did?

On the other hand, I will try to apologize for the sins of others.  A woman at my local coffee shop takes particular pride in embarrassing a server whose English is not perfect. Instead of ordering a “toasted” bagel, she will say, “darkly broiled” and she will raise her voice and enunciate, to make herself understood. The server is not deaf, and the customer is clearly out of line. I plan on apologizing to the server on the customer’s behalf. Tomorrow.

I will try to educate young people about their appearance–in a concrete way.  My feeling is that Girls, unless you are over 21 and pretty darn fit, please, no micro minis over any type of tights resembling a net.   I can’t believe that I am quoting my mother, but you WILL attract the wrong kind of attention.   And Boys, the shorts in the winter worn with the same black socks that my father wears, with flip flops?  Really?  I plan on getting my point across by donning fishnets and mini skirt and heading to the mall.  In the fluorescent light of the food court, the kids will get a glimpse of what they will look like in 30 years– if they don’t smarten up.  And I will return again the next evening–like a Dickens Christmas character meets “What Not to Wear,” in shorts, calf-length black socks, and my Oscar the Grouch T-shirt.

And I will try  to clean up the English language. I am not referring to vulgarity–there is nothing better than a good obscenity when the emotions kick in.  I’d like to get rid of to the stupid phrases and extraneous words stuck in our lexicon for no apparent reason, phrases that seem to excuse whatever zinger the speaker just uttered, such as “just sayin’” – as in-  “You could make yourself a better life…just sayin’.”

I’d would like to try to get rid of words for things that I don’t believe exist, like “soulmate” or “closure,” and while we’re at it–let’s definitely ban “whatever!”

So these are my resolutions, but I resolve just to try–I may not be successful.  Sorry, Yoda. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to “do or do not.”   By the way, Yoda, you may want to sit up a bit straighter and look into Botox- Just sayin’.


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  5 comments for “Screw the Resolutions- Just Try

  1. Eydie
    January 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    You can TRY a new cereal, TRY on new shoes, or TRY a new hairdo, but Yoda is right – you either “do or you do not” in regards to almost everything else. To me, trying means “thinking about’ doing something. So unless you do – you don’t.

    And why apologize for the rude woman in the coffee shop? It doesn’t change the woman. You’re response to the barrista might have been something supportive – acknowledging the woman’s rudeness as nothing to do with the barrista’s competence – but lack of the women’s self-esteem and common courtesy.

    As far as being the fashion police… well, I have to agree with you that our youth are not dressing appropriately…Really, how the heck do boys even walk in their pants wrapped under their butt. But, remember back when you were a teen…I’m sure our parents didn’t like the way we dressed either. It would take a miracle to change that – OR the pop idols starting to dress normally.

    Also, “Just sayin’… what’s wrong with Soulmate and Closure?


    • Jane Robinson
      January 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Dear Eydie-

      Thanks for your response! Point(s) taken!


  2. AftertheKidsLeave
    January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I am completely on board re soulmates and closure…and I’d like to add “going forward” (when used as a kind of reflexive verbal tic to mean “in the future”). I admit to using “whatever,” but I do so ironically, so that’s okay, right?

    As for trying versus doing…well, I believe that all we ever do is try. Sometimes we succeed, and that’s great. Other times we fall short of the mark, and that can be great too, as long as we use it to take better aim next time. It’s when we use “try” as a proxy for “can’t be bothered this time, but will attempt it tomorrow” that it becomes a problem.

    Happy New Year, and thanks for a good post!

  3. Jane Robinson
    January 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks for your comment Karen! I do have those days where I can’t be bothered. I simply use another phrase that I am working on eliminating to justify it, however: “It is what it is”! Happy New Year to you as well- Jane

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