In the interest of efficiency, I will start my New Year’s resolutions early. Clearly, I don’t need to resolve not to procrastinate.
I resolve to view aggressive drivers as being en route to the hospital. I will imagine expectant mothers with fully dilated cervices, being whisked to the hospital. I will imagine next of kin in a frenzy to arrive at the ICU. I will imagine only legitimate reasons for drivers to cut me off on the road. That will prevent me from yelling silent obscenities at my fellow drivers, or wishing unspeakable horrors to befall the driver in the cherry red Porsche who weaves in and out of traffic. I will visualize that these strangers are all headed to the hospital. Which, if you think about it, is not unlikely.
Yes, I will give people the benefit of the doubt. And, if I bestow the benefit of the doubt upon strangers who will remain unaware of my newly-implemented magnanimity, it’s only fair that I do the same with loved ones.
I will try not to get defensive when family and friends utter words that sound suspiciously like criticism. I will take a deep breath and count to ten. I will tell myself that their opinions are of the constructive variety. Or that the critic is having a bad day. I will tell myself all sorts of things to avoid getting upset. What could there be to criticize, after all?!
Next resolution, and this is a biggie, I will make a concerted effort to suck in my tummy. I often do this while driving, intending to maintain the contraction as I travel down the road. But, my resolve lasts about ten seconds, until my focus shifts to something on the radio. Or I start thinking about a conversation I had with someone who criticized me. Or I become indignant at a driver weaving in and out of traffic. It’s obvious that my resolutions are related. I must follow through with all of them or I will not have abs of steel.
I resolve not to leave on the burner on my gas stove. This happens when I fry an egg while making toast. I transfer the toast to the plate and then butter it. Then I transfer the egg from the pan to the toast. In my haste to do all this transferring, I forget to turn off the burner. I have left the burner on overnight and, one time, I even left the house as the flame continued to flicker. It dismays me to discover this and it prompts mental self-flagellation that goes like this: “You have the attention span of a gnat. You should focus on what you are doing! Now the propane tank will need to be filled sooner. You could have burned down the house! What would have happened to the poor kitties?!” I don’t enjoy mental self-flagellation. So, I resolve never to leave the burner on. Then again, I resolve not to use absolutes like “never.” That is setting myself up for failure. I always do that.
My most important resolution will be to write more. Writing is cathartic. Writing is therapeutic. Writing can also be entertaining. So, for the betterment of my psyche, and the enjoyment of others, I will become a more prolific writer. This is largely altruistic. With an improved mental state, I will become a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. (I want to state that writing will also make me a better sister-in-law, cousin, aunt, daughter-in-law…but I know one should be concise in one’s writing. So, I must resolve to write less while I write more.)
The resolution to write more, also applies to my journal, where the real therapy takes place. To my journal, I divulge my deepest secrets. I admit insecurities, indiscretions and dark thoughts. I spill the beans on the disreputable person I am, the person I hide from the public. My journal is a compilation of “The Worst of Debbie”, containing information I don’t share with anyone. Before I die, I will leave instructions that every volume of my journal be incinerated in a blaze of infamy. Perhaps I should just leave on the burner.