No New Year Resolutions.


I have no New Year Resolutions, not a one. I stopped torturing myself with those things ages ago. Every year I would start out with a list of things I wanted to do. Most were self serving, like losing weight, and some were grandstanding, like I will not let others tell me what to do. Of course, they were destined to fail, leaving me feeling like an idiot. I mean, how can one be so stupid as to always let themselves down, every year, on a regular basis?

After failing so many years in a row, I finally realized that I was simply setting myself up to feel like a loser. I hurt my own feelings, and made myself mad at ME, all for some stupid non-tradition that is encouraged by popular demand. Why? I don’t know, maybe it was just a desperate attempt to fit in, to succeed, to find something worthwhile about myself. But it always worked just the opposite from what I planned.

So, a few years ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to give in and make impossible resolutions about my life. Because, you see, life doesn’t stick to a plan. It has a way of making its own path, and we are pretty much along for the ride. I can’t control life around me, only myself. Most of the time, life around me is on a whole different page than I am at any given moment! How can we resolve to accomplish anything in a measurable way when it comes to feelings and thoughts? If it is something concrete, for instance, completing a course at school, going to the gym, or getting a promotion, perhaps we can make a plan. However, you might get sick, and miss a lot of school. You might be too tired, busy, or bored to go to the gym after a week or so. You might be downsized at your company and have to start your own business to survive. There is no getting around it, no matter your resolve, life just keeps happening while you plan. And it almost always throws a spanner into the works to muck everything up.

Now that can be a good thing, making you move outside the box and do something different and new. But, it means that you will have to forsake your resolutions – again – and if you are emotionally tied to those resolutions, it can make you pretty miserable. Or not. Depends on how much you have invested yourself in the process and plan. I suppose, one should be flexible with resolutions.

I know many folks out there in the world managed to stick with a resolution come hell or high water. No matter what life throws at them, they stick to the plan. But, have you ever wondered what would have happened if you went out to your friends dinner party instead of going to the gym? Maybe you would have met the love of your life, or, if already with the love of your life, maybe you would fall into romance all over again. You see, your choices always have a possibility of at least two outcomes. If you stick to the plan, you know exactly what will happen. You will be tired, smelly, and sore from a workout. But, maybe the second or tenth outcome, well, it might be magical enough to change your life forever.

Now, in my crazy life, I no longer set myself up to fail. Because I have finally figured out what a New Year means. It isn’t a do over, remake, new start, or second chance. It means that you get to change course, learn from last year, and make a choice to be flexible in all that you do. All the New Year does is to make it easy to switch paths, change gears, explore something new, or simply stop always doing and just be. A New Year is a date on the calendar. Nothing will be any different on the first of January than it was on the thirty-first of December. All your problems will still be there, the difference being, that after the holidays, time with family and friends, maybe you have a clearer vision of your life.

No New Years Resolution means I am not locked into a plan. I can do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and with that flexibility, I cannot fail. I can only move forward, just like the path in front of me encourages me to do. Happy New Year everyone, I hope you find it magical.

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No Tech Christmas


It occurred to me, oh, several months ago, as I was organizing my Christmas list, that I wanted to give my grandchildren vintage toys. Well, remakes of vintage toys, the originals are far too pricey. I wanted them to have a Christmas where nothing they received from my husband and I needed a battery, cable, or plug in. It seems that we have overwhelmed our kids with things that beep, flash, talk, and require constant attention. It was time to get back to basics.

For my nine year old grandson, there were a set of stilts, modern and better made, but stilts, nonetheless. A honest to goodness wooden yoyo along with a trick book just like they had in the 1950’s, along with crazy straws, paddle balls, a board game, several joke books, and the Dangerous Book for Boys. I added a science project about gross things, and treats. Not one thing required any sort of power except boy power. He loved everything, and was working to master the yoyo when they went home.

For my six year old granddaughter, we got an art set. A real, honest to goodness set with everything from paints to pencils and everything to go with it. She is really into drawing and such. Several coloring books joined the set, along with lots and lots of paper. She also go the crazy straws and paddle balls, but girl stuff too, like a pair of shoes and an out fit. She got the Daring Book for Girls, that matched Nick’s for boys. And hair pretties along with a grooming kit. Nothing needed power other than the power of a girl. She was over the moon, and spent hours drawing.

And our little Addie? Her favorite toys is a small felt dolly I picked up for a buck at the dollar store. Who would have though!? We also got her a tent to play in, and to help corral her when we need to have our hands free for something. She loves that too, along with the drum, and soft toys she got. She was really having more fun with with the paper and boxes than anything.

It is easy to go on line and pick out things that beep and buzz for kids. It is much harder to think of the way their minds work and come up with innovative ways to entertain them. It is easy to let a machine entertain them, but it is, in my opinion, to encourage them to explore, invent, create, and study the world around them. Making them the center of the play, not the machine, will stretch their minds, help them create, and encourage exploration in all manners of topics.

Next year is going to be a challenge, but I am already doing research, and I expect something will come to mind. Like Jax and a jump rope for Bella, and some sort of cool science experiment for Nick. I’m thinking mad scientist, cool stuff. Addie will be easy, everything from toys to clothes . . . and boxes and paper.

I love being a Nana.

Really?


The shopping frenzy is escalating exponentially as we get closer to Christmas Day. Stress is starting to show amid those who are still trying to buy, build, make, get, gifts ready for the big day. I realize how difficult it is not to stress out, but why do people feel they have to take it out on the person who happens to be manning the cash register?

In line at Wally World today, a woman in the next check out lane started complaining loud and long about how stupid it was that they didn’t have more lanes open, and that it was annoying how slow the checkers were. One of the people directing traffic to different lanes told her that the self check was available and that there was no waiting. To my dismay she turned on that woman and told her, “I EXPECT to be waited on when I come into a store. I EXPECT that someone will check my items, and I will pay a PERSON not a machine!”

Wow! Nice, not! Merry Christmas to you too, you hateful cow!

The woman kept her cool, and apologized that the cow had to wait, but that there was nothing she could do, as people were checked out on a first come, first serve basis unless they used the self check out. This was a busy time and the next few days would be crowded in most stores. The cow still huffed and puffed, complaining under her breath.

All those around me, including me, just stared at her in disbelief. Making eye contact with one another, we all seemed to be thinking, “Really?” Shaking our heads and trying to ignore the oozing anger around the woman, most everyone got on with their business. Finally, the woman was at the register and ready to pay. She said to the girl at the register, “I would wish you a Merry Christmas, but I really don’t care if you have one or not.” The poor girl nearly cried, but she just wished the woman a good day.

Say what you will about low payed employees, but the women at Wally World were gracious even in the face of insults and mistreatment by the very person they served. At the end of the day, that hateful cow will have a miserable Christmas, while each of those she abused will be blessed in one way or another for turning the other cheek.

I admire that, I really do, I simply do not have the kindness gene in my DNA. It took all I had not to tell that woman off, but it wasn’t my place to do so. Besides, I didn’t want to end up in trouble right before my son and grandchildren got here. So, I let it go, but you know, it really bothers me. So from now on, I will do my level best to be polite to all those who serve me in any way, even the surly cashier at the local gas station.