This time last year, most of us were sighing with relief that we had survived the clock ticking over into the new millennium. I think people were too worried about computers crashing, electricity failing and World War III accidentally being triggered that many didn't make their usual lists of resolutions.
Mine, written on New Year's Eve, was a one-liner: If I wake up tomorrow morning, I promise to be nicer to my daughter's miserable cat that sleeps all day and howls all night. I kept my resolution. At least, the cat is still alive. And it appears that those who proclaimed that the year 2000 was not the real beginning of the new millennium and predicted that the world would actually end when we entered the year 2001, were also wrong. We're still here. Which means that we can go back to making our normal resolutions for the new year.
My first resolution this year was to make the best resolution list ever. Since I've heard through my various history classes at AU, "if we do not learn from history, we shall be compelled to relive it," I looked through my old journals to see what kinds of resolutions I'd made over the years. I was surprised by what I found.
1996: I will get my weight down below 150.
1997: I will get my weight down below 180.
1998: I will get my weight down below 200.
1999: I won't gain any more weight.
Resolution No. 2
1996: I will read at least 24 good books a year.
1997: I will read at least 12 good books a year.
1998: I will read at least 6 good books a year.
1999: I will finish "Gone with the Wind."
Resolution No. 3
1996: I will not spend my money on frivolous things.
1997: I will pay off my credit cards promptly.
1998: I will only use my Visa and Discover cards.
1999: I will only use my Visa card.
The insight gleaned from these resolutions made in years gone by reinforced a line from "Moon for the Misbegotten" by Eugene O'Neill: "There is no present or future, only the past happening over and over again – now."
Based on my disappointing track record, I thought about coming up with realistic goals for the new year. Such as, I will eat, sleep and breathe, put my shoes on the correct feet, take showers and attend classes regularly. With renewed energy, I sat down at the computer and composed my list for 2001.
Resolution No. 1: By next Christmas, I will not have to shop for my clothes at Alaska Tent and Tarp.
Resolution No. 2: I will watch movies that are based on good books.
Resolution No. 3: I will only use my Discover card.
I read with astonishment what I had typed. Unlike resolutions, I guess patterns are hard to break.