As most of you know, I haven't made any New Year's resolutions for the past few years because 1) I had a knack for breaking several of them within a few hours after entering the newly arrived annum; and 2) by sundown on the first day of the fresh year I realized I really didn't give a rip about whether or not most of them came to fruition, so the list was tossed into the trash can.
This ideology has proven to be a legitimate stress reducer.
But grudgingly, I've had a change of heart and decided to give the resolution initiative another try. Truthfully, it wasn't my idea; a high school classmate goaded me into doing it by offering to communicate his resolution accomplishment progress and success if I'd share mine with him. He felt by corresponding weekly we could keep each other motivated and on track toward successful achievement of our important resolutions.
Initially, I told him, "Nice try, but I swore off this frustrating, end-of-the-year, 11th-hour ritual years ago and have never regretted it." He immediately sweetened the deal by suggesting a small $10 wager (cash only) with the winner being the one who managed to complete the greatest number of his resolutions prior to Dec. 31.
We wouldn't discuss our declarations beforehand and agreed to exchange lists on the afternoon of Jan. 1 via email, so I took him up on his offer. Apparently, he'd forgotten my assiduously serious personality in high school; some things never change. Here's my list of resolutions for 2010.
1) Spend as much time as possible using my computer each day, and then call my IT tech buddy for assistance in repairing the programs or hardware that I screwed up;
2) Make procrastination an integral part of my life starting in the near future and definitely before the end of the New Year;
3) Resolve each of my long-standing superstitions and stringently search the Internet for new ones to replace them;
4) Buy a dummy Bluetooth headset and start talking to myself whenever I'm in public. That'll be a lot easier than having to actually hold my cell phone to my ear and talk into it when it isn't turned on;
5) Wear sandals and white socks as often as possible; this one is almost a freebie;
6) Never vote for more than 10 percent of incumbent politicians during any election regardless of what level of bureaucracy the election involves;
7) Avoid airports. The exceptions would be trips involving getting somewhere quickly because of an emergency situation involving a family member, close friend, or a short duration timeframe opportunity to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime gift package won by calling a local radio station or from entering some other type of contest presumed to be legitimate. Free time share trips are automatically excluded;
8) Stay at home more often waiting for opportunity to knock, ring the doorbell, arrive via Special Delivery postal mail, or received in an authentic e-mail;
9) Stop taking all medications having a list of more than 50 potential side effects or those causing memory lapses greater than the ones I've been experiencing for years on a daily basis;
10) Never go to a restaurant feeling hungry and thirsty or without a discount coupon in hand;
11) Become a devout semi-vegetarian by eating leaner cuts of beef, skinless, baked chicken and heart-healthy broiled fish;
12) Take at least one nap each day;
13) Call an offshore technology support center once per month just to ensure my ongoing comprehension of English when delivered in a variety of foreign dialects and over a poor phone connection;
14) Buy something at one of the discount stores that I don't need, will open and not use, and plan to reseal and send as a "re-gifting" payback to one of my close friends;
15) Get my friend who initiated this stupid contest to forfeit and pay me the $10 prior to the end of the year.
As you can see, there are a lot of really important, self-inflicted objectives on my resolution list for 2010. But with my honed capacity for accomplishing a lot with a minimal amount of effort, I can already envision a crisp 10-dollar bill arriving in the mail. Classmates; you have to love some of them because they just never learn.
Have a Happy New Year — and we'll meet right here again next week.