Lydia and I were a week into our new running habit and halfway around the reservoir when she asked me, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
I had been thinking about my plans for 2012, although I was not sure at that point if they had firmed up enough to be classified as resolutions. But, what the heck — why not put them out there into the universe, starting with my audience of one, and see if making a declaration has an effect?
“The first one is inspired by yours,” I said to Lydia, who aims for better time management in the new year. Both of us manage to get a lot done, and yet can fritter away our free time mindlessly. “I’m going to waste time in more meaningful ways. Instead of checking up on my friends’ and siblings’ status messages several times a day, for example, I’ll skip that and take a nap or watch a tv show with my family.
“Number two: write fiction. I told Eli about an idea I have for a young adult novel, and he liked it. Also, I want to do more than nonfiction is allowing me to do.” I described my start-up plan, which Eli and I worked out as we sat in the Publick House one night having dinner. During my January break and before classes begin, I’m going to write two pages a day and explore this novel idea. It’s an experiment, and yet I’m totally serious about it.
“The third one I already told you about. This year I’m going to compete in a skating event.” A week before Christmas, Fred (skating coach) had raised the question, and I said I’d do it. I want to. Performing or competing makes you better in a way that skating (or writing or singing or painting) only for yourself does not. It’ll be an entry-level competition for, er, seniors, and a powerful motivator.
That was it for resolutions articulated between huffs and puffs around Brookline Reservoir. Shortly after, I had dinner with my friends, and Sue told us about her last year’s resolution, which she managed to keep 9 times out of 12: to see her mother, who lives beyond Albany, once a month. Yesterday I told my mother my fourth resolution: to see my parents once a month this year, alone or with the whole clan, for a long visit for just the afternoon. That’s at most 1/30th of a month. Surely I have the time. We all do.