I was huddled in Mazama last December, working on a textbook and watching the snow fall, thinking back about 2009. When I wasn’t picking spaghetti off of the cat (don't ask), slogging through the snowdrifts to feed carrots to the neighbors' horses, trading emails with friends, watching the fire, or just generally procrastinating about The Book, I had time to ponder my annual New Year's resolutions list.
As you all know, I’ve stopped making New Year’s resolutions that I will never keep. For example, let’s face facts. I’m never going to look fabulous like Sandra Bullock, no matter how hard my personal trainer kicks my butt. (Pam, on the other hand, has a real shot at it as we all know). Rather, the end of the year is always a great time to reflect on its general course, to consider what I would do again, and what I should definitely try not to repeat. So here goes:
Resolution #1: I'm never putting roller skates on the dog again.
Sure. It all seemed so hilarious in theory. And just like last year, the dog was so eager to try new things. Who expected the delivery guy to show up at just the wrong moment? I'm telling you--the fur explosion, the furious psychotic barking, the roaring of those wheels rolling on the hardwood floor followed by the terrifying noises of breaking glass and a man’s screams….. then that ominous dead silence…. wiped the smile right off my face. The dog was none the worse for wear. To the contrary, she seemed pretty thrilled with the lightening speed, shock and awe with which she was able to engage the enemy. But I'm guessing I won't be seeing the Fed Ex truck again anytime soon, which could be a problem.
Resolution #2: That’s it. I’m getting a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Ok, this feeling will undoubtedly pass. Because I really do love Sophi. She’s “green,” she gets 57 mph under the worst of driving, requires a tank of gas only every 6 weeks or so, and can sneak up on and scare the crap out of bicyclists who insist on riding right in the middle of the road (a guilty pleasure), due to her ultra quiet electric hybrid engine. And she’s much more patient than most people I know. If I ask her for directions and then decide not to take them, she simply pauses, recalculates and in her soft, calm feminine voice gives me new ones. And she doesn’t criticize my driving. However, as we learned last January, she is as useless as high heels in a snowstorm. And when you’re stuck in Wenatchee on New Year’s Eve (OMG those people actually have guns over there—it was like a wedding celebration in Afghanistan!!!) then you get to thinking how nice it would have been to just be able to ‘punch it’ and get over the pass back home.
Resolution #3: I promise not to text while soaking naked in the bathtub anymore.
True, it's warm and relaxing and the other person doesn’t even have to know you're naked. True, you actually can't electrocute yourself the way it turns out you can while blow-drying your hair in the tub. But bubble bath makes your fingers slippery, and dropping your iPhone among the suds when somebody texts something startling to you can be distracting... and expensive.
Resolution #4: We’re not selling, buying, renting or remodeling a house this year.
Now this one is going to be a BIG disappointment to our real estate agent, mortgage broker, contractor, and interior designer, not to mention the real estate market in Seattle in general this year, since over the last 7 years we have been single-handedly keeping it above water—having bought (and sold) 4 houses, rented 2 and remodeled one. It took a full-on 12-step program, otherwise known as our Home Remodel, to cure us. Remember The Money Pit? All true. There’s something a little disturbing about getting up in the morning and wandering downstairs in your bathrobe with your hair all askew to find that your contractor is waiting with your morning coffee, and knows exactly how much sugar you take in it, because he’s been there every morning for 6 months.
I really miss his eggs benedict, though.
Resolution #5: I’m going to practice more.
Not medicine--piano. And not just to annoy the neighbors (another guilty pleasure). Apologies to the actually famous musicians in my family, but the last time I played Clair de Lune, it came out sounding too much like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Even though I was the only person in the room, I was heckled. In one way it was pretty interesting, though…I had actually never heard a cat laugh like that before.
Resolution #6: The next book I write is going to have only one author.
I’m still deciding if it will be me.