Monday, December 27, 2010


In high school, I used to write down New Year's Resolutions. I'm pretty sure each list included LOSE WEIGHT!!! because I was, after all, a girl in the United States. Now I'd write the same thing, but it would be upper and lower case without exclamation points or boldface, and without the hope I had in 1966. I guess in that sense, I haven't lost my girlish figure after all: It's still completely unacceptable.

For years, I just ignored the whole Resolution thing. After all, I'd never (ever) followed through with a single one of them. Why keep kidding myself? But then I fell in with a small clutch of people who were heavily into intentions. "Hey! Are you going to the museum tomorrow?" "That is my intention." You couldn't get a yes or a no out of these people. I was so focused on their complete lack of a straight answer that I never did understand what their intent(!) was. Were they demonstrating their lack of control in Life? Were they avoiding disappointing others, like Dad, who'd only answer "Maybe" to the clamor to go four whole miles to Silver Lake to swim? Were they eschewing responsibility? I never asked that. I just listened to their intentions and simmered in my own slight indignation.

And that led me to, for the last fifteen years or so, making New Year's Vague Intentions. Why torture myself? Why not face reality? Why not just admit that I'm not going to lose the weight (or exercise or learn to play piano or stop having clutter), but that I am going to have the vague intention to do all that? This way, I'd be a Winner all year long! No one's disappointed. There's no pressure. Just relax. Ahhh.

But a couple weeks ago, I burst into flames and engaged in really bad behavior. I decided that I'd had enough self-indulgence on all levels (except maybe for that weekly massage) and that it was time to Straighten Up. Even my horoscope was on my Higher Self's side. Levine & Jawer say, for the end of the year for Libra:

But insistent Mars's square to parental Saturn in your 1st House of Self on December 29 says enough is enough. No matter how old you are, it's time to grow up. Stop dancing, turn off the music, and get serious about the commitments you're making.

So this year, I'm re-instituting my New Year's Resolutions. No more dithering for me! No siree, Bob! And none of this general 6. Be kind to people stuff, either. I want specifics here. There will be the short form (1. Lose weight) followed by a concise plan of action, because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I'm not letting me off the hook, no matter what.

Nor am I listing my Resolutions for you. The proof will be in the pudding, which is an adage that has always baffled me, yet I continue to be unwilling to look it up. Even now, with the Internet at my literal finger tips, I will not research it. If an instructive phrase is so obscure as to be unintelligible, then it's time to ease it out of the language.

On the other hand, it's occasionally fun to just invent what it might mean. Maybe it's from the times of ancient printers, when ink was still something of a mystery. Maybe someone accidentally dropped the proof – for an early blog, for instance – into the Christmas pudding (so it would have been a Yule blog), and while it colored the food a bit, the words remained intact on the goat skin, proving that the ink was superior, and so it's a phrase to be used when we really want to say, well ... something like, I don't know – Time will tell? Just you wait and see? We won't know till we know?

And look at today's numerical date. You don't have to be a fan of the binary to appreciate that.