In many past Januarys, I joined the well-meaning folks who drafted lists of resolutions for the new year. But, like the majority of those fellow dreamers, I seldom made it past the opening week of February before these lofty goals were left behind and I reverted to my old ways of life.
With this in mind, I've come to realize resolutions are not my style. So this year I've started looking at things from a different angle. Instead of focusing on what I want to accomplish, I'm now looking at what I DON'T want to see happen. It's my "avoidance list."
For instance, instead of my unrealistic weight loss plans of the past.....which called for dropping fifty pounds by June.....I'll now be content if I simply don't GAIN three sizes by the end of December.
Another scene I want to avoid is having the dentist look in my mouth and say, "Uh-oh, uh-oh..." over and over again. And please don't let him follow that with, "Hey, Alice, you gotta see this one!"
I don't want to learn that my next-door-neighbor's application for a kennel permit has been granted nor that the neighbor on the other side has decided to start raising chickens.
I don't want to read in the newspaper that the Hershey Chocolate factory has been bought up by a Chinese conglomerate with plans to revamp the recipes and introduce Asian flavors.
Instead of resolving to improve my appearance by ramping up my daily exercise routine, I'm simply hoping I won't experience any complexion disasters this year. I don't want to find I've developed a pulsing pimple on the end of my nose. And I don't want to discover I've been cursed with a permanent case of pillow hair.
I don't want to take my car to the garage and have the mechanic say, "Lady, do you see this steering wheel? Well, that's about the only thing on this heap that's still working!"
I don't want to get a note from the IRS telling me my 2010 income taxes have been selected for audit.
I don't want to find out that the AARP has announced the latest fashion craze sweeping the country involves white-haired seniors changing their hair color to red.
I don't want to learn the routine chest X-ray my doctor ordered showed something inside me that looks suspiciously like the ring I lost last year.
I don't want to discover that the folks who chose the music for my favorite radio station have decided to withdraw their Johnny Mathis and Frank Sinatra recordings and switch to all Country/Western and Rap.
I hope to avoid the news that my last three checks have bounced, that Dunkin' Donuts has gone out of business or that science has decided pecans are bad for your health.
But most of all, I don't want to come to the end of 2013 and find I haven't drawn closer to my God and my family, haven't learned something new, made a friend or two or taken time to savor the days and weeks of a year that will never come again.