In 2013, I resolve to quit smoking, stop eating red meat, avoid drinking red wine, try not to gain 30 excess pounds and eschew false eyelashes and bright blue eyeshadow during the day.
All done. That was easy.
I resolved to stop making New Year's resolutions about 10 years ago, when I realized I was dooming myself to failure. There is no point claiming this is the year I'll work out three times a week. I'm never going to be a fitness enthusiast, even though I make half-hearted, sporadic attempts to get in shape. My über-fit husband calls the people who clutter the gym in January "half-milers," intent on keeping their resolution while lounging on or near the equipment. I stay away just so I don't annoy him.
I quit smoking 26 years ago, when I became pregnant with the young lovely. I resolve every year to quit just to give myself a leg up in the new year. Resolution lists are only effective if you can strike a few things off without much effort, right?
Red meat left my diet about a year ago, along with red wine and other headache-inducing liquids. My weight has remained constant for years, a mystery to those who watch me eat. False eyelashes and blue eyeshadow? I am at that delicate age where I know I am a step away from looking like a slightly crazed old woman wearing her wig askew and leaving bright red lip prints on the good crystal. That resolution will hold.
Instead of resolutions, I have my 2013 hopes. Here they are:
-- I hope kindness becomes fashionable, that the spirit that moved bus driver Kris Doubledee to give away his shoes and drive-thru customers at a Winnipeg Tim's to pay for the coffee of people behind them for three hours (and 228 orders) is contagious.
-- I hope number 229 wakes up and smells the coffee.
-- I hope they start selling cars equipped with turn signals in Manitoba.
-- I hope we can have conversations about our differences without resorting to name-calling and personal attacks.
-- I hope Winnipeggers are able to welcome new retailers without acting like they previously had to buy all their stuff at gas stations.
-- I hope to remain patient when I travel by air, understanding desk agents are human, not super-human; that some people are first-time travellers and don't know they can't bring their giant gym bags as carry-on; and that we all remember the truly lousy food on board was not prepared by the flight attendants.
-- I hope people find a charity or cause they want to support, with money, time or both.
-- I hope we can stop looking askance at the "others" in our city and start seeing what we have in common.
-- I hope people can speak openly about their faith without being mocked or condemned.
-- I hope to read good books, spend a lot of time in our libraries and remember local bookstores sell more than coffee.
-- I hope to make people smile (and open their wallets) with one of my Christmas gifts, a T-shirt that reads "Save A Journalist, Buy a Newspaper."
-- I hope to have a year of good health, both for myself and for those I love. We lost two family members in 2012, and that was a burden that felt unbearable at times.
-- I hope we can all learn from the tragedy of Newtown, that we remember to cherish our families, hold them tight and let them know how much they mean to us.
-- I hope I continue to crawl into bed every night, tell my husband I love him and recite a short list of our many blessings. Especially on the days when it's easier to complain.
-- I hope to remember that all of my problems are First World problems. Having to replace my wrecked car is an annoyance. It could have been a tragedy, but it wasn't.
I hope you have a safe and blessed 2013.