It has been a long break

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

By Mimi Becker

Contributing Columnist

If I have learned anything over the decades, it is that sometimes the very best decision is to pause some regular activities with no expectations or requirements for resumption. Sometimes some things just need to be put on hold. If the subject issue is worthwhile and beneficial, in due time the hold button can be released and the activity may be resumed.

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The calendar of 2023 has finally turned its last page. In reality, any day is no more significant than the previous one, or the next one. There are meetings, events, celebrations, preparations, remembrances, every day in multiples. No particular day is lived in isolation. A single incident on a given day is not over or resolved when the next day dawns.

For whatever reason, great significance is attached to ringing out the last day of one year and cheering in the first day of the next year. Truth be told, whatever was there the one day is still around the next. Day in and day out. Positively or negatively. For better, or for not.

Statistically, according to one Internet source (take it or leave it), 23% of New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past the first week. 43% are history by the end of January. A mere 9% of all the best intentions are deemed successful in the long term.

Who wants those odds?

Absolutely no one I know.

It is well known that I don’t make resolutions. It isn’t a fear of failure. It is purely a matter of flexibility. I want the freedom of options in my life. I’m not lazy or wishy-washy. I think it is smarter, and healthier, to consider what is going to determine my day. I may change my mind.

I have enjoyed running throughout my adult life. Running relaxes me. I often mentally plot and plan while out on my route. My husband rolls his eyes when I come in, huffing and puffing, and my first words are, “I was thinking…”

After a bit of a break, I am back trudging along. If I resolve to run every day, or five out of seven days, I will certainly fail. However, I have religiously kept up a pace of walking to and from work, and on errands, every day the weather or schedule permits.

If fitness is the bottom line, I have been successful, and efficient, these past runless months. Run, or walk, I do what suits me and my life at the time.

I could make all manner of resolutions today. It would be a waste of time and completely unnecessary.

I have a long list of projects at home, several of which are hanging over from our renovations the last couple of years. I always have something I could work on.

Some of these little jobs have been interrupted by circumstances beyond our control. Some were just simply put off because they were less than exciting, or I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. At the end of a long day, the last thing I wanted to face was tile repairs or caulking.

The tile job in the newly designated guest bathroom was the last really necessary, and nagging, job from our big project. I mentioned we should tackle the project at the beginning of the new year. Sounds dangerously close to a resolution.

The matter was taken out of my hands when my husband called me at work to share his progress on the demolition of the walls in the guest bathroom.

The calendar reflected that Thanksgiving was 10 days away and we were expecting a houseful for the weekend. We were expecting absolutely no guests in the new year.

See, who needs New Year’s resolutions? Strike while the iron is hot should be my philosophy. Seize the day. Carpe diem and all that.

The bathroom was completed top to bottom, except for some paint touch up, before the first guest arrived.

We were so self-satisfied with our progress that we got on the ball, tested some new skills and stretched our imaginations to get out of our comfort zones around the house. We painted some furniture and repurposed some abandoned items hidden in the basement. I even painted a picture!

So, for what it’s worth, I am breaking my self-imposed rule about resolutions. Technically, at this time of year, it would classify as a resolution, this determination of mine, but I have the right.

First, some activities are just plain smart. Regular check-ups, some level of organization, decent meals with healthy food choices, reasonable physical exercise, all are grown up things to do. Making a resolution to keep these habits up would be cheating and abusing the custom’s intent.

So, what’s left is the regular stuff. Learn a new skill, grow more vegetables to freeze for use during the year, volunteer more, and so forth. Worthy thoughts all, but…

I have decided, and in recognition/acceptance of my recent significant birthday, that I resolve to kick back in the evening, review the day and decide that I am satisfied with the goings on from dawn to dusk.