Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Start the New Year Off In a Good Way

I feel the same way about the modern day calendar as I do about modern day political boundaries. The Eagles, Bears and other animals don’t pay attention to whether they take a crap or eat a fish from a lake in Canada or the USA, so I don’t see any difference from December 31st to January 1st, 2012 to 2013.

That, for me, means, no resolutions that I’m going to start doing today that I didn’t do yesterday. I probably wouldn't stick to 'em anyways. Besides, if I do make any kind of major changes, I usually start on a Monday. It’s Tuesday already and besides, there is no mail delivery today and the banks are closed.

I know many people do make resolutions and decide, “This is the year I finally do………” I will admit, I’ve done this in the past and failed miserably.

I remember back in 2004, I think it was, that I was going to stop driving in town and only use the car when I had to go somewhere farther than the bus line goes. I was driving a 1984 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon and wanted to change my environmental footprint.

I remember the first trip to get groceries. It was January since that’s when the new year starts every year, and I was living in St. Paul, MN where it is Winter and cold and snowy most every January. I bundled up and went on my journey to make numerous stops to get what was needed in the house.

I wanted to go to the stores that specialized in specific goods and support the small businesses that although dwindling, were still in business.

That meant the butcher shop for meat, the bakery for bread and the smaller local grocery and not the large nationwide chain grocery store for dry goods. That also meant the worker owned co-op for bulk items for everything on my list that they had available before going to the aforementioned places. I had to include a stop at my friend Steve’s coffee shop for a body and soul warming cup of Joe, (I always capitalize Joe whether it’s my name, a cup of coffee or an average Joe), and back in those days, a custard filled bismarck.

I left the house on St. Claire Avenue, which was a street that carried a bus line, but walked the two blocks to Snelling Avenue to get started on my shopping trip at a little after eight AM, Mrs. Spadoman was working right around the block at Macalester College and was already walking to and from work every day.

I made most of my stops and didn’t make it home from that shopping trip until late in the afternoon. It took me all day and I didn’t even get to all the planned stops for the supplies I wanted to get into the house. I paid the bus fair and used a transfer to change busses, but the time limit ran out, as it is only good for two and a half hours after you put the first fare into the box, and I didn’t have the exact change. That meant I had to go into a store and get change. Getting change along an inner city bus route near a stop is like pulling teeth on a grizzly bear that had gotten up from hibernation ten minutes before the operation and was so hungry from being asleep all those months she would’ve eaten anything!

Took me an hour to muster the exact number of coins in the correct denominations just to get on the bus so I could go downtown and transfer to the bus that would take me to another part of town.

Needless to say, I returned home frozen to the bone. Some of the fresh fruit and vegetables that I purchased were frozen and were turning black. Mrs. Spadoman was due home from work in a few minutes and I didn’t have the dishes done, the bed made, the carpet vacuumed, the mail brought in or the plants watered, not to mention the kettle that was to be on the boil, so she could have her afternoon before dinner cup. I was in deep doo doo, as they say.

I resumed driving the next day and my New Years resolution lasted an entire three days with two of them not using the car at all because I didn’t go anywhere.

There were other resolution experiments over the years as well. The diets, the exercise routines, the not spending money attempts, the “I’m gonna do…” and the “I’m not gonna do…” rants, the nonsense that had the entire family arguing with each other when we unplugged the TV. Thank goodness we didn’t sell it!

So, I don’t make any resolutions anymore. I get up at the same time I always do and come and sit down at the computer, check my e-mail, say hello to my Facebook friends, look at the weather prediction for the day and see if anyone has looked at and commented on my blog.

Today, for example, I looked at my blog and see that no one has been there in quite some time. It wasn’t a New Year resolution that made me write today and start off 2013 with a story. No, it was the fact that I haven’t posted much lately and didn’t see any of the friendly familiar names of people since I haven’t written an original thought in a month, either on their blogs or my own!

Anyway, I’m gonna start writing more often again on my blog this year, but that isn’t a resolution. Just so you know. I don’t make New Years resolutions any more. And I’ll get to visit your blogs more often too, but not because it’s the New Year and I feel like I should start doing this again. Just so you know, it’s not a resolution. It’s because I truly know I am blessed to have folks stop by and visit and I hope that when I do the same, I am considered to be a blessing to someone else's life along the way.

May peace, harmony, kindness, love and the beauty of the natural world amongst mankind touch all of our lives, not just today, and not just for this new year, but throughout the rest of our lives. May it become habit and not just a flash-in-the-pan resolution like my no driving folly. May we make the difference in our hearts for eternity.



Jean said...

I don't make New Year's resolutions either. I'm not sure I ever did. I don't really consider myself to be all that debauched or evil. We could all use some improvement I suppose but honestly, aren't we all secretly annoyed with people who are just too good to be true?

Have yourself a happy, healthy year - I hope you do write more.

somepinkflowers said...

making no resolutions either
'cept the one
to not make


lets just all agree
to B our ~~Best Self~~
& to pop in
when we need to sit down
to rest
from living our Real Life ...

i Always & without fail
enjoy your stories, joe,
and look forward to hearing
a few of them In Person
one day ...

happy new year, my friend !!

Cheryl said...

You're right. I thought of a resolution and already don't want to do it. If I really wanted to do it why wait for New Year's? Glad to see you, my friend.

Fran said...

Hi Joe~ HAPPY NEW YEAR. If anything you are probably happy to be alive, still ticking time into yet another year.
I am still sorting out family stuff & wondering why some have latched on to being dysfunctional- may just be a mystery I will never know the answer to, but learning to let go. Can't get oranges off an apple tree as the saying goes.
In any case, time marches on.
Im glad to have this day off, and happy I have a job to go to (that I like), even though I set the alarm with some regret.
Hey just 3 days till the weekend!

Anyway-- sending good thoughts to you & yours. I bet your family puled together in your times of need this last year & that is something to give thanks for.

gma said...

So funny...I too have made some unrealistic resolutions in the past. lol. Wish I was content with just being and not always trying to do something to make myself better. Your words make so much sense. PEACE to you and yours in the new year and always!

Mel said...

You were going to walk everywhere in January...in the twin city area..... *laughing* I won't even ASK if you're nutz. ;-)

Nah--I'm not a January 1 'make a change' kinda gal. I'm a holy-crap-this-isn't-working-for-me-back-against-the-wall kinda gal. And as much as I would LIKE the Big Guy to time the need for that once a year.....*sigh* Notsomuch happening that way in my life.
He must think I have nothing better to do than to change this, change that....LOL
KIDDING!! (mostly....)

I come, I go--I get some time on the world wide web as my silly body will allow.
And I get to partake in snippets of lives that people share with me. Which is WAY more awesome than anything I could have dreamed up 20 years ago, for sure!
Whoda thunk we'd be given the privilege to come to cross paths with some awesome folks, eh? :-)

Glorious January 2nd to you sir (by the time you have coffee and land here...). EVERY day is a new beginning, dontchaknow. ;-)

Marit said...

Dear Joe... what a wonderful, beautiful post you wrote and just up my alley... I don't make any resolutions too. Ha - your stories of former years and how the resolutions turned out made me smile... you are GOOD just the way you ARE Joe - you don't need to change anything or make promises... we all love you like JOE, 'our Joe' (and yes, with a capital!) Enjoy the day my friend, and many, many more!

Kim Mailhot said...

No resolutions here either. I have given them up for quite a few years now. I do choose a word of the year, one to focus on and "live" by but that's about as far as it goes. I am all about living in the present moment as much as possible these days. That is where the joy is easily accessible, where I am the bravest, where I am comforted that in this moment all is well. So here's to this moment in time, and the peace and love I have around me.
Love and Peace to you and all your loved ones, Man.

Lea said...

No new resolutions here either... I am actually glad to have the holidays over and some sort of normalcy, like my life is any way normal, return. I just like being able to have rhythms that work and I got pulled way off center with everything going on over the past few weeks. Back to that resolution thing? I actually seek to make shifts throughout the entire year to make my life work better and as consciously as I can, like drive is little as possible, when it is WARM! So glad to be able to come and visit here! All the best to you!