Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for May: (5/4) Linda Norlander, (5/11) Connie Berry, (5/18) Mary Keliikoa, (5/22) Annette Dashofy, and (5/25) Rosalie Spielman.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Failed New Year's Resolutions

  • Keeping off weight
For forty years, my father put on a pound per year. Now elderly, his extra forty pounds have melted away. My tendency is the same as his, so every 10 years I lose 10 pounds and start all over again. Hey, for 3-4 years every ten years, I look great.

  • Being patient
I try, really I do. I’m getting better with age, but I’m still impatient. I’m a goal oriented person so being patient isn’t in my makeup. I wish I could appreciate the process, and I do, but that doesn’t mean I’m still not impatient. When I raised children, I observed patient parents and usually found that patience equaled indulgence. Now, patience to me equals no results—why do something if you don’t get results. Yes, yes I’m trying (trying to appreciate patience anyway).

  •  Being less open-minded
Sometime after the 1960s, my open-minded and academic approach to life transformed into naivet√© and gullibility. In theory, I still value this quality, but I also don’t like being played for a sucker. Too bad, the approach could solve world problems, but it doesn’t work unless everyone adopts the approach. Until then, I’d rather not be a sucker. I try, but I still succumb to a good hard luck story.

  • Being less materialistic
I’ve been accused of being materialistic (usually by those who are materialistic—as in “it takes one to know one”). No, I don’t live in a big house with granite countertops and Wolf appliances. My car isn’t a new German engineered monstrosity. But I like having assets in all forms, and I want to pass on some bucks to my kids. What people fail to recognize is my insecurity, and my fear of my children’s economic security in a country where our exports no longer exceed our imports. Our economy’s minute expansion is exceeded by a burgeoning population. More hands—same pot. Why don’t people get it?

  • Making New Year’s Resolutions
At the beginning of each year, I used to wonder where it would lead. I don’t make resolutions since I understand that I’m not really in control here on earth. I do what I can, but the role of Master and Commander is now just a video game. It’s not that I lack determination or direction, but I’ve found that whenever I try to take control, fate’s hand interferes like the hand of a fouling defensive basketball player interrupting an offensive player’s shot. It’s fate’s job to interfere with my plan. So, I don’t make a plan, forcing fate into passivity, and I resolve covertly.

Where I resolve covertly.


Ellis Vidler said...

I enjoyed your lack of resolutions. I gave them up as just another road to failure. Instead, I'm going to focus more on writing and finishing another book. Maybe this will work out better than those lofty resolutions I used to make. It will certainly be more fun. Happy New Year!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks, Ellis, I agree with your resolve not to resolve.

My Kindle arrived under the tree, as expected. My nephew gave me an Amazon gift card, and I managed to download Cold Comfort yesterday.

I am struggling with a touchbased screen since I'm used to a keyboard. Seems that my Kindle doesn't like my touch. I have to touch repeatedly on the same item to get it to react. Hopefully, the reading will go better!

I'm so looking forward to reading your new book. Here's to the new novels of 2012 (I'm toasting with my coffee cup!)

Pauline Alldred said...

I also find making achievable goals makes more sense and I'm focusing on writing that has meaning for me.

Sometimes in my more anxious moments in the middle of the night, I think about all the people working to lose weight and the even greater number who don't get enough to eat. I think about how I strived to find work I wanted when there are so many people who have to hunt in freezing temperatures or fish with primitive tools just to survive.

Then I remember the patient I cared for who had graduate degrees but one day just gave up his goals because he couldn't see any meaning in life. Sometimes a person needs to narrow her focus.

E. B. Davis said...

Ah yes, Pauline--I too wake in the middle of the night and wonder why I can't be more like Mother Teresa--all those paradoxes that make for nightmares.

I think making goals is fine. But resolutions like diets are usually short-lived. Perhaps that is what some people need, but I think they usually end up feeling like failures--the unintended result of all those resolves.

If you really want to do something you will do it without making a statement.

Polly Iyer said...

The only resolution I ever made was to quit smoking. Each New Year's Eve, I'd throw my cigarettes out my four-story window into the snow. Each New Year's Day, I'd go down to the street to get them and dry them out. (Exaggeration, but close.) I finally quit, but it took years. I try not to think about goals or resolutions. All we can do is the best we can. If a game of Spider Solitaire is more important at that moment than finishing the chapter, then I play. Maybe this lack of anxiety comes with age. Life is too short to agitate over everything, although I still cringe at a less than favorable review and find it hard to take my own advice. If I make one resolution this year it will be not to read those reviews. It won't change how the book is written. What's done is done. And that's the best advice about resolutions I can give.

E. B. Davis said...

I agree with your assessment, and that age is a factor in forgetting about resolutions. Too many failures or too much talk without action wears thin after age 45.

Me-I'd like to get reviews! So that I could then ignore them.

Warren Bull said...

Some years ago I resolved to stop making New Years resolutions. So far I have kept that resolution without fail.

E. B. Davis said...

We have a winner! LOL, hope your holidays were fun, Warren.

Gloria Alden said...

I don't make resolutions, either. They never worked. I still didn't lose weight - I only do that in the summer when I'm working outside. Although almost very night I make a resolution to be more patient with a certain person. Doesn't always work. Without actually making any New Year's resolutions, I don't have to feel guilty when I can't stick to them. I'm going to concentrate more on writing and getting published this year. That's sort of a resolution, I guess. May we all have a productive New Year.

E. B. Davis said...

Well said, Gloria. Thanks for dropping by.