Friday, January 08, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions: Pledging the Slightly Impossible and Marginally Hopeless

NOTE FROM SUSAN: Have you made any New Year’s resolutions this year? My husband reports that he’s seeing a lot of new faces at his gym this month, so I know that many people have made resolutions to stay in shape! But, the big question is, how many of those people will still be going in March? New Year’s resolutions can be tough to keep. We start out with good intentions, but then, well, life gets in the way. I’m hoping I can make some progress this year in meeting some of my goals. But first, join me in chuckling along with Melinda Wentzel’s resolutions for the upcoming year. (And check out the picture above of her girls’ attempts at using their underpants as crash helmets. Yes, they do have Melinda’s genes … LOL.)

New Year’s Resolutions: Pledging the Slightly Impossible and Marginally Hopeless
By Melinda L. Wentzel

Like most fools on the planet this fine day in January, I yearn to correct a wealth of character flaws, shed unwanted pounds and improve myself fundamentally by mid-February, or springtime at the very latest. For all intents and purposes, this will prove to be a fruitless venture and an exercise in frivolity—but it qualifies as exercise nonetheless. Granted, I’ve had forever to cultivate my New Year’s resolutions. Technically, 365 ¼ days. And let us not forget the 288-hour eternal chunk of Christmas vacation time spent home with the kidlets—when I had every opportunity to tap into that collective font of child-generated genius: “Mommy, I think you should clean the toilets more often this year and maybe get us to soccer on time, too.” Indeed, the depth of their insightfulness is astounding, contributing magnificently to the completion of such a dimwitted tradition.

Up until now, however, I have failed even to broach the subject—for fear I’d aspire to something completely unattainable and utterly ludicrous for the coming year—like getting a certain love struck co-ed to stop texting the boy already, or convincing my toenail-worshiping, grunge-loving child that personal hygiene is as important as eating her veggies, or to perhaps successfully dissuade my thrill seeking wonder from launching her smallish body off the back of the couch. Again. And again. I pray at the very least that I might eventually convey to said child the futility of wearing underpants as a crash helmet.

Like I said, my goals are lofty, if not impossible.

Besides, I’ve been far too busy with the trivialities of life to focus on bettering myself in 2010. There have been spirited slugfests to referee, screaming guitars and deafening drums to silence, puppet shows to narrate and direct and mountains upon mountains of snow to remove from the coat pockets of those who dared to smuggle it therein. I’ve also been literally consumed with the task of demystifying newfangled gadgetry, assembling that-which-made-me-tear-my-hair-out, scrubbing an inordinate amount of NO MESS paint-like gloppage from our living room carpet and trying (in vain) to find room for the vat of toys that Santa, in his infinite wisdom, bestowed upon us yet again. For the record, Walter (the farting dog), topped the list of favorite gifts this year. Thank you ever so much, you twisted little man.

But now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has passed (and we all survived the horrendously addictive Elf movie marathon!), perhaps it’s time for me to revisit the matter of New Year’s resolutions. Here are a few I’ve penciled in thus far:

—more specifically, I’d like to speak “Dog” so that I might comprehend both the rhyme and reason behind my pooch’s random and often errant placement of piddlings and poo. What’s more, I’d love to know what compels him to literally screw himself into the ground when he does, in fact, experience success in the lawn. And why (oh why!) must he frantically circle the same silly patch of earth exactly 47 bazillion times beforehand? It’s disturbing to me. Quite frankly, I think he needs some sort of therapy—or an excrement coach. His insanely bizarre desire to consume both rocks and chew toys is equally disconcerting, as is his tendency to become distracted by anything and anyone while attempting his business—a passing UPS truck, a leaf skittering across the pavement, the nagging cough of an ant.

2) DECLUTTER MY WORLD—purge all that is unnecessary so that tabletops and dressers might once again be shimmery and shiny and, of course, used for their intended purposes as well as garage bays, closets and KITCHEN COUNTERS. Plan B: Rent a mammoth storage facility and jam it with every last bit of junk-that-no one-will-let-me-throw-away (to include outdated and ill-fitted clothing, beloved collections of rocks, used Band-aids and ridiculously dilapidated lunch bags). Amen.

—courage to confiscate and discard the repulsive scraps of carrion my dog brings home, to remove misshapen clumps of cat vomit (still warm, yet impossibly welded to the carpet), to unplug more toilets, to “see what that noise was” at 3 am, to view the vast array of insects my kids insist I examine up close, to pet the fuzzy caterpillars and slimy grubs they befriend, to find the source of the “unusual odor” in the recesses of my fridge, to accept the fact that my oldest can and will navigate city streets and wickedly fast freeways—with or without a freaking map of the DC suburbs.

4) (SOMETIME) ISSUE A MORATORIUM ON PROCRASTINATION—begin by tackling daunting tasks like Christmas shopping and greeting cards TOMORROW or sooner, then move on to scheduling that dreaded gynecological appointment and super gluing the mass of wounded toys currently spilling from my countertop-turned-triage-center.

5) END THE OBSESSION WITH ALL-THINGS-COMPUTERISH—to include unwarranted and nomadic-like Internet wanderings, relentless monitoring of my varied and decidedly insignificant website statistics as well as my mildly incapacitating fixation with creating Planet Mom-ish products (read: foolish tripe no one will buy) for my online store. The latest bit of idiocy: a 2010 calendar, of course, on which I fully intend to track my progress on the aforementioned resolutions.

That way, I can both validate and glorify my efforts, regardless of the outcome.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live.
Visit me there at

Copyright 2009 Melinda L. Wentzel


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