Editor’s note: Tammy Keith is on vacation. This column was written in January 2011. Two years later, at age 50, she still hasn’t done any of the items on her list of things she wants to improve — but she might this year.
I have never made New Year’s resolutions in my life, but at 48, I’m beginning to feel a little panicked.
There are some things I’d like to improve on before I go to that big newsroom in the sky.
Resolutions are so cut and dried — I don’t like being told what to do, even by myself. (Note to self: Work on being a control freak.)
So, I have some Things I’d Like to Do in the new year.
My husband and I went to an early New Year’s Eve/late Christmas party, and we enjoyed visiting with two other couples who are some of our favorite people in the world. There was a fire, good food and good conversation — even a dancing Christmas meerkat. (My gift to the hostess — no home is complete without one.)
We act like we live hundreds of miles apart and can’t get together more often. It’s crazy. We all promised to get together more often. I’m going to try to make time for the people who really matter to me.
I mentioned in one conversation about exercise at this get-together that I might start going to the gym at 5:30 a.m.
My husband said, “You’ve been saying that for five years.”
If someone tells me I can’t do something, I’m bound and determined that I will (algebra doesn’t count). His comment lit a fire under me. Let this be a warning to anyone in the University of Central Arkansas HPER at that time of morning — I am scary without makeup.
I plan to read the dozen books I have downloaded on my Kindle, and the “real” ones I have stacked on the fireplace hearth. Or, reread them, because my memory is so bad I can’t remember anything.
With Steve Jobs as my witness, I will learn how to use my iPhone. Even with my arthritic thumbs, I will learn to text like a 20-year-old.
I may, and this is not a promise, learn to use the remote control at my house so as to quit infuriating my family, who has to turn on the television for me.
As a special gift to my husband, I also may quit leaving empty Splenda packets on the counter with my dirty spoon. Or, I may save that for our 25th anniversary next year.
This may be the year I finally get organized at work, too.
At this moment, I can see only an inch or two of the top of my desk under all the papers, mugs (I count five), used plastic forks, spoons, newspapers, notebooks, magazines, a picture of Dave Barry for inspiration, phone books and random pieces of paper. That doesn’t count the stacks of papers, books and files around my desk. I knew it was bad when I watched an episode of the show Hoarders the other day and admired the woman’s neatness.
I will try to be more patient in general. My mother has told me for, oh, probably 45 of my 48 years that “patience is a virtue.”
All bets are off on this being extended to include drivers using roundabouts improperly and children screaming in restaurants.
There’s no reason to try for perfection at my age.
Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.