Sunday, January 18, 2009

Resolution Smezolution

Well, we're a good two weeks or so into the new year.  Hard to believe, huh?  But think about it, January is more than half over already.  Christmas decorations have been stowed, the leftover sweets and goodies have been tossed and resolutions are already out the window.


I've been thinking about resolutions lately – resolutions in general, and mine in particular.  If you recall, I purported to try and improve my patience this year.  Well, as I once learned in a seminar, 'trying' is merely looking good failing.  Oh, the sympathy that's garnered when you say, "But I tried."  Don't believe me? 


You know that person who's always trying to lose a few pounds?  What do you say about them?  "Look at poor so-and-so, still trying to lose that weight, my, how they try – and it just doesn't seem to come off."  The reason it doesn't come off is because they're actually 'not trying' to lose weight – they're only 'wanting' to lose weight.  In order to really 'try' one must take action – do something, like say, modify your diet and, oh, I don't know, perhaps add a little exercise.  But most people don't do that.  They just continue on in their Frito-Lay lifestyle and lament how the pounds are there for good – no matter how hard they try.  See, looking good failing…


My attempt to temper my Type A or Driver – whatever they're calling it now – personality is no different.  I claim I'd like to have more patience, but do I do anything about it?  Not really, nothing other than curse and swear when I lose it, that is.  I try, but I just can't seem to do it.  Oh, poor me – I try so hard. (Looking good failing – see how it works?)


And so, with that in mind, I get to what I've been thinking about these past two weeks.  I am beginning to think that people are not unlike (you're probably not expecting what's coming next) reinvented household products that are constantly being touted as "New and Improved."


Toothpastes have gone through so many incarnations of being 'new and improved' that, by now, our teeth should have all the sparkly shine of white twinkling Christmas lights.


And how about fabric softeners?  If they actually added half the soft, fluffy nap-restoring quality to fabrics that they claim to, we'd all be clad head-to-toe in the fuzziest fleece you've ever seen – think cotton Michelin Man on steroids. 


Then, of course, there is an endless stream of aromatherapeutic fragrances infused into these products: We have Mountain Rain, Spring Rain, Morning Rain – see what I mean?  Well, I live in the desert and all our rain smells like dirt, so I go for the lemon scents – Lemon Zingers, Lemon Boosters, Now 25% MORE Lemon – so freakin' lemony that you'll think you have an actual lemon grove right in your own home!


I'm very loyal to my products – much to my mother's chagrin (she is a marketer's dream – she'll try anything new).  I've been using Colgate since I was a kid – and teeth whitening formula or not, my teeth are not getting any whiter.  Likewise, even though I add a capful of Downy to every load, I still have washcloths that are so thin I can almost see through them. And, the lemon scent from my Pledge dissipates almost the minute I wipe the polish off the furniture. 


Does this mean that I stop using these products and go on a search for a toothpaste that will actually acid wash my tooth enamel, or for a fabric softener that will reinvigorate a 10-year old washcloth, or find a Pledge substitute that will squirt out actual lemon juice?  No, I don't.  And, why don't I?  Because they don't exist – and neither do 'new and improved' people.


If you're a smoker – you're a smoker, and the turn of a calendar page is not going to change that.  Now, when you get some sense into your head, you'll quit; but it won't be because of a resolution – it will more than likely be because your doctor found a spot on your lung.  Poor guy, he 'tried' to quit for years and now this.  


On a related topic, I happen to be an ex-smoker.  I 'tried' to quit several times in the course of the 13 years that I smoked – and did sometimes, for several months at a clip; but do you know what finally worked?  I just decided I didn't want to smoke anymore – not that I shouldn't smoke because of blah-blah-blah, but that I didn't want to; and that was that – pretty much anyway.  Oh sure, I still had moments of habit-conditioned desire (hard to imagine, I know), but I made up my mind.  That was 13 years ago.  So anyway, here's what I'm wondering about: I don't know if Nicorette actually works or not, but if it does, then maybe someone could get going on Choco-rette.  What do you think?


So, I managed to quit smoking – that was in October, though, and had nothing to do with resolutions.  I already eat right – generally (damn you Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough) – and exercise.  We've established that I am impatient and probably always will be – it's just how I'm wired. 


There is one thing I may be able to work on, though – and not as a resolution, necessarily, but just as an overall improvement, and that would be to stop cursing.  I realize that cursing is an unsophisticated way of expressing oneself… and I've never really been at a loss for ways to express myself, so I don't know why I struggle with this one.  Of course, I am from New Jersey so there's a good chance it's in my blood.  You know, it may actually be in my blood – men typically curse more than women, don't they?  I recently shared this theory with a fellow author:  I have come to suspect that I may have a ball gene lurking somewhere deep within my chromosomal makeup.  


You know, if that's really true then I'm off the hook for a lot of stuff – I may be an impatient, vulgar-mouthed, opinionated Jersey girl, but it's not my fault.  I try – but, seriously, what can you really expect from a girl with a ball gene?


 - M

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

Christmas is over.

The new year's begun.

I've had it with winter;

I'm ready for sun.


I'm spoiled rotten –

I know it, it's true;

but I've lived here five years now,

so what can I do?


Temps in the 40s!

I can't take it that chilly.

I'm from the Northeast

so I know that sounds silly.


I don't mean to cry,

whine, mope or sulk,

but who can move

wrapped up in this bulk?


The turtlenecks, fleeces

and warm woolen sweaters

get the job done

but what would be better


Is if temperatures rose

up, just a bit, see

60 or 70

is quite nice to me.


But alas, I must wait

a little while longer

for our hot desert sun

to grow a bit stronger.


Just a few more weeks now –

not as long as you'd think.

In fact, summer will be here

before I can blink.


Why do I rush things

the way that I do?

Because I haven't got patience –

It's an elusive virtue. 


I'll work on that this year;

yes, that'll be fine

for a good resolution

for 2009.


I welcome the new year –

it's got a good start;

I heard from an old friend

and that warmed my heart.


So the future's before us –

wide open and clear;

embrace it fully,

and have a Happy New Year!


Here's to 2009…


 - M