New Year’s resolutions.
So easy to make, so easy to break. Forget the “I
want to lose some weight” ones. An ounce
qualifies, but doesn’t really shorten the
waistline. And why pick only the hard ones? Where
are the “go fishing more” or “sleep
in past sunrise” claims? Probably because
we get laughed at by our spouses or they poke us
in the ribs and say “Your turn to get up
So much for resolutions. But we, yes me too, make
them. Fortunately, most are made late on New Year’s
Eve and in such a state that we often don’t
remember them in the morning. “I said what?” No
It doesn’t help to search through the Thesaurus
for a better fit: goals, objectives, decision,
elucidation (wasn’t very lucid when I made
it), declaration, or assertion. But if I was going
to make some “corrections” or “alignments” to
my personal habits in 2008, here are a few possibilities.
1. Go birding more often. I could (should!) pick
the losing-some-weight option, but I will cloak
that in a more fun approach. If I get out birding
more often that usually entails more walking, missing
more breakfasts because of the “early bird
gets the rarity” mentality of birders, and
burning calories while shivering in the pre-dawn
cold waiting for birds to take flight.
Done in a group, birding becomes a social outing
and fulfills my desire for more human contact.
Because I work mostly at home or alone outside,
I miss out on a lot of the good gossip. “A
little bird told me” is the mantra of many
a birder who passes on the doings of their neighbors,
local politicians, strangers, and acquaintances.
Not that I want to be besieged by the doings of
others, but a little closer time lag would be nice.
2. Write a novel. Since I mostly work at home,
I figure I should get something done. That ream
of paper holding down my files or the one providing
a level place to set my coffee cup on just begs
to be inked. Though I really want to just have
some more income, I figure that getting a job is
the least likely way to get me there. Better to
stay home, drink coffee and feel like Hemmingway.
And since most resolutions are pipe dreams anyway,
why not go BIG? But if I can’t do the novel
thing, I’d settle for another field guide
or a children’s book about hummingbirds.
At least I’m part way on the latter and have
a chance at the first. Nothing like coming up with
a resolution that stands a chance of success. Nothing
like a little head start.
3. Take some longer hikes. OK, so maybe this is
a weight-reduction myth as well, but at least it
comes with a higher fun quotient than treading
on a mill. I’d rather be out in the canyons,
taking in the fresh mountain air or even mucking
through the mud than going nowhere this proverbial
treadmill. A spasm of recent minor injuries has
kept me closer to home, but I long for the trail
and nights spent sleeping under starry blankets.
And since I tend to make a portion of my annual
income off of writing or photographing the outdoors
and its inhabitants, maybe taking these longer
jaunts could help with that “income thang.”
A resolution without a plan is like a net with
a gapping tear – things just seem to slip
by a lot easier. Without some type of measure of
success, all I have is idle chatter. So on my next
hike, while I’m out bird watching or shooting
some photographs or just enjoying the natural world,
I’ll give myself some credit. That or wait
until next year. Happy New Year!