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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Poor New Year's Resolution - It Gets Such A Bad Rap

And do you know what a RAP is? It stands for Record of Arrests and Prosecutions so it's already a bad thing to get. So a bad rap could be a good thing - when viewed as a double negative. Or perhaps a bad rap is a false record of arrests and prosecutions and should really be called a bum rap, which is slang from prohibition times - and in gangster movies staring Edward G Robinson.

Sic semper ENFP

I was really prompted to write about resolutions - because the media is chockablock full of chatter about them - why they are bad, why they don't work, how to make ones that do - yada yada yada. Me? I love 'em.

btw - chockablock didn't originally mean full - it just meant things were pulled so tight they couldn't move any more - while full to the brim-edness was expressed by the Middle English chokkefull  which I have always mispronounced as chock-full, as in the coffee Chock full o'Nuts - which I used to swear by but which now doesn't seem to taste the same.

Look! A bird!

LEFT BRAIN:  (snickering) I'm the one messin' with her. Just feelin' silly

RIGHT BRAIN: (whispering) and I'm the one coming up with all the definitions

Is that brain chatter I hear?

LEFT BRAIN:& RIGHT BRAIN: (more giggles)

Okay - sorry - to get back to resolutions. I love resolutions. I loved them the first time I heard about them - somewhere around age 9. My dad told me about them. He said you wrote down a list of things you wanted to do, or do better, in the coming year. You did this on New Year's Day. It was probably the first time it ever occurred to me that I had a say in what things I could do better. That growth and progress and improvement and achievement belonged to ME. Up to that point I just did what I was told because the consequences of not obeying parents was pretty dramatic.  Not only had I personally experienced those consequences, but as a good little Virgo daughter, a second daughter, following in the footsteps of a roaring, fighting, angry lion of a Leo big sister, I had witnessed even more dire consequences, second hand. Being a good girl, following the rules - hey - not just second nature to this September baby but proof that life, at least the life of a child, was all about the obedience.

Suddenly the chief executioner was telling me about personal choice? Man - this was treasure! This was a glimpse into the Aladin's Cave of Adulthood.

"You decide what you want to improve"

I decide? Me? Not parents, teachers, policemen, presidents? ME? How cool is that?

Which just goes to show you that no matter how carefully you try to explain and demonstrate and map things out for your kids, they're always going to pluck from your wisdom, the thing they are looking for. You might get lucky. They might get the gist of your message. But they might not. You'll never know - till they're 40 and are reminiscing over a drink on the back porch. Like when you find out your kid broke his nose when he was 14, jumping off a highway bridge. Ask me about that, sometime.

For that matter - don't we always find the thing we are looking for? The thing that bolsters our beliefs? You know this is true.

Anyway - from that day on I would write down lists of Things That Could Be Better! At the peak of my resolution writing history I probably wrote down 40 New Year's Resolutions a year. Now I tend to just examine parts of my life and see what New Things I'd like to try. What sorts of experiments might be fun.

And therein lies the difference between me and all the authors of WhyYourNewYearsResolutionsFail articles. They have made the mistake of seeing the resolution as a punitive thing intended to eradicate your bad behavior - or at best, as a goal - which always means there is the threat of failure, which, because you're such a looser anyway you'll probably succumb to, so why write a resolution anyway? Besides, statistics show that you won't lose weight. You'll get heavier because hey - you probably live in America and drive past 14 hamburger joints before you get home from werk.

Me? I see the New Years Resolution (s) as all the cool stuff up ahead. All the things I might want to try. Every experiment that might bring about interesting change. Everything that looks like fun.

I love me some resolutions. I feel sorry for people who feel burdened by them. I wish they'd just embrace the Power of Choice and go out and .... have some fun.

LEFT BRAIN:& RIGHT BRAIN:  we think so too!

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