I admit it: I make resolutions. I’m one of those people who loves the idea of a fresh start. I regularly resolve to change various aspects of my life, not just at New Year’s, but any time I have an excuse: The beginning of a semester, my birthday, summer solstice. Occasionally, I even keep my resolutions.
But this New Year, I’m doing something new. I’m resolving not to make resolutions. I’m making a commitment to not change things. Instead of resolutions, I’ve come up with what I like to think of as five anti-resolutions for 2013 and beyond.
1. I’m not resolving to swear less. I am a swearer. I like swearing. I don’t swear at people, at least not to their faces, and I don’t swear in inappropriate places, like classrooms or high mass. But I swear. Back in ’68, when I was part of the largest wave of women ever to start college in the history of the nation (seriously, we were), people of the female persuasion were not supposed to swear. So, naturally, we swore profusely: The whole point of the 60’s was to break rules. I’ve been swearing ever since. Once in awhile, I can be heard to mutter, “I really should clean up my language.” Not this year. This year, I’m going for it.
2. I’m not resolving to drink less. This might sound pretty scary if it weren’t for the fact that I hardly drink to begin with. A glass of wine with dinner now and then is about it. However, on the rare occasion when I do have a cocktail, it’s invariably something gigantic and sweet, and I always ask myself, “Do I really need to put this immensely caloric concoction of sugar and alcohol into the temple that is my body?” My answer is always yes.
3. I’m not resolving to be a better teacher. This isn’t because teaching isn’t important to me: If it weren’t, I couldn’t have done it for so many years. It’s because I’m already as good a teacher as I’m ever going to be. I’m good, but not great, and I’ve come to the conclusion that teaching greatness will continue to elude me. So I’m accepting my status as one of those professors you learn a few things from but don’t remember on your deathbed.
4. I’m not resolving to exercise more, eat more healthily, keep my house cleaner, meditate more often, do more volunteering, donate more money, be more thoughtful, or get organized. All of those are good things, but I know I’m not going to do them just because I say I’m going to. In 2013, I’m going to continue on pretty much as I did in 2012 and, for that matter, in 1978. It’s gotten me this far, and it will probably get me through another two or three decades.
5. I’m not resolving to write better or more, to be more successful as a writer or make more money at my writing, to be more disciplined or more creative. I am just going to continue muddling through, as I have always done. I will write because I’m a writer. Writing is what I do. I don’t need a resolution for that.
Causes Jill Jepson Supports
Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...