As we enter a new year (not to mention a new decade)…
I generally avoid making New Year’s “resolutions”. It may just be me, but most resolutions seem to be things that we need to STOP doing something that is a) unhealthy; b) unsafe, or c) unpleasant to those around us. I have never had much success with resolutions – it’s not hard to promise to stop eating junk food, for example. The problem is, the first time I find myself eating a few cookies or a handful of chips, I get the notion that I’ve already done the damage, so there’s no point in exercising any more restraint. The flood gates are opened, so to speak, and I’m right back to my old habits.
This year, though, there are quite a few things that I want to do differently – not “stop” doing, but do more of, or do more carefully. I’m not going to resolve anything – that’s a recipe for disaster. Rather, I’d like to present a list of goals:
1. Write more.
2. Listen to music more.
3. Go on more trips for my own enjoyment. (Sounds a bit selfish, but I don’t seem to take any vacations that don’t include inlaws or aunts.)
4. Use my annual leave more wisely. (It would be nice to have some to spare time this fall, when it’s cooler.)
5. Walk more. Especially with Hammerhead. She needs the exercise, too.
6. Pay closer attention to my finances. I’m not stupid when it comes to money, just lazy.
7. Less fast food. Less restaurant food. More good food.
8. Go to church regularly. I love my church family; don’t know why, but I haven’t been a very good family member of late.
9. Decide, once and for all, what I want to be when I grow up. Then, take the steps to do it.
10. Finally, keep the house cleaner, the kitchen tidier, the laundry done. Not gonna get any help with this one – time to accept that, and run with it.
I can’t guarantee that I can achieve all of these goals, or even a few of them. I’m certain that I’ll backslide on occasion. But I have to give it a shot, for me. Not for Phil, or the kids or grandkids, or for work. For me. It’s that important; I need to take care of me, or I won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
So, about my pet goat – er, I mean, Black Lab.
Lakota is almost nine months old; she’s absolutely beautiful, shiny and healthy and spoiled rotten. She has also grown from a tiny, cute puppy into a combination paper shredder/garbage disposal. A partial list of the items she has demolished in the last two nights includes:
– two sets of shoe insoles;
– one set of boot laces;
– two manila envelopes (one padded with some sort of cardboard fiber);
– two boxes of Stren 12 lb. test monofilament fishing line (ate the boxes, left the spools of line);
– one box of Federal ammunition, .300 WSM caliber (once again, ate the box, left the ammo);
– two plastic clothes hangers;
– one ball cap.
Now, before you chide me for leaving the above items where the doggie could reach them, let me first identify the items that were not on the dining room table.
Boot laces – check.
Shoe insoles – check.
Everything else was on top of our six-foot long, four-foot high, specially ordered dining room table. Not hanging off of the table, mind you, but ON the table, well out of reach of errant grandsons and dogs and the like. Weeeelllll, that’s what I thought, anyway. Evidently, she has fallen in love with the two training “dummies” that Phil bought to use in training her to retrieve. She has bones, stuffed animals, rawhide chews – but she had to have her “dummies”, which were on the dining room table a few nights ago after Phil got done with them. I got up yesterday morning, turned on the light in the living room, and…”LAKOTA!!!” Shreds of paper, bits of cardboard, a pile of ammunition, and plopped right in the middle – Momma’s little baby, contentedly gnawing on an orange plastic dummy. So, this weekend will be spent RE-toddler-proofing my house, with an eye to hanging things from the ceiling.