By Jack Sparacino
Well, here comes 2012 at warp speed and with it another opportunity for all of us to consider those pesky New Year’s resolutions. I now prefer to think of them as goals which can be written almost as if one was developing them for a job or task. So they need to be specific, measurable, supportive of the larger organization (county or even world?) and of course achievable. That’s the theory, anyway. Now, for the more personal and humble reality.
Deep breath. OK, here goes. I will now:
1. Watch where I’m going better, and stop tripping so often over anything more than about an inch high. This includes sneakers, dog toys, and garden tools. Also sticks, curbs and lamp tables. Unless any of these things need tripping over.
2. Watch 25% less distressing national and world news while simultaneously acquiring 25% more actual wisdom about how and why the world around us works the way it does (or doesn’t). Maybe no news at all on Sundays.
3. Vow to give gardening one more serious try to see if I can get to like it. I’ve read that gardening is one of THE most popular hobbies in the country. The trick will be for me to ignore or minimize the bugs, dirt, sweat, and aching back and focus on the lovely results. I have a hunch that accomplishing this one will really make my wife proud of me.
4. Figure out, once and for all, where socks that go missing after they enter the dryer actually go. And how they get there. This one has tremendous leverage and when achieved should make people who like reading mystery novels stand up and take notice. Maybe NASA would be interested, too. And the National Sock Guild.
5. Remember how to whistle. I used to be a pretty decent whistler. Not concert level or anything like that, just on key and enthusiastic. But my whistle got up and left the building one day. Wouldn’t it be eerie if it turns out that it went where everyone’s lost socks go when they escape from dryer Alcatraz.
6. Learn how to fly fish. I had a great offer this year from a friend who is absolutely expert, but it was tied to a specific tournament and I was unable to go. The first step in this resolution is to get my head straight and stop thinking of fly fishing as arts and crafts. You know, making your own flies on a nifty workbench with those little tweezers and such. Wearing those vests with a million little pockets. And the sometimes dorky hats.
7. Teach 10 people something really useful. This one involves a slight hedge, since I’m willing to count myself as one of the ten.
The challenge here will be figuring out what I actually still know that’s valuable without getting on Google or asking my son, who already knows lots of good stuff, including things I forgot.
8. Learn how to make bread. This one has been evading me for years, probably because so many grocery stores make such good bread. I’m not sure whether to get a bread making machine or earn my stripes the old fashioned way and do it the way the pioneers did, for example. Or the people who needed to really get it right for the Earl of Sandwich so they could stay out of sandwich jail.
9. Get used to my neck cracking all the time. Since no doctor has yet told me it’s serious, maybe the solution is to try yoga or a zen-like attitude readjustment. Or maybe join a group of people who like to crack their knuckles or chew ice cubes and find out what their secrets of enjoyment are.
10. Make a contribution to world peace OR do a better job of remembering why I walked into a particular room (without having to write it down before). Well, succeeding with the latter resolution would at least generate some peace of mind. And how do you boil the world peace ocean? Right. One cup at a time.
By Jack Sparacino