29 Dec New Year’s Resolutions
I’m a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. I figure January’s as good a time as any to set some goals, and to check in on last year’s to see exactly how far I am from being a perfect human being. Here’s my plan for 2016.
1. Get off the dang phone
I can’t get through a day without spending at least two hours on my phone. Bad days have topped out at four and a half hours. How do I know this? The iPhone app called “Moment.” One of the perks of self-employment is that I can be at the playground with my kids and sending work emails, which means extra family time. But the quality of that time suffers when I’m distracted. There’s another app called “Checky” that tells you how many times a day you check your phone. I won’t divulge my sickening numbers, but suffice it to say: I need to get a grip on my addiction.
2. Be a good daughter
My folks are nearing retirement. Though we’re not yet to the point where I drive them to doctor’s appointments, pour their meds or yell into their hearing aids, the tides of give-and-take are due to shift direction sometime soon. Though I’m not well off enough to buy them new furniture or anything, I could start helping them downsize their house by taking my American Girl doll, ballet costumes and Jim Carrey posters out of my old bedroom.
3. Be consistent
My son Henry is the sweetest, cleverest, funniest boy you’ll ever meet. He is also, perhaps, a sociopath. In addition to the fact that he’s three and has a new baby brother, I blame his rascally ways on my Jekyll-and-Hyde parenting. In this information age, there are online articles supporting spanking, time outs, “time ins” where you hug and chat, positive reinforcement — and ten other articles on each topic, condemning each tactic just as heartily. It’s hard to know what to do, and so I’ve served my poor kid a sampler platter of ways to deal with bad behavior. None of them work because I ping-pong around so much. Gonna pick one and stick with it in 2016.
4. Save the world
With two sick kids during the holiday season — one of them my newborn, Daniel — I did more Christmas shopping online than I feel good about admitting. On my iPhone, no less. But I’ve got to get back to fiercely supporting local. There’s a lot of great shopping and dining in Glens Falls. I know that every dollar matters to small business owners, because I am one. Each purchase is a vote for one of my favorite places to keep its doors open. No more excuses. Supporting small, independent business in my community is how I’ll save the world. (Let’s do this one together, Chronicle readers!)
5. Chill about the couch
Our eye doctor, Dr. Ryan Winters, father of two boys, told us he’s decided not to buy a new couch until they’re in college. Thank goodness we sprang for the Scotch-Guard treatment when we bought ours from Bare Bones, because now that it’s been through deliberate spitting-upon during tantrums, breakfast peanut butter schmears, the breastmilk sprinkler system, pen scribbles and yogurt barf of the vegan coconut variety, it’s still partially sittable. But I’m going to take Dr. Winters’ advice and resign myself to gross furniture. That is, until those tides shift and my boys can buy me a new couch. They can notify me of their gift by yelling into my hearing aids.
This piece originally ran in The Chronicle Newspaper.