I hate New Years resolutions.

It’s not that I don’t believe I could use some self improvement. On the contrary. But it seems to me that the kinds of resolutions I could resolve are either trite or long hauls set up for failure. I thought, for example, that I could pledge myself to write everyday; but what does that really produce for the world — aside from more dashes and semicolons — that is of some substance? I’ve considered a new dedication to keeping my office clean and all papers returned promptly, but there are bigger fish to fry in the long term. I could just resolve to “work harder and do better,” but what’s the measure for this?

When my daughters asked what my Resolution would be, I paused for a minute before I just surrendered, “Get my act together.” That is my most honest resolution, but I suppose this summarizes every resolved pledge that’s worth anything.

This is punctuated by the calm of a holiday break during which I’ve set aside the computer for the most part. Nature’s done a good job of providing enough snow to draw me outside each day. The girls have been home from school. The dog obliges on any outdoor outing into the cold. Sleeping in has been a luxury we could afford for multiple days in a row. None of this gives me a better sense for resolve and self-betterment, but it does give me a chance to sit still and contemplate who I am as a spouse, as a father, and as a teacher/scholar/citizen. Tomorrow, I probably need to start small and clean my office, maybe do some writing, and perhaps even plan for class next week.


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