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Tuesday, January 1, 2002

My first resolution of the new year was kind of a farce. "I'm going to work straight through till four o'clock" doesn't mean as much if you don't start until 2:30. But I got a late start for a good reason: I had to stay up as late as Dick Clark last night. I mean, he's even older than I am! (I think.)

The good thing about writing forty-'leven checks on January 1 is that you get used to writing the year right quick. 2002, 2002, 2002. That's not the reason I saved all these checks to write on my day "off." That was a business decision.

Supposedly if we have a lot of money in the company checking account on December 31, the bonding company will look favorably on our requests for them to bond new work in the coming year. So I stop writing checks about two weeks before that, leaving a whole lot of work to do on New Year's Day, before the creditors start yelling at me. I don't know if this charade fools anybody. I'm just following orders.

On the other hand, starting at 2:30 did make it easier to keep the resolution. (Getting everything done by 4:00, that was another matter.)

Since making a new year's resolution worked so well for me last year (and obviously, I'm pretty pleased with myself, since I keep bringing it up), I've decided to make a few this year. I intend to keep these as well as I did the one about not buying new books, CDs and videos all last year. (Last year! It's over!)

1. I will clear my desk of unnecessary paperwork and keep it clear. I've actually been thinking about this one for a while now, and doing nothing about it. So it might take until December to make this happen (heck, it might take until December 2003), but it will happen.

2. I'll get caught up on my filing and clean out the filing cabinet. This means going through all the files and boxing up everything that's out of date. I have five-year-old invoices that I have to keep, and five-year-old letters that I can toss out (for recycling in the new big blue box, of course). This also could take the whole year, but it'll make life a whole lot easier once it's done.

3. I'm going to pay my bills on time. Not the company bills, because I do the best I can there with what I have to work with. It's my personal bills that get shoved aside in piles of unopened mail. If I go through the mail every day and pay bills whenever I get paid, I should save a lot of penalties and late fees.

I could go on and on like this, but I should stop before I commit myself to something I'm never going to do, like filing tax forms before the last minute. Deadlines are still my friends, because they help me get things done.

However, let us give lip service to those resolutions that have served so well, year after year. I'll eat better, and get out more, and get more sleep and exercise, and keep the house cleaner. These are ongoing personal renewal projects, with no expiration date, but it's not a bad idea to remind myself every so often. My last diet started on April 13, so I'm not exactly constrained by the calendar.

looking southeast

I had to stand in the rain to take this, but the sky looks a bit lighter, doesn't it?

I have a few hopes for the new year that are more like wishes than resolutions. I want to be a more positive person, and not let the little things stop me from enjoying as many moments of as many days as possible. I want to accept what I can't change, like the weather, instead of complaining about it. I'd like to feel at the end of each day as if I've accomplished something worthwhile, or at least not wasted the whole day. I'd also like to have more fun, meet more people, and in general lead a life worth the time to write (and read) about every day.

And I hope to leave my laundry in the dryer (or the washer, for that matter) overnight less often.

In addition to all these wishes, I have one more secret resolution that no one will ever know about (unless I actually keep it, and that's a long shot). And no, it has nothing to do with glazed donuts.

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Latest recommendation:

Spinny, Lemon Rind, December 31, Uncharacteristic List

Thanks to Colleen and Secra for the inspiration.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Looking Forward
"Live every day as if it's your next best chance to start reshaping the world the way it should be."

Two years ago: Afterglow
"The more we know and remember, the more hopeful we have a right to be for the future."

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I even kissed Aunt Lou (ewww!).