Despite my earlier resolution not to, last week, on December 31st, like I do every New Year's Eve, I made several Resolutions.
Of course, today, only a week into the New Year, for reasons that have nothing to do with alcohol consumption, I can barely remember what positive action that I vowed I would do or which vice I pledged I would stop doing this year.
My Resolutions only change slightly from year to year.
Resolution No. 1: “This next year I am going to wake up an hour early and ________ (fill in the blank; usually “work out, “read" or, based on a more recent interest of mine, “to meditate," though me waking up an hour early in order to meditate is really dumb. I'm better off simply going back to bed, since anything I do within ten minutes of waking up that involves closing my eyes for more than ten seconds will return me to slumber.)"
Resolution No. 2: "This next year I am going to eat healthier and not eat after 9:00PM." Today, a week into the New Year, I'm still digesting the meatball sandwich and bowl of minestrone soup I ate after last night's late night movie. Like many of us, any Resolution pertaining to eating healthy or weight loss won't work, especially now that I live within a mile of JB Albertos, a Rogers Park restaurant specializing in greasy but tasty pizza by the slice.
Resolution No. 3: “This year I am going to be more organized." I try valiantly all of the time to be more organized. I keep lists aplenty: lists in my computer, some of which transfer electronically into my IPhone. When I don't think that those electronic means of staying organized are working, I resort to making lists on a trusty legal pad. I've even resorted to keeping lists of my lists.
Yet, despite my New Years Eve promises, I will never be as organized as I'd like.
I admire my youngest daughter, who is now sixteen, because she is one of those few people who actually achieve her New Year Resolutions.
Her Resolutions are a bit more goal oriented than are mine, and she is very disciplined.
For example, three years ago she proclaimed that she would not eat at fast food restaurants for the entire year. At times she was challenged, especially when her summer camp had a day trip where all campers stopped at McDonalds. Ella found a way to overcome temptation, possibly by convincing a sympathetic fellow fast food hating counselor to allow her to walk down the street to Subway.
Two years ago, she vowed to not drink carbonated sodas. She did it, she claimed, with little difficulty.
And last year, she swore not to eat potato chips – another resolution that she honored.
I am proud of her and I wish that I could do as well.
So, maybe it was the spiritual forces at play, but I have a new routine that I have started to engage in early this year, and I am so proud of it that I am tempted to proclaim doing this to be my New Year's Resolution for 2010, though on New Years' Eve I had no idea about this.
Over the New Year's holiday, as we are every year, my extended family and I were in Sanibel Island, Florida. My three kids and I share a time-share condo, and over the course of our stay there several of my kids' friends stayed overnight. I am not sure precisely how this happened, but when I came home last weekend and unpacked my toiletries bag, inside I found a toothbrush. None of my kids knew whose toothbrush it was.
It wasn't just any toothbrush. It was an electric one.
For some reason, I have not used an electric toothbrush since I was probably twelve years old and I have never considered using one since.
Perhaps I am sharing too much information, but, yes, I did use a toothbrush owned by someone else. Last Sunday evening, before going to bed, I detached the plastic piece that covers the toothbrush's bristles, placed the bristles under the faucet for a few seconds, plugged the device in, applied requisite tooth paste, and I started brushing away.
Actually, I don't know if what I did is called brushing – rather, I simply placed the device over my teeth and I let it do all of the work. And it did it well – and I enjoyed the sensation so much that, with the exception of annual teeth cleaning done by my dentist, I probably cleaned my teeth longer and more thoroughly than I have since, well, the early 1970s Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the last time I used an electric toothbrush. It felt good, and I took delight at how clean my teeth felt.
“Better get inside the mouth and brush the inside lining of my teeth," I thought, while brushing.
“Better get that last row of teeth – all three sides!"
2010. The year, for me, of the electric toothbrush?
I can't promise anything, but if my daughter can go through an entire year without fast food, or without soda, or without chips, I think I can go a year using this device.
Presuming, of course, that none of my kids' friends who visited us in Florida calls to ask about his or her missing electric toothbrush.