Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Contrary to popular belief, THIS is the most wonderful time of year. It is reflected in the commercials we see on television (one even uses the wonderful Christmas song to illustrate this point) and in the faces of moms and dads around the country. What time is this, you ask?

It’s time for school.

This is the time of year, for me and many others like me, when it feels like we’re turning over a new leaf. New Year’s Eve and Day? They’ve got nothing on the beginning of a school year. New backpacks are purchased with promises extracted from their new owners that this year they will not, under any circumstances, lose them; new clothing is bought, with again, promises extracted that they won’t be worn until the first day of school (I’m looking at you, child #2, in your bright-white sneakers purchased from the Nike outlet by a very suggestible grandmother); school supplies are purchased with promises made to fill them only with intellectually-stimulating material generated by invigorated teachers.

All lies, I promise you.

But this is the time of year when people like myself (those who work in their attic and never see the sun and/or those sending a passel of kids back to school) decide to make some resolutions about how life is going to be different after a regulation-less, schedule-less summer. Here’s what I have planned:

1. I will go outside every day, even if it kills me. I live so close to the Hudson River that it would be a crime not to. I also have a good friend who has just quit her job, and has purchased two new kayaks. There is no reason, besides my incredibly dysfunctional work ethic which dictates that I should be in my office all day every day, to not enjoy the beauty that surrounds us here in the Hudson Valley.

2. I will get dressed every day. Now let’s not get the wrong idea. I’m not undressed every day, just dressed in a way that might suggest to you—if you happened to run into me at the grocery store—that I’m either between homes or don’t care about my appearance. Maybe it’s the “What Not to Wear” marathon that I watched that convinced me that even though I work at home, I should take some time with my appearance. Once everyone goes back to school and I’m on the hook for going out more in public (i.e. back-to-school nights, PTA meetings, church events, going into clients' offices) I need to spruce up a bit. The summer of baggy, linen pants from Target (which are a dream come true, by the way), un-styled and un-dyed hair (no that gray can’t pass for sun streaks—everyone knows I haven’t been outside since the end of June), no make-up, and seen-better-days tee shirts are over. You heard it here first.

3. We, as a family, are going to eat healthier foods. Oh, why bother? It’s a lost cause. I’m really the only one interested in anything green that grows outside.

4. I will not worry. It’s worth a try.

5. I will work less. Won’t happen.

6. I will write at least 500 words every day. I'd better. The manuscript is due in four months.

So, there you go. What are your resolutions for the “new year,” loyal Stiletto readers? What do you have in store for school year 2009-2010, even if you don’t have kids going back into the classroom? Let’s all turn over a new leaf together.

Maggie Barbieri


  1. My son is a senior in high school this year, so my biggest resolution is to duct-tape my mouth, sit on my hands and STOP helping/reminding/leading him about. He's got to be self-reliant! Altho, he told me last night, "I got cereal, peanut butter sandwiches and these Healthy Choice pasta things - I can totally feed myself."


  2. My youngest grandchild is thrilled about school--she's a Sophomore in High School.

    All the great-grands have gone back too--so many I don't know how they feel about school. (There is still one little one home with mom.)

    I never make any kind of resolution. I know there are things I need to do like exercise more--but just haven't gotten around to doing that. Seems like I'm too busy doing what it takes to be a writer, go where I need to go, and keep up this big old house.


  3. Oh, how I miss the start of school. It almost makes it worthwhile to consider taking a class or two each year.

    And I LOVE resolutions! I find that, for me, it is always more fun to make a plan than it is to slog through each day trying to live up to that plan. I hope I never stop trying though.

    Great post!


  4. You guys are the best! Look for my future blog where I tell you how long it took to break all of these resolutions.

    Believe me, I'm going to take baby steps in enacting all of these. I just pointed out the new kayaks to a friend and said "That's how we're celebrating back-to-school next Thursday." So I have a witness (and now all of you) and I'll have to go.

    Have a great day, everyone! Maggie

  5. Go, Maggie, go! ;-)