I Am Not a Moral Pauper

Join me at Ink-Stained Wretches today, where I go on and on about habits and sinking ships and why I don’t make annual resolutions any more and why in 2021 I’m going to read all the novels of Anthony Trollope and a couple of others plus complete the novel I’ve been writing forever.

I also reveal my dirty little secret.

A Blogging Thing: My List of Uncompleted Resolutions

So Magaly Guerrero posts,

“So, my Wicked Luvs, for our first week of doing this blogging thing with each other in 2019, I invite you to include 1 or 3 (even 13) of the New Year’s Resolutions you have made year after year after year… but have never truly completed.”

A couple of years ago I resolved to stop jumping into blogging challenges. But I didn’t resolve anything about blogging things, so here’s my list of never truly completed New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. Lose weight. [This isn’t completely uncompleted. I’ve lost a lot of weight since I was thirteen.]
  2. Maintain weight loss. [This isn’t completely uncompleted either. I’ve maintained a lot of weight losses. Some longer than others. The last two nonmaintenances weren’t my fault. In the first instance, I was told I had to gain it back to stay sane. In the second instance, an undiagnosed something fueled the gain, and boy, am I unhappy with the person who considered me a hysterical middle-aged woman who just needed to exercise when I told him I couldn’t walk a mile without becoming exhausted. And unhappy with myself for letting him get away with it for so long.]

Okay. Enough of the self-serving public unburdening. Maybe I’ll resolve to stop that.

Here are my uncompleted resolutions, some more uncompleted than others.

  1. Give up television. [For years, I watched nothing but the British comedies, Law and Order, and Masterpiece Theatre. Then I gave up the latter two. Then a new channel that carried the Jack Benny Show in the mornings appeared, and I started watching that. Somehow other programs crept in, mostly horrible ones from the ’70s. I gave them up but then another new station appeared– this HD-TV thing has much to answer for–and I found the original Law and Order again. Then I gave David a subscription to Netflix, and guess who watched it, and he gave me a subscription to Acorn, and I watched it, and then we got a Roku thingy and I discovered Youtube carries more old shows plus Frederica von Stade singing “Song to the Moon.” And “The Flower Duet.” It’s a slippery slope.]
  2. Clean up this mess. [I’ve done that periodically but have no talent for keeping things straight. The main obstacle is that it gets worse before it gets better, and before it gets better, I find another project. Furthermore, I’ve been told I have no executive function, and is that ever true. But hope springs eternal, so I’m again in the process of tidying–I’m on a break even as I type–but this time the worse won’t stick around, because I’m divesting myself of china and crystal and most of my mother’s lovely things that I don’t use. The majority is already packed. A great-niece and -nephew, bless them, are taking the china. Service for twelve plus serving pieces. When I was a child, we used it every Sunday, and when the Waller family gathered for Thanksgiving or Christmas, almost everything was on the dining room (extra leaved) table. But David and I, preferring dishes that like the dishwasher and don’t break so easily, have let it lie fallow for too long. The sideboard and one of the china closets are going to other members of the family. Bless them. I’m keeping only a few special pieces. Some of this stuff dates from my parents’ marriage in the early ’40s. Some has been around for four or five generations. You just don’t sell or take such treasures to the Salvation Army without replacing them with a load of guilt.]
  3. Learn Spanish. [I learned Spanish for fourteen semester hours in college but had no one to speak with and so ended up with an excellent accent and a few phrases. (¿Qué hora es? ¿Como está usted? Me llamo Kathy. ¿Como se llama?) Early in our relationship, David offered to speak with me–he has a master’s in Spanish and roamed around Mexico with ease when it was safe to roam–but I was afraid with my limited memory of the preterito, not to mention the pluscuamperfecto, we’d never get to know each other. I haven’t given up hope, but the continuing ed. class in beginning español always fall on days I’m already busy.]
  4. Be brief. [I’ve already spent over 600 words on this, and I don’t think that’s the kind of list Magaly has in mind, but if it’s a list of uncompleted resolutions . . .]

Because 2019 is still an infant, I include this year’s resolution:

The cup is already broken.

No pressure. No striving for perfection. No guilt over uncompleteness.

I didn’t post on January 1, so I don’t have to post every day. I ate Wheat Thins I didn’t need and didn’t want. I haven’t finished packing the treasures.

The year is already broken.

Broaden the smile and the picture applies. Perfectly.


The resolutions go 1, 3, 5, 7 because I wanted to double space, and WordPress lists don’t do that.


Images of cup and dragon from pixabay.com licensed under CC0
Cup and measuring tape by ahgomaaz
Dragon by GraphicMama-team

Image of china, Gotham by Haviland, by me.



01.01.2013: As Yet, Unfinished, but Finished Now

Fox (Photo credit: jans canon)

I’ve done it again. Gotten my days mixed up.

Earlier today, I decided to enter the WordPress Post Every Day 2013 challenge. I added the badge, which had just become available, to the blog’s sidebar and congratulated myself on having already posted on January 1.

At 11:58 p.m., something moved me to look at the date of the previous post, which I’d published on January 1. It read, December 31, 2012.

I won’t explain the mental gyrations I went through to turn today into yesterday and tomorrow into today, but for a person of my genius, it was nothing, really nothing.

Something, really something would have been composing and publishing the January 1 post in less than two minutes.

Here’s where genius stepped back in and righted things. I entered an appropriate title, saved the empty draft, and clicked Publish.

To some, this might seem dishonest, underhanded, unscrupulous, unethical–cast your own aspersion–but I see it as artful and astute. Foxy, but in the nicest way.

If the calendar hadn’t betrayed me, I would have laid out my New Year’s Suggestions. But I’ve already messed up on Suggestion #5 (Go to bed before midnight), which is the foundation for #2 (Honor the Sacred Writing Time Pledge, 2013 that I signed this morning), which, in turn supports Suggestion # 1 (Write for at least one hour a day.)

And because I don’t want to spend a second midnight scrambling for a calendar, I’ll retire at the first opportunity. Like now.


Coming tomorrow (aka later today): The Seven Suggestions

Let the universe work

 In the matter of resolutions, I look to Henriette Ann Klauser’s Write It Down, Make It Happen.

Instead of focusing on action, Klauser focuses on objective: what do you want? Make a list, she says. Then put the list away. Relax and let the subconscious and the universe work.

In her book, she profiles the experiences of a number of individuals for whom the process has worked. The story that impressed me most concerned one of her sons.

He was a teenager when he showed her a list he’d found, I believe, on the floor of his closet. The implication was that it had been buried there for a while. He said he’d made it several years before–just written down five or six things he wanted. What was really interesting, he said, was that even though he’d forgotten about the list, everything on it had happened.

I read Klauser’s book at a time when I specialized in reading self-help books. I rarely took any of the advice in them, but Klauser’s plan required little effort–no getting up early, jogging an hour a day, giving up caffeine, eating seven helpings of vegetables–so I tried it.

I wrote the list: things I wanted, things I had no expectation of, things I could not imagine happening.

And then I lost the list. Buried it, in fact.

Five years later, during one of my feng shui periods, I ran across the book and remembered the list.

Everything I’d written had happened. I had it all.

So for 2011, I’m not writing resolutions. Instead, I’m going to make another list.

The only question is–why have I waited so long?