065 - New Year's Resolutions

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Since it is the new year, I am reminded of one woman’s experience with New Years’ Resolutions. I hope this is helpful. If it’s not, I apologize in advance.

It was 11:30 P.M. on New Year’s Eve, and after turning on the T.V. to the Times Square Celebration, Mom went into the kitchen and taking out paper and pencil wrote “New Year’s Resolutions 1980,” and oh, the lofty ideals that flowed freely. She wrote:

#1 – I will supply my husband’s wants and needs with a sweet spirit.

#2 – I will not become distraught with my children.

#3 – I will have my Visiting Teaching done by the 15th of each month.

#4 – I will lose 20 pounds.

Well about this time her husband came through the kitchen on his way to the refrigerator. She tried to cover the paper, but he could tell what she was doing. “Writing your resolutions, huh? Why not just get out the list you made last year?”

Hurt but undaunted, she continued:

#5 – I will not get behind on the laundry.

Again she was interrupted, this time by her 12-year-old son also on his way to the fridge. He too had figured out what she was doing, and he said, “Making your New Year’s Resolutions – right, Mom? Well, I don’t mean to interfere, but aren’t they the same ones you wrote last year?”

Well, Mom finished the list, and attached it to the refrigerator with a magnetic tomato, and joined her family for the celebration.

Full of vigor and resolve, she was up early the next morning preparing food for the day. It wasn’t long before her husband and son were completely absorbed in three different football games on two different television sets and a radio. Throughout the day they surfaced only long enough to call out such things as, “Hey, Mom, we’re out of corn chips,” or “Honey, do we have any more of that pie you made last Thursday?”

By nightfall she had delivered six ham sandwiches, 27 soft drinks, two bowls of potato chips, one drink of water, and a miscellany of crackers, cheese, and cookies. By day’s end her disposition was something less than sweet.

The next day she got up and fixed a special breakfast. Her son devoured a box of cereal instead. Her daughter, Kim, donned a new pair of designer jeans and a soft pink sweater to scrub the halls at school, while Kerry, her other daughter who had received two new outfits and a pair of new shoes for Christmas, tearfully announced she had nothing to wear for school. Well, you can probably guess the rest.

She gained 5 pounds within the next two weeks. The morning after her psychology final, she was washing out socks and underwear by hand. And on January 29 when she was asked to report her Visiting Teaching, she innocently asked, “Why are you calling me so early in the month?”

In less than 16 days she had broken every resolve behind the tomato. So, she made a new list. It read:

#1 – I will stock the house with piles of sandwiches and gallons of milk, and take my daughters to a movie on New Year’s Day.

#2 – I will forgive my children when they drive me up a wall, and hope that they will extend the same courtesy to me.

#3 – I will not ask to be released from Visiting Teaching.

#4 – I will not gain 20 pounds.

#5 – I will take my husband and my children on a tour of the house, and show them where I keep the washer and dryer.

Then she added a new one, and it read:

#6 – I will appreciate what little progress I make despite my shortcomings.

And so it should be with us. Life is hard enough, and there is already too much out there of guilt, despair, and discouragement. I like the way Michael McLean said it. He said, “We need to be more gentle with ourselves.”

Thank you, and happy Sabbath to you.

Adaped from, “Due To Circumstances Beyond My Control … The New Me Has Been Cancelled” by Afton Day, Ensign, January 1981, p. 58-59
Glenn Rawson – December 1997
Music: Music for a Sunday Afternoon – Lex de Azevedo
Song: Gentle – Marie Pearson