New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

So it’s the end of another year.  And along with looking back on the accomplishments, lessons, and blessings of the past year, we’re all supposed to come up with “resolutions” for the new year.  Changes we’d like to make.  Things we’d like to start doing. Or stop doing.  Or learn how to do. I don’t really do too well with keeping resolutions.  Like most people, I start off January 1st with a huge amount of gusto, certain that just changing the last couple of digits in the date field will suddenly bring about huge changes in my world. With the stroke of midnight and the drop of a big glittery ball in Times Square, suddenly I will have the capability of being healthy, wealthy, and wise.  I will be better organized and manage my time better.  I will work out like a fiend and make healthy choices with my menu.  Heck, I’ll even start planning out my menus ahead of time, and maybe even cook them up on the weekends to save time during the week. In the new year, I will suddenly find time to read all the books on my list, complete all those DIY projects I’ve been salivating over, and my house will never be dirty or dusty. I’ll volunteer more and donate money to all those miniscule charities I’ve seen throughout the previous year and meant to contribute to. This will be the year I finally take piano lessons, use the Learn to Play the Guitar DVD series we bought years ago, and I’ll be fluent in French by summer. Wow!  I can hardly wait to go to sleep tonight just to wake up and be the new me. Except when I wake up tomorrow, the only thing different will be the year.  I will still be me.  With my same old stresses, same old time constraints, and same old bad habits. So maybe instead of setting lofty and ambitious resolutions and then being disappointed or feeling like a failure, I will be a tad bit more realistic in my goals. Maybe I will make resolutions that I might actually be able to keep.  Then I am starting the new year off with hope for success rather than being almost certain of failure. So this year, I will read three books on my list.  That should be doable, right? And I will cook a meal for my family once a week.  From a recipe.  With fresh ingredients. I will do some form of exercise three times a week.  And I’ll be okay if that doesn’t include running. I will clean out my closet.  Or at least clear a path through it. I will watch the first guitar DVD and actually take the guitar out of its case. I will complete an entire Rosetta Stone lesson in French.  Maybe even two lessons since I’ve got a whole year. I will clean out the box of paperwork that has been sitting in the garage since we moved into this house in 2002. I will be more patient with people who do stupid things.  (Okay…realistically, I will TRY to be more patient with people who do stupid things.) I will spend time with family and friends and tell them that I love them. I will eat pizza and chocolate.  In moderation and with much enjoyment. I will be thankful for each day and what it brings and I will find joy in living and loving. I will be the best me that I can be, which may vary from day-to-day depending on the circumstances. And I will allow myself to alter this list as needed. Now those are resolutions I think I can probably work with.  Bring on the new year! Happy New Year everyone!  I hope that 2014 brings you health, happiness, peace, and love!  And resolutions you can keep!

Funeral for Cheetah the Chimpanzee

We enjoy activities with animals, so I bought a Groupon deal for a primate sanctuary visit.  Life got too busy to use it until it was about to expire (typical), and the only day we had available for the whole family to go and visit the simians and chimpanzees was New Year’s Eve (last year--2011). Worried they might not be open on NYE, I started trying to call, but always got an answering machine.  After days with no call back, I started to think maybe they had shut down or were not open during the winter holidays.  I finally had the brilliant epiphany to check their website, which told me in huge bold headlines that Cheetah had passed away. Cheetah, Tarzan’s beloved chimpanzee, had been given to the sanctuary years ago by Johnny Weissmuller, the original Tarzan.  Unfortunately, the chimp had passed away on December 24th.  (I quickly deduced this may be why they weren’t calling me back.) Evidently, his death had sparked some pretty big controversy brewing regarding the validity of Cheetah’s identity.  The website had a statement issued by the sanctuary’s owner refuting the media claims that this was not the original Cheetah and insisting that her father had received the chimp when she was a child. Continue reading "Funeral for Cheetah the Chimpanzee"