2008 New Year Resolutions: Feeling Like A King

Today I am feeling like Janus, the mythical king of early Rome who could look back on past events and forward to the future at the same time. As a genealogist and historian, I spend a great deal of time with the first activity– looking back to past events and the people who created them. 

Now comes the tricky part–looking ahead in time, and making a list of resolutions. Thoughts that plague me: what the heck are resolutions anyway? (no one provides a guide book on how to create them); and why might I want to single out one behavior over another for change?

The most frequently selected new year resolutions appear to be: 1) Spend more time with family and friends; 2) Start or restart an exercise program and/or lose some weight, 3) Stop smoking; 4) Enjoy life more; 5) Stop drinking (alcohol); 6) Get out of debt or save money; 7) Take a class or course at a local college, museum or other educational facility; 8) Volunteer to help people or animals; 9) Organize or re-organize ones life, office, home, etc.

Although these resolutions are very noble, some simply don't fit into my lifestyle (as in #9 Organize…) or don't apply (as in #3 stop smoking or #6 get out of debt). Oh I admit to adopting some of these identical resolutions in the past, and mostly was not successful in their implementation.

And so in 2008 it is time to look at resolutions in a new way, and create a list that is practical, interesting, and easily attained. I challenge others to do the same.

**My Top Five 2008 New Year Resolutions**

1. I was impressed by an article that said blogging is having a detrimental effect on us by reducing verbal conversation. I'd like to change that. And so, I resolve to have meaningful conversations–with my computer tech guy, that two hundredth political telephone pollster, and my puppy.

2. Recently I was placed on a list of “Stately Women: Key Primary State Bloggers Worth Reading.”  I am truly honored. However, it made me realize that I've sometimes avoided writing political articles (if you discount my 2006 Halloween poem, and the article about Granny D). I therefore resolve to write more articles in 2008 about famous New Hampshire women in politics–all five of them. (Honestly, NH is still mostly a “Boy's Club”)

3.  I was raised to be a “Goody Two-Shoes.”  My parents, teachers and the other authority figures in my life believed I was a perfect little girl.  Thankfully when I was in my late twenties I participated in an effective assertiveness training course. The techniques I learned even made my mom cry, but made me feel better.  I resolve to say NO more frequently in 2008.

4. Cursing is more popular these days. It is practically impossible to visit a blog or message board without reading the word, um FORK. I blame HBO, primarily the series Deadwood, for making forking fashionable. After watching only a few episodes, my brain became numbed to the point I no longer thought it inappropriate (how did they do that?!?)  As a child I was taught two things about swearing: 1) Intelligent people use more elegant, protracted words to express themselves in difficult times; and 2) repeating specific  words in public would result in my burping soap bubbles for a week. I resolve to curse more in 2008.

5. Why do we ignore our teacher's advice  to avoid cliches?  As a matter of fact, newspapers are riddled with them. Reportedly in Britain (where the only English-speaking people on the planet live) “at the end of the day,” was the #1 most over-used cliche in newspapers and web sites between January and June 2006. I want to do my part to change that.  I resolve to create new, previously-unused sayings that should quickly become cliches.
A few that come to mind are:
   “good as gedcoms” instead of “good as gold”   
   “unconsummated marriage intentions” instead of “unrequited love”
   “contemplating non-progenitures” instead of “thinking outside of the box.”

Can you think of any? I'd give a King's ransom for one.

This blog article was written as my entry in the Carnival of Genealogy, 39th Edition, hosted by the ever animated Jasia at Creative Gene.


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