Thursday, December 31, 2009

Predictable Blog Day

I love the idea of renewal. It's one of those collective human urges that we all share which is why we come together once a year and hope we are going to change. The hard part is, of course, admitting what we need to change because then we have to admit that our behavior is not always perfect. I am going to change things here a little.

I am going to publicly confess three imperfect things about me that I like and that I have no intention of ever changing.

Of course I'll have resolutions. But also only three. Three's a good number: it's one of the numbers of magic and it matches the amount of kids I have.

What Is Never Going to Change:

1. I use chocolate for stress relief. Probably way too often. It's kind of like legal Xanax for me. I carry it in my pocketbook, have some at work, in my car and all kinds of imported chocolate stashed in my desk. It makes me happy. It relaxes me. If I were in charge of primitive culture, I would probably make the cocoa bean a minor diety.

Maybe not so minor.

2. I stalk my kids. I sit in the living room when they are talking to their friends and I leaf through Bicycling magazine. I haven't been on a bicycle in about ten years, and I have no interest in gears or sprockets, but my husband reads it, so it's there for the leafing.

The kids view it as an anti-matter shield. They speak very openly, meaning they think the magazine is magical: it protects them from having Mom hear every word. I love listening to them, especially when their voices get low. It's probably wrong on some level, but since it provides vital information, I justify my behavior along the same lines as that government law that allows them to tap into your conversations to protect you from terrorism. I think there's kind of a parallel there.

3. I am streamlining my social obligations. I used to endure visits from and to people I couldn't stand because I thought, for some reason, the world would collapse if I didn't participate. I don't do certain parties and barbeques and holidays any more because I am a)really busy and usually desperate for time and b)past the age of caring whether or not people get miffed.

What will change in 2010?

1. I am going to write more. I have carved out almost four hours a week (I know, it's not a whole lot, but it's more than I've had recently) just to write. No laundry, no kid activities, nothing -- it's during school hours, and I had to really juggle my schedule, but it worked, and I can't wait.

2. I am going to stop applying mascara on the NJ Garden State Parkway while I am going about 75 mph. It's probably better to actually arrive to work than to arrive looking marginally better.

3. I am going to stop having Internet induced ADD. During those four hours, I am not going to go onto sites for twenty minutes just to say, "Wow, I didn't know whales could do that..." then go look up the history of the lighthouse I saw yesterday when I got lost on Long Beach Island.

And that's it. There you have it. They say publicly stating things enforces resolve, but the only image that comes to my mind is Hester from the Scarlet Letter walking around with the A emblazoned on her chest.

Anyway, Happy 2010!


Jemi Fraser said...

I'll vote for the chocolate deity! I do the very same :)

I like your resolutions - good luck with them!

All the best to you in the new year!

Bish Denham said...

LOL, Anne! I love how you "stalk" your kids. The flip side might be the reason they talk around you is that they feel safe. Which is a wonderful feather in your cap.

I wish you all the best in the New Year and am in complete agreement that you should not put on mascara while driving. Better to arrive safely at work without it than to arrive with an eye poked out.

Cheers to you!

Anne Spollen said...

Yup, Jemi, life is way, way too short to ever stop eating chocolate. And maybe just a little bit, I already think chocolate is an earthly diety.

Well, thanks, Bish. That's a nice way to look at why they talk around me.

Yes, no more with the mascara. I figured if I publicly stated that I do this, I would feel like such a jerk that I would stop. That's pretty much true so far...

And Happy New Year!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Ha! Don't give up that chocolate, us chicks need it. Happy New Years!

Katie said...


I feel tingly about what is possible!


Anne Spollen said...

Nah, I'll never give up chocolate. No one should. I am a firm believer in eating for the health of the psyche.

Happy New Year to you, too, Katie!

adrienne said...

Happy New Year, Anne, and thanks for visiting me. Good luck with the resolutions!

I found a secret stash of chocolate I'd forgotten about today. That made me happy...

Mary Witzl said...

Wonderful. I will celebrate your resolutions later by breaking into my Christmas chocolate stash. (I'm easy to shop for.)

I stalk my kids too, though I use my computer for a shield. I figure it's a cut above going into their rooms and looking for elicit substances and evidence of romantic trysts. Plus, it gives me good material.

I once worked as a temporary medical secretary in an ophthamologist's office. Women have lost their eyes putting on mascara in their cars. Apparently, the mascara can have bacteria in it and if you stab yourself accidentally, it can result in increased interocular pressure and eventually, a detached retina. So the mascara resolution is a good one.

Anne Spollen said...

Great to hear from you, Adrienne. Hope all is well - at least I know you are warmer out there than we are here in the East.

Jeez, Mary -increased interocular pressure- yikes. It's not worth it.
Now I will feel not just like a jerk, but an informed jerk. Though weirdly enough, I feel a little better knowing I'm not the only one who uses her car as a spa...

K.C. Shaw said...

I like your resolutions. Personally, I've never used mascara in my life--I just don't see the point--but I'm glad you're going to stop applying it in a moving vehicle. :)

Your kids probably eavesdrop while you're on the phone too, so you don't have to feel guilty. Of course, they're just listening in just in case you say something nice about them to someone else.

Happy new year!

Anne Spollen said...

I love mascara. But you'll have healthier eyes, K.C.

And I never thought about them eavesdropping on me -- you're right, of course. In fact, they do sometimes say, "Did you just say my name to someone?" when I'm on the phone. Of course, it's always a positive and wonderful comment...

Bish Denham said...

Anne! Hope the holidays were good to you. And to start out the New Year I'm passing on to you the Honest Scrap Award!

Anne Spollen said...

Well, thanks, Bish. Not sure what that is, but I'll stroll over to your blog later today.