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Good intentions: a practical black dress

VERNON COUNTY - I’ve been reflecting on my New Year’s resolutions, past and present. Some people never make any, others think it’s insane to wait for the beginning of a year to make them, and then there are people like me who adore the wide-open calendar with all the possibilities a new year could bring.

In 2001, I found myself at a hippy-dippy New Year’s gathering where a group of gals sat in a circle around a candle. We held hands as, one by one, each shared her resolution. The ones who went before me said things like, “to manifest peace and love during my daily meditation;” “to hug more people each day with good intentions”; “to breathe in love and exhale gratitude for twenty minutes daily”—all worthy aspirations. When it was my turn I blurted out my resolution loud and clear: “To get lucky. I mean, I’d just like to have sex once more before I die.”

No one laughed. I wasn’t invited the next year.

The following year, I resolved to talk less and drink more. I had been reading about the positive benefits of drinking a daily glass of wine, and had internalized the saying about how God gave us two ears and only one mouth. That resolution was a bust. Though I had a good-sized collection of wine stashed under my kitchen sink, all gifts from clients, I was always so tired after work I’d forget to pull out a bottle. As for talking less, it didn’t happen. I have to talk to make a living. If I’m leading a fitness class and I barely speak, people become uncomfortable.

In recent years, I’ve made resolutions to write in my journal nightly, make friends with a crow, say two nice things to Dane each day, and take more tub baths.

This will be my fourth year of keeping a nightly journal. Each evening before I turn out the light for bedtime, I write a list of things I am grateful for. Even if I’m traveling, I adhere to this practice. This year, I bought a five-year journal. There are enough lines on each day to write a few sentences, and on every page are five years of that particular date.

I haven’t missed any days, but I’m missing my journals that provided a full page for each day. The limit on how many lines I can use is cramping my style.

I failed at making friends with a crow, despite attaching a bright yellow crow tray filled with peanuts to my back deck, taping a plastic mobile feeding tray to my car roof with more peanuts, and sending out all the positive crow friendship vibes I could muster. I believe it had something to do with my four cats and three dogs. Crows are smart.

I lied about the resolution to say two nice things daily to Dane. I just wanted to see if he reads my columns.

Thankfully, I’ve stuck with my tub-bath resolution! In fact, today I took two tubbies. I’m addicted to Epsom salt and lavender oil. Certainly, there are far worse things to be addicted to. For Christmas Dane bought me a 25-pound bag of Epsom salt. Nine days later it was empty. I ordered the 50-pound bag and just looking at it makes me feel joyful and relaxed. I will continue to keep this resolution, but only for about six months of the year. Summer tubbies have no appeal for me.

Certified shoe junkie that I am, I once made a resolution not to buy any shoes for a full year. Other than the pair of hiking boots I ordered in the first week of January (I spaced out) I did fairly well. Near the end of the year I weakened, but I still maintain that slippers are not shoes. However, the slipper slip-up did act like a gateway drug to more shoe buying.

This year I’ve resolved to buy a dress, take better care of my eyebrows, and to work on rewriting and revising all my work until there can be no misunderstandings.

I haven’t yet begun to look for a dress. I know it will be black and have long sleeves that I can push up if need be. It won’t be a fancy Nancy dress, but not a plain Jane one either. It will have to be suitable for weddings, funerals, and everything in between.

I’ve already been busy plucking and shaping my eyebrows. I even bought eyebrow stuff. I’ll be adding eyebrow junk to my touch of mascara if I ever need to wear that black dress. The problem is I had no clue what to buy so I ended up with two pencils, each claiming to do something the other did not, and some sort of eye-shadow-like makeup that claims to make eyebrows perfect. I’ll need to spend some time perfecting my technique. My first attempt at eyebrow fixing left me looking shocked.


The toughest resolution is going to be the rewriting and revising of these columns. There are only seven days in a week and I’m feeling stretched thin already. I might need to start with a Jane’s World glossary. If people knew my language maybe they wouldn’t misunderstand me!