Tea Parties and Other Resolutions

It’s mid January. By now, most of us have abandoned our New Year’s Resolutions or decided it’s too late to make one. Maybe that’s because we think about them as chores and drudgeries rather than a path toward enjoying life more and expanding our horizons.

Having been a serial resolution breaker over the years, I ask a lot of people about theirs every year. This isn’t evidence so much as a hunch, but it seems to me that people who keep their resolutions are people who aren’t out to drop a few pounds or drink a few fewer beers each week. They want to be a little happier and share it with the people around them. Here are some of choice ones I’ve heard in the past few years, in no particular order.


When my husband and I disagree or have a minor argument, my first impulse is always to leave the room and go clean something. I’m going to try to stay in the conversation.

When my daughter says, “Do you want to have a tea party,” I’m going to say yes instead of telling her about the work I have to do.”

I’m not going to play video games when I call my parents on Sundays. Not with the sound on, any way. And I won’t shout, “Die sucka!” when I blow up the enemy. I’ll say, “How’s the garden, Mom?”

I’ll have lunch with my vegan friend Nancy (not her real name). In an actual vegan restaurant. But I’ll eat a burger first and she’ll think I’m cool for . . . well, she already thinks I’m cool . . . I guess I could just have lunch with her. What’s vegan mean, anyway?

I will try harder not to tell my politically  conservative friend John he’s an idiot.

I will try harder not to tell my politically liberal friend Eric he’s an idiot.

I will try harder not to tell my friends John and Eric to stop arguing about politics because they are both idiots.

I don’t do ‘em . . .  but I’m always doing resolutions. I want to be kinder to myself for not doing resolutions. I have all this self guilt. And that’s part of it. I want to be kinder to myself for not making them, and not sticking to them.


We at the Observer did make one resolution, too. We’ve been saying for months that we’d like to start doing a photo spread each month, asking Clarke Countians a question. Jennifer Lee got right to it—only six months after we resolved to do it.

Our first installment appears in this edition. Appropriately, it’s about the new year. Not about resolutions, but about hope.