I find it odd that as diverse a group as we are, our resolutions are generally a variation on a theme: exercise more, drink less, quit smoking, lose weight, gain weight….things that we know we should do but that we’d apparently rather ignore.

I could make a list like that, but at my age it seems those resolutions either happen or they don’t. January 1 makes not one bit of difference.

Still, I find that a new start is a new start, and a focus or a goal seems to be the thing one does.

I find that there is always some distance between my ideal life and the one I am living. In my ideal life I get up early. I have a routine. I know when to buy groceries, and where to shop that doesn’t break the bank. I make lunches to take to work. The little dogs get a walk every day and I find time for yoga and hiking. I utilize my time in the evening, instead of just flopping and hiding out. I have friends over for dinner and I play my banjo. I write a blog post or a song or edit a photograph, cup of tea in hand, before I start my day. I knit and collage and make things. I talk to people, and not just at work.

If I were to make a resolution it would be to narrow the gap between my ideal life and the one I live…my default existence. I would do this as easily as slipping on my favorite shoes. There would be no struggle, no force needed. I would just do these things.

In the past I would approach this resolution set by making a list for myself. I would title it Monday and I would write it on a Sunday. On Sunday I would not do the things on the list and on Monday I would not do most of the things either. I can’t bring myself to make another list.

As I get older I am lucky to find that my actual life looks more like my imagined life in many respects. I do some of the things on my amorphous non-list list almost every day.

The thing I have not managed so well is to have friends over and to connect more with people socially. That is just so much WORK. I forget to do it until it’s friday and then I realize that everyone else has stuff to do and I don’t. I am too tired to care, only I do care.

So I guess that has to be the resolution – the one thing I can do in 2018 to narrow the gap. The thing I need to pull into focus and pay more attention to.

I will have friends over for dinner. I will make sure that occurs to me. I will figure out how to do it somewhat spontaneously, as plans always fill me with dread.

I will ring in the New Year alone this year, and I might even choose to do that next year, but in between I will fill this house with dinner guests and human beings, at least a few times before the year is out. I think I can manage that.newyear